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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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1984, 47 24, 63, 64 60 Minutes, 77 A Abu Ghraib prison, 55, 145, 166 Academy for Learning High School, 138 accountability, 129 Accuracy in Media, 97 Adorno, T., xi, 40, 159 Advancement Project, 132 aesthetics, 177 Afghanistan, 20, 36, 166 agency, 10–12 Albert, D., 139, 141 Al-Qaeda, 44 Albright, M., 77 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 78 American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 97 American democracy compared to dictatorships, 18 concerns for youth, 124 crisis of, 109 decay of, xii end of, 143, 160 as fascist state, 7 fiction of, 13 mob rule and, 100–1 prison system and, 5 representative functions of, 108 as a shrinking democracy, 17–18 American Enterprise Institute, 12, 97 American International Group, 123 American Psycho, 165 American society authoritarianism and, xx, 5–6 commodification of, 153 distribution of wealth, xviii lack of justice in, 110–11 political agents and, 111 statistics on wealth distribution, 125 American values, 3 Americans for Prosperity, 104 America’s Army, 63 Amgen, 9 Anatomy of Fascism, 8 anti-immigration laws, 3 anti-intellectualism, 88, 94 antiwar movements (1960s), 112 Appaloosa Management, 163 Arendt, H., 1, 19, 44, 49, 100, 192 Armey, D., 71 Atkinson, M., 163 Atlas Shrugged, 165 Austen, B., 170 austerity, 183 authoritarianism, xvii, xix, xx, 5–6, 6–9, 12, 112 civic illiteracy and, 91 creation of a radical democracy, 23 dangerous, 17–24 definition, 18 language and, 52–53 Obama administration’s practice of, xv town hall meetings and, 103 B Bachmann, M., 15, 74 Bales, R...

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