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N. 10 • 2011

Marina Aparicio Barberán, IGOP/Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona • Editor
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Rizoma freireano 10. Educación, globalización neoliberal y desigualdades • Marina Aparicio Barberán
Rhizome freirean 10. Education, neoliberal globalization and inequalities • Marina Aparicio Barberán
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Rizoma freireano • Rhizome freirean - n. 10 • 2011 • Instituto Paulo Freire de España

Rhizome freirean 10. Education, neoliberal globalization and inequalities

Marina Aparicio Barberán, IGOP/Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

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“All educational fact is a political act”

Paulo Freire

At 8 and we addressed some trends concerning the relationship between these concepts and practices and the tendency to think one-dimensional education's ills, and the devices around it, and composed exclusively of neoliberalism, and especially, the inertia that this type of analysis and especially the practices that lead inside.

Despite that the neoliberal ideology contains or acts as the base coat of various macroeconomic policies, among which are those considered structuring of discourse, such restrictive monetary policies, the fiscal ... and, above all, and these basic principles, the principle liberalization, the privatization and deregulation in particular public services like education and related care and people, an issue that involves an intense and extensive inequality.

It is in this context that begins to develop a growing trend in globalization, with a strong sense of inequity, which promotes the expansion of traditional capitalism and conservative, while new types, focusing on immaterial labor homogenizer economies, which operates from the purpose of accumulating capital, seeking to increase economic benefits against personal rights and social and, above all, subsuming the whole society in the capital. Thus, the various transnational corporations-companies that decide to expand, seeking greater profits and thus increase their accumulation of capital-place actually existing democracy with a strong tendency in relation to a low-intensity democracy and governance authoritarian, a type of white fascism, soft and sticky all-pervasive, seeking the development of public and social policies to ensure flows into the global capitalist, by economic globalization and the and stabilizing the economy through complete control by the elites.

This phenomenon may seem, at first, oblivious to the States, it is not. We must be aware that multinational companies-called bad-acting with the neoliberal logic away from not having a state primary, they have, which is why, they should function according to the regulations, rules, principles and laws thereof, and are the same States that are 'sold' to the neoliberal paradigm and ideology, adopting policies 'asocial' and even 'anti-social', which produce active, inequality, and this production is done in an educational and moral from the establishments education from institutions, audiovisual entertainment, digital associative ...-, from evil called non–governmental ... and inherent process of commercializing education (School vouchers, tax credits and education loans, cheap concerts to private schools, etc. Privatization really mean weak, but that opens the door to the commercialization strong and complete: see the example of the policies implemented in the Spanish State as an example) and making life dualized education systems, while society, cultural deprivations ultimately look to adapt the education and schools to new capital requirements and spirit of the more visible effects Ricardo Petrella lists:

These traps to which they are confronted not only the world of education but also all actors in our society”. These are:

  1. Education and human resources. Taking her education and not as to man but in terms of trade, or how education has been submissive to the logic of capitalist market economy.
  2. Education as a means of survival in the era of global competition, or how it has been transformed into a place where you learn a culture of war (has triumphed over the other and in their place) rather than a culture of life (to live together with others with common interests).
  3. The education service technology.
  4. Why technocracy is taking over the power to give meaning and direction to knowledge and education on equality and equity.
  5. Or how in the knowledge society (especially considering this as the main source of wealth creation in the current global capitalist market society), the educational system is used as a means to legitimize new forms of social stratification and the social division [1].

From the point of view of different authors, this hypothesis suggests, is intended 'to hide' the development of neoliberal policies in the field of education with the purpose of evading the public and common, which is justified as the only possible within this overall context, completely unrealistic assumptions. This is how you build a real topical leads to distrust of the ability of state intervention in a first place and to anond of its management capacity for the citizenry at large, finally, a dynamic acceptance of the situation –leaving to seek a Alternatively, an alternative globalization, neoliberal globalization, since the elites are imposing on us–, and also unpotentiating the creativity and emancipation of women and men, and their organizations, associations and groups. A kind of vicious circle that feeds on misinformation and the acceptance of this idea that has been introduced in societies by the same globalizing classes. A globalization that is not the result of development or social, nor the technology [2], they are the same political decisions that influence that globalization is developing in one way or another, politics is what really determines economic development , and therefore, neoliberal globalization in which we live, and not vice versa.

From this we can develop that emerges from this process, social inequalities, both within countries and between developed and developing countries, to use an outdated conceptualization, has been not only growing, but have become permanent. The logic of globalization, as mentioned before is based on neoliberal policies, which are committed to a capitalism [3] based on the overproduction, the unique distribution of this overproduction and consumerism inherent and distinctive raised and need, to the detriment of satisfaction basic needs of people, an economy totally opposed to a social economy.

