Monday, 22 September 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Militarized Conservatism and the End(s) of Higher Education

Tuesday, 05 April 2011 12:37 By Henry A Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed

The Pathologies of War

There can be little doubt that America has become a permanent warfare state.(1) Not only is it waging a war in three countries, but its investment in military power is nearly as much as all of the military budgets of every other country in the world combined. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states, "The USA's military spending accounted for 43 per cent of the world total in 2009, followed by China with 6.6 per cent; France with 4.3 per cent and the UK with 3.8 per cent."(2) The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans a staggering $1 trillion to date, second only in inflation-adjusted dollars to the $4 trillion price tag for World War II."(3) Pentagon spending for 2011 will be more than $700 billion. To make matters worse, as Tom Englehardt points out, "We dominate the global arms trade, monopolizing almost 70% of the arms business in 2008, with Italy coming in a vanishingly distant second. We put more money into the funding of war, our armed forces and the weaponry of war than the next 25 countries combined (and that's without even including Iraq and Afghan war costs)."(4) Moreover, the United States maintains a massive ring of military bases and global presence around the world, occupying "over 560 bases and other sites abroad"(5) and deploying over 300,000 troops abroad, "even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services."(6) In spite of how much military expenditures drain much-needed funds from social programs, the military budget is rarely debated in Congress or a serious object of discussion among the public. Rather than avoid squandering resources and human lives on foreign wars, we avoid "the realities and costs of war."(7)

War is now normalized even as the United States becomes more militarized, moving closer to a national security state at home and an imperial/policing power abroad. Military historian Andrew Bacevich is right in arguing, "The misleadingly named Department of Defense serves in fact as a Ministry of Global Policing."(8) War has become central to American character, but what is often unacknowledged is that its perpetual wars abroad are increasingly matched by a number of wars being waged on the domestic front. Such a disconnect becomes clear in the refusal of politicians, anti-public intellectuals and the general public to acknowledge how the federal deficit has been run up by our military adventures. As Frank Rich argues, "The cultural synergy between the heedless irresponsibility we practiced in Iraq and our economic collapse at home could not be more naked. The housing bubble, inflated by no-money-down mortgage holders on Main Street and high-risk gamblers on Wall Street, was fueled by the same greedy disregard for the laws of fiscal gravity that governed the fight-now-play later war[s]" in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently in Libya.(9) Similarly, as the spirit of a hyper-militarized America bleeds into everyday life, politics increasingly becomes an extension of war, and right-wing, liberal and conservative politicians eagerly embrace a militaristic approach to policy and the need to cleanse the social order of any institution, mode of dissent, social group and public sphere willing to question its state of permanent war and its militarized and unchecked embrace of economic Darwinism. These foreign and domestic wars are not unrelated, given that they are waged in the interests of right-wing militarists, neoconservatives, liberals and corporate moguls - all of whom have a political and economic stake in such military incursions abroad and wars at home. Wars make the economic elite even richer just as they undermine civil liberties, public services and public dissent. A hyper-militarized America has not only fueled violations of executive power, it has also promoted armed conflicts that are directly related to an economic crisis that has produced a wave of political extremism in the United States, while furthering the rise of a punishing state that places the burdens of the current economic crisis on the backs of the poor. We seem to have no trouble in spending money for the production of organized violence designed to kill people, but we have little money to spend on education, health care, or other serious social problems facing the United States. As one educational journal pointed out:

This juxtaposition of robust war spending and inadequate support for education highlights the moral bankruptcy of political and economic leaders who seem to find endless piles of money to kill people abroad but not much to educate them at home. And, of course, the relationship is plain: The more dollars spent on war, the fewer available for human needs - whether alternative energy, food stamps, in-home elder care, public libraries or keeping teachers in their classrooms.(10)

War is not merely the outgrowth of polices designed to protect the security and well-being of the United States. It is also, as President Dwight Eisenhower pointed out, part of a military metaphysics - a complex of forces that includes corporations, defense industries, politicians, financial institutions and universities. Rich conservatives not only produce moral panics and fund collective rage and anger; they also lobby for and finance the military-industrial-academic complex.(11) War provides jobs, profits, political payoffs, research funds and forms of political and economic power that reach into every aspect of society. As a mode of public pedagogy, a state of permanent war needs willing subjects to abide by its values, ideology and narratives of fear and violence. Such legitimation is largely provided through a culture addicted to the production of organized violence, largely circulated through various registers of popular and media culture that extend from high fashion, television and Hollywood movies to the production of violent video games and music concerts sponsored by the Pentagon. The spectacle of war demands a culture of conformity, quiet intellectuals and a largely passive republic of consumers. A hyper-militarized America lives amid a thick fog of historical and social amnesia more than willing to forget that wars not only cause economic distress, but also, as my colleague David L. Clark points out, renders human beings into machines, "converts economies into factories of death" and "threatens to transform the world into a vast graveyard."(12) But war is not something that takes place elsewhere, out of sight and out of mind; it also produces military-like interventions that take the form of a corporate war on the social state and a right-wing war on any mode of critical education.

The war on the social state is in high gear and is most evident in a range of polices designed to punish unions, abrogate the bargaining rights of workers, cut social protections and disinvest in higher education as a site of critical learning while reorganizing it according to the interests and values of a market-driven culture. The mean-spirited and ideologically dogmatic nature of the assault on labor can be seen in Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage's call to remove a 36-foot, 11-panel mural by Judy Taylor from the foyer in the state's Department of Labor building in Augusta.(13) LePage claims that a number of business officials complained about the mural, echoing a sentiment he received in a fax that claimed that the mural "was reminiscent of communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses."(14) But LePage's contempt for workers, unions, teachers and their struggles did not end with the removal of the mural; he also ordered seven conference rooms to be renamed, given that few of them were named after notable labor organizers, including Cesar Chavez, a heroic figure who "led the United Farm Workers union in the sixties and seventies."(15) LePage's actions mirror the same disdain for democracy and the social state that is being exhibited by Republican governors in Wisconsin and a number of other states in which draconian measures are being imposed on the unemployed, working poor, middle class, students, and others who are outside of the radar of politicians in the service of the corporate rich.

