A few cries of fraud are being sounded in the icy wilderness of defeat such as those of Thom Hartmann: Why have we let corporations into our polling places, locations so sacred to democracy that in many states even international election monitors and reporters are banned? Why are we allowing corporations to exclusively handle our vote, in a secret and totally invisible way?
Particularly a private corporation founded, in one case, by a family that believes the Bible should replace the Constitution; in another case run by one of Ohio's top Republicans; and in another case partly owned by Saudi investors? Of all the violations of the commons—all of the crimes against We The People and against democracy in our great and historic republic—this is the greatest. Our vote is too important to outsource to private corporations. Most people, however, remain in a state of numbing resignation. Whereas the majority in the international community were willing to forgive the American people for the "selection" of George Bush by the Supreme Court the first ti me around in , the fact that he was elected by the majority of American voters in will further polarize the rest of the world against us.
Why so many workers and poor people voted against their economic and social interests, felt connected to Bush's campaign theme of "moral values". People who have been commodified by capital, denied union protection, brutalized and terrorized by their bosses, and raised against a background of Christian fundamentalist television and talk radio often rebel against their alienation by an equally alienating act of completely disavowing counterintuitive explanations and misplacing blame while conflating the instruments of their oppression into a sacred fetish of obedience: God who speaks through their leader, a paladin of moral values , country the homeland , and freedom free to discriminate against others, to get rich at the expense of others.
All three signifiers are linked together through a spectacle of demonizing antiwar and antiglobalization protesters and pro-choice liberals, and sometimes even equating them with the foreign evil- doers they are already slaughtering in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this way, the Bush administration is able to appeal both to the capitalist elite and to the average working stiff.
As Hansen and Kolhatkar point out: "By cornering the market on strength and religion and good versus evil, they've managed to be both the party of the elites and the party of the little guy, seducing one side with tax breaks and the other with the idolization of the traditional family, and both with the good fight against evil. School officials in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, have revised the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism. And there will be plenty more to come.
It is disconcerting, to say the least, that those "gun-owning churchgoers" who helped put Bush in office for a second term and who profess to care so much about the unborn, betray such contempt for the aborning and the already born, not only people of color within their own borders but also hundreds of thousands of innocent victims of U. There will be future victims of those already born, those who, in some other oil-rich country, will one day find themselves captured in the night-seeing goggles of Neanderthal Nation's imperial militia and in the crosshairs of an M40A3.
No doubt some answers are to be found in the history of religious war and fascism.
The increasingly central role played by "moral values" among the U. In the meantime, progressives continue to shake their heads in disbelief. And while there would seem to be no condign imprecations vile enough to throw at Kerry and his incompetent campaign that would satisfy the rage of the millions of voters who rallied against Bush, there is much. Backed by corrupt solons, populist fantasists, well-heeled Straussians, and Christian Zionists who interpret world events in light of Biblical prophecies as fiercely as tycoons see the world through the eyes of their stock brokers, Bush and his ilk could push U.
Treasury securities sending the economy into a tailspin, draconian security measures will possibly accelerate an exodus of intellectuals to Canada, the National Rifle Association will win more protection for gun manufacturers in criminal lawsuits, the Supreme Court will start looking more like a Taliban tribunal, the city of Fallujah will be razed with the same war crime frenzy and fury as was directed at the city of Hue after the Tet Offensive of , the number of foreign graduate students in U.
Before the second campaign of the holy war in the city of Fallujah, Jesus watched over Christian troops loyal to the Lamb of God, who, dressed as gladiators, staged a chariot race reminiscent of the film, Ben-Hur, with confiscated Iraqi horses. After the race, they prepared themselves to kill barbarians, invoking the Holiest of Holies and transforming themselves into the sword arm of revenge.
A report by Agence France-Presse vividly captures the scene: Men with buzzcuts and clad in their camouflage waved their hands in the air, M assault rifles beside them, and chanted heavy metal-flavoured lyrics in praise of Christ late on Friday in a yellow-brick chapel. They counted among thousands of troops surrounding the city of Fallujah, seeking solace as they awaited Iraqi Prime Minister lyad Allawi's decision on whether or not to invade Fallujah.
Your name is holy. You are the pure spotless lamb," a female voice cried out on the loudspeakers as the marines clapped their hands and closed their eyes, reflecting on what lay ahead for them The marines drew parallels from the verse with their present situation, where they perceive themselves as warriors fighting barbaric men opposed to all that is good in the world.
