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Re: [xmca] The God Terminus and other forbidden topics

Thank you Christine.

There are many threads to follow and I cannot comment on all of them.

What you say about the 'positive' becoming active in delegated
agencies, sounds to me like a process of recontextualisation, a sort
of 'activity device' in which down the chain you get to deal with a
more reified object of activity. It is also because people acting at
the lower levels do not have the power to change the object top-down.
Nonetheless, they can simulate they do and resist it.

I am not able to comment on Bolivia because I do not know the country
well enough. On this thread, I can only tell you that I have the
feeling that, historically, the Al Andalus conflict was projected in
Latin America. After the conquistadores realised they had depleted all
the easy gold produced by the American indians, they engaged in a race
to get land, which at the time was the only way to get up the social
ladder, as citizenship was linked to its possession, and nobility was
also tied to land control. The process that took place in America was
very similar to the distribution of land by the Christian kings (I am
thinking of Ferdinand III) who had to colonise what had been
controlled by Muslim bereberes precisely in Andalusia.

Andalusia nowadays has a much more rooted left-wing politics, being
the birth-place and last bastion of Republicanism in Spain. Yet, they
have all these conflicting ideas such as "always loyal" to the Spanish
Crown (the NODO), which was Franco's motto. Anyway, it is a
fascinating land in which the Republicans live like members of the
nobility somehow.

The Chilean massive protests were coordinated by the Students' Social
Movement. Whilst the Chilean social movements are bastions of dialects
and people's power, the mass movements are not. So you have to draw a
distinction between groups and collectives that breath dialectics and
the mass. The mass punctually participates in a strike or protest but
lacks any form of permanent organisation.

The social movements draw on the historiography of Gabriel Salazar and
a group of colleagues who embarked in a project of rendering Chilean
History and social sciences at large within the paradigm and
perspective of the 'social subject'. It is far more complicated than
that, but essentially, they overcame the kind of mechanic dialectic
materialism that took Latin America by storm since the Cuban
Revolution in 1959. It took quite a while to overcome the Stalinist
rendition of Marxism. The movements politically articulated during the
civilian-military Dictatorship of General Pinochet (1973-1989) and
were key in sparkling massive protests that eventually overthrew
Pinochet. They have installed themselves in the University unions and
they call the citizens to join the demonstrations. They keep active in
Santiago's shanty towns as well, which were their strongholds during
the Pinochet years. I will leave this here. It is a fascinating
process. But I think that it is important to draw that distinction
between what is underneath the protests: a social movement. There is a
contradiction in place and that is that the representative democracy
within the framework of the 1980 Constitution is unable to articulate
the mechanisms to change itself, let alone to introduce changes by
those who are marginalised from the system. The Constitution
(re)creates a technocratic State that only admits top-down solutions
(very rational indeed) which are not truly debated by all the

It would be good to talk more about your experience in reading
Wertsch. I just use his notion of 'implicit' mediation to analyse
instruction and expand my understanding of the double stimulation
method. My feeling is that the implicit dimension (invisible social
regulation) is still undervalued in CHAT.



