Disposable Futures The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle
15 June 2015
The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle
By Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux
Disposable Futures makes the case that we have not just become desensitized to violence, but rather, that we are being taught to desire it.
From movies and other commercial entertainment to "extreme" weather and acts of terror, authors Brad Evans and Henry Giroux examine how a contemporary politics of spectacle--and disposability--curates what is seen and what is not, what is represented and what is ignored, and ultimately, whose lives matter and whose do not.
Disposable Futures explores the connections between a range of contemporary phenomena: mass surveillance, the militarization of police, the impact of violence in film and video games, increasing disparities in wealth, and representations of ISIS and the ongoing terror wars. Throughout, Evans and Giroux champion the significance of public education, social movements and ideas that rebel against the status quo in order to render violence intolerable.
"Disposable Futures poses, and answers, the pressing question of our times: How is it that in this post-Fascist, post-Cold War era of peace and prosperity we are saddled with more war, violence, inequality and poverty than ever? The neoliberal era, Evans and Giroux brilliantly reveal, is defined by violence, by drone strikes, 'smart' bombs, militarized police, Black lives taken, prison expansion, corporatized education, surveillance, the raw violence of racism, patriarchy, starvation and want. The authors show how the neoliberal regime normalizes violence, renders its victims disposable, commodifies the spectacle of relentless violence and sells it to us as entertainment, and tries to contain cultures of resistance. If you're not afraid of the truth in these dark times, then read this book. It is a beacon of light."—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Disposable Futures is an utterly spellbinding analysis of violence in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. It strikes me as a new breed of street-smart intellectualism moving through broad ranging theoretical influences of Adorno, Arendt, Bauman, Deleuze, Foucault, Zizek, Marcuse, and Reich. I especially appreciated a number of things, including: the discussion of representation and how it functions within a broader logics of power; the descriptions and analyses of violence mediating the social field and fracturing it through paralyzing fear and anxiety; the colonization of bodies and pleasures; and the nuanced discussion of how state violence, surveillance, and disposability connect. Big ideas explained using a fresh straightforward voice."—Adrian Parr, author of The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics
"Brad Evans and Henry Giroux offer a trenchant analysis of neoliberalism's ills: its violence, its dystopian vision, its intrusiveness, and its attempt to eradicate all critical consciousness and with it all hope. They diagnose our exposure to disposability in an era marked by the collapse of a vision of a viable future. In doing so, they have laid out the challenge before us. The only question left is, do we have the will, as the authors suggest, to fabricate a nonviolent response to it?"—Todd May, Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities, Clemson University
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