Global Education Magazine: World Health Day (April 7th 2013)


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Human Health is a reflection of Earth Health. It is essential to share knowledge to uplift our bonds and renew the spirit-consciousness in every corner of the planet.

In Global Education Magazine we stand up for Global Health as a fundamental way to reach human happiness.

Namaste! The main goal of the Global Education Magazine is to unite the cooperative efforts of the individual-society-specie for the creation of inter-ethnic dialogues that derive in the construction of a collective intelligence focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Like an isolated neuron or an ant, which cannot contribute categorically to the network structure to which it belongs, mankind must develop a social learning, based on peaceful coexistence and respect for biodiversity of different ecosystems. The architects of the future of education should expand existing cognitive horizons through a multidimensional epistemological revolution that includes Earth-homeland as commons home and garden of the humanity.

Our goal is to disseminate educational experiences (formal, non-formal and informal) from all over the world, creating new “glocals” networks to reflect about the value and significance of education in the XXI century globalized age. Some reflections that demand to contextualize the globalization tackling global dynamics (economical, political, cultural, social, educational, religious, etc.) with a complex thinking process and a holistic, poly-logic, multireferential, planetary and cosmic vision that proposes pragmatic alternatives for a changing, multidimensional and interdependent world.

Its aims is to create and disseminate specialized knowledge with multi, inter and transdisciplinary contents, with original works of research, studies, reviews and innovative experiences to improve management and practice of institutions and organizations with humanitarian and philanthropic educational activities. For that reason we promote copyleft and creative commons for the dissemination of the magazine.

Global Education Magazine is destined to raise awareness, to develop critical thinking, and encourage the active participation of students in achieving global citizenship, solidarity, and committed to poverty eradication and sustainable human development.

Their preferred writers are come from educational scientific community with international projects, humanitarian and voluntary activities, as well as cooperation and development: Public and Private Educational Institutions, NGOs, Development and Cooperation Associations, International Volunteers, etc

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Global Education Magazine: World Health Day (April 7th 2013)

  1. 1. © Daniel López
  2. 2. IN MEMORIAM... La santé humaine est le reflet de la santé de la Planète. Il est fondamental le fait de partager les connaissances et de fortifier les alliances pour renouveler l'esprit-conscience dans tous les coins du monde. D'après Global Education Magazine nous plaidons pour la Santé Globale comme un élément essentiel pour obtenir le bonheur de la citoyenneté. Human Health is a reflection of Earth Health. It is essential to share knowledge to uplift our bonds and renew the spirit- consciousness in every corner of the planet. In Global Education Magazine we stand up for Global Health as a fundamental way to reach human happiness. La salud humana es un reflejo de la salud de la Tierra. Es fundamental compartirconocimientos y fortalecer alianzas para renovar el espíritu-consciencia en todos los rincones del mundo. Desde GEM abogamos a favor de la Salud Global como elementoesencial para lograr la felicidad ciudadana. Здоровье человека есть прямое отражение здоровья всей Земли. Очень важно делиться своими знаниями по преодолению препятствий и укреплению духовного сознания в каждом уголке планеты. В своём журнале "Глобал Эдьюкейшн Мэгэзин" ("Журнал глобального образования") мы поддерживаем глобальное здравоохранение как основу достижения счастья всего человечества. La sanità umana è un riflesso della sanità della Terra. È essenziale condividere le conoscenze e rafforzare le alleanze per rinnovare lo spirito-coscienza in ogni angolo del mondo. Noi di GEM riteniamo che la Salute Globale sia elemento essenziale per raggiungere la felicità dei cittadini. ©DanielLópez
  3. 3. Namaste! The main goal of the Global Education Magazine is to unite the cooperative efforts of the individual-society-specie for the creation of inter- ethnic dialogues that derive in the construction of a collective intelligence focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Like an isolated neuron or an ant, which cannot contribute categorically to the network structure to which it belongs, mankind must develop a social learning, based on peaceful coexistence and respect for biodiversity ofdifferent ecosystems. The architects ofthe future ofeducation should expand existing cognitive horizons through a multidimensional epistemological revolution that includes Earth-homeland as commons home and garden of the humanity. Thus, the knowledge construction of the 21st century entails the inclusion of morphogenesis and cosmological perspective for metaphysical understanding of the human species, because our particles were born in the first few seconds of the Cosmos, our carbon atoms were created in a previous sun and our molecules were formed on Earth. The human species is a cosmic entity interlinked with the same future destiny, whose estigmergic evolution is the result of a nutrigenomic colloquium of thousands of years between our genome and our interaction with environmental and nutritional resources. For this reason, it is necessary to reform human communications through an intellectual, moral and emotional metacognitive effort that warns the complexity of the MDGs as a solidary super-organism interconnected by quantum electrodynamic which is manifested in the interactions of cosmic particles. To do so, we must promote the humanist philosophy UBUNTU, as thought, awareness, and understanding metastructure of the sociobiology and antropoetic evolutionary convergence. In this sense, the Ubuntu ethological polymorphism represents wisdom to learn to grow together as a world-society, because the ontologic pluricultural simbiosophy adjacent in its spiritual essence is an emergent element for ethical management of the future. Cultivating a better future is possible and we can do it in a collective, justice and solidarity way through a responsible and creative participatory democracy. We must be self-critical of the current metasystem driven by economic irrationality of globalization and we must reform international politics bioethically: including food supply, access to medicine and the right to health among the fundamental human rights. So, think about starting a new axiological human consciousness, based on a pluralistic and polylogic conception of the ethic that inspires new directions for navigating the waters of socio-educational work. The seed of love represents, in this sense, the epigenetic and ecological phenomenon of vital action to achieve a unified ethic understanding among mankind. Teaching in the 21st century involves resetting democratically multi- causal relationships between education and culture, toward new cosmopolitan and cyber-ethical pedagogic practices that integrate a moral view in a global scale. This reconsideration demands, effectively, training authentic worldists with a thoughtful civic consciousness capable of ensuring sustainable development in harmony with nature. Thus, the paradigm shift implies a holistic view of the human being and the universe itself from the perspective of consciousness, where we are all interconnected. Dear readers, I invite you to drink the elixir of cosmopolitan hope charged by cosmic energy to achieve the objectives agreed in the Ottawa and Bangkok Charters on global health. We must empower our imagination in order to feel ourselves as creators of our own lives and conceive the humanity as a starry sky in which, contemplating this, they enlighten our hearts. UBUNTU Cosmic Energy: The Ethical Basis For Future Worldists Javier Collado Ruano Director of Edition
  4. 4. ¡Namaste! El objetivo principal de Global Education Magazine es unir los esfuerzos cooperativos del individuo-sociedad-especie para la creación de diálogos interétnicos que deriven en la construcción de una inteligencia colectiva enfocada en la consecución de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM). Al igual que una neurona o una hormiga aislada no puede contribuir categóricamente a la estructura de red a la que pertenece, el género humano debe desarrollar un aprendizaje social basado en la coexistencia pacífica y el respeto a la biodiversidad de los distintos ecosistemas. Los arquitectos de la educación del futuro deberán ampliar los horizontes cognitivos actuales a través de una revolución epistemológica multidimensional que contemple la Tierra-Patria como casa y jardín comunes de la humanidad. Así pues, la construcción del conocimiento del siglo XXI conlleva la inclusión de la perspectiva morfogenésica y cosmológica para el entendimiento metafísico de la especie humana, ya que nuestras partículas nacieron en los primeros segundos del kosmos, nuestros átomos de carbono se crearon en un sol anterior y nuestras moléculas se formaron en la Tierra. La especie humana es una entidad cósmica interligada con un mismo devenir futuro, cuya evolución estigmérgica es fruto de un coloquio nutrigenómico de miles de años entre nuestro genoma y nuestra interacción con los recursos ambientales y nutricionales. Por este motivo, es necesario reformar las comunicaciones humanas a través de un esfuerzo metacognitivo intelectual, moral y afectivo que advierta la complejidad de los ODM como un superorganismo solidario interconectado por la electrodinámica cuántica que se manifiesta en la interacciones de las partículas cósmicas. Para ello, debemos promover la filosofía humanista UBUNTU como metaestructura de pensamiento, sensibilización y entendimiento de la convergencia evolutiva sociobiológica y antropoética. En este sentido, el polimorfismo etológico Ubuntu representa la sabiduría de aprender a crecer juntos como sociedad-mundo, pues la simbiosofía pluricultural ontológica adyacente en su esencia espiritual constituye un elemento emergente para la gestión ética del futuro. Cultivar un futuro mejor es posible y podemos hacerlo de forma conjunta, justa y solidaria a través de una democracia participativa responsable y creativa. Debemos hacer autocrítica del metasistema actual guiado por la irracionalidad económica de la globalización y debemos reformar la política internacional bioéticamente: incluyendo el abastecimiento alimenticio, el acceso a la medicina y el derecho a la salud entre los derechos humanos fundamentales. Por lo tanto, hay que pensar en iniciar una nueva consciencia humana axiológica, basándonos en una concepción pluralista y polilógica de la ética, que inspire nuevos rumbos de navegación por las aguas del trabajo social-educativo. La semilla del amor representa, en este sentido, el fenómeno epigenético y ecológico de acción vital para alcanzar una comprensión ética solidaria entre el género humano. Enseñar en el siglo XXI implica reajustar democráticamente las relaciones multicausales entre la educación y la cultura, a través de nuevas prácticas pedagógicas cosmopolitas y ciber- éticas que integren una mirada moral a escala global. Esta consideración supone, efectivamente, la formación de auténticos mundólogos con una consciencia cívica reflexiva capaz de garantizar un desarrollo sostenible y armónico con la naturaleza. Así pues, el cambio de paradigma implica una mirada holística del ser humano y del propio universo desde la perspectiva de la conciencia, donde todos estamos interconectados. Estimados lectores y lectoras, les invito a beber el elixir de esperanza cosmopolita cargado de energía cósmica para lograr los objetivos pactados en las Cartas de Ottawa y Bangkok sobre la salud mundial. Empoderemos nuestra imaginación sintiéndonos creadores de nuestras propias vidas y concibamos a la humanidad como un cielo estrellado en el que, al contemplarlo, nos ilumine nuestros corazones. La Energía Cósmica UBUNTU: La Base Ética De Los Futuros Mundólogos Javier Collado Ruano Director de Edición
  5. 5. 6. WORLD HEALTH DAY. by WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr. Ala Alwan. 8. Health in United Nations: Millennium Development Goals. 11. "El Oasis de la Memoria". Entrevista con Aminatou Haidar. 15. Proyectos de la UNESCO para comienzos de año. 17. UNHCR's work on HIV in the Americas. 19. Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. 35. Research Papers. 36. MDGs 58. Global Education. 85. Transversal Studies. 120. Letters to the Editor. Disseminate GEM to raise awareness! Editada en Almansa (AB), España, por Educar para Vivir e com a parceria do DMMDC (Salvador, BA, Brasil) Follow us! Articles with are available for blinds!
