Category: Commentary

Education/Henry A. Giroux

Any viable attempt at developing a democratic politics must begin to address the role of education and civic literacy as central to politics itself. Education is also vital to the creation of individuals capable of becoming critical social agents willing to struggle against injustices and develop the institutions that are crucial to the functioning of a substantive democracy. One way to begin such a project is to address the meaning and role of higher education (and education in general) as part of the broader struggle for freedom.

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Henry Giroux: Trump vs. Comey

Artists, educators, young people, and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are going to fight for and with the powerless, we have to understand their needs, speak to and with them in a language mutually understandable, and create narratives in which they can both identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives. This is not an easy task, but nothing less than justice, democracy, and the planet itself are at risk.

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Henry A. Giroux: Trump’s War…

Trump’s unapologetic authoritarianism has prompted Democratic Party members and the liberal elite to position themselves as the only model of organized resistance in such dark times. It is difficult not to see such moral outrage and faux pas resistance as both comedic and hypocritical in light of these centrist liberals have played in the last forty years–subverting democracy and throwing minorities of class and color under the bus. As Jeffrey St. Clair observes, “Trump’s nominal opponents,” the Democrats Party are “encased in the fatal amber of their neoliberalism”[xi] and they are part of the problem and not the solution. Rather than face up to their sordid history of ignoring the needs of workers, young people, and minorities of class and color, the Democratic Party acts as if their embrace of a variety of neoliberal political and economic policies along with their support of a perpetual war machine had nothing to do with paving the way for the election of Donald Trump. Trump represents the transformation of politics into a Reality TV show and the belief that the worth of a candidate can only by judged in terms of a blend of value as an entertainer and an advertisement for casino capitalism.[xii] Chris Hedges gets it right in revealing such hypocrisy for what it is worth – a carnival act.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Echoes of neo-Fascism are not only visible in Trump’s rhetoric but also in his policies. For example, his white supremacist ideology and racist contempt for Muslims was on full display in his issuance of an executive order banning all Syrians and people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. In doing so, Trump has not only made visible, and without apology, his embrace of the frenzied lawlessness of authoritarianism, he has also put into place an additional series of repressive policies for the creation of what might be called a democracy in exile.

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Thomas Klikauer/Commentary

The goal of Trump propaganda on this is to engineer a public perception so that the perspectives of such groups are invisible to everyone else, their interests are not weighted. This is designed to assure the following: if the members of the excluded group are without property, they will remain so; if they are without political power, they will remain so as well. In other words, Trump’s policies will favor those in his immediate orbit and those he perceives as relevant for re-election – everyone else will be excluded. At times, it appears as if Trump’s conception of liberal democracy only extends…to whites.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Trump’s presence in American politics has made visible a plague of deep seated civic illiteracy, a corrupt political system, and a contempt for reason; it also points to the withering of civic attachments, the collapse of politics into the spectacle of celebrity culture, the decline of public life, the use of violence and fear to numb people into shock, and a willingness to transform politics into a pathology.

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Mike Foldes/Commentary

The process of natural selection where human populations were winnowed by extreme weather conditions, lack of suitable housing and ineffective medications, is fast disappearing as technology pushes us forward into a future where people just refuse to die, and the hard work of survival takes priority over the wonders of daily life. How many of us, for example, have seen a hummingbird hovering over the faces of echinacea in a backyard garden? Or had the time to hike the Appalachian Trail, or climb one of the High Peaks in the Adirondacks? Or explore coral reefs that still exhibit the radiant colors and house the panoply of wildlife for which they are known?

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Henry Giroux/Analysis

With Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, the scourge of authoritarianism has returned not only in the toxic language of hate, humiliation and bigotry, but also in the emergence of a culture of war and violence that looms over society like a plague.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

…the Trump phenomenon has helped to expose a rather uncomfortable image of what our American citizenry represents. In short, and irrespective of his remedies being not only off target but hardly believable (Trust him more because he is merely a businessman as opposed to Hillary ‘the politician’ – I mean c’mon!) he did hit a pronounced public vein pulsing with anger, confusion, disillusionment and distrust.

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Henry Giroux/Commentary

What happens to a society when thinking is eviscerated and is disdained in favor of raw emotion? [1] What happens when political discourse functions as a bunker rather than a bridge? What happens when the spheres of morality and spirituality give way to the naked instrumentalism of a savage market rationality? What happens when time becomes a burden for most people and surviving becomes more crucial than trying to lead a life with dignity?

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The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.