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Fri Jan 31, 2014, 07:56 PM

 

The War on Young People

America’s latest war, according to renowned social critic Henry Giroux, is a war on youth.

(Giroux says, in the Moyers interview, that something fundamental has changed in US society, in that the ruling class appears to have basically "written off" young people -- subjecting them to increasing repression, debt, and declining job opportunities. I had never thought of it that way before, but it seems to be a good way of expressing what's going on. Youth -- the country's future -- is being "written off" except for a slice at the top. What does that say about the future of the country?)


While this may seem counterintuitive in our youth-obsessed culture, Giroux lays bare the grim reality of how our educational, social, and economic institutions continually fail young people. Their systemic failure is the result of what Giroux identifies as “four fundamentalisms”: market deregulation, patriotic and religious fervor, the instrumentalization of education, and the militarization of society. We see the consequences most plainly in the decaying education system: schools are increasingly designed to churn out drone-like future employees, imbued with authoritarian values, inured to violence, and destined to serve the market. And those are the lucky ones. Young people who don’t conform to cultural and economic discipline are left to navigate the neoliberal landscape on their own; if they are black or brown, they are likely to become ensnared by a harsh penal system.



Giroux sets his sights on the war on youth and takes it apart, examining how a lack of access to quality education, unemployment, the repression of dissent, a culture of violence, and the discipline of the market work together to shape the dismal experiences of so many young people. He urges critical educators to unite with students and workers in rebellion to form a new pedagogy, and to build a new, democratic society from the ground up. Here is a book you won’t soon forget, and a call that grows more urgent by the day.

From Mobil/Exxon to the two presidential candidates, everyone has a cure for the ills of education, but as usual Henry Giroux sees the truth behind the rhetoric. Stop stealing the future from our young people, especially in the working class. Unable to get decent educations, chained to dead-end jobs, our young people are the targets of state-sponsored violence. Giroux knows personally this situation; this book is his intellectual autobiography. Listen to him and act.

—John Carlos Rowe, University of Southern California


http://monthlyreview.org/press/books/pb3447/

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 08:17 PM

1. I totally agree with this.

Growing up in the 50's and sixties I got a great education. Back then you could find a way to go to college without selling your soul to some bank. I was drafted and went to Vietnam but only had to serve one tour.
I graduated in 1964 from high school. Got a decent paying job at a grocery store. Was in a union, had benefits. I bought a brand new 1965 Mustang for $2,500 with my dad as co-signer. We were lower middle class white folks. Yes we had privilege that got us into school and work. My neighbor was going to sponsor me to join the electricians union. That's how they kept the jobs for white males.
With all our assignations, civil rights fights, the draft we still had more opportunity then kids today have.

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 08:18 PM

2. ,

 

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Response to El_Johns (Original post)

Fri Jan 31, 2014, 09:15 PM

3. The young will get sick and tired of it sooner or later.

And when they do, it will get ugly. They are not stupid; they know they are being cheated out of their futures. They know they deserve better.

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