Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The radical critique of good intentions....

I love reading this kind of stuff, even if not Africa related, because it forces you to ask a similar/related question (CV, this question will sound familiar to you!): Would FAVL's small low-key community libraries, largely controlled by locals (who admittedly do very little local controlling, mostly because they don't know much about what to control in their local library, because... they've never had a library before!)... back to earth Michael, return from digression please.... so, would these library support efforts be vulnerable to the radical critique somehow... is FAVL "corporatizing" village knowledge, turning village kids into fodder for the plastic-toy consuming textile factory working machine? Isn't the village, low input, sustainable, organic (well, a little), slaughtering pigs that ate your own poop and cooking them in a mud-brick oven where mud was made using donkey's poop (yes, poop is a big thing in a village- go live there!).... Michael, stop digressing... so is FAVL corporatizing the village????

Anyway, here's the article that inspired this brief reflection- fun to read in its entirely...
Muscular philanthropy--that's what Fred Hess calls the kind of Walton-Broad-Gates phalanx that has as one of its goals the charterizing (rhymes with cauterizing) of American public schools, beginning first in the urban schools where voucher efforts have been unsuccessful so far. Bill and Melinda, the darlings of the neoliberal set, are a bit queasy regarding vouchers, having the ongoing history that they do with the education establishment.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

a) I think learning to read helps people be self determining, rather than easy fodder - for factories or wars. b) I suppose it depends partly on what kinds of books, etc. are in those African Village Libraries. (I don't send any Disney books to AVLs.) Great question though - if someone lacks information, what kind of information does s/he want. They don't know - because - they lack information. But in reality, info to keep themselves and their families healthy (ie less proximity to poop), tummies full, more ability to be self-determining rather than exploited fodder, . . .

Teresa