Waging War on the Social State

The second war, inextricably connected to the war on the social state and democracy itself, takes the form of a highly ideological and politicized assault on higher education. Under the regime of market fundamentalism, institutions that were meant to educate young people as critically engaged citizens, willing to address major social problems and question the operations of official power have been either weakened or abolished, as have many of those public spheres where thinking is not circumscribed by appeals to instrumental rationality.(16) This shift from the basic tenets of the social contract to savage forms of corporate sovereignty is part of a broader process of "reducing state support of social goods [and] means that states - the institutions best placed to defend the gains workers and other popular forces have made in previous struggles - are instead abandoning them."(17) Faced with massive deficits, states are refusing to raise taxes on the rich or corporations while enacting massive cuts in everything from Medicaid programs, food banks and worker retirement funds to higher education and health care programs for children. For example, Florida's Gov. Rick Scott "[has] proposed slashing corporate income and property taxes, laying off 6,700 state employees, cutting education funding by $4.8 billion and cutting Medicaid by almost $4 billion. Scott's ultimate plan is to phase the Sunshine State's corporate income tax out entirely. He [wants] to gut Florida's unemployment insurance system, leaving unemployed workers 'with much less economic protection than unemployed workers in any other state in the country.'"(18) Tom Branstad, the Republican governor of Iowa, has proposed a $200 million tax cut on commercial property taxes and corporate income, but at the same time, wants to cut $42 million to state universities and lay off hundreds of state workers.(19) The neoliberal culture of cruelty seems to know no bounds in Maine given that Republican lawmakers are attempting to repeal the state's child labor laws. This is a move that is gleefully welcomed by the state's hospitality and tourism industries in spite of a major study published by the respected journal, Child Development, that found "that teens who worked more than 20 hours a week were at a higher risk for bad grades and behavior problems such as drug use and delinquency."(20) While the politics of austerity is invoked, the hypocritical nature of such cuts is evident in the passing of legislation for which taxing the rich and corporations is off the table as is any self-criticism about lowering their taxes. But there is more than hypocrisy at work here, there is also a mean-spiritedness fueled by an ideological rigidity and fundamentalism that is evident in actions of Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. Typical of his fellow Tea Party extremists, Kasich has proposed cutting "$1 million from food banks, $12 million from children's hospitals and $15.9 million from an adoption program for children with special needs."(21) He also proposes "tax cuts for oil companies, a repeal of the Ohio estate tax and an income tax cut for the rich ... [and he plans] to open his state's parks to oil and gas drilling."(22) What is particularly shameful about Kasich's reforms is that his office admits that they have little to do with deficits and great deal to do with a ruthless form of economic Darwinism. How else might one interpret a comment by one of his office staff who claimed that "even if there weren't an $8 billion deficit, we'd probably be proposing many of the same things."(23) Gov. Chris Christie has become a poster-child for the Republican engineered culture of cruelty, largely because of his mean-spirited attacks on public sector workers, which The New York Times claims he views, appropriating the coded, racist ideology of former President Reagan, as the "new welfare queens."(24) Central to Christi's free-market ideology is the fashionable notion that "public-sector unions - teachers, cops and firefighters ... are driving up local taxes beyond what the citizenry can afford, while also demanding the kind of lifetime security that most private-sector workers have already lost."(25) Actually, what Christie leaves out of this form of ideological scapegoating is the fact that the economic sacrifices he calls for will not be shared by the rich. Not only has Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised taxes on the extremely wealthy, but he has actually lowered taxes for the top 2 percent of New Jersey taxpayers. The cost in lost revenue has been estimated at about $1 billion. The real "welfare queens" are not public-sector workers, but new, Gilded Age rich who are laughing all the way to the bank. What is clear here is that the attack is not on public-sector workers because they are privileged, an obvious and bogus lie, but because their work is in public service, rather than in the for-profit marketplace.

As the rich and powerful rewrite the script of politics, they are largely assisted by a number of Republican governors are not only breaking the backs of labor unions but are also firing police officers and fire fighters, curtailing benefits for the unemployed, denying poor people access to health services and "cutting medical, rehabilitative, home care or other services needed by low-income people who are elderly or have disabilities or are significantly increasing the cost of these services."(26) As social problems are privatized and public spaces commodified, there has been an increased emphasis on individual solutions to socially produced problems, while at the same time market relations and the commanding institutions of capital are divorced from matters of politics, ethics and responsibility. How else to explain the lack of massive protests over the recent revelations that mega-corporations such as General Electric and the Bank of America paid no taxes in spite of accruing massive financial profits. The commodification of thought and the depoliticization of everyday life have created both a culture of illiteracy and cruelty in which notions of the public good, community and the obligations of citizenship are replaced by the overburdened demands of individual responsibility and an utterly privatized ideal of freedom.

In the current market-driven society, with its ongoing uncertainties and collectively induced anxieties, core public values regarding compassion for the common good and especially the poor have been abandoned under the regime of a market society that promotes a survival of the fittest economic doctrine. As Jeffrey Sachs points out, "Income inequality is at historic highs, but the rich claim they have no responsibility to the rest of society. They refuse to come to the aid of the destitute and defend tax cuts at every opportunity. Almost everybody complains, almost everybody aggressively defends their own narrow, short-term interests and almost everybody abandons any pretense of looking ahead or addressing the needs of others."(27) Shared sacrifice and shared responsibilities now give way to shared fears and a disdain for investing in the common good. Conservatives and liberals alike seem to view public values, public spheres and the notion of the common good as either a hindrance to the profit-seeking goals of a market-driven society or a drain on the market-driven social order, treated as a sign of weakness, if not pathology, or even worse, dangerous.(28)

The War Against Higher Education

Public spheres that once offered at least the glimmer of progressive ideas, enlightened social policies, non-commodified values and critical exchange have been increasingly commercialized or replaced by private spaces and corporate settings, whose ultimate fidelity is to expanding profit margins. For example, higher education is increasingly defined as another core element of corporate power and culture, and as such, has to be stripped of its role as a democratic public sphere vital to the ideals of democratization. In the current climate, what has become clear is that the neoliberal attack on the social state, workers and unions is now being matched by a full-fledged assault on higher education. Such attacks are not happening just in the United States, but in many other parts of the globe where neoliberalism is waging a savage battle to eliminate all of those public spheres which might offer a glimmer of opposition to market-driven policies, institutions, ideology and values. Higher education is being targeted by conservative politicians and governments because it embodies, at least ideally, a sphere in which students learn that democracy is, as Jacques Rancière suggests, a rupture, a relentless critique and dialogue about official power, its institutions and its never-ending attempts to silent dissent.(29)

As Ellen Schrecker points out, "Today the entire enterprise of higher education, not just its dissident professors, is under attack, both internally and externally."(30) In England and the United States, universities and businesses are forming stronger ties, the humanities are being underfunded, student tuition is rising at astronomical rates, knowledge is being commodified and research is valued through the lens of an audit culture. In England, the Browne Report has established modes of governance, financing and evaluation that, for all intent and purposes, makes higher education an adjunct of corporate values and interests.(31) Delivering improved employability has reshaped the connection between knowledge and power, while rendering faculty and students as professional entrepreneurs and budding customers. The notion of the university as a center of critique and democratic public sphere vitally necessary in providing the knowledge, skills and values necessary for the production of a democratic polity is giving way to a view of the university as a marketing machine essential to the production of neoliberal subjects.(32)

