ERIC Number: ED027851
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Mar-2
Reference Count: 0
America: No Promise Without Agony.
Brown, Robert McAfee
We may discover signs of promise in the midst of agony if we make some shifts of perspective. (1) "Our fear of overt violence must be countered by our acknowledgement of covert violence." Covert violence is subtle and more destructive than physical violence because it is the "denial of personhood"--the insinuation by an act or by neglect that a person doesn't count. "Institutional racism" is a telling example. (2) We must recognize that "the abuse of power must be countered by the creative use of power." Students are contemptuous of the older generation because of its monstrous abuse of power, the most glaring example of which is Vietnam. Priorities should be reallocated or a holocaust will result. (3) "Misplaced materialism" dedicated to providing unnecessary and soon obsolete luxury items should be replaced by "transformed materialism" dedicated to sharing the earth's goods. (4) Within education, we must move from academic detachment to moral compassion. To help make these shifts, educators can force people to confront choices and to point out the consequences of given choices so that fresh decisions may be made. To be strong and visionary enough to undertake commitments in new directions, one must cultivate the quality of "standing outside oneself"--in essence, have a sense of humor. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association for Higher Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the American Association for Higher Education's 24th National Conference on Higher Education, Chicago, Ill., Mar 2-5, 1969.