Inspired by lofty words – “to save one life is to save the world entire” – I set out on a journey; a pilgrimage to liberate myself and others through education. Naïveté and ignorance fooled me into the absurd belief that education was in itself a means to beat the many systems of oppression and prejudice which have for so long given rise to and sustained inequality and social injustice. At the mid-point of my life, I have found myself within a shadowed forest, and have been forced to concede that I have failed. I have lost the path that does not stray; for Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
In a moment of clarity, similar to that experienced by many in thrall to powerful narcotics, I have come to see that there is a distinction between education and pedagogy, and that distinction is a chasm every inch as wide as that which divides death from life. What we know as education is a weapon as deadly as any sword; a truncheon that is employed to dehumanise the weak and impress upon them the indelible mark of the totality of their defeat and their hopeless inferiority. A teacher succeeds only when the student surpasses the teacher, but the triumph of education is the subjugation and ultimate annihilation of the human spirit.
I have absolutely no doubt that the defenders of the present order of the world will say that I have a chip on my shoulder, and they would be right. In fact this chip is so much more than a superficial gash, it is a wound that has sliced deep into my soul; a poison that has seeped into my inner well, contaminating the soil of my being – as much as it has their own.
Unlike the education, which comes from above, which enslaves people with fetters of iron fastened upon the heart and the mind, the insight of friends sharing with friends brings freedom. We must no longer tolerate the programming of minds with an order that is neither native to nor healthy for the subject. Cooperation and the mutual exchange of ideas between student and student, teacher and teacher, between equals who are on the same road to liberation, is the only environment – where each genuinely seeks the best for the other – where learning can take place, and where this learning stems from the humanity of the learner and desires the full realisation of humanity in the other.