Higher education and the politics of disruption

Philosophers for Change


by Henry A. Giroux

We now live at a time in which institutions that were meant to limit human suffering and misfortune and protect the public from the excesses of the market have been either weakened or abolished.[1] The consequences can be seen clearly in the ongoing and ruthless assault on the social state, workers, unions, higher education, students, poor people of color and any vestige of the social contract. Free-market policies, values and practices – with their emphasis on the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of social protections and the deregulation of economic activity – now shape practically every commanding political and economic institution in the United States.

Public spheres that once offered at least the glimmer of progressive ideas, enlightened social policies, noncommodified values, and critical dialogue and exchange have been increasingly commercialized – or replaced by private spaces and corporate settings whose ultimate fidelity is to…

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