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Meaning Matters: Education and the Nihilism of the Neocons
Journal of Thought (2006)
  • David Gabbard, East Carolina University

Through the implementation of high-stakes testing and accountability programs, today's political nihilists appeal to what is worst in people-fear and greed-to achieve desired results, reducing the meaning of education to a symbolic process through which individual units of human capital (people) earnestly strive to increase their use value to economic elites. Followers of the Christian right may be "wackos" in the minds of the morally and philosophically nihilistic neoconservatives, but their zealotry renders them easily manipulated into providing a powerful populist base for neoconservative political candidates, as evidenced by Karl Rove's collaboration with Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Tony Perkins in making gay marriage the quintessential "values issue" of the 2004 Presidential election.

  • Education,
  • Educational change,
  • Educational ideologies,
  • Teachers,
  • Nihilism (Philosophy),
  • Conservatism
Publication Date
Fall 2006
Citation Information
David Gabbard. "Meaning Matters: Education and the Nihilism of the Neocons" Journal of Thought Vol. 41 Iss. 3 (2006)
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