The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights Open Media)
Henry A. Giroux
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"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America--just, fair, and caring--and then to struggle for it."--Bill Moyers
"Henry Giroux has accomplished an exciting, brilliant intellectual dissection of America's somnambulent voyage into anti-democratic political depravity. His analysis of the plight of America's youth is particularly heartbreaking. If we have a shred of moral fibre left in our beings, Henry Giroux sounds the trumpet to awaken it to action to restore to the nation a civic soul."--Dennis J. Kucinich, former US Congressman and Presidential candidate
"Giroux lays out a blistering critique of an America governed by the tenets of a market economy. . . . He cites French philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman's concept of the 'disimagination machine' to describe a culture and pedagogical philosophy that short-circuits citizens' ability to think critically, leaving the generation now reaching adulthood unprepared for an 'inhospitable' world. Picking apart the current malaise of 21st-century digital disorder, Giroux describes a world in which citizenship is replaced by consumerism and the functions of engaged governance are explicitly beholden to corporations."--Publishers Weekly
In a series of essays that explore the intersections of politics, popular culture, and new forms of social control in American society, Henry A. Giroux explores how state and corporate interests have coalesced to restrict civil rights, privatize what's left of public institutions, and diminish our collective capacity to participate as engaged citizens of a democracy.
From the normalization of mass surveillance, lockdown drills, and a state of constant war, to corporate bailouts paired with public austerity programs that further impoverish struggling families and communities, Giroux looks to flashpoints in current events to reveal how the forces of government and business are at work to generate a culture of mass forgetfulness, obedience and conformity. In The Violence of Organized Forgetting, Giroux deconstructs the stories created to control us while championing the indomitable power of education, democracy, and hope.
Henry A. Giroux is a world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual. He currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux “one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think."
More Praise for Henry A. Giroux's The Violence of Organized Forgetting:
"I can think of no book in the last ten years as essential as this. I can think of no other writer who has so clinically dissected the crisis of modern life and so courageously offered a possibility for real material change."--John Steppling, playwright, and author of The Shaper, Dogmouth, and Sea of Cortez
"A timely study if there ever was one, The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a milestone in the struggle to repossess the common sense expropriated by the American power elite to be redeployed in its plot to foil the popular resistance against rising social injustice and decay of political democracy."--Zygmunt Bauman, author of Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? among other works
Prophetic and eloquent, Giroux gives us, in this hard-hitting and compelling book, the dark scenario of Western crisis where ignorance has become a virtue and wealth and power the means of ruthless abuse of workers, of the minorities and of immigrants. However, he remains optimistic in his affirmation of radical humanity, determined as he is to relate himself to a fair and caring world unblemished by anti-democratic political depravity."--Shelley Walia, Frontline
from schools into prisons. Feeding the expanding prison-industrial complex, justified by the war on drugs, the United States is in the midst of a prison binge made obvious by the fact that “since 1970, the number of people behind bars . . . has increased 600 percent.”76 It is estimated that in some cities, such as Washington D.C., 75 percent of young black men can expect to serve time in prison. Michelle Alexander has pointed out that “one in three young African American men is currently under
has become clear in contemporary America is that the organization of civil society for the production of violence is about more than producing militarized technologies and weapons; it is also about producing militarized subjects and a permanent war economy. As Aaron B. O’Connell points outs: Our culture has militarized considerably since Eisenhower’s era, and civilians, not the armed services, have been the principal cause. From lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense
not, under the guise of professionalism, remove themselves from ethical considerations and the power relations that impact them and the world. Nor should they claim a lack of interest at a time when the very concepts of justice, equality, freedom, and democracy are actively traded for the forces of privatization, consumerism, unchecked individualism, and “a political culture of hyper punitiveness.”41 The university likewise should not collude with the ongoing assaults against social provisions
concentrated in few hands, and time reduced to a deprivation for large segments of the public—one consequence of which is the endless struggle by many Americans to simply survive at the level of everyday life. The commercial colonization of time, space, and consciousness occurs in parallel with most of the population’s need to work more than ever in order to make ends meet. There is no democracy in a country in which for most people time is a deprivation rather than a luxury. Time is crippled
outdated principle. One outcome of this dehumanizing value system is the refashioning of the self in market terms that not only produces a neurotic form of atomization, but also a predatory culture of intolerance, cruelty, and abuse. Neoliberalism is not merely an economic system but a cultural apparatus and pedagogy that are instrumental in forming “a new mass sensibility, a new condition for the widespread acceptance of the capitalist system, even the general belief in its eternity.”18 Seeking