Their chaplain, named Home, told the worshippers they were stationed outside Fallujah to bring the Iraqis "freedom from oppression, rape, torture and murder. We ask you God to bless us in that effort. The crowd then followed him outside their small auditorium for a baptism of about a half-dozen marines who had just found Christ.
Such a description brings to mind a passage from Wilhelm Reich's A Mass Psychology of Fascism: Fascism is the supreme expression of religious mysticism. As such, it comes into being in a peculiar social form. Fascism countenances that religiosity that stems from sexual perversion, and it transforms the masochistic character of the old patriarchal religion of suffering into a sadistic religion.
In short, it transposes religion from the "other-worldliness" of the philosophy of suffering to the "this worldliness" of sadistic murder. Grand plans will soon be hatched at Camp David.
Students around the country will take their seats in crowded classrooms and ponder their future with the comforting knowledge that evil-doers are being slaughtered in Jesus's name throughout the world so that the American dream can be kept alive for them. In the words of Harold Myerson, Inmates run the asylum. The men who failed to plan for the war that they began keep on mismanaging it. The men with the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover still set economic policy.
The men who enraged the rest of the planet still strut their stuff. Tuesday was a long night's journey into hell. And it's only going to get worse. This book is intended to focus the reader's imagination so that when you look closely at Bush Jr. It is also an attempt to stare back at them. And to make their bloody journey of ideological and material conquest more difficult. The rest will depend upon the power of our critique, our efforts at disobedience and dissent and our steadfast determination oxygenated by a revolutionary optimism of the will. Political propaganda, the art of anchoring the things of the state in the broad masses so that the whole nation will feel a part of them, cannot therefore remain merely a means to the goal of winning power.
It must become a means of building and keeping power. Part of the problem faced by the educational left today is that even among the most progressive educators there appears to exist an ominous resignation produced by the seeming inevitability of capital, even as financial institutions expand capacity in inverse proportion to a decline in living standards and job security.
It has become an article of faith in the critical educational tradition that there is no viable alternative to capitalism. The swan song for Marxist analysis apparently occurred during the intellectual collapse of Marxism in the s after the Berlin Wall came crashing down and along with it a bipolar imperialist world.
Capitalism was loudly proclaimed to be the victor over socialism. Despite mounting signs of desperation and indigence, the globalization of capital was to be the savior of the world's poor and powerless.
But as it is now known, its function, far from supplicatory or transitive, has been deadly alienating. Gobbling up the global. The cutbacks in government expenditure on health, education, and housing investment; the creation of shantytowns in urban industrial areas; the concentration of women in low-wage subcontracted work; the depletion of natural resources; the rampant deunionization; the growth of labor discipline; the expansion of temporary and part-time labor; the pushing down of wages; and the steady decline of decent working conditions have proceeded apace but the rule of capital is not challenged, only its current "condition.
As poverty shifts from 2 percent to 50 percent, Western free-market fundamentalists keep reminding the Russians how awful it must have been to live under communism. Western countries that had established their economic fiefdoms by protecting key industries and subsidizing some domestic producers continue to preach the gospel of free trade and deregulation to other countries. Even when the messianic monopoly fantasies of Enron, WorldCom, and Global Crossings' CEOs end in bankruptcy disasters that shake the very pillars of the marketplace, the belief in the sanctity of the market remains undisturbed.
The belief that there is no alternative to capitalism had pullulated across the global political landscape before the fall of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, attaching itself like a fungus to regional and national dreams alike. The winds of the Cold War had spread its spores to the farthest reaches of the globe. After lying dormant for over a decade, these spores have been reactivated and have seemingly destroyed our capacity to dream otherwise.
Today most nations celebrate capital as the key to the survival of democracy. Watered by the tears of the poor and cultivated by working-class labor, the dreams that sprout from the unmolested soil of capital are those engineered by the ruling class.
Plowed and harrowed by international cartels of transnational corporations, free-marketeers, and global carpetbaggers poised to take advantage of Third World nations in serious financial debt to the West, the seeds of capitalism have yielded a recordbreaking harvest. The capitalist dream factories are not only corporate board rooms and production studios of media networks that together work to keep the. One might recall that the grand mullah of neoliberalism, Von Hayek, an avatar to both Thatcher and Reagan: favored military actions to defend U. On the domestic front he favored the invisible magic of a manipulated market.
No state intervention against the interests of capital was to be tolerated. But the state was vital to undertake military operations in the sphere of international relations. Ali , p. Further, Von Hayek's neoliberal followers: were staunch defenders of the Vietnam war.
