We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Hope in the Age of Looming Authoritarianism
If you like your culture criticism in the form of sophisticated liberal rants, then you can't do much better than those written by Giroux. Here he argues that the problem is "authoritarianism" which is merely a symptom, usually referred to as "fascism", of a capitalist regime that feels threatened. He does mention capitalism, but it is only a specific form that bothers him--"casino capitalism". Such critiques divert attention (and actions) away from the primary agent, the private ownership of a socially constructed economy, onto merely a particular form of capitalism. Hence, according to this view, only reforms to the system are needed.