  6. 6. Nº3 6 Today we are observing World Health Day. Every year WHO uses this occasion to highlight an important health issue. This year the theme of World Health Day is high blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure is a major health issue which affects the lives of nearly 40% of adults over the age of 25 years. Around the world, including in this region. It is known as a “silent killer” because in many cases it is detected too late to avoid complications. If not detected early and controlled high blood pressure leads to stroke, heart disease, heart and kidney failure and blindness. High blood pressure causes around 8 million deaths in the world every year, which is about 13% ofall deaths. Around 50% ofall global deaths from stroke and heart disease are attributed to high blood pressure. Our message to you on World Health Day is “Control your blood pressure Control your life”. You can prevent high blood pressure and you can get it treated. How do you prevent it? Among the major factors that cause high blood pressure are unhealthy diet, excessive use ofsalt, being overweight and being physically inactive. In our region, with a population of600 million people, the rates ofphysical inactivity are higher than in any other region in the world. Overall, more than a third ofmen and nearly halfofwomen in the Region are physically inactive. Around 50% ofadults in our region are overweight and in some countries more than 70% ofwomen and an increasing number ofchildren are overweight. High blood pressure and tobacco use is a lethal combination since they both cause cardiovascular disease. In some countries ofthe Region more than 50% ofmen use tobacco. So what should we do? We need to change our lifestyles. This means eating a healthy balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruit. It means reducing the amount ofsalt we eat and avoiding food rich in fat and sugars. And it means maintaining normal body weight and taking regular exercise. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity will reduce blood pressure and help prevent heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers, such as breast and colon cancer. It also lowers the risk of stroke and depression. Many countries have managed to reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure by encouraging and promoting lifestyle changes, driving down the number of deaths from heart disease. We in this Region should In the Name ofGod, the Compassionate, the Merciful on the occasion of WORLD HEALTH DAY 7 April 2013 Dr.AlaAlwanWho Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean
  7. 7. Nº3 7 do the same. I call upon communities and individuals to rise to the challenge and take action against this “silent killer”. Simple, practical and cost-effective steps can save you, and millions like you, from falling victim to this health problem: healthy diet, weight reduction, reduction in salt intake, increased physical activity, and stopping smoking. Of course, we know that asking people to change their lifestyles is not enough. It needs to be backed up by action at other levels also. For this reason, we call upon governments, policy-makers, the regional and international community and other stakeholders, including the food industry, to take concrete action to create an environment that is conducive to healthier living. Improving the availability of healthy foods, reducing salt in processed and manufactured foods, correct labelling of food products and providing accessible facilities for exercise are all important to creating such an environment. All sectors of government and the private sector have to be involved in this effort, not just the Ministry ofHealth. As I have already mentioned, a large proportion ofour population already has high blood pressure. Many people, in some countries more than 50%, do not know they have high blood pressure, and so it is not controlled and they are at high risk ofdeveloping heart attacks, strokes and kidney damage. What can we do to help them? As individuals we need to know whether we have high blood pressure and as health care providers we need to provide adequate services to ensure early detection and appropriate treatment ofhypertension, especially among those at high risk, like overweight people and smokers. Affordable and effective medicines are available to control blood pressure and help people to lead a normal and productive life. We need to ensure that early detection and management of hypertension are integrated in national policies, programmes and activities and are available through primary health care. So, let us all take action to reduce our risks, control our blood pressure, and control our lives. Not in the future, not tomorrow, but now. I wish you a healthy “World Health Day”. Dr. Ala Alwan Who Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean
  8. 8. Nº3 8 www.globaleducationmagazine.comSpecial World Health Day The Millennium Declaration, sets out an historic commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and improve the health of the world’s poorest people by 2015. The Declaration and the resulting internationally agreed targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) place health squarely at the centre of the international development agenda and champion it as a key driver of economic progress. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that all 191 UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000 commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. The MDGs are derived from this Declaration, and all have specific targets and indicators. Health is represented in three of the eight MDGs and makes an acknowledged contribution to the achievement of all the others, in particular those related to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, education and gender equality. Goal 8, which calls for a global partnership for development, is a unique feature of the MDGs, because it recognizes that there are certain actions that rich countries must take if poor countries are to achieve all the other Goals. MDG 8 is a reminder that global security and prosperity depend on a more equitable world for all. The Goals related with health are the next: -Millennium Development Goal 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The target called “1.C.” as part of this goal is halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. -Millennium Development Goal 4: reduce child mortality. In this goal the target 4.A. tries to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. -Millennium Development Goal 5: improve maternal health. At this point the target 5.A wants to reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio and target 5.B. achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health. -Millennium Development Goal 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. As part of this Goal the Target 6A. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, also the target 6B. Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it. And finally the target 6C. tries to have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. -Millennium Development Goal 7: ensure environmental sustainability. Target 7C: By 2015, halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Health in United Nations: Millennium Development Goals ©DanielLópez
  9. 9. Nº3 9 www.globaleducationmagazine.comSpecial World Health Day -Millennium Development Goal 8: develop a global partnership for development. Target 8E. In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential medicines in developing countries. For example working in theses goals the world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the MDG 2015 deadline, according to a report issued today by UNICEF and WHO. Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells. The report, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012, by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, says at the end of 2010 89% of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources. This is one per cent more than the 88% MDG target. The report estimates that by 2015 92% of the global population will have access to improved drinking water. “Today we recognize a great achievement for the people of the world. This is one of the first MDG targets to be met. The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the MDGs not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives ofmillions ofthe poorest people” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon. But that victory could not yet be declared as at least 11% of the world’s population – 783 million people – are still without access to safe drinking water, and billions without sanitation facilities. In 2007, the global burden of under-five mortality has fallen for the first time below 10 million deaths and is now estimated at 9.7 million per year. Increased coverage of interventions, such as exclusive breastfeeding, measles vaccinations, vitamin A supplements and insecticide-treated bed nets, have contributed to this decline. In 2005, it was estimated that seven high-burden countries—Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal and the Philippines—were on track to achieve the MDG 4 target of reducing child mortality, and the number of countries is increasing. Recent surveys have shown a steady mortality decline in other countries, for example, in Madagascar, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania. In addition, 6 of 11 African countries heavily affected by HIV reported a decline of 25 per cent or more in HIV prevalence among the 15- to 24-year-olds in capital cities. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy in low- and middle-income countries increased from 240,000 to approximately 2.1 million. About improve maternal health we have to say that despite a significant reduction in the number of maternal deaths – from an estimated 543 000 in 1990 to 287 000 in 2010 – the rate of decline is just over half that needed to achieve the MDG target of a three quarters reduction in the mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015. The proportion of births attended by skilled personnel – crucial for reducing perinatal, neonatal and maternal deaths – is above 90% in three of the six WHO regions. However, increased coverage is needed in certain regions, such as the WHO African Region where the figure remains less than 50%. To get these goals Increases in the amount of aid are necessary, but more effective aid is also required if progress towards the MDGs is to be sustained. The need for greater ©DanielLópez