On 30 December 2011 20:12, christine schweighart
<schweighartgate@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Arturo,
> We have only had one talk and meeting at Bath - I remember now we broke off on the nature of Law - and I didn't get to explore in that one conversation how Law as practice is 'positive Law'  (dynamic and changing). I since have been 'visitor' and in a particular community of Law educators - which has since been disbanded here in the UK. In Environmental Law (which is implicated around issue such as ‘the asbestos case’), the ‘positive’ becomes active in delegated agencies – i.e issues are dealt with there and only ‘precedents’ ever reach a court. About three quarters of influence here is generated from EU ‘positive’ influencing, amendments refinements – Although some of these sources have environmental ‘rights’ in constitutional form – this is ‘obviated’ in different ways. Environmental issues are multi-disciplinary – and so there is a new question of
>  “What  core thinking skills and educational intervention would be of developmental value?”  that I was exploring .  So I declare a possible perspective, of sorts. Yet student s develop as persons in an educational  ‘world’ in itself , how this experience becomes meaningful is not directly oriented to  functionality.  Even educators around in the sixties were expressing their disillusion that ‘marxist’ teaching ‘ just helped them screw their clients better’. Yet in present terms a general feeling was ‘to see past capitalist relations’ – as ‘subject requirement’ around the ‘environmental precautionary principle’.
>  That was my ‘catch up’  after such a long time… it was my way of indicating focus upon a problem as generating my enquiry – rather than ‘dissection of historical ideas’ .
> Your first paragraph takes me back to when I was asking myself what I was seeking in ‘researching’, and to exploration of Gramsci’s work to take on boards that a development could ‘contribute’ -  however you introduce two categories here ‘mass movement ‘ and ‘social movement’  and I  am looking for a relation – (rather than begin with paradigmatic categories that are static) in concept. So I’ll leave that. I can’t see ‘appropriation’ without knowing from which contradiction – I guess??
>  But I  hear the social multiplicity and ‘legal regulation’ ‘call’ in this paragraph – ‘positive law’ lags behind and incorporates ( also not in any unity but in a contested multiplicity, in environmental  issues following the ‘protection agency’ intervention) ‘selectively’.
>  I find the locus of development in very ‘particular’  situations and can’t figure either Durkheim  or Bernstein as a tool  in enquiry .
>  Andalucia has a history of ‘ light conquest’ of Catholicism over Al-Andalus – yet the catholic Spain’s  encountered in SAmerica  was  no longer in that dynamic.  I have spoken with a Bolivian visitor about Bolivia and, 32 languages and how these relate in a current context – but of Chile I have musician friends in the past in Manchester University–  my knowledge is limited – there is the intrinsic protest that produced riots.. Yet I have been talking with Patagonian scholars who have an education which is ‘free’ yet consumed by only advantaged.  My insight to education in Bolivia is that environmental problems require diversity of knowledge and learning from skill bases – rather than ‘power equilibrium’ driving the thinking. There is a crisis.
> You say/quote’
> In other words, using Wertsch's term, social
> regulation is built on 'implicit mediation'. So the common denominator
> is being united in the feeling and start building a conceptual system
> anew bottom-up, which is something like the coding of common
> experiences and trajectories.’
> In my readings of Wertch I felt he never really got close to what he talked about as ‘consumption’ – so I am wary to take this pointer , whilst the principle ‘sounds’ right – what meaning is carried – how was the principle generated – I’ve never found that in Wertch’s writing. So it doesn’t add/help me  to move forward  ‘ i.e inspire motive beyond what I already ‘know’ – perhaps actually negates and diverts me someplace else. So I can’t comment, except that beginning building is not in united feeling ‘alone’ as such it’s around living contradictions. But in this  I don’t figure
> ‘something like the coding of common experiences and trajectories’. ‘ Coding’?? !   And in what way is this emerging – for whom etc – is it helping in situ – is there mutual appropriation ?? or does what is coded then become a ‘loose canon’ J) which actually  becomes a tool of all being interpellated ‘as is ‘ once more.. what happened to working with conceptual relations – the ‘categories’ are temporally produced but the contradiction is not ‘removed’ , static and amenable to ‘code’ .
>  Ayy que pena - que no hemos hablado mas … my teaching has been oriented to interdisciplinary ‘dialogue’ – but also conceptual ‘formation within’ .
> Christine.
> Ahh, we can’t talk more J I must get ready – going down to Stansted soon.
>  Oh - the video - yes 'christine text' appended to the URL -no idea how the technology did that . However as you can see the security guard must have been embarrassed and as this went viral locally he perhaps the employer protected him because in the clip I sent - all faces are on view, in the second one the company people have been pixelled out - yet some members of the public haven't - You see as a 'flash mob' some dancers are 'social movement' yet others have joined in because they use their idiom of flamenco to then participate in the new formation - you can see dancers looking for the 'flow'
> Yet I guess they didn't ask their permission either. Curious though is the gesture that the one that the company 'wanted pixelated'  ( for local identity etc)is the one that has been left visible
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv5dh8v7mDs
> With pixels and english sub-titles.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72jYiDLKa1k&feature=related
> Hi Christine.
> I agree that social movements do have a trajectory (or at least a
> memory) of dialectics. But that is not enough to add the support of
> the mass. And we have to distinguish the mass movement from the social
> movement. If the rationality of the social movements is so clear, they
> could attract followers just by presenting that rationality to 'the
> public' at large. The problem, again, is that the best rationality
> does not necessary equates with acceptance or appropriation (or how an
> intervention can go sour or not happen at all). In a nutshell, the
> "ideal", the "objective spirit", comprises many parts which are
> absolutely different. The way people appropriate social mores is
> different to the way legislation is done within a particular political
> system. I think a way to deal with those differences is by using
> Durkheim's and Bernstein's theoretical bodies. Put in another way, the
> question is how to deal with different vectors of development or
> rationalities.
> The Chilean education reform movement is a clear case drawing on the
> country's dialectic tradition. Yet, they have to draw the mass into it
> while they keep working into enriching the "poder popular" (people's
> power). In any case, there is no articulated top-down rationality
> because power needs to be built up from bottom-up and that, I am
> afraid, is against the logic of the theoretical system, which is
> necessarily based on top-down relations. To work effectively on the
> ZPD there must be a gradual transference of control, which is built
> upon power differentials mediated by 'soft power', that is, by
> everyday concepts and subtle calls to 'be good', 'disciplined',
> 'exemplary' and so on. In other words, using Wertsch's term, social
> regulation is built on 'implicit mediation'. So the common denominator
> is being united in the feeling and start building a conceptual system
> anew bottom-up, which is something like the coding of common
> experiences and trajectories.
> This does not mean that emotions do not have a rationality. I believe
> I do not need to make a case against the dychotomy emotion-rational
> here.
> What I am arguing is that the collective, the mechanic solidarity of
> Durkheim, is based on gut feelings (the sense of belonging), and there
> is an implicit horizontality there (in the feeling; the actual
> appropriation is hierarchically organised), whereas the organic
> solidarity of competing systems of knowledge, of ridiculous divisions
> of labour right now, is not.
> Furthermore, I believe that at least in Chile people are suspicious of
> top-down technical interventions, for those have been implemented
> without articulating real representational democracy. The social
> movement may have answers to the educational woes but are afraid of
> appearing as one more technocratic operator.
> Academy may be dialogic within the division of subjects, schools,
> etc., but true interdisciplinary is difficult to achieve. Overall, I
> think that scholars tend to spend too much time and effort building
> their careers (and knowledge), acquiring power, just to put themselves
> in a horizontal relation. But there are many exceptions in this very
> mailing list.
> Best
> Arturo
> P.S. I could not open the link you sent on the Spanish indignados.
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Arturo J Escandon
Associate Professor
Department of Spanish and Latin-American Studies
Nanzan University
18 Yamazato-cho, Showa-ku
Nagoya, 466-8673 JAPAN

Tel: +81 (52) 832 3111 (extension 3604)
Mobile: +81 (908) 796 4220
E-mail: escandon@nanzan-u.ac.jp
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