Engagement & Action logic Freire’s in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"
A Pattern of Transformative Intervention - is the subject of Paulo Freire’s in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" (1970) a carefully considered model for social thinkers and leaders to engage society in transformative dialog. The general intent is to enable people to free themselves from their own conditioning to become able to choose their own future.

Helmut Leitner posted the following nice series of excerpts from Paulo Freire’s  in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"  at the end of extended comments on Jessie's Comparing Natural & Conceptual Pattern Languages  which she thought good for discussion here as related to some of Helene's work on Engagement and Action Logics.    The piece is 33 quotes, ~2500 words, the first half on the struggle of freeing one's self from oppression and the second on the form of dialog that Freire advocates.   


Helmut Leitner  -  Pattern theory, as I have coined the word, does not mean a hull for what pattern or a pattern language has to tell. PT is about seeing the analogies between thinking structures (patterns) in different application domains. PT is everything that can be said about patterns, their structure and the processes of their use, that is not specific.

I see considerable parallels (with the eyes of pattern theory) between the work of Christopher Alexander and Paulo Freire. I share my extract from his book "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" here. Wonder whether you resonate with this and can connect this to your perception of what language does:


"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire.
1970.  ISBN 978-0-140-25403-7


  1. From these pages I hope at least the following will endure: my trust in people, and my faith in men and women, and the creation of a world in which it will be easier to love. p22
  2. Concern for humanization leads at one to the recognition of dehumanization, not only as an ontological possibility but as an historical reality. p25
  3. Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both. p26 
  4. But almost always, during the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors, or "sub-oppressors."The very structure of their thought has been conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by which they were shaped. Their ideal is to be men; but for them, to be men is to be oppressors. This is their model of humanity. p27
  5. The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion. p29
  6. Since it is a concrete situation that the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is established, the resolution of this contradiction must be objectively verifiable. Hence, the radical requirement - both for the individual who discovers himself or herself to be an oppressor and for the oppressed - that the concrete situation which begets oppression must be transformed. 
    To present this radical demand for the objective transformation of reality; to combat subjectivist immobility which would divert the recognition of oppression to disappear by itself, it is not to dismiss the role of subjectivity in the struggle to change structures. On the contrary, one cannot conceive of objectivity without subjectivity. Neither can exist without the other, nor can they be dichotomized. The separation of objectivity from subjectivity, the denial of the latter when analyzing reality or acting upon it, is objectivism. On the other hand, the denial of objectivity in analysis or action, resulting in a subjectivism which leads to solipsistic positions, denies action itself by denying objective reality. Neither objectivism nor subjectivism, nor yet psychologism is propounded here, but rather subjectivity and objectivity in constant dialectic relationship. p32
  7. Given the preceding context, another issue of indubitable importance arises: the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to the other. Theirs is a fundamental role, and has been so throughout the history of this struggle. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people's ability to think, to want, and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people's cause constantly run the risk to fall into a kind of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, that must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts, on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; und trusting people is the indispensible precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in people, which engages him in the struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favour without that trust. p42 
  8. The correct method for a revolutionary leadership to employ in the task of liberation is, therefore, not "libertarian propaganda." Nor can leadership merely "implant" in the oppressed the belief in freedom, thus thinking to win their trust. The correct method lies in dialogue. The conviction of the oppressed that they must fight for their liberation is not a gift bestowed by the revolutionary leadership, but the result of their own conscientização. p49
  9. But the humanist, revolutionary educator cannot wait for this possibility to materialize. From the outset, her efforts must coincide with those of the students to engage in critical thinking and the quest for mutual humanization. His efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power. To achieve this, they must be partners of the students in their relation with them. p56
  10. The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow. In this process, arguments based on "authority" are no longer valid; in order to function, authority must be on the side of freedom, not against it. Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught. People teach each other, mediated by the world, by the cognizable objects which in banking education are "owed" by the teachers. p61 
  11. The point of departure of the movement lies in the people themselves. But since people do not exist apart from the world, apart from reality, the movement must begin with the human-world relationship. Accordingly, the point of departure must always be with men and women in the "here and now", which constitutes the situation within which they are submerged, from which they emerge, and in which they intervene. Only by starting from this situation - which determines their perception of it - can they begin to move. To do this authentically they must perceive their state not as fated and unalterable, but merely as limiting - and therefore challenging. p66
  12. A deepened consciousness of their situation leads people to apprehend that situation as an historic reality susceptible of transformation. Resignation gives way to the drive for transformation and inquiry, over which men feel themselves to be in control. If people, as historical beings necessarily engaged with other people in a movement of inquiry, did not control that movement, it would be (and is) a violation of humanity. Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate human beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects. p66
  13. Problem-posing education, as a humanist and liberating praxis, posits as fundamental that the people subjected to domination must fight for their emancipation. To that end, it enables teachers and students to become Subjects of the educational process by overcoming authoritarianism and an alienating intellectualism; it also enables people to overcome their false perception of reality. The world - no longer something to be described with deceptive words - becomes the object of that transforming action by men and women which results in their humanization. p67
