Ideas matter - but they don't matter enough, if you don't have the institutions to propagate them. If you don't have schools, if you don't have public spheres, if you don't have places where dialogue can take place, and people can come together and question and analyze - those ideas begin to evaporate. In the US, most of the pedagogical institutions, from schools to the media, are dominated by a corporate elite - these are not public spheres anymore, these are toxic spheres that align themselves with market-driven values that cultivate an ideology in which people don't know how to deal with democracy and what its demands and responsibilities might look like.
Cultural critic Henry Giroux examines the rise of authoritarianism in American culture and politics, and the collapse of democratic institutions and language that set the stage for the Trump Administration's toxic blend of cruelty and capitalist supremacy that will rule until the left can reclaim the power of democratic ideas and action.
Henry is the author of the new book The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism from Routledge.