Consciousness Thought

The Psychopolitics of Liberation: Political Consciousness by Lawrence R. Alschuler (auth.)

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By Lawrence R. Alschuler (auth.)

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As long as this ideological mystification prevails, critical consciousness cannot emerge, for the oppressed person will lack the selfesteem and trust necessary for collective political action. ”51 From this extended comparison I conclude that individuation supports conscientization in a movement toward their respective goals, wholeness and humanization. Despite the striking parallels, neither process can be reduced to the other. Although both processes involve empowerment in the intrapsychic and the interpersonal worlds, they differ in emphasis.

In these processes both the ego and the oppressed person are able to exert some influence on this superior power. At the critical stage, however, this influence is far more extensive, capable of making the system less oppressive, guided by rules and institutions that reduce injustice and exploitation. In both processes, the major transformations just described depend on a prior “demystification” of the ego. 50 The initial task in the third stage of individuation is the withdrawal of projections, especially the integration of the shadow.

Following in Memmi’s footsteps, Freire concentrates his analysis on the (inner) psychodynamics of oppression in terms of attitudes, ideologies, myths, mind-sets, and consciousness. He examines how oppressed consciousness is created, maintained, and, ultimately, how it may be transformed through his pedagogy of the oppressed into critical consciousness. This transformation signals the genuine inner liberation that must accompany outer liberation: the fall of dictators and oppressive regimes. 4 Much of what Freire has to say about oppressor and oppressed consciousness can be subsumed under the paternalistic attitude of the oppressor and the dependent attitude of the oppressed.

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