Henry A. Giroux – The National Insecurity State

I think it is fair to say, following Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, that each country ravaged by neoliberalism and its attack on the social state will develop its own form of authoritarianism rooted in the historical, pedagogical, and cultural traditions that enable it to reproduce itself. In the United States, a “soft war” is being waged on the cultural front aided by the new electronic technologies of consumerism and surveillance. There is a full-fledged effort to conscript the pedagogical influence of various cultural apparatuses, extending from schools and older forms of media, on the one hand, to new media and digital modes of communication, on the other. These educational tools are being used to produce elements of the authoritarian personality, while crushing as much as possible any form of collective dissent and struggle. With the continuation of such conditions, state sovereignty will be permanently replaced by corporate sovereignty, giving substance to the specter of totalitarianism that Michael Halberstam described in Totalitarianism and the Modern Conception of Politics as a specter that “haunts the modern ideal of political emancipation.

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