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The Politics of Militarization and Corporatization in Higher Education

July 6, 2011 by  

The military in Hawai’i is a destructive shape-shifting kupua.  In The Politics of Militarization and Corporatization in Higher Education, Henry Giroux discusses the creeping militarization of U.S. society and its costs and consequences.   In Hawaiʻi we have had a preview of this process with the intense militarization that his everywhere, but hidden in plain sight.  Hereʻs an excerpt:

The values of militarization are no longer restricted to foreign policy ventures; the ideals of war in a post-9/11 world have become normalized, serving as a powerful educational force that shapes our lives, memories, and daily experiences.  The military has become a way of life producing modes of education, goods, jobs, communication, and institutions that transcend traditional understandings of the geography, territory, and place of the military in American society. Military values, social relations, and practices now bleed into every aspect of American life.  What is distinctive about the militarization of the social order is that war becomes a source of pride rather than alarm, while organized violence is elevated to a place of national honor, recycled endlessly through a screen culture that bathes in blood, death, and war porn. As democratic idealism is replaced by the combined forces of the military-industrial complex, civil liberties are gradually eroded along with the formative culture in which the dictates of militarization can be challenged.

The threats of military encroachment into the University of Hawai’i are intensifying via the Navy Applied Research Laboratory (a classified military research center), homeland security research, and militarization of the social sciences such as anthropology, linguistics and psychology.

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