Saturday, November 23, 2013

Henry Giroux
Bill Moyers and Company - PBS
November 22, 2013

In his book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, author and scholar Henry Giroux connects the dots to prove his theory that our current system is informed by a "machinery of social and civil death" that chills "any vestige of a robust democracy."

This week on Moyers & Company, Giroux explains that such a machine turns "people who are basically so caught up with surviving that they become like the walking dead – they lose their sense of agency, they lose their homes, they lose their jobs."

What's more, Giroux points out, the system that creates this vacuum has little to do with expanding the meaning and the substance of democracy itself. Under "casino capitalism," the goal is to get a quick return, taking advantage of a kind of logic in which the only thing that drives us is to put as much money as we can into a slot machine and hope we walk out with our wallets overflowing.

A cultural and social critic of tireless energy and vast interests, Giroux holds the Global TV Network Chair in the English and Cultural Studies Department at McMaster University and is a distinguished visiting professor at Reyerson University, both schools in Canada.

Producer: Gina Kim. Associate Producer: Reniqua Allen. Editor: Rob Kuhns.

Photo: Alton Christensen

Giroux's work centers around cultural studies, youth, democratic theory, public education and the politics of higher education. Giroux is familiar with many of those topics due to his decades of experience teaching America's youth, beginning as a high school history teacher in Barrington, Rhode Island in 1968 and working his way through teaching jobs at prestigious institutions like Boston University, Tufts, Northeastern University and serving as the Waterbury Chair in Secondary Education at Penn State University.

Giroux has written over 55 books, including: On Critical Pedagogy (2011), Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (2012), Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories and the Culture of Cruelty (2012), Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (2013) and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (2013).

His two most recent books are Neoliberalism's War on Higher Education which will be published in December 2013 and The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine which will be released the following year.

Giroux is the founder of Truthout's Public Intellectual Project and is a member of its board of directors.  In 2012, he was named one of the top public intellectuals changing the way the world thinks by the Toronto Star. Born to a working class family in Rhode Island, Giroux received his doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon in 1977. Today he lives with his wife, Dr. Susan Searls-Giroux, in Ontario, Canada.

Bill Moyers' programs can be seen at this address.

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