Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 19, No. 3, 2020
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
  Contributing Editors
David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Lynda Renée
Gary Olson
Howard Richler
Oslavi Linares
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
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Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Chantal Levesque Denis Beaumont
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Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
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Mona Eltahawy
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Navi Pillay
Ernesto Zedillo
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

there's more than one pandemic ravaging



Henry A. Giroux 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. He is the author of more than 50 books including The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth and Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism. Many of his essays, including The Spectacle of Illiteracy, appear on his website at His interview with Bill Moyers is must viewing. He was recently named one of the century's 50 most significant contributors to the debate on education.

Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly
that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.

Richard Dawkins


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YOUR COMMENTSWe now live in a world that resembles a dystopian novel. We cannot get close to each other, every door handle poses a threat, civil liberties are evaporating, streets are empty, businesses are shuttered, death tolls are climbing, borders are back with a vengeance while fear and precarity have become the new norm. We are told endlessly by politicians, health experts and various pundits that we are in the midst of a medical crisis. They are only partly right.

The coronavirus pandemic is more than a medical crisis, it is also a political crisis deeply rooted in years of neglect by austerity-market driven governments that denied the importance of public health, and the public good, while defunding the civic institutions and materials that allowed them to work. At the same time, this crisis cannot be separated from the crisis of massive inequality in wealth, income and power. Nor can it be separated from a crisis of civic culture, education, climate change and a crisis of civic courage.

In addition, it cannot be separated from the spectacle of fear mongering, racism and bigotry that has dominated the national zeitgeist of so many countries to promote shared fears rather than shared responsibilities. In a society in which individual responsibility is viewed as the only way to address social problems, there is no need to address broader systemic issues and hold power accountable. Nor is their need to protect human lives, provide meaningful work and insure quality health care for all. Under such circumstances, the social sphere and the concept of the public interest becomes an object of either financial exploitation or utter disdain, or both.

Another plague lurks beneath the pandemic. This is the invisible plague of casino capitalism with its privatization, commercialization and commodification of everything. This is a plague marked by fragile financial institutions, creation of a massive army of impoverished workers and the prioritization of profits over human life. All of which point to a disdain for any notion of the social contract that expands the meaning and possibilities of the common good, including the crucial sphere of public health. Nowhere is this more evident than in Trump’s America.

The coronavirus pandemic has pulled back the curtain to reveal a brutal form of capitalism — and its global financial markets — in all of their cruelty. This is a system that has not only eroded the democratic ideals of equality and popular sovereignty, but has also created a political and economic context in which the pandemic puts a severe strain on medical workers and hospitals that lack ventilators and other essential equipment to treat patients and limit the number of deaths caused by the virus. Doctors, nurses and front-line workers now plead for the most basic materials to protect themselves. Nurses make masks out of garbage bags, and in the U.S. governors plead and bid against each other for ventilators. At work here is a failure of public planning and implementation brought about by the dismantling of the protective state.

We live at a time of plagues that have added fuel to the current coronavirus epidemic. For years, the plague of casino capitalism with its mantra of fiscal austerity has waged a full-scale attack on the welfare state and in doing so underfunded and weakened those institutions such as education and public health. As the pandemic crisis recedes, we will have to choose between a society that addresses human needs and provides basic services or one in which a survival-of-the fittest-ethos and war-of-all against-all becomes the only organizing principle of society. There is no doubt that this crisis will test the limits of democracy worldwide. At the same time, the magnitude of the crisis offers windows of opportunity in which people can begin to rethink what kind of society, world, and future they want to inhabit.

By Henry Giroux:
Trump and the Corona Death Waltz
Neoliberal Fascism
The Terror Unforseen
Interview of H.A.Giroux
The Normalization of Fascism
The Public Intellectual II
Bertrand Russell: Public Intellectual
Thinking Dangerously in Dark Times
Democracy in Exile
Authoritarianism in America
Violence: US Favourite Pastime
Losing in Trump's America
In Dark Times Teachers Matter
The Age of Civic Illiteracy
Exile and Disruption in the Academy
What Society Produces a Donald Trump
From School to the Prison Pipeline
Orwell & Huxely
American Sniper and Hollywood Heroism
Selfie Culture
The Age of Disposability
In the Shadow of the Atomic Bomb
Killing Machines and the Madness of the Military
The Age of Neoliberal Cruelty
The Politics of the Deep State
Challenging Casino Capitalism
Crisis in Democracy
America's Descent into Madness




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