It Is Impossible to Be Radical Without Being Optimistic in the Pandemic Age

Source: Truthout

In this wide-ranging interview with educators from the University of Barcelona, Henry A. Giroux examines the COVID-19 crisis as part of a more comprehensive crisis of politics and morality and what he calls “pandemic pedagogy.” Giroux argues that in a time of crisis, the relationship between language and politics becomes more vivid, if not urgent, and as such, makes clear the dominant underpinnings of the ways in which the Trump regime has used language in the service of fear, political opportunism, corruption and the violation of human rights. Giroux argues that the notion of the plague is more than a medical concept and refers to ideological and political plagues that set the broader context for understanding how Trump’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has produced unimaginable suffering, massive deaths, and the further legitimation of lies and right-wing violence. Giroux argues that Trump increasingly weaponizes language to attack almost any form of criticism regarding his handling of the crisis. According to Giroux, there are no demilitarized spaces in Trump’s America. Nor are there any spaces left untouched by neoliberal capitalism and its financialization and commercialization of everything. As Giroux points out, the pandemic has revealed the toxic underside of neoliberal capitalism, with its assault on the welfare state, its undermining of public health and its affirmation of the economy over human needs and life itself.

Pablo Rivera Vargas is a lecturer at the Department of Teaching and Educational Organization at the University of Barcelona.

Ezequiel Passeron is the executive director of Faro Digital.

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