4. Everyday Violence and the Culture of Cruelty: Entertaining Democracy’s Demise
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Everyday Violence and the Culture of Cruelty
ENTERTAINING DEMOCRACY’S DEMISE
Under the Bush administration, a seeping, sometimes galloping authoritarianism began to reach into every vestige of the culture, giving free rein to those anti-democratic forces in which religious, market, military, and political fundamentalism thrived, casting an ominous shadow over the fate of U.S. democracy. During the Bush-Cheney regime, power became an instrument of retribution connected to and fuelled by a repressive state, a kind of zombie state trading in human abuse, fear, and punishment.1 A bullying rhetoric of war, a ruthless consolidation of economic forces, and an all-embracing, free-market apparatus and media-driven pedagogy of fear supported and sustained a distinct culture of cruelty and inequality in the United States.
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