  10. 10. Nº3 10 www.globaleducationmagazine.comSpecial World Health Day harmonization between donors, and for stronger alignment around national policies and plans, is repeatedly being voiced by countries. The reality on the ground is complex, with several initiatives and partnerships, many of which have their own mandate, priorities and administrative processes. Additionally, about 20 per cent of overall health aid is given as general budget or sector support, while as much as 50 per cent is off- budget. Making the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness a reality on the ground is critical if resources for health are to be deployed and used effectively. Also the Mechanisms that are transparent and inclusive need to be created to hold all partners accountable for their performance against international agreements. The importance of mutual accountability and responsibility has been emphasized in several new initiatives focusing on the MDGs, such as the International Health Partnership in which Governments and development partners define country-level compacts that represent a close-to-binding commitment by all, and provide a framework for monitoring performance. The international community shares a strong commitment to reaching the health-related MDGs. Several newly launched health initiatives by major donors and development agencies acknowledge the explicit need to invest in the health systems and better coordinate development assistance, and to introduce a framework of mutual accountability that recognizes the need for country-owned and country-led initiatives. In another hand As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approaches, there is wide debate as to what development goals the global community should set next. The United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon has appointed a High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015. The Panel will deliver a report to the 2013 September General Assembly. In support of this process, the United Nations Development Group is leading efforts to catalyse a “global conversation” on the post- 2015 agenda through a series of global thematic consultations and more than 50 national consultations. The Governments of Sweden and Botswana, UNICEF and WHO co-convene the health thematic consultation. The UN’s global consultation on health will take place between October 2012 and February 2013. It will include a web-based consultation; the development of a series of background papers (both on lessons learned from the current MDGs as well as future directions); and a series of consultative meetings with Member States, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector partners and academic and research institutions. The process will culminate in a high-level meeting on March 5-6 in Botswana, involving governments, NGO coalitions, key UN partners and members of the UNSG’s High- Level Panel. It will seek to incorporate ideas and lessons from other regional and country consultations, thereby building a powerful consensus around key issues and recommendations on health to feed into the inter-governmental process that will start later in 2013. An informal Member State Consultation on Health in the Post 2015 Development Agenda, was held in the WHO Executive Board Room in Geneva on December 14, 2012. The meeting’s discussions focused on the first four of the five questions that are being used to guide the health thematic consultation. This report provides a summary of the interventions made by the Member State representatives. ©DanielLópez
  11. 11. El Oasis de la Memoria Entrevista con Aminatou Haidar por Jose María Barroso Tristán "La verdad sigue estando oculta en el Sahara Occidental" ©kalvellido
  12. 12. Nº3 12 El Oasis de la Memoria. Entrevista con Aminatou Haidar. Jose María Barroso Tristán: Buenos días Aminetu. Lo primero que quiero es agradecerle su estancia aquí para presentar este informe sobre la situación de los Derechos Humanos en el Sahara Occidental. Agradecerle también a la Asociación de Amistad con el Pueblo Saharaui de Sevilla (AAPSS) que me ha concedido la oportunidad de entrevistarla. Ha venido a presentar el informe “El Oasis de la Memoria”, un informe sobre los Derechos Humanos en el Sahara. ¿Podría decirnos a grandes rasgos que se incluye dentro de este informe? Aminatou Haidar: Es un informe de testimonios, extraídos por el Doctor Carlos Beristain, realizado sobre terreno. Ha ido para hacer las investigaciones a El Aaiún, también ha sacado testimonios de familiares desaparecidos de Smara y los ha puesto con cifras y detalles. Ha arrojado luz sobre las violaciones de los Derechos Humanos y los crímenes de guerra de lesa humanidad que Marruecos ha cometido en el Sahara Occidental. Don Carlos Beristain ha tomado testimonios de la población saharaui que están como refugiados, sobre todo las víctimas del bombardeo de Um Draiga y también de los familiares de los desaparecidos saharauis en paradero desconocido. El informe trata varios casos de desaparición: el grupo de detenidos en la cárcel secreta marroquí de Kalaat M´gouna; mi grupo, que es el grupo conocido con el nombre de grupo de la comisión porque fuimos víctimas de desaparición durante la visita de una comisión de las Naciones Unidas. Ha tratado casos que nosotros, como activistas, los llamamos casos individuales porque todos los años desde 1975 hay detenciones colectivas, pero también individuales contra saharauis, sobre todo en las fiestas nacionalistas del Frente Polisario o también por ser familiar de un dirigente del Polisario o por reivindicar algún Derecho. Ha tratado también el tema de las indemnizaciones que hizo Marruecos con las víctimas, la discriminación por la cual ha tratado de forma diferente a las victimas marroquís y saharauis. Ha tratado el IER (Instancia de Reconciliación y Equidad), que es la instancia de reconciliación establecida por el reino de Marruecos. Es un informe que nosotros, como víctimas y ONG de Derechos Humanos, lo valoramos mucho porque es muy importante ya que hace parte de la protección de la memoria colectiva de todo un pueblo y también puede ayudar a la Comunidad Internacional a crear una Comisión de la Verdad en el Sahara Occidental. La verdad sigue estando oculta en el Sahara Occidental. JMBT: Parece sorprendente que después de 37 años de ocupación ilegal por parte del régimen marroquí sobre el Sahara Occidental hayan tenido que ser una serie de instituciones privadas las que han elaborado un informe sobre la situación de los Derechos Humanos dentro del Sahara Occidental ¿Qué considera usted de este Delito de Silencio por parte de las Naciones Unidas en la ausencia de observatorios sobre los Derechos Humanos que informen sobre la violación de estos en territorio saharaui? AH: Esto confirma la complicidad de algunas potencias de la Comunidad Internacional y la indiferencia de otras hacia el caso del Sahara Occidental, no hay una buena voluntad política para resolver el problema. Lo que ya no es aceptable es que la Comunidad Internacional siga con esa indiferencia y negándose los Derechos fundamentales de la población saharaui que sufre diariamente la represión marroquí en su propia patria y tierra cuando el único delito es reivindicar el respeto a sus Derechos elementales, encabezados por el Derecho a la libre determinación. La MINURSO, que es una institución, un mecanismo de las Naciones Unidas que está instalado en el Sahara Occidental desde hace 22 años, no ha podido nunca jugar el papel de respetar los Derechos Humanos porque no tiene las competencias en su mandato para vigilar, observar y proteger los Derechos Humanos en el Sahara Occidental. Esto no es aceptable. De una lado están las negociaciones entre el Frente Polisario y el Gobierno de Marruecos, pero por otro lado, nosotros somos las víctimas directas. Esas negociaciones no han traído todavía unas medidas que puedan garantizar el respeto a los Derechos Humanos mientras se espera a que se haga el Referéndum de Aminatou Haidar Activista Pro Saharaui y de los Derechos Humanos. Fue nominada para recibir el Premio Nobel de la Paz en el año 2008. Traducido al:
  13. 13. Nº3 13 El Oasis de la Memoria. Entrevista con Aminatou Haidar. Autodeterminación. JMBT: Hablando de la represión y de la opresión que supone la constante violación de los Derechos Humanos, hay una especialmente singular y que me sorprende que no lo sepa el mundo entero. Es que el Sahara Occidental es rodeado por la segunda muralla artificial más grande del mundo, hecha por el Ser Humano, por Marruecos, el Muro de la Vergüenza de 2700 kms de longitud. ¿Cómo afecta a la población saharaui ese aislamiento frente al mundo entero, ya no solamente físico sino todo lo que supone las dificultades a la hora de entrar o salir del territorio saharaui? ¿Cómo afecta ello a la población en el día a día? ¿Cómo afecta a la relación con organizaciones y/o entidades que trabajan con el Sahara? AH: Este es otro sufrimiento porque el muro divide al pueblo saharaui en dos. Una parte que está bajo ocupación y otra parte que está en el exilio. Este muro impide la comunicación entre las familias, impide la posibilidad de que las familias puedan encontrarse, por ejemplo, en el desierto. Es poca gente la que ha podido encontrarse con sus familiares, en Mauritania por ejemplo para hacerlo hay que tener un pasaporte y un visado que hay que conseguirlo en España. Esto es imposible, es poca gente la que ha podido salir a España. Claro que hay medidas del ACNUR pero tampoco son suficientes, cuatro días después de una separación de 37 años, es muy poco. Este muro afecta mucho y de una forma psíquica porque sabes que hay un muro que te está impidiendo ver a los tuyos. Esto afecta sobre todo a la nueva generación y sobre todo a los jóvenes que están al otro lado, en el exilio, al ver que este muro es algo que está bloqueando la libertad de la llegada a su patria. Esto es muy fuerte e inaceptable y nadie habla de este muro. Además de los riesgos ya que a lo largo del muro existen minas antipersonales. JMBT: Global Education Magazine es una revista dedicada a la Educación para el Desarrollo Humano. Creemos en la Educación como firme herramienta para conseguir el Desarrollo Humano Global. Entonces nos interesa mucho conocer cuál es la situación educativa dentro del Sahara Occidental. ¿Cuáles son los mayores problemas e inconvenientes que se están encontrando la población saharaui en el aspecto educativo? AH: El Derecho a la Educación está amenazado porque los alumnos, incluso los más pequeños, no pueden estudiar tranquilamente de una forma normal porque siempre son amenazados por parte de los maestros mismos y, a veces, por la policía. Nadie puede creer esto, pero es la verdad. La policía entra donde están los niños en clase pegando a los niños. La policía está casi permanentemente alrededor de las escuelas e incluso hay 3 escuelas en El Aaiún que son rodeadas por militares con tanques. Esto es peligroso. No dejan estudiar a los niños tranquilamente, siempre tienen temor o miedo al ver a la policía o los militares al lado de la escuela. Hay otro obstáculo que es la discriminación que sufren los alumnos saharauis, sobre todo los niños de los activistas de Derechos Humanos. Yo, personalmente, puedo ser testigo porque mi hija ha sido víctima el año pasado de una discriminación por parte de un profesor marroquí y hasta hoy día no ha podido estudiar en las universidades marroquís. No hay ninguna Universidad en el Sahara Occidental para terminar sus estudios superiores tiene que ir hacia Marruecos que la ciudad más cercana es Agadir que esta a 600kms. Pero yo no puedo enviarla a estudiar allí. Este verano ella y su hermano han sido víctimas de violencia por parte de una familia marroquí en un autobús. En vez de juzgar a los violentos, a la familia que les ha atacado, ellos también están acusados, los dos, mis hijos y los violentos. Esto es una parte del sufrimiento que nosotros estamos viviendo a diario en los territorios ocupados. Los estudiantes saharauis en las universidades marroquís siempre son objeto de discriminación, de violencia, de tortura y de detenciones arbitrarias. JMBT: Por último, si quiere decir algo a nuestros lectores de Global Education Magazine acerca del tema saharaui o acerca del Desarrollo Humano Global. AH: Quiero agradecer a los organizadores de la revista por la difusión de la causa saharaui. Nosotros necesitamos este trabajo y este tipo de actividades porque difundir la información es muy importante para la sensibilización respecto a la causa saharaui. JMBT: Muchas gracias Aminatou. Desde Global Education Magazine esperamos que se haga imperativo el Derecho de Autodeterminación saharaui y así poder recuperar la dignidad de todas las personas que luchan por ello.
