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Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Paulo Freire was a renowned educationalist from Brazil most remembered for his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Paulo used Marxist ideologies to advocate social change. He says that the poor are dehumanized in order to follow the guidelines stipulated to them by the oppressors. He claims that the oppressed are adapted to a form of dominion where they play the role of the dominant class expects instead of their autonomy. It is, therefore, upon the oppressed to liberate and assert themselves in the society. This paper provides a social critical response to these issues.

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Paulo Freire advocates a revolution where the poor would free themselves from the dominion of the oppressors. He says the poor can achieve this by having a strong belief in the possibility of political and social transformations and taking the necessary action. He insists that the institutions, systems, and structures that oppress the poor should be perceived not as closed doors that cannot be opened through any means, but as a barrier that can be transformed. These are strong words that should encourage the poor in society. The capitalist nature continues to oppress the poor and makes it difficult for them to liberate themselves from the dominion of the unjust capitalist system. However, the process of liberation as advocated by Freire might fail. This is because he recommends Marxist revolutions, which have been proven false since he had predicted a revolution that never occurred. The revolution as predicted by Marxist ideologies cannot be relevant in the today’s world. The oppressed should look for an alternative strategy that they can use to liberate themselves from the hands of the oppressors.

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Freire also believes that the human destiny can only be resolved by the struggle between two classes, which are the owners and the laborers. This idea is popularly referred to as dialectic materialism. However, dialectic materialism cannot be considered as the only factor that determines the human destiny. Throughout history, it has been proved that there are other factors that promote the inequalities evident in the society. Additionally, a revolution is likely to result in violence. As the author notes, human beings are not saints. However, he fails to offer a solution to the violence and evil that emanate from the process of revolution. This signifies a flaw in the suggestion of revolution as advocated by him.

On the same note, Freire says that love should be considered as the essence of any dialogue. He says that liberation dialogue should be built on love, faith, trust, humility, critical thinking, hope, and trust. Therefore, dialogue is essential to the process of transformation, humanization, and critical awareness. These ideas are contradictory to other ideas of revolutionary struggle. It can, therefore, be noted that Paulo knew that the idea of dialectic materialism may not be viable. The assertion may have arisen due to his failure to offer the appropriate solution to resolve the conflict between the oppressor and the oppressed.

Paulo Freire also emphasizes on the idea of critical awareness. He says that critical awareness, which involves reflection and action upon the world, is the foundation of liberation. He notes that both the oppressor and the oppressed are dehumanized; therefore, the goal of liberation is to restore the lost humanity in both groups. The ideas of Freire can be considered true as there cannot be humanity without self-reflection and action upon the world.

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In brief conclusion, it is evident that some ideas by Paulo Freire cannot be applicable in the social life. However, his other ideas enhance cordial existence among people of various classes as well as address the differences.

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