The Browne Report's guiding assumptions suggest that student choice, a consumer model of pedagogy, an instrumental culture of auditing practices and market-driven values are at the heart of the neoliberal university. Like most neoliberal models of education, higher education matters to the extent that it drives economic growth, innovation, transformation and promotes national prosperity.(33) Even though tuition will be tripled in some cases, numerous schools closed and higher education effectively remade according to the dictates of a corporate culture, the conservative-liberal government appears indifferent to the devastating consequences its policies will produce. Simon Head has suggested that the Browne's policies represent a severe threat to academic freedom. In actuality, the neoliberal policies it embodies represents a threat to one of the few remaining institutions left in which dissent, critical dialogue and social problems can be critically engaged.(34) What is often lost in such criticisms is that democracy demands a critical formative culture and set of institutions in which complicated ideas can be engaged, authority challenged, power held accountable and public intellectuals produced. All of this is now threatened in England and other countries pushing neoliberal reforms. Under this economic model, there is no talk of social justice, addressing social problems, promoting critical thinking, addressing matters of social responsibility or engaging critically non-commodified values that might challenge the neoliberal world view. Where the British differ from their American counterparts is that the labor unions, workers, young people, students and members of the middle class are protesting in huge numbers the attack on the social state and the university as a social good.

In the United States, this neoliberal model takes a somewhat different form since states control the budgets for higher education. Under the call for austerity, states have begun the process of massively defunding public universities while they simultaneously provide massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich. At the same time, higher education in its search for funding has "adopted the organizational trappings of medium-sized or large corporations."(35) University presidents are now viewed as CEOs, faculty as entrepreneurs and students as consumer. It gets worse. In some universities, new college deans are shifting their focus outside of the campus in order to take "on some of the fund-raising, strategic planning and partner-seeking duties that were once the bailiwick of the university president."(36) Academic leadership is now defined in part through one's ability to raise funds, engage in strategic planning and partner up with corporate donors. In fact, deans are increasingly viewed as the head of complex businesses and their job performance ratings are dependent on their fund-raising performances.

As business culture permeate higher education, all manner of school practices from food service and specific modes of instruction to hiring temporary faculty are now outsourced to private contractors. Moreover, the most important value of higher education is now tied to the need for credentials. Disciplines and subjects that do not fall within the purview of mathematical utility and economic rationality are now seen as dispensable.(37) In the search for adopting market values and cutting costs, classes have ballooned in size, there is an increased emphasis on rote learning and standardized testing, and tuition fees have skyrocketed, making it impossible for thousands of working-class youth to gain access to higher education. One of the most serious consequences facing higher education in the United States under the reign of neoliberal austerity and disciplinary measures is the increased casualization of academic labor and the ongoing attacks on tenure and academic freedom.

College presidents not only now align themselves with business values, but they willingly and openly associate themselves with corporate interests. Moreover, as universities adopt models of corporate governance, they are aggressively eliminating tenure positions, increasing part-time and full-time positions without the guarantee of tenure and attacking faculty unions. In a number of states such as Ohio and Utah, legislatures have passed bills outlawing tenure, while in Wisconsin, the governor has abrogated the bargaining rights of state university faculty.(38) At a time when higher education is becoming increasingly vocationalized, the ranks of tenure-track faculty are being drastically depleted in the United States, furthering the loss of faculty as stakeholders. Currently, only 27 percent of faculty are either on a tenure track of have a full-time tenure position. As faculty are demoted to contingency forms of labor, they not only lose their power to influence the conditions of their work, but they are seeing their workloads increase, paid poorly, deprived of office space and supplies, refused travel money and subject to policies that allow them to be fired at will.(39) The latter is particularly egregious, because when coupled with an ongoing series of attacks by right-wing ideologues against left-oriented and progressive academics, many nontenured faculty censor themselves in their classes. At a time when critics within the academy are often fired for their political beliefs, have their names posted on right-wing web sites, are forced to turn over their email correspondence to right-wing groups,(40) and are harassed in the conservative press, it is all the more crucial that protections be put in place that safeguard faculty positions and academics to exercise the rights of academic freedom.(41)

What is clear is that the United States is in a state of permanent war and that the casualties are not just on foreign soil. The war at home is being conducted by the same people who benefit from wars abroad. Right-wing conservatives, politicians and corporate billionaires who engage in a full-fledged attack to destroy higher education as a democratic public sphere exhibit not only an almost pathological scorn for the social state, trade unions and workers, but also for any institution capable of producing "an educated population [willing] to sustain a vibrant democracy and culture that provides a key component of the good life."(42) Viewed as simply a training ground for the corporate order, higher education has defaulted on its promise of a democratic future for young people. It has also failed in its traditional call to invest in a social state capable of creating the conditions in which it becomes possible for young people to imagine another world outside of a permanent warfare state and its accompanying economic Darwinism that now bears down on every aspect of their lives.

While the complexity of such struggles cannot be exaggerated, it is time to develop a new political language and broader social movements that connect the dots between the war at home and abroad and make visible that the current and egregious war being waged on higher education is aimed not at solving budget deficits, but the destruction of any vestige of higher education as a public good and democratic public sphere. Destroying education as a social good has serious consequences for a democracy. And questions we might want to ask are what kind of society are we becoming and what is going to have to be done to stop the arrogant and formidable assault on all elements of democratic life now being waged by the financial elite, corporations, Neanderthal conservatives, reactionary think tanks, authoritarian politicians and a right-wing media that eschews any vestige of decency, social responsibility and the truth? One starting point is to make clear to the American public that some institutions are simply not for sale and this is particularly true of higher education. Clearly, if higher education is responsible for anything it is to teach students, in particular, that not everything can be reduced to a cash nexus or the dictates of the bottom line. Hopefully, the emerging opposition to the new assault on social services, public service workers and higher education will be seen as part of a new kind of militaristic and ideological assault on democracy itself. This is truly a war over what kind of future we are willing to give our children and what it means to reinvent America within rather than outside of the ideals and promise of a democracy to come. There is more at stake in the current struggles than simply the abrogation of workers' bargaining rights and a gratuitous increase in university tuition rates; there is the more urgent question of whether America can any longer recognize itself as a struggling democracy.

Footnotes:

1. Some of the more important literature on this transformation includes: Catherine Lutz, "Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis," American Anthropologist, (104:3, 2002), pp. 723-735; Andrew J. Bacevich, "The New American Militarism," (Oxford University Press, 2005); Sheldon S. Wolin, "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism," (Princeton University Press, 2008); Nick Turse, "The Complex: How the Military Invades our Everyday Lives" (New York: Metropolitan books, 2008); Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: "The Last Days of the American Republic" (New York: Metropolitan books, 2008); Andrew J. Bacevich, "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War," (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, Henry Hold and Company, 2010).

