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Bill Moyers Full Show: Zombie Politics and Casino Capitalism
Watch: Zombie Politics and Casino Capitalism
Posted: 11/25/2013 1:12 pm
Previously published on BillMoyers.com
This week on Moyers & Company, author and scholar Henry Giroux explains how our political system has turned people into zombies -- "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."
In his book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, 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."
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.
Also on the broadcast, a look at Birth of the Living Dead, a mesmerizing new documentary that examines the singular time in which the classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead was shot -- when civil unrest and violence gave the nation nightmares and zombies were a metaphor for a troubled and distressed American public.
And an essay remembering the Nobel-prize winning novelist Doris Lessing who passed away this week in London at the age of 94.
Moyers & Company airs weekly on public television. Explore more at BillMoyers.com.
«Henry Giroux is one of the foremost public intellectuals writing on issues of education in the U.S. today. This book is another testament to his long-standing quest for a just, egalitarian, and critical pedagogy against its distortion in the service of economic, political and cultural power. His pungent style gives powerful voice to a passionate commitment to youth whose futures are placed in jeopardy by an educational system that marginalizes their intellectual, ethical, and emotional needs - and all too often becomes complicit in their criminalization. The book should be required reading for anyone concerned with the social consequences of the neoliberal assault on public education, which the present administration regretfully has done little to roll back.» (Arif Dirlik, Liang Qichao Memorial Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing)
«In this timely and compelling critique of U.S. political culture, Henry Giroux makes clear how it is that Americans are living through what Hannah Arendt once called 'dark times', times in which the violence and cruelty of human disposability remains hidden in the black light of an increasingly authoritarian public realm. Passionately and incisively argued, Giroux's critique offers insight into the political and pedagogical conditions that have produced a 'zombie politics' and its associated forms of authoritarianism. In this respect, Giroux illuminates what we need to see in order to reconstitute a lost social democratic imagination.» (Roger I. Simon, University of Toronto)
«Henry Giroux offers his most passionate defense yet of democracy and civic values in his new book. This volume is a must-read in dark times like these. Giroux has for decades been an outstanding tribune for democracy, an advocate for civic values and for questioning the unequal status quo. In this new book, he takes up more vigorously than ever the threats to the public sphere from reactionary forces gaining momentum. For Giroux, these threats to humane democracy fit the 'zombie aesthetic' now pervading television, film, and popular culture. Politics has become a monstrous caricature of public deliberation with wild propositions and charges spreading fear and division. Giroux explores the hostile forces sucking the blood out of our constitutional rights as well as the vitality out of ordinary families. We have become a society of monopolized wealth and distributed poverty, a culture of endless war, legalized torture, detention without trial, bursting prisons, and schools that turn our bright children into data. These intolerable conditions require the outrage and insight Giroux offers in his new book. He has written a volume inviting us to democratic action and civic restoration before these dark times grow even darker.» (Ira Shor, Professor, City University of New York)