Antipedagogies for liberation: Politics, consensual democracy and post-intellectual interventions

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(Dissertation) Ph.D.
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This dissertation discusses the participation of intellectuals in emancipatory politics. It looks into such participation from within a tradition that argues that knowledge and politics are phenomena of different nature. The concept of politics used throughout this work differs from its identification with administration, for which emancipation is determined by knowledge. It does not tie the conception of democracy to consensus. I argue that there is democracy when politics is a thought that takes place against (and beyond) existing knowledges. I call pedagogical the view according to which intellectuals occupy a central position in a politics of emancipation. Three forms of pedagogy are discussed. First, modern education, as pedagogy of the citizen, has linked individual and collective emancipation in its promise to eliminate the inequality of intelligences. Liberation through pedagogy is paradoxical because in the master-student relation the master affirms his capacity to liberate by asserting the inequality he seeks to undo. Second, in the pedagogy of consciousness, intellectuals pursue emancipation by producing the encounter of a worker-subject with its imputed consciousness. Here the state is the intellectual centre of any project of emancipation as much as the mind maintains its hierarchy over the body. Finally, an immanent form of pedagogy appears in Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of the multitude, in which an intellectual proletariat operates as an organizing nucleus. Against the backdrop of each of these forms of pedagogy I examine the fragments of a possible antipedagogy. Antipedagogy assumes that politics is a thought that everybody thinks. Antipedagogy is not anti-intellectual. Rather, by embracing its perspective, intellectuals accompany experiments of thought that seek to produce a non-capitalist sociality at the grassroots. The example of antipedagogy offered in this dissertation is the work of the militant research of the Argentinean intellectual collective Situaciones. As conceived by this group, antipedagogy is an experiment whose quest is to find a politics that can match the exigencies of life. Their antipedagogy is founded on joint research projects with social movements that do not presuppose the authority of intellectuals and aim at changing the values of everyone involved.
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