Friday, April 08, 2005

Freire Friday...on manipulation

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Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anaesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their process in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution. Whether one calls this correct thinking 'revolutionary consciousness' or 'class consciousness', it is an indispensable precondiiton of revolution (Paulo Freire, 1972, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter 4, p.118).

It seems the hierarchy of traditional organisations is illustrative of the class 'struggle'. Manipulation is a powerful tool and although it is often used in full knowledge of that power, it can also be used with little awareness of its power, which makes it highly volatile I think! Our lack of awareness of the common good which sits quietly as we yell and stress and carry on, needs still moments and quiet, supportive spaces in order to be heard. We have for too long neglected the common good in this way.

Perhaps on Monday we can think about listening out for the common good, to become aware of its presence again.

1 comment:

Marg O'Connell said...

I think Denham Grey and others makes some great comments about developing a shared inquiry process, in light of P.F.'s quote about manipulation, don't you?