Re: foucault on slavery and politics --Psych/physical tools?

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Mar 22 2005 - 16:32:26 PST

Iraj-- I doubt if there is a constant ratio of the survivalbility of
destruction of the old over retention of the new. Historical
contingeny plays such a huge role. The bolsheviks did a great job of
destroying the old. Their long term success has yet to be determined,
but in the (relatively) short term, did not fare too well. Why
remains a matter of conjecture.

Lets hope that Vera will provide us with more food for thought.

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 13:14:59 -0800, IRAJ IMAM <> wrote:
> "This is also related to Yrjo's idea of development as "breakikng away."
> There is a real dialectical dilema ... One the one hand, a newborn is
> helpless and must be "enculturated" ... but in order for there to be
> adaptive/transformative change,... there must be creation of the new, a
> "going beyond" that destroys at least part of what nurtured it."
> Mike, I am not familiar with Yrjo's idea. But one utility of a paradox is
> that it forces us to think about its contradictory process, from which an
> outcome emerges. As you show, learning involves both production (of
> something new) and destruction (of something old). Not knowing much about
> learning theories, there seems to be much more attention being paid to the
> production side of the learning and not much to the destruction side (there
> is a similar mapping in spatial and economic theories). Put differently, the
> 'value' of destruction is under estimated in the process of change. How do
> you teach people to "break away?"(perhaps military training/learning is an
> exception. They make it clear from the beginning that this is not home or
> school, forget what you know, you know nothing, we teach you the real
> stuff). And that is an example of someone else is destroying something in
> us, in order to plant his. Is there a self-determined model of destruction
> in learning? Does ZPD provide a space for it?
> On the production side for innovation, Nonaka suggests an interesting model
> for new knowledge production and adult/organizational learning (based on
> innovative companies in Japan and the US).
> He seems to suggest a sort of ZPD for nurturing newborn ideas. Using
> Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, he suggests one must provide "ba" --a
> shared and caring space--for the new ideas to develop from tacit forms of
> knowledge to explicit ones.
> iraj
> Perhaps we need to add Freud and Luke Skywalker to the discussion? (A
> thought
> brought about by another of my kin, the 6 year old variety).
> mike
> On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 09:56:24 -0800, IRAJ IMAM <>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > "a stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true
> > politician binds them even more strongly by the chain of thier own
> > ideas....this link is all the stronger in that we do not know of what
> > it is made and we believe it to be our own work."
> >
> > -----
> > Thanks Mike for sharing.
> >
> > This is a good example of utilizing [your] categories of 'physical' and
> > 'psychological' tools, and evaluating their effectiveness from the stand
> > point of ruling over people. Two social technologies of control: Capture
> > their body by physical force and assuming that the mind is captured too
> (eg,
> > use of torture). Or, capturing their minds and assuming that their bodies
> > will follow (eg, advertisements/propaganda of all sorts). In fact, all
> > social spaces use both technologies.
> >
> > Looking at it spatially, the question becomes 'where' to start--from the
> > physical/real space or the virtual/imagined space of people. Since both
> > spaces are interconnected in our activities, the question then becomes
> about
> > learning (and performing). Perhaps similar 'learning' targets and social
> > technologies are involved in empowering and in enslaving.
> >
> > One tends to destroy the old learning and produce a new one in an
> empowering
> > social space. The other also tends to destroy the existing and
> substituting
> > it with a new learning. the difference is the former is open and
> > reflective--thus empowering and self-determined. The other has to remain
> > seductive, hidden, and must produce a deceptive space in order to work.
> But
> > it needs to produce two spaces: one that appears self-determined to the
> > 'user' while the other is producing a captured (but hidden) social space
> > (eg, The Matrix).
> >
> > This just seemed related to the prior discussion about
> > 'empowering/enslaving' learning spaces in classrooms.
> >
> > iraj imam
> >
> > The Center for Applied Local Research
> > 5200 Huntington Ave., Suite 200 Richmond, CA 94804
> > Telephone: (510) 558-7932 FAX: (510) 558-7940
> > e-mail:
> > Web:
> >
> > "The defence of free speech begins at the point when people say something
> > you can't stand. If you can't defend their right to say it, then you don't
> > believe in free speech." Salman Rushdie, 7/2/2005
> >
> >

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