I have long thought that the Imperial violence the US has imposed on the rest of the world is coming home to roost. Giroux describes it in powerful but horrifying prose.
Outfitted with full riot gear, submachine guns, armored vehicles and other lethal weapons imported from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, their mission is to assume battle-ready behavior. Is it any wonder that violence rather than painstaking, neighborhood police work and community dialogue and engagement becomes the norm for dealing with alleged “criminals,” especially at a time when more and more behaviors are being criminalized? At the same time, violence becomes the DNA of a society that refuses to deal with larger structural issues such as massive inequality in wealth and power, and a government that now unapologetically serves the rich and powerful corporate interests, and makes violence the organizing principle of governance.
Giroux proposes a solution. That solution will not be easy considering the forces arrayed against free thought.
Many Americans are asking questions about why there are not more people in the streets, as if economic turmoil or even the most overt expressions of state violence offer us a politics with guarantees. One reason, of course, is that the war on the imagination has been matched by the war on solidarity, communal relations and values that can’t be commodified. We all live in war zones now, regimes marked by the most insidious violence and displays of greed, cruelty and lies. They are made all the worse because of the economic crisis; the new totalitarianism has not been matched by a crisis of ideas. Subjectivity has been stripped of any meaning, reduced to the gaze of public relations industries that feed the dispossession by extraction machine. Capitalism has reached its endpoint, blind to its death march. Fortunately, more and more young people and others are refusing to stand by and let state terrorism and market fundamentalism define their everyday lives.
As John Dewey, Pierre Bourdieu, Noam Chomsky, Paulo Freire, Ellen Willis and others have reminded us there is no democracy without an informed public. This is a lesson the right wing took very seriously after the democratic uprisings of the 1960s. This is not a matter of blaming the public but of trying to understand the role of culture and power as a vital force in politics and how it is linked to massive inequities in wealth and income. The financial state promotes a form of ideological terrorism and the key issue is how to expose it, and dismantle its cultural apparatuses with the use of social media, new political formations, and ongoing collective educational and political struggles.
And so story telling becomes our weapon because those who tell the best stories which form the basis of our cultural view of the world will win control of society. that’s why the Memorial Mile is so important because it tells a powerful story and reveals the State for what it really is. It also forges a community activists who work together making connections in an unconnected world. So we are practicing what Giroux preaches here in our own little sphere thanks to Scott’s leadership and all our hard work. Thanks Friends! 😉