Saturday, May 23, 2009

Interpreting Means and Freire: One Revolution


In the previous POST I quoted American Indian activist Russell Means on the questions of freedom, self, and revolution:
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"We have self-administration, not self-determination. … In my childhood ... I learned how to be free - you were free to be responsible. … I am a revolutionary. I believe in one revolution - returning back to who you are. One revolution."
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Revolution is the struggle for liberation from oppression. My understanding of Means’ words is that revolution is rooted in the individual’s fight against her own oppression, a fight that gives the individual her place of influence in the world, the place she is meant to have as a living person.
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This revolution is a journey of liberation from the effects of oppression on the individual, from the individual’s acceptance of imposed hierarchy, from the oppressor inside that enables the oppression.
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This revolution is not an escape from or an accommodation to the oppressive power structure but a true liberation of self that must involve asserting self and confronting the oppressor, in order to make one’s place in the expanse stolen by the oppressor.
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The confrontation against the system of oppression and against the oppressors as persons has consequences: It is a fight. It is a fight for liberation not a fight to oppress. As a “revolution,” the fight transforms the fighter, accompanies discovery of self, and reveals the world. It does not internalize a new oppressor.
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The fight brings forth those who fight the same oppressor. They fight side by side in co-self-discovery and in shared risks and consequences. This is the meaning of solidarity. It is possible across classes, genders, and races if members from the different groups fight with comparable risks and consequences.
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I interpret Russel Means to be in intimate agreement with Paulo Freire and with the individualist anarchists. This is what Freire means by “authentic rebellion” in the developing person. I believe that, in hierarchical societies or communities, true self-discovery and meaning are not possible without authentic rebellion.
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RELEVANT WORKS

1 comment:

Michael said...

Good post I'm going to link it on facebook if that's ok with.

PS if you're done with my vhs copy of instinct i'm going to get it back from you Denis, ok?