  14. Problem-posing education does not and cannot serve the interests of the oppressor. No oppressive order could permit the oppressed to begin to question: Why? p67
  15. Domination reveals the pathology of love: sadism in the dominator and masochism in the dominated. Because love is an act of courage, not of fear, love is commitment to others. No matter where the oppressed are found, the act of love is commitment to their cause - the cause of liberation. And this commitment, because it is loving, is dialogical. p70
  16. If I do not love the world - if I do not love life - if I do not love people - I cannot enter into dialogue. p71
  17. On the other hand, dialogue cannot exist without humility. The naming of the world, through which people constantly re-create that world, cannot be an act of arrogance. Dialogue, as the encounter of those addressed to the common task of learning and acting, is broken if the parties (or one of them) lack humility. How can I dialogue if I always project ignorance onto others and never perceive my own? How can I dialogue if I regard myself as a case apart from others - mere "its" in whom I cannot recognize other "I"s? How can I dialogue if I consider myself a member of the in-group of "pure" men, the owners of truth and knowledge, for whom all non-members are "these people" or "the great unwashed"? How can I dialogue if I start from the premise that naming the world is the task of an elite and that the presence of the people in history is a sign of deterioriation, thus to be avoided? How can I dialogue if I am closed to - and even offended by - the contributions of others? p71 
  18. Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking. Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education. Education which is able to resolve the contradiction between teacher and student takes place in a situation in which both address their act of cognition to the object by which they are mediated. p74
  19. We must never merely discourse on the present situation, must never provide people with programs which have little or nothing to do with their own preoccupations, doubts, hopes, and fears - programs which at times in fact increase the fears of the oppresses consciousness. It is not our role to speak to the people about our own view of the world, not to attempt to impose that view on them, but rather to dialogue with the people about their view and ours. We must realize that their view of the world, manifested variously in their action, reflects their situation in the world. p77
  20. I consider the fundamental theme of our epoch to be that of domination - which implies the opposite, the theme of liberation, as the objective to be achieved. p84
  21. During their visits, the investigators set their critical "aim" on the area under study, as if it where for them an enormous, unique, living "code" to be deciphered. They regard the area as a totality, and visit upon visit attempt to "split" it by analyzing the partial dimensions which impress them. Through this process they expand their understanding of how the various parts interact, which will later help them penetrate the totality itself. p92
  22. The evaluation meetings represent a second stage in the decoding of the unique living code. As each person, in his decoding essay, relates how he perceived or felt a certain occurrence or situation, his exposition challenges all the other decoders by re-presenting to them the same reality upon which they have themselves been intent. At this moment they "re-consider," through the "considerations" of others, their own previous "consideration." Thus the analysis of reality made by each individual decoder sends them all back, dialogically, to the disjoined whole which once more becomes a totality evoking a new analysis by the investigators, following which a new evaluative and critical meeting will be held. Representatives of the inhabitants participate in all activities as members of the investigation team. p93
  23. In the process of decoding, the participants externalize their thematics and thereby make explicit their "real consciousness" of the world. As they do this, they begin to see how they themselves acted while actually experiencing the situation they are now analyzing, and thus reach a "perception of their previous perception." p96
  24. With all the didactic material prepared, to which should be added small introductory manuals, the team of educators is ready to represent to the people their own thematics, in systemized and amplified form. The thematics which have come from the people return to them - not as contents to be deposited, but as problems to be solved. p104
  25. The important thing, from the point of view of libertarian education, is for the people to come to feel like the masters of their thinking by discussing the thinking and views of the world explicitly or implicitly manifest in their own suggestions and those of their comrades. p105
  26. If true commitment to the people, involving the transformation of the reality by which they are oppressed, requires a theory of transforming action, this theory cannot fail to assign the people a fundamental role in the transformation process. p107
  27. Many persons, bound by the mechanistic view of reality, do not perceive that the concrete situation of individuals condition their consciousness of the world, and that in turn this consciousness conditions their attitudes and their ways of dealing with reality. They think that reality can be transformed mechanistically, without posing the person's false consciousness of reality as a problem or, through revolutionary action, developing a consciousness which is less and less false. p111
  28. We can legitimately say that in the process of oppression someone oppresses someone else; we cannot say that in the process of revolution someone liberates someone else, nor yet that someone liberates himself, but rather that human beings in communion liberate each other. p114
  29. The dialogical theory of action does not involve a Subject, who dominates by virtue of conquest, and a dominated object. Instead, there are Subjects who meet to name the world in order to transform it. p148 
  30. The revolution loves and creates life; and in order to create life it may be obliged to prevent some men from circumscribing life. In addition to the life-death cycle basic to nature, there is almost an unnatural living death: life which is denied its fullness. p 152
  31. The social structure, in order to be, must become; in other words, becoming is the way the social structure expresses "duration", in the Bergsonian sense of the term. p160
  32. In cultural synthesis, the actors who come from "another world" to the world of the people do so not as invaders. They do not come to teach or to transmit or to give anything, but rather to learn, with the people, about the people's world. p161
  33. In cultural synthesis, - and only in cultural synthesis - it is possible to resolve the contradiction between the world view of the leaders and that of the people, to the enrichment of both. Cultural synthesis does not deny the differences between the two views; indeed it is based on these differences. It does deny the invasion of one by the other, but affirms the undeniable support each gives to the other. p162 


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Engagement & Action logic Freire’s in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed"
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