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Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy

Theme

Education and the Crisis of Democracy: Confronting Authoritarianism in a post 9/11 America

Abstract

From: The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear reprinted with permission by the author

I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. I don’t want just any greatness for it, particularly a greatness born of blood and falsehood. I want to keep it alive by keeping justice alive. Albert Camus

This is a difficult time in American history. The tragic and horrific terrorist acts of September 11 suggest a traumatic and decisive turning point in the history of the United States. Some commentators have compared it to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Others suggest that the history of the twenty-first century will be defined against the cataclysmic political, economic, and legal changes inaugurated by the monstrous events of September 11. Similarly, many people are now aware that, for better or worse, the United States is part of a global system, the effects of which cannot be completely controlled. There is also a newfound sense of unity organized not only around flag-waving displays of patriotism but also around collective fears and an ongoing militarization of visual culture and public space.

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