A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists
Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross
Chapter Two: What Is to Be done?
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What Is to Be Done?
Greetings, fellow teachers.
What I plan to do in the next little while is to tell you about my experience in the Mississippi Freedom Schools in summer 1964 and to offer my thoughts about how that experience might relate to the question, What is to be done?
In my remarks, I shall try to convince you of three things:
First, everything we know about learning instructs that people do not learn by reading Left wing newspapers, or by attending lectures like this one at which some learned person offers correct theory. People learn by experience. And that is especially true if the learning we have in mind is glimpsing the hope that another world is possible. People must touch and taste an alternative way of doing things; they must however briefly live inside that hope, in order to come to believe that an alternative might really come true.
Second, capitalist society in the United States offers very few opportunities to experience another world, another way of doing things. During the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe it was possible to create the institutions of a new society in the interstices of feudal society: thus there came into existence free cities, guilds, Protestant congregations, banks and corporations, new styles of painting and making music. By the time an emerging bourgeoisie created parliaments,...
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