Henry Giroux: The Disappearance of Public Intellectuals

Henri Giroux, cultural critic and Global Television Network Chair at McMaster University, gave a talk this past week at Western University’s Public Humanities Initiative. I’ve been informed there will be a video up shortly. But until then, this article is a shorter version of the talk. It appears in Counter Punch.

The Disappearance of Public Intellectuals

With the advent of Neoliberalism, we have witnessed the production and widespread adoption within many countries of what I want to call the politics of economic Darwinsim. As a theater of cruelty and mode of public pedagogy, economic Darwinism removes economics and markets from the discourse of social obligations and social costs. The results are all around us ranging from ecological devastation and widespread economic impoverishment to the increasing incarceration of large segments of the population marginalized by race and class. Economics now drives politics, transforming citizens into consumers and compassion into an object of scorn.  The language of rabid individualism and harsh competition now replaces the notion of the public and all forms of solidarity not aligned with market values.  As public considerations and issues collapse into the morally vacant pit of private visions and narrow self-interests, the bridges between private and public life are dismantled making it almost impossible to determine how private troubles are connected to broader public issues….[read more]

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  1. […] I posted about Henri Giroux’s lecture at Western University’s Public Humanities program. That lecture is now available on […]

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