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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists


Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Chapter Eight: Class Struggle and Education: Neoliberalism, (Neo)conservatism, and the Capitalist Assault on Public Education


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Class Struggle and Education: Neoliberalism, (Neo)conservatism, and the Capitalist Assault on Public Education

Dave Hill

Neoliberalism and (Neo)conservatism

Neoliberalism—marked, inter alia, by the marketization, commodification, degradation, managerialization, and privatization/pre-privatisation of public services (Giroux, 2004; Harvey, 2005; Hill, 2013a, b; Hill and Kumar, 2009; Hill and Rosskam, 2009)—does not come unaccompanied. It usually has a twin—neoconservatism—albeit, a twin with which it has an often fractured relationship (Gamble, 1988). As Saad-Filho puts it,

In essence, neoliberalism is based on the systematic use of state power, under the ideological guise of ‘non-intervention’, to impose a hegemonic project of recomposition of the rule of capital at five levels: domestic resource allocation, international economic integration, the reproduction of the state, ideology, and the reproduction of the working class. (Saad-Filho, 2011)

The strength of the neoliberal alliance with (neo)conservatism, with conservative forces, is particularly strong in Turkey, where the Erdogan government is very nakedly pushing forward with Islamicization of society and the education system, and with brute use of the repressive apparatuses of the state—as seen in the summer 2013 national police brutality against the Gezi Park resistance movement. Thus, in Turkey, neoliberalism is accompanied by traditionalist, Islamic conservativism in and through the ideological state apparatuses of the media, the mosque, and the education system, accompanied by the naked use of the repressive state apparatuses—such as the bullets,...

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