- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Paradigm Publishers (April 1 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612050565
- ISBN-13: 978-1612050560
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,844,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Politics in an Age of Disposability Paperback – Apr 1 2012
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"Henry Giroux draws up a convincing indictment of a society that sacrifices its youth and its education, and perhaps its future, on the alter of private gain. Giroux is a one-man indignation machine. We need more like him."
--Russell Jacoby, UCLA, author of The Last Intellectuals and The End of Utopia
"Henry Giroux has been the most consistent and outspoken defender and promoter of the life-prospects and human dignity of which young generations were robbed or which they were prevented to recognize as their birth rights. This book offers a profound analysis of the current state of the world and the chances of making it more hospitable to its newcomers--a warning and call to action. Obligatory reading to all of us who care, young and old alike."
--Zygmut Bauman "Henry Giroux is one of our most important public intellectuals. Though he vividly describes the privatization of compassion, the rapid decline of higher education's commitment to democracy and shared notions of the public good, the force of Giroux's writings shows us we are not alone and there is power in his arguments of resistance. This is a vital book that needs to be read by all who are concerned by the death of the common good; it shows us how reason and compassion can triumph over neoliberalism's forms of social Darwinism."
--David H. Price, Professor of Anthropology, St. Martin's University, and author of Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State "Henry Giroux has written a prophetic book that explains the catalytic conversion of disillusioned youth, marginalized workers, and devalued people of color into new counter-public spheres and modes of resistance unimaginable a decade ago. Giroux foresees the wide appeal of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement of the "99 percenters," who are giving reality to utopian dreams of a new socialism that might topple capitalism in the interests of social justice and a habitable world."
-John Carlos Rowe, USC Associates' Professor of the Humanities, University of Southern California The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think! Read the article here:
Twelve Canadians Changing the Way We Think
About the Author
Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department. He has published numerous books and articles and his most recent books include America’s Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (2013) and Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education (2014). The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think! Read the article here: Twelve Canadians Changing the Way We Think
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The social safety net, which has been a feature of American life since the New Deal, is being replaced, he says, by a "culture of cruelty" in which the institutions of capital, wealth, and power merge to "inflict immense amounts of pain and suffering upon the lives of the poor, working people, the middle class, the elderly, immigrants, and young people." But, even more disturbing are signs that U. S. society is moving towards an authoritarian state controlled by corporations and a financial elite which is largely a criminal enterprise.
Neoliberalism, or what might be called casino capitalism, is "unabashed in its claim to financial power, its survival of the fittest value system, and is contemptuous of any regulation by government. It promotes the view that government has no responsibility to provide safety nets for the poor, disabled, sick and elderly and there is a full scale attack on the social contract, the welfare state, economic equality, and any viable vestige of moral and social responsibility." This appropriation of Ayn Rand's ode to selfishness offers a glimpse of a ruthless form of extreme capitalism in which the poor are considered "moochers" and viewed with contempt.
Although it has always existed in rudimentary form, this "survival of the fittest" social order took firm hold in America with the rise to power of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Ever since his infamous claim that government is the problem not the solution, it has taken on the status of a low intensity war.
The collapse of the social state with its state protections, public values, and democratic governance can be seen in how the Bush and Obama administrations "embraced the logic of the market and farmed out government responsibilities to private contractors who undercut the power of the welfare state while waging a war on human dignity, moral compassion, social responsibility, and life itself." Everything is up for sale in this government of the greedy and the mega rich.
As we move into a second Gilded Age the American public has lost its ability, perhaps even its will, to talk about public values such as sharing, caring and preserving and it can no longer distinguish between a market driven society and a democratic society. This brutal and ruthless form of social Darwinism shreds the social fabric of the state, eviscerates the importance of the social question and creates the conditions for a society resembling Thomas Hobbes's "war of all against all."
Despite its brevity, this book offers a veritable gold mine of quotable quotes for the liberal progressive.