Daily Archives: September 10, 2014

Henry A. Giroux | Remembering Hiroshima in an Age of Neoliberal Barbarism

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 09:31 By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

Seventy years after the horror of Hiroshima, intellectuals negotiate a vastly changed cultural, political and moral geography. Pondering what Hiroshima means for American history and consciousness proves as fraught an intellectual exercise as taking up this critical issue in the years and decades that followed this staggering inhumanity, albeit for vastly different reasons. Now that we are living in a 24/7 screen culture hawking incessant apocalypse, how we understand Foucault’s pregnant observation that history is always a history of the present takes on a greater significance, especially in light of the fact that historical memory is not simply being rewritten but is disappearing. (1) Once an emancipatory pedagogical and political project predicated on the right to study, and engage the past critically,history has receded into a depoliticizing culture of consumerism, a wholesale attack on science, the glorification of military ideals, an embrace of the punishing state, and a nostalgic invocation of the greatest generation. Inscribed in insipid patriotic platitudes and decontextualized isolated facts, history under the reign of neoliberalism has been either cleansed of its most critical impulses and dangerous memories, or it has been reduced to a contrived narrative that sustains the fictions and ideologies of the rich and powerful. History has not only become a site of collective amnesia but has also been appropriated so as to transform “the past into a container full of colorful or colorless, appetizing or insipid bits, all floating with the same specific gravity.” (2) Consequently, what intellectuals now have to say about Hiroshima and history in general is not of the slightest interest to nine-tenths of the American population. While writers of fiction might find such a generalized, public indifference to their craft, freeing, even “inebriating” as Philip Roth has recently written, for the chroniclers of history it is a cry in the wilderness. (3)

The disimagination machine threatens democratic public life by devaluing social agency, historical memory and critical consciousness, and in doing so it creates the conditions for people to be ethically compromised and politically infantilized.

At same time the legacy of Hiroshima is present but grasped, as the existential anxieties and dread of nuclear annihilation that racked the early 1950s to a contemporary fundamentalist fatalism embodied in collective uncertainty, a predilection for apocalyptic violence, a political economy of disposability, and an expanding culture of cruelty that has fused with the entertainment industry. We’ve not produced a generation of war protestors or government agitators to be sure, but rather a generation of youth who no longer believe they have a future that will be any different from the present. (4) That such connections tying the past to the present are lost signal not merely the emergence of a disimagination machine that wages an assault on historical memory, civic literacy and civic agency. It also points to a historical shift in which the perpetual disappearance of that atomic moment signals a further deepening in our own national psychosis.

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The Atom and Eve

LeoBharat

Uploaded on Feb 10, 2012

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Princeton study determines U.S. is no longer a democracy

by GJEP | September 10, 2014 · 1:50 PM

A study straight out of Princeton University found that the United States of America is no longer a democracy. The country’s government is not even a republic, as its constitution claims. According to the article, “New Princeton Study Concludes America is NOT a Democracy” by Brandon Walker on Mad World News, the government of the United States has become…

(drum roll please)

an oligarchy.

 

Photo: Mad World News

Now let’s all dust off our middle school textbooks for a brief history lesson. An oligarchy is a type of government where the power and rule rests in the hands of a small group of people.

So if Abraham Lincoln were to give his Gettysburg Address now, what would he say instead of “government of the people, by the people, for the people..?”

…(read more).

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A Closer Look at the Ebola Epidemic in the Context of Ecological Health

By ANDREW C. REVKIN September 9, 2014 4:12 pmSeptember 9, 2014 4:12 pm
Photo

A burial team in Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 6 collected the body of a man believed to have died from Ebola. Their workload has grown quickly in recent weeks.Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

The Ebola epidemic continues to rage in West Africa, and while it is very unlikely to reach pandemic scale (see The Economist), the outbreak provides a reminder of the linkages between disrupted ecosystems and human illness.

Back in July, the Op Talk blog of The Times explored how environmental conservation in areas that are reservoirs for Ebola can help cut the odds of outbreaks. In 2012, Jim Robbins wrote a fine overview of “The Ecology of Disease” — everything from Ebola to Lyme disease — accompanied by a superb map of “Hot Spots for Emerging Diseases.”

Photo

A portion of an illustration showing the links between wildlife and human health. Click for the full graphic and background.Credit EcoHealth Alliance

Now, a very helpful overview of the “one world, one health” concept has been written for the Future Earth blog by by Catherine Machalaba, program coordinator for health and policy at EcoHealth Alliance. The illustration above is part of an info-graphic created by Machalaba and a colleague. Here’s an excerpt:

Ebola and other emerging diseases: losing the trees before we see the forest’s connection to our health

By Catherine Machalaba

The Ebola crisis has serious impacts on public health, economies, and societies, but crucially, it’s not an isolated incident. Globally, infectious diseases account for a billion human cases per year, leading to millions of deaths. The majority of known human infectious diseases are “zoonotic,” meaning they are shared with animals. Ebola is just one of nearly 1,000 known human diseases that have originated from animals….

…(read more).

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Rising Up in Miami


NextGen Climate

Published on Sep 10, 2014

See the incredible challenges this beautiful coastal city faces and how Floridians like Celeste are fighting to preserve it.

If you’re ready to act on climate, click here: http://wlol.us/join

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Thousands Flee Massive Floods in India, Pakistan


Associated Press

Published on Sep 10, 2014

Thousands of people fled their homes in Pakistan on Wednesday as monsoon flooding that has already inundated the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir coursed down onto the plains, causing major flooding. (Sept. 10)

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Bronze Age collapse

archeo atlas

Published on Jan 3, 2014

The Influence of Climatic Change on the Late Bronze Age Collapse and the Dark Ages

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