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Radical Democracy Against Cultures of Violence

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posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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By Henry A. Giroux

www.truth-out.org...


This is not third grade reading, it is written for adults. It is not written for an academic audience but a public one as he calls himself a 'public intellectual'.

I just finishing watching this last season of "Sons of Anarchy" and was disturbed by the body count. I can't seem to find any entertainment that isn't loaded with and glorifing violence. Comedies mostly are stupid, which some like but I find replusive. Dramas of any kind seems little more then 'soap operas' (think "Downton Abbey" - lovely but stupid).

It's been on my mind a lot recently. Where is the 'Star Trek' of today - plenty of action with little violence. Where is the thoughtful "West Wing". Where is "All in the Family" or the "Cosby Show".

Why do we glorify criminals ("Scarface", "Breaking Bad", "Sons of Anarchy") and psychopaths ("Dexter", "Mad Men", "House of Cards").

Anyhow a few quotes from the above referenced and very well written article by Henry Giroux on the subject and related matters:



The spectacle has been energized and reworked under the forces of neoliberalism and now promotes a mix of infantilism, brutality, disposability and lawlessness. As the visibility of extreme violence is endlessly reproduced in various cultural apparatuses and screen cultures, it functions increasingly, alongside a range of other economic and political forces, to legitimate a culture of cruelty and disposability in everyday life.


He goes on to say that 'the spectacle' acts as an anesthetic and continues....


As civil liberties are shredded and powerful corporate and political force engage in a range of legal illegalities, the state itself becomes a model for corruption and violence. Violence has become not only the foundation of corporate sovereignty, it has also become the ideological scaffolding of common sense. Under casino capitalism, the state has become the enemy of justice and offers a prototype for types of misguided rebellion that mimic the lawlessness enshrined by corporate sovereignty and the repressive state apparatuses. Under such circumstances, the force of action does not reside in deliberation, compassion, justice, equality and freedom. On the contrary, it lies in the celebration of the warfare state and its illegal modes of domestic policing and surveillance.


Explaining how this 'culture of violence' serves the state, gives examples and concludes...



America has not only lost its moral compass, but any vestige of credibility in its alleged support for equality, freedom, justice and democracy itself. The United States is not a banana republic, as some critics claim, but much worse. It has become the enemy of democracy and a symbol of the new authoritarianism.


And continues.....



America has become a society that thrives on a denial of reality - mistaking democracy for capitalism, massive inequality for meritocracy, ignorance for reason, war for peace, charity for justice, freedom for an unchecked individualism, and entertainment for cruelty. Casino capitalism's Clinton-Bush "greed is good" image, made famous by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, has been replaced by the more realistic and sinister values represented by Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.




America has become a society that thrives on a denial of reality - mistaking democracy for capitalism, massive inequality for meritocracy, ignorance for reason, war for peace, charity for justice, freedom for an unchecked individualism, and entertainment for cruelty. Casino capitalism's Clinton-Bush "greed is good" image, made famous by Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, has been replaced by the more realistic and sinister values represented by Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.


This is worthly read... please do. His solution...



Radical democracy is rooted in an acceptance of its historicity and imperfectability, thus demanding a constant measure of self-questioning, criticism and critical engagement. Such a democracy implies a refusal of an endpoint, final stage or end of history narrative. Instead, it stresses what Samir Amin has termed "democratization - which stresses the dynamic aspect of a still-unfinished process." [30] Inherent in such a democracy is the need for labor to be subordinate to free time, experienced as a luxury rather than a deprivation, thus demanding a society that provides a social wage, democratized workplaces, egalitarian social services, ecologically sustainable technologies, free education and crucial social provisions. Democracy in this sense embodies an unrelenting fidelity and obligation not to perfectibility but to justice and an endless responsibility, as Jacques Derrida insists, to "the ghosts of those who are not yet born or who are already dead."[31] Matters of pedagogy must be central to any politics that embraces a notion of radical democracy. The agents necessary for such a radical democratic politics can only be constructed through a critical formative culture and public pedagogy produced largely through the media, education and other cultural apparatuses that enable people to be effective political and ethical agent who can think critically, communicate to broader publics, and will organize collectively to implement and fight for a radical vision of democracy. There is nothing that guarantees the existence of a sustainable radical democracy. Democracy in all of its forms has to be fought for, struggled over, and such struggles have to be relentless because of the possibility that democracy can never guarantee its own existence.[32] The struggle against casino capitalism must begin as not only a struggle over power, but as a concerted and widespread attempt to make education central to politics, to address what it means to change the way in which people see things, learn how to govern rather than be governed, and embrace a collective sense of agency in which history and the future is open.





posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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Direct democratic republic

people all over the world are talking about the same thing.
its time to govern ourselves



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 07:49 PM
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Basically, you are describing communism.

