Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 21, No. 6, 2022
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Jason McDonald
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Louis René Beres
David Solway
Nick Catalano
Chris Barry
Don Dewey
Howard Richler
Jordan Adler
Andrew Hlavacek
Daniel Charchuk
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Serge Gamache
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Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Jerry Prindle
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Naomi Klein
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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




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.

Violence is the last refuse of the incompetent.
Isaac Asimov

Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.
Susan Sontag


Violence has reached an almost unthinkable level in the United States. Acts of violence erupt in even the most protected spaces, engulfing almost every facet of American life. Political violence once on the fringe of American society is now at the centre of power and everyday life. Death threats are not only lodged against election officials, public health workers, teachers, librarians, but also Republicans who supported President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package. Death threats to the Capitol Police and lawmakers are the highest they have been in decades.

Laura Italiano, writing on Insider, noted that immediately following the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida residence, references to violence and “civil war” on online spaces increased by 106 per cent. She also quoted Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s Centre on Extremism, who stated: “Extremist anger has not been that high since the lead-up to January 6.” In light of this accelerated surge in right-wing violent rhetoric, numerous menacing threats against federal agents and their families appeared on multiple online and social media platforms. In addition, the federal judge who issued the Mar-a-Lago search warrant was also threatened. Unsurprisingly, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who stated that he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” has been the subject of numerous death threats online, with some writing that he “needs to be assassinated” along with the call to “kill all feds.”

In Canada, we have seen examples of such violence and threats coming from extremists such as Romana Didula, the alleged “Queen of Canada,” the leader of a fringe Q-Anon connected movement. Leyland Cecco, reporting in The Guardian, claimed that she has “called on her disciples to execute health care workers and politicians who support mass vaccination campaigns.”

The lesson for Canada is that in this age of growing authoritarianism, language has become a central part of the microphysics of power. Drained of any democratic substance, bellicose rhetoric has become a force in the acceleration of violence and white supremacy. This is a language that celebrates white nationalism along with a cult of aggression as a legitimate tool of political power. In this new era of violence, it is crucial to comprehend not only the political, institutional, and cultural conditions at work in turning politics into a form of civil war, but also to identify the sites, policies, and regimes that exploit the fears, anxieties, loneliness and rage of the vulnerable.

If we want a real debate about violence in Canada and globally, it is crucial to understand it as part of a larger social order that attacks critical thinking and the institutions that support it. The threat of violence is now used by right-wing politicians and extremist groups to threaten dissent and those who advocate for public health, basic social provisions, democratic values and democracy itself.

In many societies, violence is being elevated to an organizing principle of power, increasingly valued as a form of political currency. The conditions for democracy are being obliterated by extremists globally who embrace repressive forms of power, lies, and white supremacy as tools of political opportunism. In the U.S., President Biden is only partly right stating that the GOP has become a “semi fascist” party that “embraces political violence.” I fear he is being too diplomatic in his rhetoric. America has a full-fledged fascist problem that must be addressed if it is to think its way to a different future. But America is not alone. In Canada and across the globe, the struggle over politics is becoming less a rivalry between political parties and more a struggle between a rebranded fascism and democracy itself.

By Henry Giroux:
The Nazification of Education
Killing Fields in Age of Mass Shootings
The Pedagogy of Resistance
The Death of Ethics
Banning Books
Homage to Paulo Freire
Plague of Manufactured Ignorance
Racial Cleansing and Erasing History
Plague of Historical Amnesia
Recovering from Trumpism
Tribute to Noam Chomsky
The Ouster of Trump
White Supremacy in the Offal Office
The Plague of Inequity
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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