Now, that I have some time on my hands – I do not mean to give the false impression that I was busy with work, on the contrary I was busy just chilling with friends – I must share my thoughts on the interview I referred to in a previous post.
It was an excellent interview, Chomsky gave details of his early intellectual development, and I was not surprised to hear that he singles out an uneducated uncle as the most salient influence. He also talks about how spending time at his uncles’ newsstand was formative – I am reminded of the Pak tea house culture, or the tharra culture before that: centers of intellectual development that have disappeared. In any case, the story of his intellectual development only confirms my views about the importance of informal intellectual centers.
He says that ideas, such as, the idea that wage labor is only slightly different from slavery or the idea that one should be concerned about others and not selfishly work for only one’s own material benefit, do not disappear completely, and although they are talked about, they are alive in the subconscious and our powerful. I believe in that assertion and encourage others to extract these ideas out of the subconscious, and bring them to the fore. Every individual should be concerned about improving the lives of other people.
Finally, he recommends that we should develop networks with like minded people if we want to achieve anything. He lauds the courage of people from Turkey who have stood against the modernization project that was being forced down people’s throat.
People in Pakistan need to be courageous too .. because we have to stand , not just, against oppression with serious fears to our well being, but also we have to confront our own selfishness, our own insecurities, and our own intellectual and spiritual inadequacies – and that requires courage.
We need to be critical of the direction our elites are seducing us into. We need to ask: who benefits from enlightened moderation? Agreed, there are serious issues, for instance oppression of women etc; but are there indigenous alternate solutions? I think the answer is, yes.
The is not all bad. We need to select only the good from it .. and reject what is not beneficial for our culture and society.
I do not want to bore you with more .. just watch the video the link is in an earlier post; in any case watching videos is what we do.
One final comment: We need to reform the educational system in our country! More on alternative paradigms of education later.