2. Home Research Database, "Recent Trends in Military Expenditure," Stockholm International Peace Institute (November 23, 2010). Online here.

3. Elisabeth Bumiller, "The War: A Trillion Can Be Cheap," The New York Times, (July 24, 2010) p. WK3.

4. Tom Engelhardt, "An American World War: What to Watch for in 2010," Truthout, (January 03, 2010). Online here.

5. Nicholas D. Kristof, "The Big (Military) Taboo," The New York Times (December 25, 2010), p. WK16.

6. Chalmers Johnson, "The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century" Truthout, August 17, 2010. Online here.

7. William J. Astore, "The Face of War (don't look)," Asia Times, (November 2, 2010), online here.

8. Andrew J. Bacevich, "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War," (New York, N.Y.: Metropolitan Books, Henry Hold and Company, 2010) p. 22.

9. Frank Rich, "Freedom is Just Another Word," The New York Times (September 4, 2010), p. WK8.

10. Editorial, "Teacher Layoffs and War," Rethinking Schools.org, (Fall 2010), online here.

11. See Henry A. Giroux, "The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex" (Boulder: Paradigm, 2008).

12. David L. Clark, "Schelling's wartime: philosophy and violence in the age of Napoleon," European Romantic Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, April 2008, p. 141.

13. Steven Greenhouse, "Mural of Maine's Workers Becomes Political Target," The New York Times, (March 23, 2011), p. A18.

14. Steven Greenhouse, "Mural of Maine's Workers Becomes Political Target," The New York Times, (March 23, 2011), p.18

15. Peter Dreier, "Battle Over Censorship of Maine Murals Part of a Larger Struggle for Basic Rights and Justice," Common Dreams (March 31, 2010). Online here.

16. This theme is taken up powerfully by a number of theorists. See C. Wright Mills, "The Sociological Imagination" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Richard Sennett, "The Fall of Public Man" (New York: Norton, 1974); Zygmunt Bauman, "In Search of Politics" (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Henry A. Giroux, "Public Spaces, Private Lives" (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).

17. Craig Calhoun, "Information Technology and the International Public Sphere," in "Shaping the Network Society: The New Role of Society in Cyberspace," ed. Douglas Schuler and Peter Day (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004), p. 241.

18. Zaid Jilani, Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Alex Seitz-Wald and Tanya Somanader, "Rewarding Corporations While Punishing Workers," The Progress Report, (March 18, 2011). Online here.

19. Ibid.

20 . Jay Field, "Maine Lawmaker Proposes to Loosen Limits on Teens' Work Hours," Maine Public Broadcasting Network (March 9, 2011). Online here.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

24 . Matt Bai, "How Chris Christie Did His Homework," The New York Times (February 24, 2011). Online here.

25 . Ibid.

26. Bob Herbert, "A Terrible Divide," The New York Times, (February 7, 2011), p. A27.

27. Jeffrey Sachs, "America's Deepening Moral Crisis," The Guardian, (October 4, 2010), Online here.

28. Classic examples of this can be found in the work of Milton Friedman and the fictional accounts of Ayn Rand. It is a position endlessly reproduced in conservative foundations and institutes such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the Hoover Institute. One particularly influential book that shaped social policy along these lines is Charles Murray, "Losing Ground" (New York: Basic, 1994).

29. Jacques Rancière, "Hatred of Democracy" (Verso 2006).

30. Ellen Schrecker, "The Lost Soul of Higher Education," (New York, N.Y.: The New Press, 2010), p. 3.

31. A number of important critiques of the Browne Report and the conservative-liberal attack on higher education includes: Simon Head, "The Grim Threat to British Universities," The New York Review of Books, (January 13, 2011), online here; Anthony T. Grafton, "Britain: The Disgrace of the Universities," The New York Review of Books, (March 10, 2010), p. 32; Nick Couldry, "Fighting for the Life of the English University in 2010," unpublished manuscript; Stefan Collini, "Browne's Gamble," London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, (4 November 2010) pp. 23-25; Stanley Fish, "The Value of Higher Education Made Literal," The New York Times, (December 13, 2010), online here; Aisha Labi, "British Universities and Businesses Are Forming Stronger Research Ties," The Chronicle of Higher Education, (October 4, 2010), online here, Terry Eagleton, "The Death of Universities" Guardian, (December 17, 2010), online here.

32. Michael Collins, "Universities need reform - but the market is not the answer," openDemocracy, (November 23, 2010). online here.

33. Stefan Collini, "Browne's Gamble," London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, (4 November 2010). Online here.
34. Simon Head, "The Grim Threat to British Universities," The New York Review of Books, (January 13, 2011). Online here..35. Stanley Aronowitz, "Introduction," "Against Schooling: For an Education That Matters," (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008), p. xv.

36. Kathryn Masterson, "Off Campus Is Now the Place to Be for Deans," The Chronicle of Higher Education, (March 6, 2011) - accessed March 10, 2011, online here.

37. There are a number of books that address these issues. See, for example, Henry A. Giroux and Susan Searls Giroux, "Take Back Higher Education" (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004) and Stanley Aronowitz, "Against Schooling: For an Education That Matters," (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008).

38. Scott Jaschik, "New Tactic to Kill Faculty Unions," Inside Higher Ed, (March 3, 2011), Online here.

39. Ellen Schrecker, "The Lost Soul of Higher Education," (New York, N.Y.: The New Press, 2010), p. 206-215.

40. Evan McMorris-Santoro, "Conservative Think Tank Seeks Michigan Profs' Emails About Wisconsin Union battle ... and Maddow," Talking Points Memo (March 29, 2010). Paul Krugman, "American Thought Police," The New York Times, (March 27, 2011), p. A27

41. I take up these attacks in great detail in Henry A. Giroux, "The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex" (Boulder: Paradigm, 2008).

42. Stanley Aronowitz, "The Knowledge Factory," The Indypendent, (March 16, 2011), Online here.
 

Henry A Giroux

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books include:  On Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011), Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm 2012), Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories and the Culture of Cruelty (Routledge 2012), Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (Paradigm 2013), and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013), America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights) and Higher Education After Neoliberalism (Haymarket) will be published in 2014). Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His web site is www.henryagiroux.com. Truthout readers receive a 30% discount by clicking the link and inserting the Code: TOGIR (please note that this code is cap-sensitive) on the following books: Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future, March 2013; The Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Politics in an Age of Disposability, April 2012; Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror, August 2010; Politics After Hope: Obama and the Crisis of Youth, Race, and Democracy, April 2010; and The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex, June 2007.


