Henry Giroux


As higher education’s role as a center of critical thought and civic engagement is devalued, society is being transformed into a “spectacular space of consumption” and financial looting. Not only does the assault on society by neoliberalism reinforce the worse dimensions of casino capitalism in its role of recognizing exchange value as the only type of value, but it has also produced a politics of cruelty and disposability in which the poisonous elements of exclusion, racism, and the injuries of class have become normalized. One consequence is an ongoing flight from social responsibilities, a denigration of those considered other, and a fullfledged attack on the critical function of higher education. At stake here are not only the meaning and purpose of higher education, but also civil society, politics, and the fate of democracy itself. This article examines those forces all across North America that are both protesting state terrorism and neoliberal barbarism but also those forces of resistance marching in order to have their voices heard as part of the promise of a radical democracy along with the arrangements that give it and them a meaningful and just life. Education is dangerous because it offers young people and other actors the promise of racial and economic justice, a future in which democracy becomes inclusive, and a dream in which all lives matter. Universities should be subversive in a healthy society; they should push against the grain, and give voice to the voiceless, the unmentionable, and the whispers of truth that haunt the apostles of unchecked power and wealth.

Palabras clave

Disposability; Higher Education; Neoliberalism; Critical Thought; Pedagogy; Radical Democracy; Culture of Cruelty.

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