Professor Henry A. Giroux Knocks It Out of the Park in


Manufactured illiteracy and miseducation: A long process of decline led to President Donald Trump 

A deep-rooted crisis in education, and a long cultural and political decline, is what got us here. There's hope! 

I am wholeheartedly recommending you read this article.

It's a straight-up super piece of reality, a facing of facts, and a powerful call to action.
Just what Doomsayers are supposed to do, get us off our duffs.

Go read it at Salon!

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS. (Kind of like the briefing before the battle.) Cliffs notes of Prof Giroux's diagnostics on where the U.S. of A. is slipping off the tracks:

-a plague of deep-seated civic illiteracy, a corrupt political system and a contempt for reason

-the withering of civic attachments, the undoing of civic culture, the decline of public life and the erosion of any sense of shared citizenship

-a politics of bigotry and hate is transformed into a spectacle of demonization, division and disinformation.

-the menacing plague of populist rallies, fear-mongering, threats and humiliation, but also in an emboldened culture of war, militarization and violence that looms over society like a rising storm.

-a dis-imagination machine, characterized by an utter disregard for the truth and often accompanied by the president’s tweet-storm of “primitive schoolyard taunts and threats.”

-George Orwell’s famous maxim from “Nineteen Eighty-four,” “Ignorance is Strength,”

-Truth is now viewed as a liability and ignorance a virtue. Under the reign of this normalized architecture of alleged common sense, literacy is regarded with disdain, words are reduced to data and science is confused with pseudo-science.

-ignorance becomes the primary organizing principle of American society. For instance, two-thirds of the American public believe that creationism should be taught in schools and a majority of Republicans in Congress do not believe that climate change is caused by human activity, making the U.S. the laughing stock of the world.

-the wider culture has been transformed into a spectacle for violence and trivialized entertainment, and a tool for legitimating ignorance.

-illiteracy becomes the norm and education becomes central to a version of zombie politics that functions largely to remove democratic values, social relations,and compassion from the ideology, policies and commanding institutions that now control American society.

-Freedom now means removing one’s self from any sense of social responsibility so one can retreat into privatized orbits of self-indulgence, unbridled self-interest and the never-ending whirlwind of consumption.

-contemptuous and boisterous claim that science and evidence-based truths are “fake news,”

-illiteracy now constitutes the modus operandi of a society that both privatizes and kills the imagination by poisoning it with falsehoods, consumer fantasies, data loops and the need for instant gratification. This is a mode of illiteracy and education that has no language for relating the self to public life, social responsibility or the demands of citizenship. 

-illiteracy is also about refusing to act from a position of thoughtfulness, informed judgment, and critical agency.

-authoritarian society that eliminates public spheres that make thinking possible while imposing a culture of fear in which there is the looming threat that anyone who holds power accountable will be punished.

-forms of historical, political and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated.

-Such a vision suggests resurrecting a democratic project that provides the basis for imagining a life beyond a social order immersed in massive inequality and endless assaults on the environment, a social order that elevates war and militarization to the highest and most sanctified national ideals.

OK, I'M OFF MY DUFF!  Awkward, that, being a Duff myself.


Axel Foley said…
"The reality of Trump’s election may be the most momentous development of the age because of its enormity and the shock it has produced. The whole world is watching, pondering how such a dreadful event could have happened."

Now that, friends, is unbiased commentary at its finest.
(Huge, echoing voice from the mountaintop): "There is NO such thing as unbiased." Thunder booms.

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