Talking about myself
Kill an animal and you are an animal abuser.
Kill many animals and you are in "animal agriculture."
Kill a person and you are a murderer.
Kill many people and you are a politician by other means.1
We live in a neoliberal society. Among a number of other things, such a society reduces all value to exchange value. I am an intellectual. I do not offer (nor am I interested in) exchange value but rather a public good which, in a neoliberal society, is diminished and demeaned.2 To say that this has consequences is to put it entirely too mildly.
Among those consequences is that I have not, since 2001, despite in that time finishing a Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree, and a Ph.D., been able to find a "real" job, by which I mean one that meets the standards of article 7 in a pillar of international human rights law,3 the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.4 This is a pillar that the United States refuses to ratify.5
Another thing that neoliberalism does is to devalue workers,6 who are seen as an expense rather than an asset. That means the jobs I am able to get pay less than what it costs to live.7 To say that I am furious with this situation and with my inability to improve it might begin to approach the truth.
My research area is on conservatism.
- Human Science
This site is not at all friendly to those who think our present system of social organization is ideal, the best that can be achieved, or even acceptable. I am not in any sense a "winner" in this system and have somewhat unintentionally directed much of my education to understanding why I am not a winner. It turns out that this system is inherently unjust to most of the life on this planet with consequences that are already disastrous for many more lifeforms than myself.8 This understanding has profoundly changed me; I no longer accept many of our society's foundational myths. I am a radical in the sense of one who has tried to see the world as it is, rather than what it is supposed to be, and to draw the conclusions that follow from those observations. If indeed this system is the best we can do—and I now fear that we have too little time left in which to make a change—then our extinction, while a tragedy for the many other species we take with us,9 will be richly deserved. If you strongly believe otherwise, you might as well stop reading now; we won't get along anyway.
And that's probably about as much about myself as I can stand to write. My intolerable résumé is here.
- 1. Jean Rostand apparently wrote, "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." Wikiquote, "Jean Rostand," n.d., https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jean_Rostand It has also been said that if you kill one animal, you are an animal abuser, whereas if you kill many animals, you're in "animal agriculture," but I do not know the source. Carl von Clausewitz apparently explained that "[w]ar is the continuation of politics by other means." Wikipedia, "Carl von Clausewitz," n.d., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_von_Clausewitz.
- 2. Henry A Giroux, "Intellectuals as Subjects and Objects of Violence," Truthout, September 10, 2013, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18704-intellectuals-as-subjects-and-objects-of-violence; Henry Giroux, "Neoliberalism’s War Against the Radical Imagination," Tikkun, February 11, 2014, http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/neoliberalisms-war-against-the-radical-imagination-by-henry-giroux; Henry A. Giroux, "Neoliberalism and the Machinery of Disposability," Truthout, April 8, 2014, http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22958-neoliberalism-and-the-machinery-of-disposability
- 3. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “What are Human Rights?” http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx
- 4. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, December 16, 1966, United Nations, General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI), https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx
- 5. United Nations, "Ratification Status: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights," January 15, 2019, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-3&chapter=4&lang=en
- 6. Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, 30th anniversary ed. (Wilmington, DE: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2006).
- 7. Henry A. Giroux, "Neoliberalism and the Machinery of Disposability," Truthout, April 8, 2014, http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22958-neoliberalism-and-the-machinery-of-disposability
- 8. David Benfell, "We 'need to know how it works,'" March 15, 2012, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2012/03/15/we-need-know-how-it-works; David Benfell, "'We have found the enemy, and he is us' — and our system of social organization," March 6, 2013, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2013/03/06/we-have-found-enemy-and-he-us-and-our-system-social-organization
- 9. Nathan Curry, "Humanity Is Getting Verrrrrrry Close to Extinction," Vice, August 21, 2015, http://www.vice.com/read/near-term-extinctionists-believe-the-world-is-going-to-end-very-soon; Lin Edwards, "Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist," Phys.org, June 23, 2010, http://phys.org/news196489543.html; Cheryl Jones, "Frank Fenner sees no hope for humans," Australian, June 16, 2010, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/frank-fenner-sees-no-hope-for-humans/story-e6frgcjx-1225880091722; Dahr Jamail, "Are We Falling Off the Climate Precipice? Scientists Consider Extinction," TomDispatch, December 17, 2013, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175785/tomgram%3A_dahr_jamail%2C_the_climate_change_scorecard/; Rob Jordan and Amy Goldberg, "Populations of early human settlers grew like an 'invasive species,' Stanford researchers find," Stanford University, April 5, 2016, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2016/april/south-america-earlyhumans-040516.html