“The Black man certainly has to pay dear for carrying the White man’s burden.” – George Padmore, West-Indian Pan Afrikanist, 1936
“In the colonial society, education is such that it serves the colonialist …In a regime of slavery, education was but one institution for forming slaves.” – Statement of FRELIMO ( Mozambique Liberation Front) Department of Education and Culture, 1968
Of what value is the education that we receive from the present systems globally? While there is no one size fits all type of education, it appears that the battle for supremacy of ideas has been effectively shifted from the learning institutions to the pervasive social-media. The past few months have given us many reasons to pause, rethink, reinvent and rediscover our collective purpose as the human race. We are compelled to question everything, from the scientific to the religious opinions we have held and that have shaped our values and beliefs. We are questioning the systems that are in place in order to discover how do they serve us.
In the absence of wars and large scale humanitarian conflicts ( although there are really many humanitarian emergency situations, sustained and systemic poverty being just one ); the sheer amount of deaths and fears centred around an invisible virus has also caused us to question our modes of living- what we eat, organise our communities and how things are produced. Matters of justice and too many instances of injustice have made us stop to wonder whether we are an intrinsically genocidal race? Aside from the mired Black Lives Matter movement, it appears that too many incidents of rape, abductions, violence and corruption are beginning to finally make us apathetic or too paralysed by our sense of helplessness against the odds, so much that righteous indignation has become very rare – unless it is framed in various forms of bigotry and fundamentalism. There are, however many signs of a rising consciousness too. There are many people embracing the journeys towards becoming their genuine selves. There is promise.
In the midst of the pandemic, there has been continued stoking of ‘interracial’ conflicts,state sponsored murdering of Black people without any justice for the victims communities and families. So while we all are facing deep humanitarian crises, the old forms of psycho-social sicknesses are still with us.
2020 has become the year where all conspiracy theories and all fears are expressed and should be taken just as seriously as any news source. This does not mean that we should not be discerning and circumspect regarding the quality of information we receive from any source. Purveyors of fake news are just as insidious and dangerous to societies well-being as those information sources that are mainstream and sponsored by multinational corporations with nefarious hidden agendas. Although they may be labelled as ‘fringe’ or unorthodox, unscientific, the conspiracy theories that litter the internet today are also part of the various manifestations of freedom of speech and freedom of point of view. But there should be ways in which ordinary people can discriminate between error and genuine and a reasonable line of thinking.
A great article as well as a series of research was published about this theme as early as March, you can find it here ( https://theconversation.com/how-to-spot-a-conspiracy-theory-when-you-see-one-133574 )
I personally began writing this as a way to find a balanced perspective regarding mainstream science, big pharmaceutical industry ( what I call the sick industry) and the natural healing sectors. I may later do deeper research regarding the roots of the antagonism between the divergent worldviews, beginning with basic questions such as, ‘when did we start depending on aspirin to deal with pain?’, and why do we visit medical doctors for ailments that we can find at home or in the immediate environment? Besides the obvious rise of industrialisation, multinational corporations, there is the inner battles between open-minded and close-minded sciences.
Some of my thoughts are encapsulated in this book titled: Postmodernism and Big Science: Einstein Dawkins Kuhn Hawking Darwin, edited by Richard Appignanessi and published in 2002. The book raises some very crucial points that have always been part of the debates between Natural living and over-dependence on mainstream or commercialised science. Here are just a few:
“Science that asserts by the most inexact of circumstantial evidence – the kind no court of law would put before a jury as reasonable inference – that we began as a ‘genocidal species’, is doing one of two things. Either it is reading the gross brutalities of the twentiesth century into our past, or producing theories that excuse the vileness of the present. What are the two opposing views of evolution offering as the dignity of the human person? Dawkins is explicit: we are lumbering robots, built body and mind by genes: ‘DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to the music.’ “
In the chapter titled Darwin and Fundamentalism, the author offers this: ” The battle is not with Darwin; it is with the authority invested in and ascribed to Darwin, with the interpreters of Darwin. The battle has been joined most publicly by Christian fundamentalists, who, however, have done battle only for their own narrow, reductive and special purposes. But if either Darwin’s interpreters or his opponents silence, marginalise and effectively prevent legitimate, reasoned questioning, then everyone, as well as everything, that we hold dear and need to establish is diminished – be that religion or science. Instead of a battle, there should be informed, general debate; instead of bigotry, religious or scientific, we need critical dialogue that can see beyond mythic stereotypes that propel the wrong ideas for the wrong reasons.”