  15. 15. Nº3 15 Compartiendo los valores de Global Education Magazine la UNESCO ha lanzado esta primavera una serie de proyectos para seguir contribuyendo con sus objetivos de paz y entendimiento a través del fomento de la cultura y la educación. La primavera siempre ha sido vista en el imaginario de cada cultura como un nuevo renacer o comienzo que lleva a nuevas empresas de renovado optimismo y espíritu constructivo. En este sentido la dedicación y el trabajo hacia la orientación de los pueblos en una gestión más eficaz de su propio desarrollo y autonomía, a través del uso responsable de los recursos naturales así como de los valores culturales, teniendo como finalidad la modernización y progreso conjunto solidario entre las naciones del mundo, sin que por ello se pierdan la identidad y la diversidad cultural son las directrices que se han seguido en estos nuevos proyectos. Las actividades culturales buscan la salvaguarda del patrimonio cultural mediante el estímulo de la creación y la creatividad y la preservación de las entidades culturales en este ámbito pasamos a comentar los diferentes programas y proyectos. Entre el 11 y el 15 de marzo se llevo a cabo un provechoso taller llamado “Re-orientando la educación y formación técnica y profesional hacia el cuidado del ambiente” en San José, Costa Rica. Como ya señaló Ban Ki-Moon, Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, en enero de 2012 “Los indicadores ambientales, económicos y sociales nos dicen que nuestro actual modelo de progreso es insostenible. El cambio climático está destruyendo nuestro camino a la sostenibilidad. El nuestro es un mundo de retos inminentes y recursos cada vez más limitados. El desarrollo sostenible ofrece la mejor oportunidad para ajustar nuestro rumbo”. La intención del seminario fue el intercambio de buenas prácticas y experiencias entre los países de la región en el área. En ella se identificaron los desafíos y oportunidades para darle un nuevo enfoque a los cursos de “Educación y formación técnica y profesional” (EFTP) hacia los llamados “empleos verdes”, donde se desarrollaron recomendaciones para fortalecer el programa para empleos verdes en la región. Orientados hacia un desarrollo sostenible la inclusión de estos cursos en la formación de futuros trabajadores es también inculcar una educación de respeto a la naturaleza y responsabilidad cívica claves para el futuro. Como señala Jorge Sequeira, director de la Oficina Regional de Educación de la UNESCO para América Latina y el Caribe “La transición hacia una economía verde en el contexto del desarrollo sostenible y la erradicación de la pobreza, tiene un potencial significativo de creación de empleos y puede contribuir a cerrar la brecha de inclusión social” continuando en un camino a largo plazo al “‘enverdecer’ la EFTP [ya que] significa enseñar a los futuros técnicos a cuidar el medio ambiente en sus procesos de trabajo” según Astrid Hollander, especialista del programa en Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Educación Técnica y Profesional y Educación en Situaciones de Emergencia. La intención es llegar al punto de convertir todos los empleos en empleos verdes, así al mismo tiempo irán apareciendo nuevos perfiles laborales que respondan las necesidades de la economía verde, siendo en estos momentos el ecoturismo y la agricultura orgánica los grandes exponentes. El mismo Jorge Sequeira explicó que enverdecer la EFTP es crucial para hacer una transición desde los patrones de producción y servicios intensivos de emisiones y gasto de energía hacia una producción más limpia y más verde. En el siguiente enlace se puede observar en formato PDF el cronograma y como fue la organización del taller y en este otro, en el mismo formato, “el fomento de competencias para el desarrollo sostenible”. Con el mismo objetivo de desarrollo sostenible y mirando a la conferencia mundial sobre el tema (Japón 2014) se está trabajando en un nuevo marco global a definir un el seguimiento al Decenio. En este sentido la Oficina Regional de Educación para América Latina y el Caribe (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago) apoyará la organización de dos consultas subregionales, con el fin de continuar trabajando en el Proyectos de la UNESCO para Comienzos del Año
  16. 16. Nº3 16 informe final de monitoreo y evaluación del Decenio de las Naciones Unidas de la Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible (2005-2014). Las consultas tendrán lugar los días 16 y 17 de abril en Costa Rica, donde solo estarán orientadas a los Estados Miembros de América Latina y estarán acompañadas por un proceso de consulta online totalmente abierto hasta el 31 de marzo a todos los interesados en la Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible (EDS). Estas consultas regionales son clave para afianzar una planificación sustancial más allá de 2014 ideas y apoyos procedentes de toda la región El objetivo por tanto será asegurar un proceso innovador donde primarán la transparencia y participación dentro de un marco programático de la EDS que continuará más allá del 2014 a través de la colección de ayudas de los actores relevantes de los Estados Miembros. Como afirmó el ya nombrado Astrid Hollander “Las consultas regionales permiten rescatar los intereses y necesidades de los países para diseñar los lineamientos y acciones para el desarrollo de una Educación para el Desarrollo sostenible de alto impacto en América Latina y el Caribe. Además, nos permite de conocer las experiencias de los países, identificar factores de éxito y lecciones aprendidas que puedan orientar el diseño de actividades de EDS en el futuro”. En el siguiente enlace se puede acceder a la web de consultas subregionales. Y por último, señalando los proyectos interesantes para este comienzo de año por parte de la UNESCO hablamos sobre la aplicación de evaluación regional de aprendizaje TERCE que comenzará en abril de 2013, después de la reunión de los 15 países participantes. La XXX Reunión de Coordinadores Nacionales del Laboratorio Latinoamericano de Evaluación de la Calidad de la Educación (LLECE) donde participarán representantes de los 15 países miembros de esta institución se realizará el 24 y 25 de abril, en Ciudad de Panamá. Los socios implementadores del TERCE (MIDE Universidad Católica y Universidad Diego Portales), así como el Instituto de Estadísticas de la UNESCO y el equipo de coordinación técnica del LLECE desarrollaran la última instancia previa con la entrega de los instrumentos de investigación, lo que representa el inicio del estudio más importante de la región de America Latina y el Caribe sobre logro de aprendizaje. Comienza el 26 de abril con la aplicación definitiva del Tercer Estudio (TERCE). “Estamos en una fase crítica para la planificación estratégica del LLECE. No solamente porque estamos en el proceso de aplicación definitiva del TERCE, también porque es necesario visualizar dónde estará el LLECE en 5 años y cómo se adaptará a los nuevos desafíos y tendencias, regionales y mundiales, en educación” afirmó Atilio Pizarro, Jefe de la Sección de Planificación, Gestión, Monitoreo y Evaluación de OREALC/UNESCO Santiago. En esta reunión además se difundirán cuatro informes claves del LLECE, como por ejemplo informe sobre políticas educativas en la región junto con el Análisis Curricular del TERCE, el trabajo de la Comisión Especial sobre Métricas de Aprendizaje (sobre calidad de la educación) de la agenda mundial Educación para Todos de la UNESCO y también los resultados de la 2ª reunión del Consejo Técnico Consultivo de Alto Nivel del TERCE (CTAN), que se celebró en Santiago en diciembre del año pasado.
