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Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism

Second Edition


Henry A. Giroux

In the second edition of Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, Henry A. Giroux uses the metaphor of the zombie to highlight how America has embraced a machinery of social and civil death that chills any vestige of a robust democracy. He charts the various ways in which the political, corporate, and intellectual zombies that rule America embrace death-dealing institutions such as a bloated military, the punishing state, a form of predatory capitalism, and an authoritarian, death-driven set of policies that sanction torture, targeted assassinations, and a permanent war psychology. The author argues that government and corporate paranoia runs deep in America. While maintaining a massive security state, the ruling forces promote the internalization of their ideology, modes of governance, and policies by either seducing citizens with the decadent pleasures of a celebrity-loving consumer culture or by beating them into submission. Giroux calls for a systemic alternative to zombie capitalism through a political and pedagogical imperative to address and inform a new cultural vision, mode of individual subjectivity, and understanding of critical agency. As part of a larger effort to build a broad-based social movement, he argues for a new political language capable of placing education at the center of politics. Connecting the language of critique to the discourse of educated hope he calls for the reclaiming of public spaces and institutions where formative cultures can flourish that nourish the radical imagination, and the ongoing search for justice, equality, and the promise of a democracy to come.


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This book would not have been written without the help of many friends who offered invaluable criticisms and support. I would like to especially thank Shirley Steinberg, David Clark, Ira Shor, Sophia McClennen, Christo- pher Robbins, Ken Saltman, Roger Simon, Stanley Aronowitz, Doug Morris, and Donaldo Macedo. I am grateful, once again, to Maya, Leslie, and Victoria at Truthout for providing me with the support and opportunity to publish many of these pieces. As always, Michael Peters has been a superb colleague and friend and has kindly published some of these pieces in Policy Futures in Education. Danielle Martak, my research assistant and colleague, has been of great assistance in reading and editing many of the articles in this second edi- tion. Maya Sabados read many drafts, offered vital corrections, and as usual was an enormous help to me with every phase of the research. I also want to thank Chris Myers and Toby Miller for supporting this project. My partner Susan Searls Giroux offered valuable suggestions on a number of articles and as usual made them much better. I also want to thank Dean Ken Cruikshank for his in- valuable support and encouragement. While Miles, my canine companion, did not read the manuscript, he helped in ways that only he and I can understand.

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