They supported the U. In , Hayek favored bombing Tehran. In , during the Malvinas conflict, he wanted raids on the Argentinian capital. This was the creed of neoliberal hegemony most favoured by its founder. The fact that neoliberalism—the midwife to the return of a fanatical belief in nonstate intervention into capital movements that was spawned by nineteenthcentury libertarianism—has resoundingly defeated the bureaucratic state capitalism of the former Soviet "evil empire," and has created a seismic shift in the geopolitical landscape.
Michael Parenti grimly comments that the overthrow of the Soviet Union has abetted a reactionary "rollback" of democratic gains, public services, and common living standards around the world as the United States continues to oppose economic nationalism and autonomous development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, primarily though debt payments and structural adjustment programs imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Particularly hard hit have been the so-called Third World countries.
The Soviet Union's collapse has opened the political floodgates of U. Parenti offers this disillusioned comment: The record of U. In the span of a few months, President Clinton bombed four countries: Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq repeatedly, and Yugoslavia massively. At the same time, the U. And U. Today's international political economy is the toast of the global ruling class, and the bourgeoisie see it as their biggest opportunity in decades to join their ranks.
Free-marketeers have been given the New World Order's imprimatur to loot and exploit the planet's resources and to invest in global markets without restriction. The menacing concomitant of capital's destructive juggernaut is the obliteration of any hope for civilization, let alone democracy. While liberals are plumping for fairer distribution of economic resources, the working classes are taught to feel grateful for the maquiladoras that are now sprouting up in countries designated to provide the cheap labor and dumping grounds for pollution for the Western democracies.
They are taught that socialism and communism are congenitally evil and can only lead to a totalitarian dictatorship. In short, capitalism and the legitimacy of private monopoly ownership has been naturalized as common sense. It is no longer just the capitalists who believe that they are the salvation for the world's poor, but the workers themselves have become conditioned to believe that without their exploiters, they would no longer exist. The entrails of the eviscerated poor now serve as divining mechanisms for the soothsayers of the investment corporations.
Even many trade unions have been little more than adjuncts of the state, reimposing the discipline of capital's law of value. Those who wish to avoid both Communist-type centralized planning and the disequilibrium and instability of laissez-faire capitalism have turned to a type of market socialism through labor-managed firms, but doing little to challenge the deep grammar of capital itself.
Everywhere we look, social relations of oppression and contempt for human dignity abound. It is not that workers are being press-ganged to serve in the social factory; it is more that they are being made to feel grateful for having some source of income, as meager as that may be. As the demagogues of capitalist neoliberal globalization spin their web of lies about the benefits of "global trade" behind erected "security" walls, protesters are gassed, beaten, and killed. As the media boast about the net worth of corporate moguls and celebrate the excesses of the rich and famous, approximately 2.
The "free-market revolution," driven by continuous capitalist accumulation of a winner-take-all variety, has left the social infrastructure of the United States in tatters not to mention other parts of the globe. Through policies of increasing its military-industrial-financial interests, it continues to purse its quivering bourgeois lips, bare its imperialist fangs, and suck the lifeblood from the open veins of South America and other regions of the globe.
The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union in the s and the shift to capitalism in Eastern Europe has brought nearly five billion people into the world market. The globalization of capitalism and its political bedfellow, neoliberalism, work together to democratize suffering, obliterate hope, and assassinate justice. The logic of privatization and free trade—where social labor is the means and measure of value and surplus social labor lies at the heart of profit—now odiously shapes archetypes of citizenship, manages our perceptions of what should constitute the "good society," and creates ideological formations that produce necessary functions for capital in relation to labor.
Schools have been effectively transformed into holding pens where students exercise their everyday consciousness, assert their private interests, articulate their practical intentions, and dream their secret lives within given capitalist social relations and objective forms of thought that emerge from categories of bourgeois social economy, which themselves are bound up with the structural characteristics of stages of social development.
The ideological formations intergenerationally reproduced within schools betray a pragmatic efficacy and validity of apologetic purpose as well as the fetishistic character of everyday thinking. Such formations help to orient students into an unreflexive acceptance of the capitalist social world. Of course, the accession into the social order has always been incomplete, always in process, in that there has always been a space between self-formation and its dismemberment.
Critical pedagogy seizes upon this space as its major terrain of struggle. As schools become increasingly financed more by corporations that function as service industries for transnational capitalism, and as bourgeois think-tank profiteerism and educational professionalism continue to guide educational policy and practice, the U. Liberals are calling for the need for capital controls, controls in foreign exchange. However, very few are calling for the abolition of capital itself. The commercialization of higher education, the bureaucratic cultivation of intellectual capital—what Marx referred to in the Grundrisse as the "general intellect" or "social brain"—and its tethering to the machinery of capital, the.
