Monday, November 24, 2014

Henry Giroux — Current "Reforms" Attempt to Drive Young People Out of Democracy

"I think that what we have seen since the 1980s is the recognition on the part of the right that the educative nature of politics is really crucial and important. They want to take control of those institutions that produce particular kinds of subjects, dispositions, attitudes, particular modes of desire that are compatible with market values and market social relationships. So the school becomes a reproductive tool that aligns itself with the belief that the market has the ability to govern all social life," Giroux tells Camilla Croso in this interview. "Schools are public spaces and by default, they are at odds with a market rationality. The people who control corporate power globally, today, have no interest in the public, public values or public goods."
HG: Actually, the public as a democratic public sphere that encourages critical dialogue and an engaged citizenry is the enemy of the market for them because it's a non-commoditized sphere that basically can produce all those things that are considered hazardous to corporate interests. That is, it produces people who can imagine otherwise and hence act otherwise; it can produce people who believe in thoughtfulness, critical exchange, civic courage [and] social responsibility, and are more than willing to hold power accountable. Public spheres are places in which thinking becomes dangerous and, in that sense, they have to be shut down. 
Furthermore, there is an enormous effort on the part of the right, all over the globe, to privatize these public spheres and to turn them into risk-free investments for accumulating capital and profits for the relatively few, for the rich, for politicians, all of whom then can make enormous amounts of money off them. They can disempower faculty, they can treat students as consumers and they can basically use them as a way to accumulate capital. 
Henry Giroux: Current "Reforms" Attempt to Drive Young People Out of Democracy
Camilla Croso, Latin-American Campaign for the Right to Education | Interview
Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books include: Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (Paradigm 2013), America's Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013), Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education (Haymarket Press, 2014), and The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights, 2014). The Toronto Star named Henry Giroux one of the 12 Canadians changing the way we think! Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His website is
Giroux is becoming one of the leading public intellectuals of the left.

1 comment:

Peter Pan said...

The left has no shortage of public intellectuals and that is a major reason why they are lost to the average voter. Giroux is part of a comfortable elite, often referred to as the chattering classes.
I agree with the content of his message, but it is not suitable for public consumption. As usual, it is intended for an echo chamber containing a rather small audience.