Culmination of a Counterrevolution

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Violence, Humiliation, Spectacle, and Fascism

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Transcribed from the 1 August 2015 episode of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the whole interview:

“We have an elite that now floats in global flows. It could care less about the nation-state, and it could care less about traditional forms of politics. Hence, it makes no political concessions whatsoever.”

Chuck Mertz: We’ve talked about so many ways that neoliberalism adversely affects us and our world on This is Hell! that you’d think we would have touched on them all by now. Nope! That’s the thing. Neoliberalism is the disaster that keeps on destroying.

Here to tell us about the violence unleashed on society by neoliberalism: one of our very favorite guests, educator and public intellectual Henry Giroux. Henry is co-author of the new book Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle.

Henry, let’s start with this: you write, “Under the interlocking regimes of neoliberal power, violence appears so arbitrary and thoughtless that it lacks the need for any justification, let alone claims to justice and accountability. It is truly as limitless as it appears banal.”

What’s an example of neoliberalism’s unjustified, unaccountable, arbitrary, thoughtless yet limitless violence that appears banal?

Henry Giroux: Hi Chuck, good to hear your voice.

I think we can see it in a whole range of realms. We certainly see it in the media, where extreme violence is now so pervasive that people barely blink when they see it, and certainly raise very few questions about what it means pedagogically and politically. Violence is the DNA, the nervous system of this system’s body politic.Continue Reading