In the hands of the technozealots, teachers are being reproletarianized and labor is being disciplined, displaced, and deskilled. Teacher autonomy, independence, and control over work are being severely reduced, while workplace knowledge and control is given over more and more to the hands of the administration. The educational left is finding itself without a revolutionary agenda for challenging in the classrooms of the nation the effects and consequences of the new capitalism. This situation is only exacerbated by the educational left's failure to challenge the two-party system that is organically linked to the exploitation of human labor and the well-being of corporate profits.
Consequently, we are witnessing the progressive and unchecked merging of pedagogy to the productive processes within advanced capitalism. Education has been reduced to a subsector of the economy, designed to create cybercitizens within a teledemocracy of fast-moving images, representations, and lifestyle choices powered by the seemingly frictionlessness of finance capital. Robinson argues for a conception of globalization that transcends the nation-state system. He has effectively reconceptualized the dominant Weberian conception of the state through a Marxist problematic as the institutionalization of class relations around a particular configuration of social production in which the economic and the political are conceived as.
Here, the relation between the economy and states is an internal one. There is nothing in this view that necessarily ties the state to territory or to nation-states. While it is true that, seen in aggregate nation-state terms, there are still very poor countries and very rich ones, it is also true that poverty and marginalization are increasing in so-called First World countries, while the Third World has an expanding new strata of consumers. The labor aristocracy is expanding to other countries such that core and periphery no longer denote geography as much as social location.
The material circumstances that gave rise to the nation-state, are, Robinson argues, being superceded by globalization such that the state—conceived in Marxist terms as a congealment of a particular and historically determined constellation of class forces and relations i. Robinson's argument—that a transnational state apparatus is emerging under globalization from within the system of nation-states—rests on the notion that the production process itself has become increasingly transnationalized as national circuits of accumulation become functionally integrated into global circuits.
Neoliberal globalization is unifying the world into a single mode of production and bringing about the organic integration of different countries and regions into a single global economy through the logic of capital accumulation on a world scale. Nonmarket structures are disappearing as they are fast becoming penetrated and commodified by capitalist relations. Global class formation has involved the accelerated division of the world into a global bourgeoisie and a global proletariat. The transnationalized fractions of dominant groups have become the hegemonic fraction globally.
Social groups and classes are central historical actors rather than "states," as power is produced within the transnational capitalist class by transnationally oriented state-managers and a cadre of supranational institutions such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the Trilateral Commission, and the World Economic Forum. Of course, there is still a struggle between descendant national fractions of dominant groups and ascendant transnational fractions.
The class practices of a new global ruling class are becoming condensed in an emergent transnational state in which members of the transnational capitalist class have an objective existence above any local territories and polities. The purpose of the transnational ruling class is the valorization and accumulation of capital and the defense and advance of the emergent hegemony of a global bourgeoisie and a new global capitalist-historical bloc. This historical bloc is composed of the transnational corporations and financial institutions, the elites that manage the supranational economic planning agencies, major forces in the dominant political parties, media conglomerates, and technocratic.
This does not mean that competition and conflict have come to an end or that there exists a real unity within the emergent transnational capitalist class. Competition among rivals is still fierce and the United States is playing a leadership role on behalf of the transnational elite, defending the interests of the emergent global capitalist-historical bloc. Of course, there are scholars who would argue—incorrectly in our view— that Robinson is making a case for the growing unimportance and irrelevance of the nation-state in global politics.
This would be to misunderstand what Robinson is trying to say. Clearly, in Robinson's work the nation-state plays a central role, but one that is being reconfigured by current forces and relations of globalized capital. Feldman and Lotz are worth quoting on this issue in extenso: Recent globalization of production and commerce, by contrast, has been structurally dependent upon the role of transnational corporations, which are no longer based upon a particular nation-state.
This does not mean that the role of the nation-state has become superfluous, or that inter-imperialist rivalries have been transcended. But it does indicate that economic development is no longer based upon rival trading and political empires that aim at the protection of the interests of monopoly capital. Instead, because the growth of global corporations, capital has become a more integrated economic system.
This is expressed by the development of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and the creation of the World Trade Organization. The development of global capital represents a new phase in the imperialist stage of capitalism. For what is occurring is the intensification of the exploitation of the labor of those subordinated and dominated countries within the world economy.