  17. 17. Nº3 17 UNHCR's Work on HIV in the AmericasIn Latin America and the Caribbean there are around 3.6 million internally displaced persons and about 445,000 refugees / asylum seekers facing a series of challenges due to their displacement, a situation that exposes them to a risk and vulnerability to HIV. Border areas reports in most cases a higher HIV prevalence due to the presence of sex work networks, high levels of violence and lack of timely medical services related to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. During their transit, our population of interest may be a victim of sexual exploitation and violence, situations that can lead to acquiring HIV infection. Besides, their legal status often hampers timely and equal access to existing health services in these areas. Poverty, broken family structures, social obstacles to local integration, precarious education services, and situations of stigma and discrimination due to their refugee status, also expose them to factors that facilitate HIV transmission in their host communities. UNHCR seeks to ensure that our target population has access to information on HIV prevention and transmission and that people living with HIV could have full access to HIV treatment, care and support services without becoming victims of stigma and discrimination, or that their refugee status may affect the provision of these services. In a broader way, UNHCR conducts advocacy interventions before governments and international agencies aiming at the inclusion of our population of interest in the design and implementation of HIV national and international programmes. Projects and actions designed by UNHCR HIV focal points from each country operation with the support of the HIV Regional Coordination, corresponds to strategic planning that seeks to develop and apply the 10 Key Points on HIV/AIDS and the Protection of Refugees, IDPs and Other Persons of Concern and the latest UNAIDS recommendations on the subject for our region. During 2012 countries as Mexico and Brazil implemented a series of HIV and Reproductive Health trainings to stakeholders working on refugee issues. In Ecuador, a project was implemented in the provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana (northern border with Colombia) for strengthening the sex work network in the area of HIV prevention amd other sexually transmitted. Venezuela implemented a project aimed at promoting human rights and the reduction of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in border communities with Colombia (Tachira, Zulia and Apure). Dominican Republic implemented a set of actions on HIV prevention and reproductive health issues in rural areas (Monte Plata) and urban areas (Boca Chica) of Santo Domingo. Costa Rica and Haiti implemented projects related to HIV and Sexual Gender based Violence in urban areas. Finally, Panama developed a series of trainings in the border area with Colombia (Darien) on HIV prevention measures and reproductive health addressed to population of concern and local population. Although our region has made significant progress in terms of access to antiretroviral therapy, unfortunately there is an increase in the report of new HIV infections. Taking into account these circumstances it is essential that UNHCR continues to implement HIV and Reproductive Health projects and actions in benefit of our population of concern. Despite all the progress that has been achieved since the first AIDS case was detected more than 30 year ago, there is still much to do to in order reach a world vision in which there is no a single HIV infection, where nobody dies as a results of aids and free of stigma and discrimination. Meanwhile, the battle continues. Rosalina Cermeño Vargas Associate Regional HIV & Reproductive Health Officer for the Americas Regional Office Panama
  18. 18. 18What is the Role of the Pharmacist in the Health Care System?
  19. 19. Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative An Interview with Peter McLaren by Jose María Barroso Tristán "Together, we can turn possible futures into tangible realities that can liberate us from the chains that make us as much as we make them. We have the power to break our chains."
  20. 20. Nº3 20 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. Jose María Barroso Tristán: The first question I would like to ask you is: Considering the fact that you are a critical educator, which would you say are the main components that distinguish a critical education from a traditional one? Peter McLaren: While I am a critical educator and have the utmost respect for the field, I do not work in the arena of what might be considered ‘conventional’ critical pedagogy. In the field of critical education there is an entanglement of visions, locations, practices and these understandably vary from individual to individual, neighborhood to neighborhood, district to district, region to region, country to country, etc. Critical pedagogy is, after all, part of a geopolitics of knowledge. For me, the fundamental goal of critical pedagogy is the struggle for a socialist alternative to capitalism—with capitalism understood as a global ecology of exploitation—and the approach I take builds on conventional approaches to critical pedagogy. I include in my recent work insights from the “decolonial school” that contests the coloniality of power, I include advances in critical race theory, feminist theory, and ecopedagogy, to name several areas of interest that I feel are important. My approach to critical pedagogy is therefore radically heterodox—or if you prefer, fundamentally orthodox—depending upon where you stand, or your positionality. But it is safe to say that my approach cannot be essayed by traditional liberal efforts to reform dimensions of capitalist society that most impact teaching and learning. There would be critical educators that would contest my own approach to critical education, and that is part and parcel of being a critical educator, and their (frequent) opposition to my position is not something that I condemn but engage in the spirit of critical dialogue. Of course I fully agree with many of the more accepted goals of the liberal variants of critical pedagogy whose arch-categories include the following—to foment dialogue, to deepen our appreciation of public life, to create spaces of respect and appreciation for diversity, to encourage critical thinking, to build culturally sensitive curricula, to create a vibrant democratic public sphere, to try to change the hardened hearts and minds of our increasingly parasitic financial aristocracy, to build knowledge from the experiences and the histories of students themselves, to make knowledge relevant to the lives of students, and to encourage students to theorize and make sense of their experiences in order to break free from the systems of mediation that limit their understanding of the world and their capacity to transform it, to challenge racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, to fight against white supremacy, etc. But I believe that around the mid- 1980s, when corporations began to become more powerful that some nation states, that the battle for critical democratic citizenship became just a smokescreen for the production of consumer citizenship and critical pedagogy as it was then conceived became more like a dying star about to go into a supernova stage and incinerate any hope we had for real educational transformation, locked as we were within a neoliberal state that was quickly consolidating itself (and that a few decades later would have transformed itself into a security state akin to fascism). Hence I looked for a navigatable transit route beyond liberalism in the direction of a Marxist humanism. At the time, when the wet-sock formlessness of postmodern theory was becoming an unwitting companion of neoliberalism, I was mocked by some in the field for returning to a discredited Marxism. But the more our daily toil and struggle in the sloughs of ordinary human existence and human suffering increased, and the more our journey within in the fearful paradoxicality of everyday life contrasted with the neat and seemless principles of neoliberal logic of privatization, the more rational Marxism sounded to me. Critical pedagogy has a transnational heritage. There is no final resting place in the vault of the critical pedagogy pantheon, since critical pedagogy is constantly reinventing itself to meet the challenges of the present. The work of Freire remains central and we need to remember the initiatives of popular educators and socialist Sunday schools, liberation theologians, schools for factory workers, socialist collectives, and other groups in various parts of the world. We not only need to build a collective memory of the field, but a shared memory. So we need to learn the history of struggles for educational transformation as it has occurred throughout the globe. I see my role in very modest terms-to push critical pedagogy in North America in the direction of appreciating socialism as a PETER McLAREN is the inaugural recipient of The Social and Economic Justice in Public Education Award by the Marxian Analysis of Society, Schools and Education, The American Educational Research Association, 2012; the Central New York Peace Studies Consortium Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace Studies; the 2013 Award of Achievement in Critical Studies by the Critical Studies Association (Athens, Greece); the "Friend in Solidarity with the Struggle of Mexican Teachers" award by the National Union of Educational Workers (Michoacan), and the First Annual Social Justice and Upstander Ethics in Education Award presented by the Department of Education, Antioch University, Los Angeles. He is also the recent recipient of the Ana Kristine Pearson Award in Equity in Education and Economy presented by The Center of Education and Work, the University of Toronto, 2012. The government of Venezuela recently honored Professor McLaren with the International Award in Critical Pedagogy, while the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México recognized him with the Distincion Academica Educación, Debates e Imaginario Social. Professors McLaren's work has been translated into 20 languages. One of his books, Life in Schools, was chosen in 2004 as one of the 12 most significant education books worldwide by an international panel commissioned by The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. As a political activist, he lectures worldwide and works with revolutionary, community and educational groups around the globe. Peter McLaren is Professor of Urban Schooling, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. He is also currently Distinguished Fellow in Critical Studies at Chapman University, California.
  21. 21. Nº3 21 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. collective goal. And here I am not referring to the European tradition alone, but to autonomous social movements of indigenous communities in Las Americas and elsewhere. The revenants of critical pedagogy will return to haunt us, should we forget what first animated its mission, which was the struggle against the ravages of capitalism, and to bear witness to a better future. The little maledictions of daily political life over time abrade the flesh of our hope so that we resignedly give over our agency to others to run the engines of democracy. The popular majorities have a pent-up cargo of vitriol aimed at the nation’s corporate bloodsuckers: the rent- extractors, rich financiers, money-for-nothing bankers, kleptocrats, rogue traders, subprime malefactors, neo-feudal overlords of commerce headquartered in Wall Street, Paleolithic demagogues working as CEOs, and hedge fund slime masters, whose corporate machinations collect like massive gobs of rancid spittle in the melting pot of capitalism we call America. Those are the 99 percent, who do not control most of the country’s wealth, who have become the victims of the great recession, and have organized themselves as the Occupy Wall Street movement (and various other Occupy movements). But the anger directed at the banking and finance establishment, or at the government’s bailout of these institutions, while understandable, is nevertheless misdirected. The social relations that have victimized the poor are not simply the result of greedy bankers who over the last few decades have decided to overreach themselves in the squalid frenzy of market deregulation; rather, the social relations that are largely responsible for the current economic crisis are those produced by the regime of capitalism itself. Paulo Freire would have clearly understood this. And while the anger of the 99 percent may be misdirected, this historical moment presents itself as an opportune time to reflect upon capitalism and to explore alternatives to it. JMBT: Please correct me if I am wrong but I get from your words that this issue goes beyond every educator´s paradigm. Without playing down its importance, this problem is actually rooted in nowadays neoliberal- capitalist supranational superestructure that imposes its logic over every institution that depends on