"The Hunger Games" portrays a society in which the privileged classes alleviate their boredom through satiating their lust for violent entertainment. In a very disturbing opening scene, the audience observes children killing each other within a visual framing that is as gratuitous as it is alarming.
We are in the permanent warfare state that includes the indiscriminate killings of Afghan civilians; American Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters; and more. We are in a culture in which war, violence and the dehumanization of others becomes routine.
The structure of violence is also evident in the rise of the punishing and surveillance state,(16) with its legions of electronic spies and ballooning prison population - now more than 2.3 million.
An undeniable effect of the warmongering state is it takes resources away from much-needed social programs.
Public and higher education are little more than market-driven and militarized knowledge factories. Students are no longer educated into becoming citizens.
We need to restructure the fundamental values and social relations of democracy and to carry the banner of struggle against the encroachment of an authoritarianism that is working hard to snuff out all vestiges of democratic life.