Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 19, No. 4, 2020
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Bernard Dubé
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David Solway
Louis René Beres
Nick Catalano
Lynda Renée
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Oslavi Linares
Jordan Adler
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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




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.


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YOUR COMMENTSAs a renewed Black Lives Matter uprising fills the streets following a spate of high-profile police killings, the state-sanctioned killing of Black people continues on other fronts as well, including public health and economic injustice. In addition to protesting the widespread killing, activists have called attention to the systematic abandonment of Black communities as a function of both white supremacy and neo-liberal capitalism. While some mainstream voices have focused on condemning the looting happening in the streets, activists have called attention to the much larger-scale looting perpetrated by casino capitalism against marginalized communities.

At this historic moment, the pandemic of racist violence cannot be separated from the violence imposed by neo-liberal capitalism and the pandemic of racial inequality. The walls and cement barriers now surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump’s White House signify both the infectious ruthlessness that produces police violence at home and abroad, and the war waged on those populations viewed as disposable. The paramilitary forces that attacked peaceful demonstrators in the streets are inextricably related to those economic forces driving a hyper-capitalism and the politics of racial sorting, spiralling poverty and soaring inequality. These rapacious economic structures extend from a predatory financial sector to big corporations that produce massive misery, engage in unchecked exploitation, plunder the public sector, and concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a ruling elite.

As engaged citizens, it is crucial to examine how we address inequality as an object of critique in an age of precarity, uncertainty and the current pandemic crisis. This is especially true at a time when a growing number of authoritarian regimes around the globe replace thoughtful dialogue and critical engagement with the suppression of dissent and a culture of forgetting. How do we situate our analysis of racism as part of a broader discourse and mode of analysis that interrogates the promises, ideals, and claims of a substantive democracy? How do we fight against iniquitous relations of power and wealth that empty power of its emancipatory possibilities, and as Hannah Arendt has argued, “makes most people superfluous as human beings?” How might we understand how a society driven by the accumulation of capital at any costs, with its appropriation of market-based values, regressive notions of freedom and agency, uses language to infiltrate daily life? How does a pandemic pedagogy produce identities defined by market values, and normalize a notion of responsibility that convinces people that whatever problems they face they have no one to blame but themselves? Repeated endlessly on right-wing media platforms, the underlying conditions that disproportionately produce chronic illness among poor people of colour disappear among a public distracted, if not persuaded, by a pandemic pedagogy that celebrates unchecked self-interest, disdains social responsibility, and turns away from the reality of a society with deep-seated institutional rot.

How might these global demonstrations against police violence and unchecked racism transition from a pedagogical moment and collective outburst of political and moral outrage to a progressive international movement that is well organized and unified? Such a movement must build solidarity among different groups, imagine new forms of social life, make the impossible possible, and produce a democratic socialist project in defence of equality, social justice, and popular sovereignty. The racial, class, ecological, and public health crisis facing the globe can only be understood as part of a comprehensive crisis of democracy, if not the very meaning of politics itself.

Immediate solutions such as defunding the police and improving community services are important, but they do not deal with the larger issue of eliminating a market driven economic system structured in massive racial and economic inequalities. David Harvey is right in arguing that the “immediate task is nothing more nor less than the self-conscious construction of a new political framework for approaching the question of inequality (and racism), through a deep and profound critique of our economic and social system.” This is a crisis in which different threads of oppression must be understood as part of the general crisis of capitalism. The various protests now evolving internationally at the popular level offer the promise of new global movements for the struggle for popular sovereignty and economic, racial, and social justice. In the current moment, democracy may be under a severe threat and appear frighteningly vulnerable, but with young people and others rising up across the globe — inspired, energized and marching in the streets — the future of a radical democracy is waiting to breathe again.

By Henry Giroux:
Covid and our Embattled Society
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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