it. Which epistemology and educative methods do you avail yourself to achieve progress towards a Marxist humanism? PM: That is an important question. I do agree that neoliberalism is animated by an identifiable logic or system of intelligibility. Neoliberalism’s epistemological imperatives are burningly relevant for every critical educator; they must be engaged, critiqued and contested, but the issue for me goes beyond epistemology. Ideas and paradigms and worldviews are important, and so are new ways of thinking about ourselves and our relation to the ecology of capitalism, but it is those ideas that are located in the routines and rituals of everyday life that are more likely to have an impact on transforming society. Critical consciousness is more of an outcome of certain social practices, cultural formations, habits of mind and the institutional arrangements that help shape them, as well as the rituals and routines that give them legitimacy, than a precondition for them--but there is no question that they are dialectically related. But let me discuss epistemology first, and then try to make a case for why a transformation of our thinking, or our logic, is only one part--albeit an important part -- of the dialectical struggle for a democratic socialism. And why such a struggle is enriched by a Marxist humanist analysis as we seek to overcome the current empire of finance capitalism. I’m interested in the evolution of neoliberalism’s cultural logic—or what you refer to as ‘ supranational superstructural’ logic—and also how it has manifested itself throughout regional or national contexts. I’ve been interested in this topic since the early 1960s. Those were wide-awake days of wide-wale corduroy pants, Maynard G. Krebs beards (as opposed to today’s popular shadow beards), fake turtleneck sweaters (known as “dickies”), fake turquoise Navajo necklackes, milk-crate-living room- décor, and neighborhoods where you could count on your mom-and-pop stores being in the same location for at least the next five years; that was before the days when your favorite empty back lot would suddenly give birth to a Walmart, a Costco, a Home Depot or your local ravine transformed in a month into a suburban business park or cookie cutter strip mall. Then came the nerd-cool days and the high tech revolution, a status-obsessed culture of consumption, more sophisticated and devastating U.S. imperialist wars, purblind postmodern doxa, and, of course, the trend towards cultural studies in the academy. And along came advances in information technology and the social media that were able to pry Picture by Laura Herrera
  22. 22. Nº3 22 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. open some cracks in the corporate pavement and the petrified slough of everyday life, where internet culture was able to fertilize some of Tupac Shakur’s famous roses springing from the cracks in the pavment in the form of “talk-back” forums and on-line petitions. Yet, even with new forms of resistance ushered in by technological innovation, the stiff-gestured ideology of neoliberalism has arched towards a state of “human exceptionalism” where all of humanity is now supposed to feel free to exploit at will the relations between nature and society any way that it chooses, as long as profits can be squeezed out. You really can’t describe the situation we are in today as an estrangement between the bankers and corporate CEOs and the rest of the 99 percent that brings out the worst in both—barefaced greed and a hateful relish in the suffering of others in the first and a dystopic and quiescent resignation to the inevitability of capitalism in the second. Because there is no possible future for capitalism that doesn't reproduce the immense suffering of the popular majorities--the 99 percent-- in the present because capitalism is premised on the free development of the few at the cost of the exploitation and immiseration of the many. The epistemological presuppositions that undergird neoliberal capitalism can be unraveled like an unspooled film; each application of neoliberal prescriptions to knowledge formation can be scrutinized in the context of the larger mise-en-scène. Cultural theorists have done an excellent job of understanding the impact of neoliberal ideology on the production of space, place, scale, historical time, and race, gender and class identity and human agency. I agree that this is important work and we need to look at such production in relation to the commodification of everyday life. Among other things, neoliberal logic is a logic of the lowest common denominator, a technocratic rationality in which value is accorded to how much surplus value can be extracted and accumulated. Finance or asset capitalism, accumulation by dispossession, disaster capitalism, crony capitalism--all of these incarnations of capitalist exploitation are an outgrowth of neoliberal ideology. I would not be able to think outside of neoliberalism's own limits without the fertilizing influence of Marx. Utilizing a historical materialist critique has helped me to think more deeply about how we might live differently in the present and imagine futures of concrete possibility outside of neoliberalism and the logic of value production and where we can break free from the production of time, space and self which exists under the servitude of capital. Historical materialists generally believe that it is possible to grasp the object of knowledge, that a world exists independent of our existence, and that this world can be directly grasped (although not fully grasped) in itself. They wager that the objective world needs to be understood in relation to others, to the social character of both our being human and our becoming more fully human. I call this a transformative volition, or protagonistic intent, a praxis of the possible that moves in and on and through the world designed to transform the material and social conditions that shape us (and are shaped by us) so that our capacities are enhanced and our humanity enlarged. Here, the world can be conceived as a concrete totality , a reality that is already a structured, self-forming dialectical whole in the process of coming into existence. Here the challenge is to avoid solipsism and idealism through a method of analysis and a conception of the world that involves a dialectical analysis of reality and a dialectical unity with the oppressed. Here I try to be consistent with the holistic human science developed by Marx, who, by the way, was no economic determinist. Historical laws of tendency of capital are not the same for Marx as natural laws. Marx did not ascribe to the idea that capitalism follows universal evolutionary laws. History does not follow a single trajectory, there are many contingencies and regularities, broadly predictable tendencies and possible futures. Marx believed in the primacy of material relationships as against the primacy of "spirit" and made us aware that profit does not come from market relations (buying low and selling high) but from human labor power and the sweated labor of the toiling class. Now I am not saying that I believe spiritual values are unimportant. What I am saying is that we need certain material conditions to obtain in society before the quest for spiritual values can be pursued effectively. If we want a simple formula to examine humanity, we could say that those who have to sell their labor power to earn a living (those who produce the profit for the capitalist) are part of one class--the working class. Those who purchase human labor and take the profit away from labor are part of another class—the capitalist class. I follow Marx’s focus on the development of human productive forces—a very complex process that is historically related to the material conditions of production and the class struggle. Every given stage of development of the productive forces of society—that is, of the human species, and of the division of labor—is bound up historically with certain social relations of production, particularly class relations. Once a particular form of class domination comes into existence as a result of this complex process of historical development, the dominant element in the relations attempts to freeze it into place, and the existing society loses its progressive character. Despite changes in the material conditions of production, any ruling class will seek to preserve its rule at all cost, thus becoming a fetter on further social and economic development. The state, law, religion, and the entire realm of ideas, to the extent that they represent the overarching interests in society and are conditioned by the underlying set of socioeconomic relations, will all be enlisted for the purpose of defending the status quo and of patching up society’s contradictions, often through the disheveled fantasies of Hollywood or the brittle enchantments of popular culture. Now what does this all mean for education? Well, it means trying to push capitalists to address the suffering of the poor and the oppressed, as
  23. 23. Nº3 23 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. long as capitalism continues to operate, but we must recognize that we need to move beyond capitalism if we ever hope to bring about genuine equality and a greater unfolding of human powers and capacities. While well-meaning progressive educators might be willing to criticize the manner in which humans are turned into dead objects that Marxists refer to as fetishized commodities, they are often loathe to consider the fact that within capitalist society, all value originates in the sphere of production and that one of the primary roles of schools is to serve as agents or functionaries of capital. Furthermore, they fail to understand that education is more reproductive of an exploitative social order than a constitutive challenge to it precisely because it rests on the foundations of capitalist exchange value. Reading Marx and Freire may not alchemize us into revolutionaries capable of transcending capitalism but ignoring what they had to say about transforming education in the context of class struggle would be a huge loss to our efforts. Much of my work has tried to demonstrate that many liberal progressive educational reforms are embedded in a larger retrograde, opportunistic and banalizing politics that situates itself a culture of liberal compassion and a polyglot cosmopolitanism that does more to impede educational transformation than advance it. JMBT: We agree that Education acts as a social reproducter of the Neoliberal system. And so, it is imbued with its Neoliberal logic and perpetuates the extreme wealth of a negligible minority against the vast majority of people that struggles to reach a respectable life. What can Educators do to change this situation and move forward a Global Humanist development? How did you start out in your life to become a critical educator? PM: Okay, let me begin, then, with your question about my own history, just briefly. Like many young people growing up in Canada during the 50s and 60s, I felt increasingly like I was being swallowed up in some viscid mass of dull, mind-numbing convention, particularly my experience of being schooled, since I like to make a distinction between being schooled and experiencing an education. Education requires the cultivation of critique, or critical consciousness, and in my teenage high school years, being intelligent or able to conscript concepts into the service of sustained analysis was not something that earned one a lot of attention with one’s peers, and I was culturally shallow enough to want to be part of the popular crowd, so I would often hide my intellectual curiosity about life, mostly during moments of grinding loneliness. In those moments I would expostulate with myself about why my life at school seemed so ruinously vacuous, why I was so interminably miserable, why acts of creativity, and why displays of ingenuity and wit seemed to be off-limits and treated by so many teachers as unjudicious, as a type of impolitic epistemological breach. I did have two wonderful and exceptional teachers my last year of high school—Dennis Hutcheon and Harold Burke. Mr. Burke would do dramatic readings in class. With lungs as unfillable as St. Peter’s Basilica, he would bellow samplings from Shakespeare and contemporary plays, which he scrupled to be an indispensable part of a good education, and of course he was right. In his classes we made earnest, if not halting, attempts to fathom the doxa and paradox, the stereotype and the novation of everyday life. From Mr. Burke I would learn to appreciate the power of rhetoric, and often engaged in debates with a shameless extravagance. Such profligacy could be tolerated in a young sprat in those days, and the gasconade that flushed out of my mouth no doubt made me insufferable among many of my more learned peers. “Hutch” developed a course on Communication and the Media that examined the theories and ideas of Marshall McLuhan. He was also a Catholic convert and largely as a result of his influence I became interested in theology (although Hutch became a conservative Catholic in his later years while I ventured into the chilly hinterlands of the Jesuit mind to explore abstruse books deemed by the guardians of the faith as heretical, works by liberation theologians and apostates). Wanting to join the priesthood, but not having much religious faith, I abandoned the idea, destining myself to live on the secular fringes of what was considered at the time the normal world (where the men no longer were required to wear fedoras, but where sterile office cubicles in some cold stone building became the bleak destiny of so many of my contemporaries). Often I found myself lost in a world of reading-- Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, Hesse, Genet, Proust, Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, Harold Innis, Gregory Baum—where I tried in vain to dislodge myself from everyday life in the Toronto suburb of Willowdale, what was to me a Cimmerian land of gloom and despair. The work of Dylan Thomas, Vachel Lindsay, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, and then, of course, the Beat Poets, helped de-anchor me temporarily from my malaise but the intemperate despair of youth would inevitably overwhelm me. I grew up in a conservative working-class family who had left its roots in farming communities of Ontario to travel to Hamilton, Toronto and other large metropolitan areas (where my dad landed a job as manager of Eastern Canada for Philips Electronics and brought us temporarily into the middle class). I was told that my ancestors worked the shipyards in the docks of Glasgow as riveters and welders, but I haven’t really gone deeply into my family tree, all that I remember are pictures of my great uncle on the farm, photos of my maternal grandfather in a kilt and carrying a riding crop, and photos of my paternal grandfather selling soap out of the back of a car. My paternal grandmother lived with us until she died when I was about sixteen and I remember
