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[Xmca-l] Re: Black Underachievement, etc.


Your assessment of the article is correct.  However, I see no alternative within the dialectic, a la the negative dialectic of the frankfurt school.  I see only three alternatives, which are outside the dialectical process...islamic fundamentalism, the limits to growth metaphysics of the earth itself, and haitian vodou? (See my work, "liberal bourgeois protestanism"...I do not see any solutions that can emerge out of any dialogue with capital for it inherently implies maintaining the status quo and giving room to capitalist organization.  We must throw out the baby with the bath water if we are to resolve the problems with capitalism. ..as an example, jean jacques dessalines in his debate with toussaint louverture regarding the role of mulattoes in the haitian revolution suggested that the mulatto elites must also be killed, along with whites...he felt that in their identification with their white fathers,  the mulatto elites would reproduce slavery and white supremacy on the island.  Toussaint, on the contrary felt that their technical skills would be needed to rebuild the island following the revolution.  Following the capture of toussaint. ..dessalines adopted toussaint's position, but was assassinated by the mulatto alexander petion, who was sent by napoleon to recapture the island for France.  Whereas, dessalines had refused to pay reparations to France, the two mulatto generals of the revolution,  Petion and Boyer agreed to, and sought to reproduce the plantation system and franco relations on the island.  They had no alternative logic...metaphorically speaking, the slave sought to be like the master.  That is what is happening in black communities around the globe....

Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.

-------- Original message --------
From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> 
Date: 11/01/2013  5:07 AM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu> 
Subject: [Xmca-l]  Black Underachievement, etc. 
Paul (one of the authors, who has joined the xmca to paricipate in this 
discussion), I want to take out just one point in your paper.
You point out that the workplace relations of industrial and 
post-industrial capitalism are reproduced in the classrooms of those 
societies. This is unquestionably true. I'll go further. In a study of 
forms of radical organisation from 1830 to the present, I observed that 
the forms of organisation with which the oppressed groups and classes 
have directly and consciously challenged capital have also borrowed 
their forms from the contemporary capitalist workplaces. And even the 
weapons themselves actually, as well.

However, this general law that the forms of oppression and exploitation, 
and even the oppositional forms of activity and modes of thinking spring 
from the same social conditions as the relations of production, does not 
lead to the conclusion that *therefore* they "lack the potential for 
liberation" (p. 362). On the contrary actually.

In particular, I would challenge the contention that dialogical and/or 
constructivist forms of teaching/learning necessarily reproduce the 
relations of domination of postindustrial societies. I agree that your 
observations do make it transparent how such methods, expressive as they 
are of the Zeitgeist, may prove ineffective and efforts to transcend the 
dominant relations may easily be subverted. But that is not saying very 

And what is the alternative? I suspect any real alternative would prove 
only to be an insight into emergent forms of capital accumulation (See 
Luc Boltanski's "New Spirit of Capitalism" for example).

Troy Richardson's tirade against CHAT (discussed on xmca in July last 
year) makes a similar point about dialogical methods of teaching and 
learning. I find it more plausible that - attractive as dialogical 
teaching and learning may be to us - it may be alien to indigenous and 
subaltern cultures (as well as industrial capitalism), and consequently 
cross-cultural problems may arise in unwitting application of these 
methods across cultural differences. But this is not your claim, is it? 
You are saying, I think, that dialogical teaching and learning actually 
contributes to the *construction* of these inequalities, and precisely 
because it owes it origins to the most advanced methods of thinking of 
our postindustrial capitalist society.

Do you have an alternative?


*Andy Blunden*