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Militarized Conservatism and the End(s) of Higher Education

Tuesday, 05 April 2011 12:37 By Henry A Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed

The Pathologies of War

There can be little doubt that America has become a permanent warfare state.(1) Not only is it waging a war in three countries, but its investment in military power is nearly as much as all of the military budgets of every other country in the world combined. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states, "The USA's military spending accounted for 43 per cent of the world total in 2009, followed by China with 6.6 per cent; France with 4.3 per cent and the UK with 3.8 per cent."(2) The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans a staggering $1 trillion to date, second only in inflation-adjusted dollars to the $4 trillion price tag for World War II."(3) Pentagon spending for 2011 will be more than $700 billion. To make matters worse, as Tom Englehardt points out, "We dominate the global arms trade, monopolizing almost 70% of the arms business in 2008, with Italy coming in a vanishingly distant second. We put more money into the funding of war, our armed forces and the weaponry of war than the next 25 countries combined (and that's without even including Iraq and Afghan war costs)."(4) Moreover, the United States maintains a massive ring of military bases and global presence around the world, occupying "over 560 bases and other sites abroad"(5) and deploying over 300,000 troops abroad, "even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services."(6) In spite of how much military expenditures drain much-needed funds from social programs, the military budget is rarely debated in Congress or a serious object of discussion among the public. Rather than avoid squandering resources and human lives on foreign wars, we avoid "the realities and costs of war."(7)

War is now normalized even as the United States becomes more militarized, moving closer to a national security state at home and an imperial/policing power abroad. Military historian Andrew Bacevich is right in arguing, "The misleadingly named Department of Defense serves in fact as a Ministry of Global Policing."(8) War has become central to American character, but what is often unacknowledged is that its perpetual wars abroad are increasingly matched by a number of wars being waged on the domestic front. Such a disconnect becomes clear in the refusal of politicians, anti-public intellectuals and the general public to acknowledge how the federal deficit has been run up by our military adventures. As Frank Rich argues, "The cultural synergy between the heedless irresponsibility we practiced in Iraq and our economic collapse at home could not be more naked. The housing bubble, inflated by no-money-down mortgage holders on Main Street and high-risk gamblers on Wall Street, was fueled by the same greedy disregard for the laws of fiscal gravity that governed the fight-now-play later war[s]" in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently in Libya.(9) Similarly, as the spirit of a hyper-militarized America bleeds into everyday life, politics increasingly becomes an extension of war, and right-wing, liberal and conservative politicians eagerly embrace a militaristic approach to policy and the need to cleanse the social order of any institution, mode of dissent, social group and public sphere willing to question its state of permanent war and its militarized and unchecked embrace of economic Darwinism. These foreign and domestic wars are not unrelated, given that they are waged in the interests of right-wing militarists, neoconservatives, liberals and corporate moguls - all of whom have a political and economic stake in such military incursions abroad and wars at home. Wars make the economic elite even richer just as they undermine civil liberties, public services and public dissent. A hyper-militarized America has not only fueled violations of executive power, it has also promoted armed conflicts that are directly related to an economic crisis that has produced a wave of political extremism in the United States, while furthering the rise of a punishing state that places the burdens of the current economic crisis on the backs of the poor. We seem to have no trouble in spending money for the production of organized violence designed to kill people, but we have little money to spend on education, health care, or other serious social problems facing the United States. As one educational journal pointed out:

This juxtaposition of robust war spending and inadequate support for education highlights the moral bankruptcy of political and economic leaders who seem to find endless piles of money to kill people abroad but not much to educate them at home. And, of course, the relationship is plain: The more dollars spent on war, the fewer available for human needs - whether alternative energy, food stamps, in-home elder care, public libraries or keeping teachers in their classrooms.(10)

War is not merely the outgrowth of polices designed to protect the security and well-being of the United States. It is also, as President Dwight Eisenhower pointed out, part of a military metaphysics - a complex of forces that includes corporations, defense industries, politicians, financial institutions and universities. Rich conservatives not only produce moral panics and fund collective rage and anger; they also lobby for and finance the military-industrial-academic complex.(11) War provides jobs, profits, political payoffs, research funds and forms of political and economic power that reach into every aspect of society. As a mode of public pedagogy, a state of permanent war needs willing subjects to abide by its values, ideology and narratives of fear and violence. Such legitimation is largely provided through a culture addicted to the production of organized violence, largely circulated through various registers of popular and media culture that extend from high fashion, television and Hollywood movies to the production of violent video games and music concerts sponsored by the Pentagon. The spectacle of war demands a culture of conformity, quiet intellectuals and a largely passive republic of consumers. A hyper-militarized America lives amid a thick fog of historical and social amnesia more than willing to forget that wars not only cause economic distress, but also, as my colleague David L. Clark points out, renders human beings into machines, "converts economies into factories of death" and "threatens to transform the world into a vast graveyard."(12) But war is not something that takes place elsewhere, out of sight and out of mind; it also produces military-like interventions that take the form of a corporate war on the social state and a right-wing war on any mode of critical education.

The war on the social state is in high gear and is most evident in a range of polices designed to punish unions, abrogate the bargaining rights of workers, cut social protections and disinvest in higher education as a site of critical learning while reorganizing it according to the interests and values of a market-driven culture. The mean-spirited and ideologically dogmatic nature of the assault on labor can be seen in Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage's call to remove a 36-foot, 11-panel mural by Judy Taylor from the foyer in the state's Department of Labor building in Augusta.(13) LePage claims that a number of business officials complained about the mural, echoing a sentiment he received in a fax that claimed that the mural "was reminiscent of communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses."(14) But LePage's contempt for workers, unions, teachers and their struggles did not end with the removal of the mural; he also ordered seven conference rooms to be renamed, given that few of them were named after notable labor organizers, including Cesar Chavez, a heroic figure who "led the United Farm Workers union in the sixties and seventies."(15) LePage's actions mirror the same disdain for democracy and the social state that is being exhibited by Republican governors in Wisconsin and a number of other states in which draconian measures are being imposed on the unemployed, working poor, middle class, students, and others who are outside of the radar of politicians in the service of the corporate rich.