This is the logic of market that generates large social inequalities that are generated within countries, and as I said earlier, around the world. And in education, first expressed in a submission to the perverse logic of the capitalist economy talks: input logic of profit, the capitalist organization, the cost of money, etc., Transfers of financial resources field of social groups and the private sphere, deregulation of the welfare state and regulation of capitalist social relations, private corporate sponsorships (like not remembering campaigns in different areas of the world, adopting a school), the emergence of the company and corporations to educational systems, kitchens, nurseries, etc.., and, secondly, as a means of legitimization of this new approach and new forms of division and social stratification, and with them, bearing the old and new inequalities in the restructuring banal, superficial and absolutely unique and economistic social imaginary.

In the strictly economic sphere and neoliberal globalizing logic also works well. First, and most state-level basis, it is clear that the basis of globalization is the market self-sovereignty over the citizens, imposing social Darwinism in its fullness that eliminates all traces of solidarity, based on maximum competitiveness and survival of the fittest in society, under the dictates of capitalism, a capitalism that combines the materiality and the immateriality of the production and reproduction and development process generates an uneven growth in all areas possible-social, labor, cultural, economic ...-.

Secondly, it is noteworthy that in conjunction with the evolution of globalization, generate a dynamic rule of those states that have greater economic power. Thus we find that the developed states absorb the economic growth of Third World countries could have done, the North becomes the center of relationships and in the territory of capital accumulation for excellence. Is how we generate some of the social differences between countries, the dependency of less developed countries is total, entering into a dynamic of not being able to cope with globalization and having to adapt to the logic that since the most powerful are being imposed, globalizing capitalism and enriching those countries, and historically have been a major force not only economically.

A common misconception is that it is thought that the social inequalities that are being generated are a direct consequence of the phenomenon of globalization, it is not, the social inequalities that are fixed in society stem from this type of globalization that as I mentioned above, is linked to the type of policies developed and implemented, namely direct consequence of neoliberal policies over time-from 80 – have been developed, taking as one of its pillars, increasing social inequalities.

Neoliberal policies that favor the wealthier classes, policies that encourage productive investment and financial-economic growth. Away from policies that address development problems and inequalities, worsening and increasingly polarized social sectors, providing a clear advantage to the speculators.

Note that these disparities and inequalities that poverty makes an incredible increase, generating a social disintegration unthinkable event. That is why we can say that it is more a political phenomenon that economic determinism what really determines the inequalities that are developed countries: the political, policy and not the economy, both financially and in the through the cultural education.

The current globalization is implying slower growth, making it more difficult capital formation, unemployment increases structural form, the educational level of citizens going to be enough-always-economic imbalances are on the order of day-to rise no apparent intentions to quit, “State intervention, as I mentioned, is practically nil, favoring business regulation, and therefore undemocratic, the increase of wealth is concentrated in countries that have enough capacity to exercise protectionism on their products and thus forcing the least developed countries to open their borders and be exploited by the North, finally, the increased concentration of wealth also leads to a concentration of inequalities , malaise and poverty in other countries and the global hub of the new spirit of capitalism runs both North-Souths where you set up different types: economic, socio-cultural ...- and the South.

Globalization necessarily involves a continued competitiveness, one of the main features of neoliberalism that guides the daily life of each one of us, transforming education in a “chain of training”, or from my point of view, deformation [4]– products once finished go to the labor market, merchandise is also subject to market rules and, among other things, raise a certain impossibility of democracy and citizenship as educational devices, and women and men that they learn are dependent on these laws of the market that provide monetary and commercial value through its disciplinarization: educational and socio-cultural firstly and secondly, monetary, and for students; the setback for the teachers, being damaged the complex variable freedom of thought, critical reflection horizon of truth work-ethics and politics.

This chain of training, continuing its way from the recommendations of both the OMC –arguing the purchase / sale of education as a commodity more and liberalization of the service– and the World Bank –from where it recommended the privatization and management business schools–, whose main objective monetize costs and increase efficiency, in this case, people treated as human replicas of a machine, and the OECD, from where they spread various educational policies-all them at the mercy of the economy, such as the various PISA indicators that attempt to assess the different capacities of the students with the same evidence, to make later a list of existing educational quality [5]. Established education system is not an educational system real teaching-learning where all the people involved in it are educated and trained at the same time, materializing and verified that “Every act of education is a political act[6] or as Castoriadis points out: “... the object of the real policy is to transform the institutions but transform them so that these institutions to educate individuals in the sense of autonomy. (...) Only a community can form autonomous self-employed individuals and vice versa” [7].

