Against Antipolitics

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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

Neoliberalism Eats Its Own Children

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Transcribed from the 10 January 2015 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:

 

“We have a responsibility to make power in its most oppressive forms—and in all of its forms—visible.”

Chuck Mertz: Neoliberalism has made you a disposable human being. Here to tell you how: Henry Giroux, who posted his article Authoritarianism, Class Warfare, and the Advance of Neoliberal Austerity Policies at Truthout.org this week.

Good morning, Henry.

Henry Giroux: Hi, how are you? It’s always a pleasure to be on your show.

CM: Always great to have you on.

While we were gone for the holidays, anti-austerity protests erupted in Ukraine. Several thousand rallied against austerity in front of the parliament in Kiev on December 23rd, while inside, politicians were debating slashing the state budget, cutting social and economic spending.

Your article, again, is headlined Authoritarianism, Class Warfare, and the Advance of Neoliberal Austerity Policies. But is neoliberalism under attack? Is austerity under attack? These protests haven’t stopped the tide of neoliberalism so far—is it even vulnerable to protest?

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An Assault on the Mind

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AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability.

On 8 March 2014,  Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) talked to educator and author Henry Giroux about neoliberalism’s role in the gradual perversion of public and higher education as well as of the dominant media culture.

“I don’t think we need to educate people to simply abide by the rules.  We know where that goes.”

For the first time since embarking on this project of providing print versions of podcast interviews—something we view as filling two crucial needs of a still inchoate alternative media landscape: putting collaboration before competition (for we will not overcome dominant media culture by imitating it), and amplifying voices nearly unheard outside of a niche but revolutionary format—we have received specific transcription requests for this interview.

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