  24. 24. Nº3 24 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. she could kick over her head well into her eighties. An only child, who watched my father, a WWII veteran in the Royal Canadian Engineers, enter the reserve army of labor after he was fired from Philips and my mother-a homemaker-venture out to work to support the family as a telephone operator when my father’s emphysema made it impossible for him to continue working in part- time electronics stores, I grew up angry, suspicious of giving my life over to a corporation, or what we called "the suits." Prior to my dad’s illness, our house was a fusty solarium of normalcy: television detective stories and westerns in the evening, televised hockey games, televised comedy shows; in short: televised happiness for a life unexplored (although I did long to travel, Kerouac-style, with Buzz Murdoch and Tod Stiles in the excellent Route 66 series, and later, down the long and lonesome highway with Jim Bronson [Michael Parks] in the hit television series, Then Came Bronson). In the late 60s, I had joined the Yorkville Village hippie community as a part-timer, as what was called a “weekender” and Yorkville as I remember it was as much a state of mind as it was a cluster of streets downtown where we used to hang out, try every drug imaginable, and sometimes, if we were lucky, get “turned on” to good books and albums and meet Pre-Raphaelite-looking young women who knew members of the Toronto artist and literati circles and would invite us along to parties and gatherings where we would pretend to fit it. Yorkville was a place where, potentially, you could develop a more discerning eye for understanding the production of culture and sometimes come to recognize the coincidence between mass cultural production and the regression of one's own intellect, as bikers, greasers, hippies, teenyboppers, and sometimes political organizers, congregated in the coffee shops and flop houses, or just hung out on the streets, all pretending that we were creating a new society free from the normative shackles of conventional morality and lifestyle but basically we were looking for drugs, sex and rock and roll and our twenty minutes of fame. That I was living in the latest phases of capitalist globalization was not something that arrested my attention, even momentarily. It had not occurred to me that such a exploration of the "integral society" was important—or even significant—or that it was necessary to fathom the means and ways that I was situated in the larger social order, immersed in an internally differentiated yet dialectically unified nation state called Canada, living in the fringes of a civil society consisting of an ensemble of practices and relations of power dialectically interpellated by and integrated within the state. That was life before critical theory, sociology, anthropology, hermeneutics and existential phenomenology. Life was lived as a crude binarism: We were cool and everybody else was suspiciously uncool, especially anyone over thirty. There was even an adversarial relationship at that time between youth-based politics and social movements advocating class struggle. Yorkville was more about lifestyle and counterculture as opposed to the political transformation of society, and the Maoists that you might infrequently encounter appeared to us as too militant or dogmatic to be taken seriously if one wanted to enjoy the bohemian lifestyle and that's what we were looking for in those days. I became politicized later on, mainly by Americans who had left the US as a result of the Vietnam war and ended up my professors at Waterloo University and the University of Toronto, although admittedly this was a New Left politicization, with identity politics, civil rights and new social movements (feminism, gay rights, immigrant rights) displacing rather than integrating into much of the previous class-based political formations. I recall that there was a City Controller, Herb Orliffe, who suggested, ominously, in the Spring of 1967 that Yorkville’s hippies should be warehoused in work camps where they would learn a trade. I recognized that a desinence had arrived in the trajectory that my life was taking, and that the Yorkville scene was dying, and by 1968, I had come to the inevitable realization that a change in my life was sorely needed. Well, I’ve written about what happened next—the beating I took with flashlights administered by the Metropolitan police in a dank North York jail, meeting Alan Ginsberg, my trip to the US, my psychedelic evening with Timothy Leary, the exhilarating craziness of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the summer of 1968, so I won’t recount those days here. How was any of this distinctly Canadian, I’m not sure because I didn’t really reflect upon my Canadian roots until I ended up in the United States, what began as a desperate sojourn but what has lasted 28 years and counting, having lost my university teaching post in Canada due to my increasingly politicized teaching, and being rescued by Henry Giroux, who brought me to Miami University of Ohio and helped me figure out how to do political work and remain in the academy. Living in Ohio, I was often told by students that I reminded them of a Northern American, a decaffeinated American, rather than a Canadian, an observation, frankly, I found disturbing, and very telling about the US students and culture. While geo-specifically Canadian, and working within a coloniality of power that I often felt obliged to critique, I think my identity growing up in Canada was more mobile than nationalist, if not badly mangled, bleeding through the figurative membranes of its Canadian-ness, as something that was always already foreign to itself, as I really didn’t have a sense of what it meant to be a Canadian but at the same time I tried to account for the people I met and the ideas I encountered in the context of living a life in the service of something larger than one’s nation state, trying to understand what it meant to be of service to society. I felt I belonged everywhere, and nowhere, everywhere an aberration, and nowhere did I feel remotely comfortable--I suppose I grew comfortable in my discomfort. Moving away to the US, however, motivated me to claim a Canadian identity (as opposed to re-claiming an already well sutured Canadian identity) inasmuch as I grew to loathe the US political scene, its American exceptionalism, its imperialist wars, its phony democracy, it’s incipient and then blatant fascism—and I wanted to claim something
  25. 25. Nº3 25 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. outside of that, which at times I would label Canadian. Especially during my visits to Latin America, I highlighted my Canadian identity but, to be fair, I have been impacted in many ways by American activists and thinkers and I feel I am all the better for that. I am more interested now in a politics of solidarity and “communalidad” than I am in conventional identity politics. What drives me today is not narrating the many trajectories of selfhood as much as committing myself to a protagonistic politics, forging a united front against capital and its attendant hydra-headed antagonisms: racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, abelism, speciesism, and the like. What I can tell you now is that I do feel much more comfortable among workers and the popular majorities than I do among the transnational capitalist class, the bourgeoisie, and that is the case in all the countries in which I am regularly privileged to spend time. Well, on to the next parts of your question. If there exists a structured silence and motivated amnesia surrounding the urgent task of historicizing power relations in concrete material conditions of production and reproduction, and if, following this, there exists a grand refusal to disclaim the limitations of bourgeois ethics in the project of social transformation and, finally, if there remains a studied reluctance to engage the concrete multilayered totality of everyday life in which use value is subordinated to exchange value, then we can’t simply blame the education system or teachers for churning out capitalist dupes. We are all dupes to some extent and each day I am striving to become less so, as I continue to take advantage of my potential to be a learner. As I tried to point out in my discussion of my experiences as a youth growing up in Canada, teachers are not immune to the ruling ideas of their society, which, as Marx noted, are usually the ideas of the ruling class. And, so, as we know, the educators themselves must be educated. As Marx opined in his Theses on Feuerbach, “The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of changed circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that the educator must himself be educated.” Even the teachers unions have been in the grip of neoliberal education policies, although for years I have advocated a social movement unionism—that is dedicated to engage beyond workplace concerns, but also in terms of wider political struggle for social and economic justice, for human rights, and for participatory and direct democracy. Social movement unionism works with affiliates in worker’s movements, women’s movements, student movements, other human rights organizations to and integrates them into a broader network or popular front against injustice and exploitation by the ruling class. Revolutionary critical pedagogy is part of an ecosystem of political activism that includes community organizations, teachers organizations, and larger human rights groups advocating for multicultural education, gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual rights, living wages, ecological justice, and disability rights, and anti-racist and anti-imperialist organizations. Here we find curriculum organizations, teacher education organizations, and educational policy organizations working together against standardized testing, the privatization of public schooling, the school to prison pipeline, advocating for parent and community involvement in schools. The overall agenda that I have been trying to develop since the mid-1990s is captured in the description of what István Mészáros calls socialist education: “the social organ through which the mutually beneficial reciprocity between the individuals and their society becomes real.” My concern has been with marshaling critical pedagogy as a broad, non-sectarian coalition or social movement into the service of altering historical modes of production and reproduction in specific social formations, including if not especially educational formations. The question we need to ask is: How do you abolish value production, wage labor? We need to go beyond state intervention into the economy, since this is not socialism. State intervention into the economy doesn’t prevent value-producing labor, alienated labor. In fact, capital is a social relation of abstract labor, and it is precisely capital as a social relation that must be transcended. Of course, this is the challenge for all of us. To go up against the ideological state apparatuses (that also have coercive practices such as non-promotion and systems of privilege for those who follow the rules) and the repressive state apparatuses (that are also coercive in that they secure internal unity and social authority ideologically via patriotism and nationalism) is not an easy task. There are disjunctions and disarticulations within and between different social spaces of the superstructure and we must work within those, in spaces of the legal and ideological systems that can be transformed in the interests of social and economic justice. The struggle is multi-pronged. Revolutionary critical pedagogy is a mode of social knowing that inquires into what is not said, into the silences and the suppressed or the missing, in order to un-conceal operations of economic and political power underlying the concrete details and representations of our lives. It reveals how the abstract logic of the exploitation of the division of labor informs all the practices of culture and society. Materialist critique disrupts that which represents itself as natural and thus as inevitable and explains how it is materially produced. Critique, in other words, enables us to explain how social differences—gender, race, sexuality, and class—have been systematically produced and continue to operate within regimes of exploitation—namely within the international division of labor in global capitalism, so that we can fight to change them. Thus, a pedagogy of critique is about the production of transformative