We understand education as a practice of freedom, as a cultural dimension where the action is present, which start in literacy and is conducive to a reunion of all existing cultural forms in the region and beyond. Education is and should remain the backbone to start however, the transformation and, therefore, the growth of all human beings. As Freire said, an act of love, an act of courage.

During the time that has been implanting neoliberal policies, have been losing many of the instruments, devices and socio-economic rights for many years we have been acquiring and building, they were-and are-present in States and social welfare have been generated, but insufficient and imperfect, but evolving, “fruit of the struggles of workers and women workers and their organizations.

We are in a vicious circle that cannot seem to get out. How to get out of this extreme situation when all governments have adapted to globalization that guides each one of the policies carried to term? All of them have opted for neoliberal public policies, more or less intensely in the eye of government, without asking, or maybe, where we drive or how they affect the most vulnerable sectors and areas of global society. It is difficult to change a system that is internalized, and as citizens just have 'followed' in deadly drift, but not impossible: “... in resistance that keeps us alive, understanding the future as the problemand the vocation to be more... find grounds for our rebellion and not for our resignation ... Resignation is not that we affirm, but in rebellion against injustice ... change is difficult but possible[8].

We need a paradigm shift, a change in thinking, to move towards sustainability, focusing at the outset of equity and social justice, not economic growth as is being done today. Organizing society so that every citizen enjoys equal status from the moment of his birth and departure, equal to develop their faculties, an organization which does not take place the exploitation of women, men and nature, and where all can enjoy the wealth he has achieved with their daily work. You know that globalization is not only possible, is to think that we are not in a position of economic determinism, is to know i should be aware that neoliberalism is a predatory doctrine favors only those with more influence-and not just economically , is trying to bring about change and transformation, necessary and urgent.

Finally [9], Aristotle made the definition of man as a living being above the exceptional political and Sophocles' assertion: “It has taught himself speech and thought is like the wind and instituting passions”, and raise the status overlap and education essential prerequisite to realize, first, the project itself and the political process, singular, common, in which human beings are involved and, secondly, that this project and process are always located in a city and that, therefore, women and men live as citizens and this live as a democratic society requires both a democratic paideia: “There can be no democratic society without democratic paideia”: one which implies that women and men “ can only be formed in and through a democratic paideia, and this does not grow like a plant, but has to be a central policy concern (...) the goal of which was to train, develop all the relevant skills and and give effect to the extent possible the assumption of political equality”. [10]

In this way, education is the key core of a democratic society but it must also be democratic, vital and double issue, which at present has not been fulfilled and, moreover, is leading to the almost total dissolution of the entity and civic institutions, political ... and also educational. Thus the relationship between education, neoliberal globalization, inequality and politics are to condition the characteristics and qualities, activities and views, procedures and ethical ... of men and women in a specific social context also embodies and demonstrates the ability to form emancipating and liberating experience for some of the men and women: anytime, anywhere, beyond neoliberalism and any perverse doctrine.


[1] PETRELLA, Riccardo(2000). La enseñanza tomada como rehén. Cinco trampas tendidas a la educación en: Le Monde Diplomatique, Año V, No. 60, Madrid, octubre/2000.

[2] http://laberinto.uma.es/

[3] Capitalism that has only meant to benefit, regardless of the everyday situations and people that are 'condemned' to live and gets to work, literally, life

[4] We find two types of students, on the one hand, addressing the subject from the technology, that is, 'I take all the notes and learn to me like a human replica of a machine', and secondly, those who choose to act as people who are capable of thinking, that is, from understanding the content-much more fruitful, from my point of view. Unfortunately, or not, as the phrase that says, 'to each her own', teachers also have their preferences at the time of test you ... It is at this moment where you realize that most of them and they want a complete copy of his notes saying, the book he recommended ... leaving a single print head and from the students: “What do I want? Pass. What do I do? What we need to get it. How do you want? Memorized? Memorized then.”. Thus distorting the main purposes with the students.

[5] Indirectly by defining what quality education is, and therefore, previously directing curricula.

[6] FREIRE, Paulo (2008). L’educació com a pràctica de la llibertat. Edicions del CREC. Xàtiva.

[7] CASTORIADIS, Cornelius (2002). Figuras de lo pensable. Fondo de cultura económica. Mèxico.

[8] FREIRE, Paulo (2003). Pedagogia de l’autonomia. Edicions del CREC. Xàtiva.

[9] Como señalaba en: ‘Educación, acontecimeinto y praxis’, texto introductorio de: GUTIÉRREZ PÉREZ, Francisco (2011). La educación como praxis política. Diaólogs-red –L’Ullal Edicions. Xàtiva

[10] CASTORIADIS, Cornelius (1998). El ascenso de la insignificancia. Ediciones Cátedra. Madrid.