The Power Struggle Of Human Philosophy

1387 words - 6 pages

The Power Struggles of Human PhilosophyClass struggle, as Marxism insists, has always been a reality, especially in human society - whereby the dominant few make sure that the marginal majority remain so mentally, psychologically and physically. The Marxist concept of which is a political and socioeconomic principle based on economic activities required by human society to provide for its material needs, which is applicable in every aspect of human life. The economic base and the psychological superstructure are ways and means that ensure that the dominant power remains in power at the cost of the marginal masses. Of these two, the superstructure works more subtly and effectively. Customs, traditions, guardians of law, lunatic asylums, civil institutions like educational institutions - all are superstructural tools.This essay is about one such tool - the banking concept of education (as Paolo Freire calls it). Freire's banking concept of education as well as Michel Foucault's idea in his essay "Panopticism", one being an educational institution and the other being a concept of law-keeping. Both seem to be making the same argument, though in different contexts. Both talks about ways of making the powerful retain its power by keeping the powerless in a state of ignorance. However, the difference between the two is that while Friere suggests a way out of the clutches of the banking method of education, Foucault's essay is tinged in pessimism. Foucault's pessimism is so much so that if we read Friere in conjunction with Foucault, then the optimism exuded by Friere seems overshadowed by the Foucault's pessimism.Paulo Friere's essay entitled "The 'Banking' Concept of Education" describes the education system which is followed all over the world as one in which the teacher narrates and the students are expected to memorize them without any room for questioning or individual thinking. It is as if the minds and consciousness's of the students are mere empty spaces, receptacles, and the teachers are filling them up with information that the students should except as the truth. A teacher is a good teacher if he/she is able to fill this empty receptacle as completely as possible while a good student is one who can memorize what he has been narrated without having to apply any ingenuity and creativity to it. However this lack of creativity and ingenuity, humans cease to be human at all. Knowledge is a result of inventions and reinventions of ideas, and this is possible only if the human beings are given freedom to think and inquire, rather than by simply memorizing.For the Banking concept, men are mere objects to be managed and molded. Thus Friere says:The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the...

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