Saturday, May 5, 2012

Zombie Politics

Wow.  Finally.  Someone has made some sense of this fascination with zombies I see all around me these days. Anyone who's familiar with the critical works of Henry A. Giroux knows what a brilliant cultural critic he can be. In his recent book,  Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (Popular Culture and Everyday Life) he unleashes a metaphorical and symbolic analysis of the political and pedagogical conditions of our current state of affairs using the pervasive popularity, even obsession, in our culture for those cuddly zombies.  That state of affairs includes "a growing culture of sadism, cruelty, disposability and death in America."

Henry has been named as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period.  His most recent, Education and the Crisis of Public Values, (published in July 2011, less than a year after Zombie Politics) offers yet another serving of his insights into a nation of zombies who are further putrefying themselves by destroying their education system, as the nation continues to shift away from democratic public values towards a market-driven mode of education.  In the process we witness it creating a system that's changed our nation's teachers from citizens we can admire into objects of humiliation, from valued members of an important institutional feature of democracy to a profession to be shamed and blamed for problems essentially created by the businesses and politicians who they supposedly influence.

And I give you The Powell Doctrine from 1971 as exhibit A for the corporate-organized national zombie "value" drive mounted against the "liberal"-minded educators seen to be endangering our "American Free Enterprise System" (that last from the title of the Powell Doctrine).

Anyone interested in a taste of Zombie Politics can read a two part excerpt published at

Zombie Politics, Democracy, and the Threat of Authoritarianism - Part I

Zombie Politics: Dangerous Authoritarianism or Shrinking Democracy - Part II

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