Defending Public Schools - Vol. 1

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 1

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 1

Defending Public Schools - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Defending Public Schools addresses the historical, current, and future context of public schools in the United States. While the essays provide an overview of education and schooling issues, the overarching concern is that public schools are under attack and deserve to be defended.

Excerpt

Peter McLaren

The security state has emerged as the country's new political paradigm. One of the advantages of untrammeled U.S. power is the ability it affords its ruling elite to establish the definitions of terrorism and evil, to circumscribe their ideological formations and relations, to administer the means to publicize them, and, in doing so, to normalize those definitions for propaganda purposes.

In the security state, lies are now “creative omissions” or “misstatements, ” while truth is whatever it needs to be to secure the strategic interests of American power. Global prosperity means tearing up the Kyoto Treaty; preventing nuclear threats by rogue nations means threatening to use nuclear weapons in “preemptive” strikes; creating global support against terrorism means blocking a un investigation of the Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp; bringing war criminals to justice means preventing the establishment of an international criminal court. Today, the preferred choice of Bush policymakers is deceit and deception. It is no surprise that Machiavelli is a favorite among the reactionary right wing of the president's team of advisors. But it is also important to recognize that, increasingly within the security state, nothing carries the aura of truth as much as deception; nothing is as real today as that which is fake. Naomi Klein captures this phenomenon—hardly restricted to the United States—in the following description:

The blacklisting of the almanac was a fitting end for 2003, a year that waged open war on truth and facts and celebrated fakes and forgeries of all kinds. This

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