If you ever go read the communist party website, they describe a democratized utopia where everyone from the ground up is organized into voting committees.

Oh, and the standard nonsense about having everything provided with everyone having a job that they don't have to labor very hard at and somehow, voila! everything is magically provided to everyone and everyone is prosperous.

It would never work.

Take your little ground floor committee. What happens when the first voting block crops up that blocks everything and gets exactly what they want, nevermind what you and the other poor shlubs in the minority want? What happens when no one quite produces enough because everyone gets everything provided and no one is rewarded for working harder than anyone else or doing a better job ...

No, we need a change, but communism, no matter what you decide to call it this time around will never work.
edit on 19-12-2013 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 08:03 PM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 


100% agree and...who determines who gets what power? who sets rules and standards? who oversees this power and what level of authority do they really have? there is NO utopia in socialism as so many were trained to think, because human nature has too many flaws, greed, and selfserving tactics. These brainwashed dweebs think they are superiorly educated and know all as the basic theory of this society has failed every time all through history. It is not just america that has it's . up it's rear, but we are the first to drop every level of common sense, accountability and morals. On this topic, history is like a sine wave, and we are on the bottom angle of approach...



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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ketsuko
Basically, you are describing communism.

No, we need a change, but communism, no matter what you decide to call it this time around will never work.
edit on 19-12-2013 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)


It's hard to respond to someone who, obviously, didn't read the source material and just made a snap decision on content. But when you see communists behind tree, hedge and bush, it is difficult to focus on the actual content of a post and it's references.

That said, just how do you 'know' (super power, perhaps) that communism will never work?



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I read what you posted. The quote you posted that described the structure could have been lifted from the Communist Party site describing how they would order the world.

So, it's basically communism.

Now, I am not opposed to you getting all your friends and like-minded compatriots together and going off to your own little bit of turf to live like this and try to create your "radical democracy," but stop trying to convince it isn't what it is.

And don't make the mistake of trying to compel me to conform.

And it would not work because of human nature. At our base, we are evolving animals. Evolution demands competition for everything. You cannot take that out of us. Even hive animals compete with other hives. That's just one reason why this would not work. You are expecting humans to behave as thought they are completely noncompetitive.
edit on 19-12-2013 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 19 2013 @ 09:10 PM
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ketsuko
reply to post by FyreByrd
 


I read what you posted. The quote you posted that described the structure could have been lifted from the Communist Party site describing how they would order the world.



I posted more then one quote. Lifted from which communist site?




So, it's basically communism.



According to you and I suspect you've not a grasp of communism nor democacies - in fact not fantasy.




Now, I am not opposed to you getting all your friends and like-minded compatriots together and going off to your own little bit of turf to live like this and try to create your "radical democracy," but stop trying to convince it isn't what it is.

And don't make the mistake of trying to compel me to conform.



Neither I nor my reference material said anything about 'compleling you to conform'. Threatened?




And it would not work because of human nature. At our base, we are evolving animals. Evolution demands competition for everything. You cannot take that out of us. Even hive animals compete with other hives. That's just one reason why this would not work. You are expecting humans to behave as thought they are completely noncompetitive.
edit on 19-12-2013 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)


What you know of human nature is very limited and again you don't 'know' anything such thing - it's what you think nothing more or less.



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


This article really resonates with me. I've made a personal choice for myself and family to boycott/reject the culture of violence wherever it manifests. Taking personal responsibility for the world we wish to live in.

No war movies
No cop dramas
No dramas glorifying lawlessness
No first person shooter games
No violent or gun related idioms. This is a personal fail because they are so prevalent in US culture. Shoot, it is nearly impossible not to do.

A chaotic state of mind and benefits the authoritarians and owners. A culture that subordinates critical thinking to emotional responses and violence is in deep, deep trouble. All the guns and ammo in the world won't solve the problem of emotional immaturity.



posted on Dec, 20 2013 @ 11:01 AM
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Radical anything is a bad thing.



posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by InverseLookingGlass
 


It is really hard to do. Unless you really are aware of what's 'going into your brain', you hardly even notice. I raised my daughter without TV, Movies and all that crap and she still saw it (at friends, etc). Even through her school supported a 'no-media' policy, it was tough. Particularly in the beginning, the weaning off the TV on at home was harder for my husband then her or I but it was well worth it.

Thanks for sharing.



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