Glenn Beck likens Norwegian dead to Hitler youth | Media | The Guardian

Glenn Beck does it again!  Read the Guardian report below, particularly its last paragraph:

Glenn Beck, the rightwing US broadcaster and Tea Party favourite, has compared those who were massacred on the Norwegian island of Utøya to the Nazi party’s youth wing.

“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or, whatever. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics. Disturbing,” said Beck on his syndicated radio show.

The comments were condemned by Torbjørn Eriksen, a former press secretary to Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s prime minister.

Eriksen described the comment as “a new low” for Beck, telling the Daily Telegraph: “Young political activists have gathered at Utøya for over 60 years to learn about and be part of democracy, the very opposite of what the Hitler Youth was about. Glenn Beck’s comments are ignorant, incorrect and extremely hurtful.”

Sagging ratings, a string of damaging remarks and an exodus of advertisers combined earlier this year to end Beck’s tenure on the US cable network Fox News.

A campaign to pressure advertisers to boycott the pundit’s daily slot had been gathering pace, while Beck was embroiled in battles erupting from his frequently aired conspiracy theories involving individuals ranging from the financier George Soros to Barack Obama.

His denunciation of Soros included reference to his wartime childhood in Hungary. In remarks that were decried as “monstrous” by Jewish groups, the broadcaster claimed: “Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.”

However, his latest comments about the “disturbing” nature of political youth camps may come as a surprise to Beck’s followers in the Tea Party movement.

The anti-tax, anti-immigration movement has been holding summer camps in states including Florida and Missouri where children have been taught a curriculum based on God, the US constitution and “the defence of economic liberty”.

via Glenn Beck likens Norwegian dead to Hitler youth | Media | The Guardian.

The point of posting this report on the blog is not to discuss him, but an aspect of public and private education that it brings into salience.

The summer camps [some of them, at least], then, can be imagined as the interstices where the excluded discourses, those that have been lobbed out by the state from the public education, find their way back into education.  I should emphasise that I am not suggesting that summer camps are good or bad.  Obviously the parents are making use of their constitutional rights to send their children to these camps to learn stuff that they have ‘reasons to value.’

Parents of all religious denominations do this.  Here are examples of the Muslim and the Hindu summer camps.

The point I wish to make through this post is that discourses excluded by the state-run public schools survive in little pools [such as the sort of summer camps mentioned in the report below] here and there.  They keep circulating around the mainstream, until they can push back on the centre stage through shifts in the political economy.  As the political theorist Ernesto Laclau argues: what is inside is haunted by an outside. This outside both constitutes the inside by providing it with a neat boundary as well as threatens the inside [the italicised text is not a quote.  I have personally found the dialogue between Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, and Laclau himself very helpful to understand his thought. It comes in a book form titled Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Discourses on the Left].

This perhaps also [partly] explains the far right organisations’ advocacy for the privatisation [in general, as well as of education].  After all, it is the religious discourses which were pushed into the private sphere as part of the historical process of secularisation.

About Irfan

I am an independent researcher and blogger interested in everything under the sun, but more so in the philosophy and history of education and education reform generally, and specifically in the so-called post colonial contexts

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