Monday, July 19, 2010
Survival of the Fittest?
from Henry A. Giroux's article The Disappearing Intellectual in the Age of Economic Darwinism:
With the advent of neoliberalism, or what some call free-market fundamentalism, we have witnessed the production and widespread adoption throughout society of what I want to call the politics of economic Darwinism. As a theater of cruelty and a mode of public pedagogy, economic Darwinism undermines all forms of solidarity while simultaneously promoting the logic of unrestricted individual responsibility. But there is more at stake here than an unchecked ideology of privatization. For example, as the welfare state is dismantled, it is being replaced by the harsh realities of the punishing state as social problems are increasingly criminalized and social protections are either eliminated or fatally weakened. The harsh values of this new social order can be seen in the increasing incarceration of young people, the modeling of public schools after prisons and state policies that bail out investment bankers, but leave the middle and working classes in a state of poverty, despair and insecurity. But it can also be seen in the practice of socialism for the rich. This is a practice in which government supports for the poor, unemployed, sick and elderly are derided because they either contribute to an increase in the growing deficit or they undermine the market-driven notion of individual responsibility. And yet, the same critics defend, without irony, government support for the rich, the bankers, the permanent war economy, or any number of subsidies for corporations as essential to the life of the nation, which is simply an argument that benefits the rich and powerful and legitimates the deregulated wild west of casino capitalism.
Thanks to Douglas Vicenzi for posting this on his witty, erudite blog Liberals are Cool.