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Neoliberalism: Responsibility for Education Is an Euphemism

There is a correlation between social state and education. The extract we are about to post, belongs to Henry and Susan Giroux, both analyse the impact of how old conservative campaign claiming that education, health and general welfare of its citizens had to be measured by the government, now is discredited and has failed. That's just as important, because is the big challenge Obama and his Secretary of Education have to start dealing with, in just a few more days.

The next two paragraphs were taken from, On the Politics of Education After Neoliberalism and first published at truthout.org:

"Does it not seem odd, for example, that we bemoan the lack of a culture of service among young college graduates and at the same time seek to improve an educational system by implementing school policy that financially rewards students for scholastic achievement? Is it not a bit naive to assume that such policy can end in any other way than a "pay to play" mentality? We must surely reform our financial institutions and our economic philosophies more generally, but so too must we reform those institutions, professional competencies, and social identities altered by decades of neoliberal rule. And that will prove a most challenging endeavor. It will require that universities, news media, hospitals and clinics, schools and other institutions return critical and reflexive decision-making capacities to professors, journalists, doctors, nurses, teachers and others and away from accountants and middle managers. It means that the bottom line will not determine curricula or shape research agendas; it will not drive the news media, determine a course of medical treatment or fix the outcome of clinical trials. Once-trusted relations between doctors and patients, teachers and students, parents and children will no longer suffer the flatting out of their respective rolls to that of buyer and seller.

In spite of the crucial connection between various modes of domination and pedagogy, there is little input from progressive social theorists of what it might mean to theorize how education as a form of cultural politics actually constructs particular modes of address, identification, affective investments and social relations that produce consent and complicity with the ethos and practice of neoliberalism. Hence, while the current economic crisis has called into question the economic viability of neoliberal values and policies, it often does so by implying that neoliberal rationality can be explained through an economic optic alone, and consequently gives the relationship of politics, culture and inequality scant analysis. Neoliberal rationality is lived and legitimated in relation to the intertwining of culture, politics and meaning. Any viable challenge to the culture of neoliberalism as well as the current economic crisis it has generated must address not merely the diffuse operations of power throughout civil society and the globe, but also what it means to engage those diverse educational sites producing and legitimating neoliberal common sense, whether they be newspapers, advertising, the Internet, television or more recent spheres developed as part of the new information revolution. In addition, it is crucial to examine what role public intellectuals, think tanks, the media and universities actually play pedagogically in constructing and legitimating neoliberal world views, and how the latter works pedagogically in producing neoliberal subjects and securing consent."

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