Waging War on the Social State

The second war, inextricably connected to the war on the social state and democracy itself, takes the form of a highly ideological and politicized assault on higher education. Under the regime of market fundamentalism, institutions that were meant to educate young people as critically engaged citizens, willing to address major social problems and question the operations of official power have been either weakened or abolished, as have many of those public spheres where thinking is not circumscribed by appeals to instrumental rationality.(16) This shift from the basic tenets of the social contract to savage forms of corporate sovereignty is part of a broader process of "reducing state support of social goods [and] means that states - the institutions best placed to defend the gains workers and other popular forces have made in previous struggles - are instead abandoning them."(17) Faced with massive deficits, states are refusing to raise taxes on the rich or corporations while enacting massive cuts in everything from Medicaid programs, food banks and worker retirement funds to higher education and health care programs for children. For example, Florida's Gov. Rick Scott "[has] proposed slashing corporate income and property taxes, laying off 6,700 state employees, cutting education funding by $4.8 billion and cutting Medicaid by almost $4 billion. Scott's ultimate plan is to phase the Sunshine State's corporate income tax out entirely. He [wants] to gut Florida's unemployment insurance system, leaving unemployed workers 'with much less economic protection than unemployed workers in any other state in the country.'"(18) Tom Branstad, the Republican governor of Iowa, has proposed a $200 million tax cut on commercial property taxes and corporate income, but at the same time, wants to cut $42 million to state universities and lay off hundreds of state workers.(19) The neoliberal culture of cruelty seems to know no bounds in Maine given that Republican lawmakers are attempting to repeal the state's child labor laws. This is a move that is gleefully welcomed by the state's hospitality and tourism industries in spite of a major study published by the respected journal, Child Development, that found "that teens who worked more than 20 hours a week were at a higher risk for bad grades and behavior problems such as drug use and delinquency."(20) While the politics of austerity is invoked, the hypocritical nature of such cuts is evident in the passing of legislation for which taxing the rich and corporations is off the table as is any self-criticism about lowering their taxes. But there is more than hypocrisy at work here, there is also a mean-spiritedness fueled by an ideological rigidity and fundamentalism that is evident in actions of Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. Typical of his fellow Tea Party extremists, Kasich has proposed cutting "$1 million from food banks, $12 million from children's hospitals and $15.9 million from an adoption program for children with special needs."(21) He also proposes "tax cuts for oil companies, a repeal of the Ohio estate tax and an income tax cut for the rich ... [and he plans] to open his state's parks to oil and gas drilling."(22) What is particularly shameful about Kasich's reforms is that his office admits that they have little to do with deficits and great deal to do with a ruthless form of economic Darwinism. How else might one interpret a comment by one of his office staff who claimed that "even if there weren't an $8 billion deficit, we'd probably be proposing many of the same things."(23) Gov. Chris Christie has become a poster-child for the Republican engineered culture of cruelty, largely because of his mean-spirited attacks on public sector workers, which The New York Times claims he views, appropriating the coded, racist ideology of former President Reagan, as the "new welfare queens."(24) Central to Christi's free-market ideology is the fashionable notion that "public-sector unions - teachers, cops and firefighters ... are driving up local taxes beyond what the citizenry can afford, while also demanding the kind of lifetime security that most private-sector workers have already lost."(25) Actually, what Christie leaves out of this form of ideological scapegoating is the fact that the economic sacrifices he calls for will not be shared by the rich. Not only has Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised taxes on the extremely wealthy, but he has actually lowered taxes for the top 2 percent of New Jersey taxpayers. The cost in lost revenue has been estimated at about $1 billion. The real "welfare queens" are not public-sector workers, but new, Gilded Age rich who are laughing all the way to the bank. What is clear here is that the attack is not on public-sector workers because they are privileged, an obvious and bogus lie, but because their work is in public service, rather than in the for-profit marketplace.

As the rich and powerful rewrite the script of politics, they are largely assisted by a number of Republican governors are not only breaking the backs of labor unions but are also firing police officers and fire fighters, curtailing benefits for the unemployed, denying poor people access to health services and "cutting medical, rehabilitative, home care or other services needed by low-income people who are elderly or have disabilities or are significantly increasing the cost of these services."(26) As social problems are privatized and public spaces commodified, there has been an increased emphasis on individual solutions to socially produced problems, while at the same time market relations and the commanding institutions of capital are divorced from matters of politics, ethics and responsibility. How else to explain the lack of massive protests over the recent revelations that mega-corporations such as General Electric and the Bank of America paid no taxes in spite of accruing massive financial profits. The commodification of thought and the depoliticization of everyday life have created both a culture of illiteracy and cruelty in which notions of the public good, community and the obligations of citizenship are replaced by the overburdened demands of individual responsibility and an utterly privatized ideal of freedom.

In the current market-driven society, with its ongoing uncertainties and collectively induced anxieties, core public values regarding compassion for the common good and especially the poor have been abandoned under the regime of a market society that promotes a survival of the fittest economic doctrine. As Jeffrey Sachs points out, "Income inequality is at historic highs, but the rich claim they have no responsibility to the rest of society. They refuse to come to the aid of the destitute and defend tax cuts at every opportunity. Almost everybody complains, almost everybody aggressively defends their own narrow, short-term interests and almost everybody abandons any pretense of looking ahead or addressing the needs of others."(27) Shared sacrifice and shared responsibilities now give way to shared fears and a disdain for investing in the common good. Conservatives and liberals alike seem to view public values, public spheres and the notion of the common good as either a hindrance to the profit-seeking goals of a market-driven society or a drain on the market-driven social order, treated as a sign of weakness, if not pathology, or even worse, dangerous.(28)

The War Against Higher Education

Public spheres that once offered at least the glimmer of progressive ideas, enlightened social policies, non-commodified values and critical exchange have been increasingly commercialized or replaced by private spaces and corporate settings, whose ultimate fidelity is to expanding profit margins. For example, higher education is increasingly defined as another core element of corporate power and culture, and as such, has to be stripped of its role as a democratic public sphere vital to the ideals of democratization. In the current climate, what has become clear is that the neoliberal attack on the social state, workers and unions is now being matched by a full-fledged assault on higher education. Such attacks are not happening just in the United States, but in many other parts of the globe where neoliberalism is waging a savage battle to eliminate all of those public spheres which might offer a glimmer of opposition to market-driven policies, institutions, ideology and values. Higher education is being targeted by conservative politicians and governments because it embodies, at least ideally, a sphere in which students learn that democracy is, as Jacques Rancière suggests, a rupture, a relentless critique and dialogue about official power, its institutions and its never-ending attempts to silent dissent.(29)

As Ellen Schrecker points out, "Today the entire enterprise of higher education, not just its dissident professors, is under attack, both internally and externally."(30) In England and the United States, universities and businesses are forming stronger ties, the humanities are being underfunded, student tuition is rising at astronomical rates, knowledge is being commodified and research is valued through the lens of an audit culture. In England, the Browne Report has established modes of governance, financing and evaluation that, for all intent and purposes, makes higher education an adjunct of corporate values and interests.(31) Delivering improved employability has reshaped the connection between knowledge and power, while rendering faculty and students as professional entrepreneurs and budding customers. The notion of the university as a center of critique and democratic public sphere vitally necessary in providing the knowledge, skills and values necessary for the production of a democratic polity is giving way to a view of the university as a marketing machine essential to the production of neoliberal subjects.(32)

