Critical Education Against Global Capitalism: Karl Marx and Revolutionary Critical Education

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In today's vernacular, Marx outed capitalism well over a century ago, but his explanation has been both ignored and misinterpreted by not only his detractors but also by many socialists and even a considerable number of Marxists as well. Today we are experiencing the full impact and suffering the repercussions of capitalism's inherent need to become, more than ever before, a fully internationalized and integrated system of socio-economic control and domination--the global system that many commentators have suddenly remembered Marx and Engels (1848) presciently forecasted in the Communist Manifesto. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the victory of capitalism and liberal democracy was triumphantly proclaimed. The Cold War was over, and we were promised a lasting peace. But as we enter the third millennium, we are facing escalating social divisions, injustice, and oppression, with an environment in varying stages of ecological decay. Daily we are bombarded by the schizoid media images of capitalism's extremes on television news: the ravaged faces and wasted bodies of some of the thousands suffering famine, or the millions living in the world's slums, and then the gleaming, yet vacuous smile and sumptuously adorned figure of some extravagant, wealthy individual who is one of the select members of the global upper-class. Are we becoming conditioned to accept such contrasts and regard them as normal and inevitable at a time when we have the potential to eliminate scarcity and eradicate human deprivation? The author argues that critical education is needed to form a movement capable of challenging and then transforming capitalism. She also offers an accessible account of Marx's dialectical critique and expose of capitalism, clearly demonstrating the real enemy that should be the focus of anti-capitalist and anti-globalization struggles. This is an account that explains why our main focus should not be on greedy, individual capitalists or particular multinational corporations, or even their handmaiden institutions, such as, the World Bank, IMF, WTO, etc. but instead the global network of capitalist social relations and consequent habituated human practices in which we are all involved. These together with the historically specific form of capitalist wealth are the real enemy--the essence of capitalism--that must be abolished in order for humanity to have any hope of social and economic justice in the future.