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Capitalism’s Educational Catastrophe

And the Advancing Endgame Revolt!

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Ricardo D. Rosa and Joao J. Rosa

Neoliberal capitalism has paved the way to educational catastrophe. It has also opened paths for politically productive and transformative forms of localized resistance(s). This book examines the perilous catastrophe before us, and the possibility that we can reclaim our rights as citizens and redefine democracy as a process for global good rather than a euphemism for our collective enslavement to global markets, which annihilate our souls. The authors analyze the «crisis» in U.S. urban education through visceral narratives of social control while resisting the tendency to make the United States the epicenter of educational «reform» analysis. They explore neoliberal capitalism and processes of racialization as interdependent. The neoliberalization of education is having disproportionate negative implications for communities of color. More profoundly, neoliberal ideology is reworking processes of racialization and the way race is inscribed in discourse and bodies. The book is optimistic in sharing what might be done to inspire the mass withdrawal of consent not only to regressive regimes of high-stakes standardized testing, but to the entire edifice of neoliberal imperialism.
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1. Charting the Neoliberal Nightmare and the Moral Outrage

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CHAPTER ONE

Charting the Neoliberal Nightmare and the Moral Outrage

The ruling elite and their managerial foot soldiers have unleashed savage forms of coercion and profiteering in public education with breathtaking audacity. These attacks on education—indeed the public sphere—have led to a deeper and ruthless war on democracy (ironically through the very invocation of democracy) as market fundamentalism further undermines the democratization of institutions and culture. The new conservative political alliance (Apple, 2000)1 led by free-market fundamentalists has quickly come to control all major institutions. The United States is not the only place where we witness the unleashing of utter despair. American imperialism, the opening of markets to multinationals, and the domination of nation-states in the economic south by plutocracies generate despair to a degree that makes the current conditions in the United States look like little league. The agony is concerning, whether in Blackwater, Arizona; Gary, Indiana; Conakry, Guinea; or Harare, Zimbabwe. We make the comparison only to suggest that far too much of the critical educational scholarship and activism in the United States fails to register the political and moral outrage over worldwide assaults—often the result of abuse by the United States or its pawns such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the World Bank. We also often fail to recognize worldwide refusals to bow down to capital.

Sentencing ourselves to the American academic silo (and we’re also implicated, since it’s in...

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