The Browne Report's guiding assumptions suggest that student choice, a consumer model of pedagogy, an instrumental culture of auditing practices and market-driven values are at the heart of the neoliberal university. Like most neoliberal models of education, higher education matters to the extent that it drives economic growth, innovation, transformation and promotes national prosperity.(33) Even though tuition will be tripled in some cases, numerous schools closed and higher education effectively remade according to the dictates of a corporate culture, the conservative-liberal government appears indifferent to the devastating consequences its policies will produce. Simon Head has suggested that the Browne's policies represent a severe threat to academic freedom. In actuality, the neoliberal policies it embodies represents a threat to one of the few remaining institutions left in which dissent, critical dialogue and social problems can be critically engaged.(34) What is often lost in such criticisms is that democracy demands a critical formative culture and set of institutions in which complicated ideas can be engaged, authority challenged, power held accountable and public intellectuals produced. All of this is now threatened in England and other countries pushing neoliberal reforms. Under this economic model, there is no talk of social justice, addressing social problems, promoting critical thinking, addressing matters of social responsibility or engaging critically non-commodified values that might challenge the neoliberal world view. Where the British differ from their American counterparts is that the labor unions, workers, young people, students and members of the middle class are protesting in huge numbers the attack on the social state and the university as a social good.

In the United States, this neoliberal model takes a somewhat different form since states control the budgets for higher education. Under the call for austerity, states have begun the process of massively defunding public universities while they simultaneously provide massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich. At the same time, higher education in its search for funding has "adopted the organizational trappings of medium-sized or large corporations."(35) University presidents are now viewed as CEOs, faculty as entrepreneurs and students as consumer. It gets worse. In some universities, new college deans are shifting their focus outside of the campus in order to take "on some of the fund-raising, strategic planning and partner-seeking duties that were once the bailiwick of the university president."(36) Academic leadership is now defined in part through one's ability to raise funds, engage in strategic planning and partner up with corporate donors. In fact, deans are increasingly viewed as the head of complex businesses and their job performance ratings are dependent on their fund-raising performances.

As business culture permeate higher education, all manner of school practices from food service and specific modes of instruction to hiring temporary faculty are now outsourced to private contractors. Moreover, the most important value of higher education is now tied to the need for credentials. Disciplines and subjects that do not fall within the purview of mathematical utility and economic rationality are now seen as dispensable.(37) In the search for adopting market values and cutting costs, classes have ballooned in size, there is an increased emphasis on rote learning and standardized testing, and tuition fees have skyrocketed, making it impossible for thousands of working-class youth to gain access to higher education. One of the most serious consequences facing higher education in the United States under the reign of neoliberal austerity and disciplinary measures is the increased casualization of academic labor and the ongoing attacks on tenure and academic freedom.

College presidents not only now align themselves with business values, but they willingly and openly associate themselves with corporate interests. Moreover, as universities adopt models of corporate governance, they are aggressively eliminating tenure positions, increasing part-time and full-time positions without the guarantee of tenure and attacking faculty unions. In a number of states such as Ohio and Utah, legislatures have passed bills outlawing tenure, while in Wisconsin, the governor has abrogated the bargaining rights of state university faculty.(38) At a time when higher education is becoming increasingly vocationalized, the ranks of tenure-track faculty are being drastically depleted in the United States, furthering the loss of faculty as stakeholders. Currently, only 27 percent of faculty are either on a tenure track of have a full-time tenure position. As faculty are demoted to contingency forms of labor, they not only lose their power to influence the conditions of their work, but they are seeing their workloads increase, paid poorly, deprived of office space and supplies, refused travel money and subject to policies that allow them to be fired at will.(39) The latter is particularly egregious, because when coupled with an ongoing series of attacks by right-wing ideologues against left-oriented and progressive academics, many nontenured faculty censor themselves in their classes. At a time when critics within the academy are often fired for their political beliefs, have their names posted on right-wing web sites, are forced to turn over their email correspondence to right-wing groups,(40) and are harassed in the conservative press, it is all the more crucial that protections be put in place that safeguard faculty positions and academics to exercise the rights of academic freedom.(41)

What is clear is that the United States is in a state of permanent war and that the casualties are not just on foreign soil. The war at home is being conducted by the same people who benefit from wars abroad. Right-wing conservatives, politicians and corporate billionaires who engage in a full-fledged attack to destroy higher education as a democratic public sphere exhibit not only an almost pathological scorn for the social state, trade unions and workers, but also for any institution capable of producing "an educated population [willing] to sustain a vibrant democracy and culture that provides a key component of the good life."(42) Viewed as simply a training ground for the corporate order, higher education has defaulted on its promise of a democratic future for young people. It has also failed in its traditional call to invest in a social state capable of creating the conditions in which it becomes possible for young people to imagine another world outside of a permanent warfare state and its accompanying economic Darwinism that now bears down on every aspect of their lives.

While the complexity of such struggles cannot be exaggerated, it is time to develop a new political language and broader social movements that connect the dots between the war at home and abroad and make visible that the current and egregious war being waged on higher education is aimed not at solving budget deficits, but the destruction of any vestige of higher education as a public good and democratic public sphere. Destroying education as a social good has serious consequences for a democracy. And questions we might want to ask are what kind of society are we becoming and what is going to have to be done to stop the arrogant and formidable assault on all elements of democratic life now being waged by the financial elite, corporations, Neanderthal conservatives, reactionary think tanks, authoritarian politicians and a right-wing media that eschews any vestige of decency, social responsibility and the truth? One starting point is to make clear to the American public that some institutions are simply not for sale and this is particularly true of higher education. Clearly, if higher education is responsible for anything it is to teach students, in particular, that not everything can be reduced to a cash nexus or the dictates of the bottom line. Hopefully, the emerging opposition to the new assault on social services, public service workers and higher education will be seen as part of a new kind of militaristic and ideological assault on democracy itself. This is truly a war over what kind of future we are willing to give our children and what it means to reinvent America within rather than outside of the ideals and promise of a democracy to come. There is more at stake in the current struggles than simply the abrogation of workers' bargaining rights and a gratuitous increase in university tuition rates; there is the more urgent question of whether America can any longer recognize itself as a struggling democracy.

Footnotes:

1. Some of the more important literature on this transformation includes: Catherine Lutz, "Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis," American Anthropologist, (104:3, 2002), pp. 723-735; Andrew J. Bacevich, "The New American Militarism," (Oxford University Press, 2005); Sheldon S. Wolin, "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism," (Princeton University Press, 2008); Nick Turse, "The Complex: How the Military Invades our Everyday Lives" (New York: Metropolitan books, 2008); Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: "The Last Days of the American Republic" (New York: Metropolitan books, 2008); Andrew J. Bacevich, "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War," (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, Henry Hold and Company, 2010).