In this sense, imperialism remains an expression of a relation of exploitation and oppression of oppressed nations, despite the important gain of political independence in the period of colonial liberation. But the content of this imperialism is no longer primarily based upon antagonistic and rival national monopoly capitals, but the forces of the TNCs.
These new conditions are generally upheld by the nation-state. Arundhati Roy strikingly captures the dynamic between the state and capital in the following remarks: On the global stage, beyond the jurisdiction of sovereign governments, international instruments of trade and finance oversee a complex system of multilateral laws and agreements that have entrenched a system of appropriation that puts colonialism to shame.
This system allows the unrestricted entry and exit of massive amounts of speculative capital—hot money—into and out of third world countries, which then effectively dictates their economic policy. Using the threat of capital flight as a lever, international capital insinuates itself deeper and deeper into these economies. Giant transnational corporations are taking control. The World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank, virtually write economic policy and parliamentary legislation.
With a deadly combination of arrogance and ruthlessness, they take their sledgehammers to fragile, interdependent, historically complex societies, and devastate them. All this goes under the fluttering banner of "reform. The Spectator newspaper in London assures us that "[wje live in the happiest, healthiest and most peaceful era in human history.
Where does he live? What's his Christian name? This dynamic works along the singular trajectory of capitalist logic. Just as public capital is used to finance private investment risk, the profits of which are not returned to the public but line the pockets of the private investors, so too the nation-state cannot challenge the power of corporate finance, but is compelled to defend it.
Roy puts it this way: The thing to understand is that modern democracy is safely premised on an almost religious acceptance of the nation-state. But corporate globalization is not. Liquid capital is not. So, even though capital needs the coercive powers of the nation-state to put down revolts in the servants' quarters, this set up ensures that no individual nation can oppose corporate globalization on its own. Marxists have long recognized the dangers of the rule of capital and the exponentiality of its expansion into all spheres of the lifeworld.
Today, capital is in command of the world order as never before, as new commodity circuits and the increased speed of capital circulation work to extend and globally secure capital's reign of terror. The site where the concrete determinations of industrialization, corporations, markets, greed, patriarchy, and technology all come together—the center where exploitation and domination are fundamentally articulated—is occupied by capital. The insinuation of the coherence and logic of capital into everyday life—and the elevation of the market to sacerdotal status, as the paragon of all social relationships—is something that has successfully occurred and the economic restructuring that we are witnessing today offers both new fears concerning capital's inevitability and some new possibilities for organizing against it.
Critical pedagogy is, I maintain, a necessary but not sufficient possibility. Particularly during the Reagan years, hegemonic practices and regulatory forces that had undergirded postwar capitalism were dramatically destabilized. And it is an ongoing process. The halcyon days before the arrival of. According to Scott Davies and Neil Guppy , one of the central tenets of the neoliberal argument is that schools must bring their policies and practices in line with the importance of knowledge as a form of production.
According to the neoliberal educationalists, schools are largely to blame for economic decline, and educational reform must therefore be responsive to the postindustrial labor market and restructured global economy. Business has been given a green light to restructure schooling for their own purposes, as the image of homo economicus drives educational policy and practice and as corporations and transnational business conglomerates and their political bedfellows become the leading rationalizing forces of educational reform.
Davies and Guppy argue that globalization has also led schools to stress closer links between school and the workplace in order to develop skills training and "lifelong learning. This means that schools are called upon by the marketoriented educational thinkers to focus more on adult learners through enterprise-based training.
And further, schools are called upon to teach new types of skills and knowledge. It is growing more common to hear the refrain: "education is increasingly too important to be left to the educators," as governments make strong efforts at intervention to ensure schools play their part in rectifying economic stagnation and ensuring global competitiveness. And standardized tests are touted as the means to ensure that the educational system is aligned well with the global economy. There is also a movement to develop international standardized tests, creating pressures toward educational convergence and standardization among nations.
Such an effort, note Davies and Guppy , provides a form of surveillance that allows nation-states to justify their extended influence and also serves to homogenize education across regions and nations. School choice initiatives have emerged in an increasing number of nations in North America and Europe, sapping the strength of the public school system and helping to spearhead educational privatization. Because capital has itself invaded almost every sphere of life in the United States, the focus of the educational left has been distracted for the most part from the great class struggles that have punctuated this century.
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Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! You've successfully reported this review. In turn, the essay sketches a framework for unpacking the Marxist Humanist paradigm, and, thereby, rethinking the philosophical foundations of contemporary critical pedagogy. Volume 40 , Issue 1. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.
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