Gated Intellectuals and Ignorance in Political Life: Toward a Borderless Pedagogy in the Occupy Movement

Gated Intellectuals and Ignorance in Political Life: Toward a Borderless Pedagogy in the Occupy Movement
In this evocative essay, Henry Giroux describes what he calls the “disappearing acts” of corporate funded anti-public intellectuals who erect walls around knowledge while simultaneously rendering invisible those disadvantaged populations who are deserving of compassion and social protections. These gated intellectuals, often abetted by the dominant media, use privilege and ideological narrowness to divorce themselves from understanding the systemic elements that contribute to social and economic injustice. Their views reduce citizenship to consumption, support corporate greed and private interests, and fuel hyper-individualized notions of equality and freedom. In opposition to these “gated intellectuals,” Giroux encourages engaged public intellectuals to adopt a “borderless pedagogy” that crosses zones of knowledge control and policing and democratizes both power and knowledge. He calls on these intellectuals to incite and support a collective cultural campaign linking the defense of public and higher education to progressive social movements and independent media sources. A sustainable democratic future will require more than democratic governance; it will require a “multitude of public and free access forums” along with “the broad mobilization of traditional and new educational sites [in which] public intellectuals can do the work of resistance, engagement, and policymaking to support a democratic politics.” Read the article…

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