2. Home Research Database, "Recent Trends in Military Expenditure," Stockholm International Peace Institute (November 23, 2010). Online here.

3. Elisabeth Bumiller, "The War: A Trillion Can Be Cheap," The New York Times, (July 24, 2010) p. WK3.

4. Tom Engelhardt, "An American World War: What to Watch for in 2010," Truthout, (January 03, 2010). Online here.

5. Nicholas D. Kristof, "The Big (Military) Taboo," The New York Times (December 25, 2010), p. WK16.

6. Chalmers Johnson, "The Guns of August: Lowering the Flag on the American Century" Truthout, August 17, 2010. Online here.

7. William J. Astore, "The Face of War (don't look)," Asia Times, (November 2, 2010), online here.

8. Andrew J. Bacevich, "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War," (New York, N.Y.: Metropolitan Books, Henry Hold and Company, 2010) p. 22.

9. Frank Rich, "Freedom is Just Another Word," The New York Times (September 4, 2010), p. WK8.

10. Editorial, "Teacher Layoffs and War," Rethinking Schools.org, (Fall 2010), online here.

11. See Henry A. Giroux, "The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex" (Boulder: Paradigm, 2008).

12. David L. Clark, "Schelling's wartime: philosophy and violence in the age of Napoleon," European Romantic Review, Vol. 19, No. 2, April 2008, p. 141.

13. Steven Greenhouse, "Mural of Maine's Workers Becomes Political Target," The New York Times, (March 23, 2011), p. A18.

14. Steven Greenhouse, "Mural of Maine's Workers Becomes Political Target," The New York Times, (March 23, 2011), p.18

15. Peter Dreier, "Battle Over Censorship of Maine Murals Part of a Larger Struggle for Basic Rights and Justice," Common Dreams (March 31, 2010). Online here.

16. This theme is taken up powerfully by a number of theorists. See C. Wright Mills, "The Sociological Imagination" (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Richard Sennett, "The Fall of Public Man" (New York: Norton, 1974); Zygmunt Bauman, "In Search of Politics" (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Henry A. Giroux, "Public Spaces, Private Lives" (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).

17. Craig Calhoun, "Information Technology and the International Public Sphere," in "Shaping the Network Society: The New Role of Society in Cyberspace," ed. Douglas Schuler and Peter Day (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004), p. 241.

18. Zaid Jilani, Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Alex Seitz-Wald and Tanya Somanader, "Rewarding Corporations While Punishing Workers," The Progress Report, (March 18, 2011). Online here.

19. Ibid.

20 . Jay Field, "Maine Lawmaker Proposes to Loosen Limits on Teens' Work Hours," Maine Public Broadcasting Network (March 9, 2011). Online here.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

24 . Matt Bai, "How Chris Christie Did His Homework," The New York Times (February 24, 2011). Online here.

25 . Ibid.

26. Bob Herbert, "A Terrible Divide," The New York Times, (February 7, 2011), p. A27.

27. Jeffrey Sachs, "America's Deepening Moral Crisis," The Guardian, (October 4, 2010), Online here.

28. Classic examples of this can be found in the work of Milton Friedman and the fictional accounts of Ayn Rand. It is a position endlessly reproduced in conservative foundations and institutes such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and the Hoover Institute. One particularly influential book that shaped social policy along these lines is Charles Murray, "Losing Ground" (New York: Basic, 1994).

29. Jacques Rancière, "Hatred of Democracy" (Verso 2006).

30. Ellen Schrecker, "The Lost Soul of Higher Education," (New York, N.Y.: The New Press, 2010), p. 3.

31. A number of important critiques of the Browne Report and the conservative-liberal attack on higher education includes: Simon Head, "The Grim Threat to British Universities," The New York Review of Books, (January 13, 2011), online here; Anthony T. Grafton, "Britain: The Disgrace of the Universities," The New York Review of Books, (March 10, 2010), p. 32; Nick Couldry, "Fighting for the Life of the English University in 2010," unpublished manuscript; Stefan Collini, "Browne's Gamble," London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, (4 November 2010) pp. 23-25; Stanley Fish, "The Value of Higher Education Made Literal," The New York Times, (December 13, 2010), online here; Aisha Labi, "British Universities and Businesses Are Forming Stronger Research Ties," The Chronicle of Higher Education, (October 4, 2010), online here, Terry Eagleton, "The Death of Universities" Guardian, (December 17, 2010), online here.

32. Michael Collins, "Universities need reform - but the market is not the answer," openDemocracy, (November 23, 2010). online here.

33. Stefan Collini, "Browne's Gamble," London Review of Books, Vol. 32 No. 21, (4 November 2010). Online here.
34. Simon Head, "The Grim Threat to British Universities," The New York Review of Books, (January 13, 2011). Online here..35. Stanley Aronowitz, "Introduction," "Against Schooling: For an Education That Matters," (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008), p. xv.

36. Kathryn Masterson, "Off Campus Is Now the Place to Be for Deans," The Chronicle of Higher Education, (March 6, 2011) - accessed March 10, 2011, online here.

37. There are a number of books that address these issues. See, for example, Henry A. Giroux and Susan Searls Giroux, "Take Back Higher Education" (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004) and Stanley Aronowitz, "Against Schooling: For an Education That Matters," (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008).

38. Scott Jaschik, "New Tactic to Kill Faculty Unions," Inside Higher Ed, (March 3, 2011), Online here.

39. Ellen Schrecker, "The Lost Soul of Higher Education," (New York, N.Y.: The New Press, 2010), p. 206-215.

40. Evan McMorris-Santoro, "Conservative Think Tank Seeks Michigan Profs' Emails About Wisconsin Union battle ... and Maddow," Talking Points Memo (March 29, 2010). Paul Krugman, "American Thought Police," The New York Times, (March 27, 2011), p. A27

41. I take up these attacks in great detail in Henry A. Giroux, "The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex" (Boulder: Paradigm, 2008).

42. Stanley Aronowitz, "The Knowledge Factory," The Indypendent, (March 16, 2011), Online here.
 

Henry A Giroux

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books include:  On Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011), Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm 2012), Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories and the Culture of Cruelty (Routledge 2012), Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (Paradigm 2013), and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013), America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights) and Higher Education After Neoliberalism (Haymarket) will be published in 2014). Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His web site is www.henryagiroux.com. Truthout readers receive a 30% discount by clicking the link and inserting the Code: TOGIR (please note that this code is cap-sensitive) on the following books: Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future, March 2013; The Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Politics in an Age of Disposability, April 2012; Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror, August 2010; Politics After Hope: Obama and the Crisis of Youth, Race, and Democracy, April 2010; and The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex, June 2007.


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