  26. 26. Nº3 26 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. knowledges. It is not about liberty as the freedom of desire, because this liberty, this freedom of desire, is acquired at the expense of the poverty of others. A pedagogy of critique does not situate itself in the space of the self, or in the space of desire, or in the space of liberation, but in the site of collectivity, need and emancipation. To sum up, teachers need to support sustainable alternatives to neoliberal capitalism with its emphasis on economic growth; protect nature’s resources for future generations; protect ecosystems and help support biodiversity; support a community based economics, and a grassroots democracy that includes participatory and direct forms, embody anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic pedagogies that respect diversity and work from a post-patriarchal perspective. I won’t summarize here the imperatives and practices of critical pedagogy, or popular education, except to say that these approaches build from the experiences of students, and employ languages that help students interrogate the transparency of their own experiences, that is, languages that enable students to challenge the interpretation of their experiences and that assist students in connecting their own experiences and histories to broader situations that are local, regional, national and global in scope. I think it’s important to give students the opportunity to think dialectically and employ an historical materialist perspective in analyzing their own communities and relationships in their neighborhoods and schools. Not only do teachers need to become critical researchers but they should give students the opportunity to acquire research skills. There are lots of theoretical perspectives that teachers can draw from—critical disability studies, critical ethnography, feminist theory, critical race theory, postcolonial theory and the work of the new “decolonial school” who work from the premise that we need to fight the “coloniality of power.” Also, liberation theology offers a tremendously rich source of understanding state power as a form of ‘social sin.’ What this comes down to is encouraging teachers to become transdisciplinary public intellectuals who are engaged in what Henry Giroux has called “public pedagogy.” Teachers can learn a lot from the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela in becoming “public pedagogues,” and the work being done in the misiones Bolivarianas. Here students connect their learning to working on community projects. All learning is connected to improving the lives of families and social groups. All of this activity requires adopting a philosophy of praxis. It is a disposition that one acquires. It does not come from becoming critically conscious and then entering into revolutionary activity, in fact critical consciousness is more of an outcome of revolutionary activity than a precondition for it. The revolution makes critical educators as much as critical educators make a revolution. As Che taught us, revolutions produce subjectivity and agency (aesthetically, ethically and ideologically) simultaneously with new social relations of production. I call this “protagonistic agency.” An agency for building a radically new future. JMBT: We know the importance of the production of knowledge because it imposes the established "truth" inside schools. The most inhumane consequences of the capitalist system are behind this ¨truth" that perpetuates human inequality. What role do media and textbook publishers play in this issue? What can be done to establish mechanisms that ensure that the knowledge taught in schools is reliable? PM: Since capitalist democracy is really an oxymoron, capitalism's relationship to democracy has always been a "sweetheart deal", with one partner playing off the other. One plays the comic, while the other plays the 'straight' man who sets the comic up for the joke. One plays the good cop, and the other plays the 'bad cop' and then they switch roles. Capitalism produces economic inequality and extreme poverty while democracy covers it up in the name of the never-ending search for ‘diversity,’ or ‘human rights’ or ‘freedom of choice,’ or whatever is the flavor of the month, thereby undermining the whole notion that we can have any real political equality in a capitalist society. The popular majorities—those who are forced to survive on wage labor, sometimes known as the 99 percent—are never able to win great substantial victories for democracy, but are forced to accept incremental steps towards achieving some small victories in the areas of progressive taxation, health care, universal education, retirement pensions, and environmental and consumer protections and civil rights. Even though these small victories are reversing themselves, drastically in some case, the transnational capitalist class makes sure the situation doesn’t get so bad that the 99 percent takes to the streets like they did during the Occupy Wall street movement heyday, so they will sell hope for the future for those that agree to be patient. But such hope is really snake oil in disguise. The rich don’t need government social assistance, they can buy all that they need of anything, privately. With so much structural dependence on corporate dollars, real democracy is out of reach in the United States. What about the world- producing power of the media? In these days of finance capital and banking deregulation, the media are going to remain in the hands of private corporations that work hand-in-hand with the government. Powerful commercial media owners who are
  27. 27. Nº3 27 Critical Pedagogy Against Capitalist Schooling: Towards a Socialist Alternative. An Interview with Peter McLaren. sanctioned by the government control the production of knowledge, and set the limits on what gets said and what doesn’t get said, and create the contexts in which information is valued or perceived as unimportant. The military/industrial/digital sectors of the media are all part of the ‘power complex’ we associate with finance capitalism. Robert McChesney has written about how the media operate as an oligopoly through corporate lobbyists, political campaign contributions, government media policies, the control of news coverage by corporate elites, and the enforcement of monopolistic rights for those broadcasters who can make the most profit. Media reform almost impossible in this context. The potential of the internet for the deepening and enhancement of democracy has been destroyed by the success of monopoly capitalism and the internet has actually contributed as much to inequality as it has to fostering equality and here I am particularly concerned about the potential of the media to aid in the surveillance of citizens and well as the propagandizing against socialist alternatives to capitalism. Google, for instance, spent 5 million dollars lobbying in Washington in the first three months of 2012. Political participation as a means of creating a more democratic future is limited by the internet’s commercialization. We are seeing antitrust laws being overlooked, we are seeing an increase in digital technology patents, and the monopoly of corporations such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft. You can’t have a real democratic public sphere that advances the interests of community and public participation as long as it is monopolized by corporate greed, fueled by indirect government subsidies and made to bow to commercial interests through an increase in copyrights, patents, and proprietary systems. It is interesting to me how the corporate media in the United States helps to disguise itself as being "free" by attacking Hugo Chavez’s treatment of the media in Venezuela. Most media outlets here in the United States criticized Chavez for restricting and manipulating the media in Venezuela. But the Venezuelan government does not control its media. Many people in the U.S. believe that all the television channels and newspapers are pro-Chávez. The truth is that most of Venezuela’s media is anti-Chávez. Yes, Chávez took action against anti-Chávez network RCTV (Radio Caracas Televisión Internacional) but the U.S. media does not provide the historical context. As reported in only a few alternative media outlets, Venezuelan television has four major networks: Venevisión, Televen, Globovisión, and Venezolana de Televisión (VTV). Of these four networks, Venevisión and Televen are moderately anti-Chávez, Globovisión is very anti-Chávez, and VTV is extremely pro-Chávez. There is the notorious RCTV (Radio Caracas Televisión Internacional) which faked film footage to make it look like pro-Chavez gunmen were shooting down demonstrators on the streets of Caracas when in fact it was anti-Chavez gunmen. This is one of several reasons that the government of Venezuela declined to renew RCTV's broadcast license. About 60% of the television audience in Venezuela watches Venevisión and Televen. Only about 6% of Venezuelans watch VTV. Most Venezuelan media is owned by right-wing business elites who are strongly mobilized against the socialist politics and policies of Hugo Chávez that support Venezuela’s poor and powerless. The majority of the Venezuelan media notoriously conspired with the coup leaders in their failed 2002 attempt to oust Chavez from power. The media refused to show statements by the Chavez government condemning the coup d’état. When the coup d’état failed, the private Venezuelan networks refused to broadcast the news that Chávez had been restored back to power as a result of hundreds of thousands of pro- Chavez supporters surrounding Miraflores Palace demanding him back and as a result of sectors of the military turning to support Chavez. You can see the footage of this in the fly-on-the-wall documentary directed by Irish filmmakers Kim Bartley and Donnacha Ó Briain, This Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Or watch Oliver Stone's documentary, South of the Border. Again, President Hugo Chavez did not "shut down" RCTV on May 27th. The Venezuelan government decided not to renew the broadcast license that granted RCTV a monopoly over a section of the publicly-owned frequencies. It is the case that RCTV still reaches half the population through its cable and satellite operations. That's not bad for a television station that committed treason against a democratically-elected President, whose many election victories were considered extremely fair by President Jimmy Carter. Sure, it is true that government television is overwhelmingly favorable towards Chávez but only six percent of Venezuelans watch government-owned VTV. And yes, Chávez did interrupt news programming with hours of cadenas (political viewpoints) but this hardly counteracts or balances out the 23 other hours of anti- Chávez broadcasting. Okay, what about the newspapers? Venezuela has three major newspapers: Últimas Noticias, El Nacional, and El Universal. Últimas Noticias is pro-Chávez; El Nacional and El Universal are anti-Chávez. El Nacional, as is commonly known, is owned by Miguel Henrique Otero, a founder of the anti- Chávez organization Movimiento 2D. There are also more anti-Chavez radio stations in Venezuela than pro- Chavez stations, since only 14 percent of radio is publicly owned. That this ardent visionary who fought austerity measures , who agitated for the poor and the powerless, who founded the movement for the fifth republic, who integrated the downtrodden and marginalized into the mainstream of Venezuelan society, and who helped make his country one of the most equal in Latin America, would be so demonized in the capitalist press is not so surprising. This son of rural schoolteachers created a crack in the concrete wall of finance capitalism where some roses were able to push through. The wall is