JOURNAL ISSUE 11
Conscience as the Essence and Condition of Human Consciousness:
A Challenge to Survival at the Turn of the Century
Professor Dr. Yves-Rastimir Nedeljkovic
A linguistic and, thus, terminological and semantic differentiation between conscience and consciousness points to the true and spontaneous origin of the popular and literary perception of the possibility and reality of a disharmony as well as contradictions between the level, kind, and quality of consciousness and knowledge on the one hand and moral conscience on the other.
However, it can also be stated that the emergence of the term (and, thus, its understanding) which denotes both conscience and consciousness, points to an imperative that they should permeate on another to the greatest possible extent. So, we have found ourselves on the threshold of the logos of the relationship between human consciousness and conscience as a whole an in all of its parts. It is evident that our era, especially the coming one, is severely confronting us with the threat of a discrepancy between man’s increasing technological and other potentials and disastrous voids in his conscience. This discrepancy is based on human knowledge and “shrewdness of mind” (G.W.F Hegel) to gain mastery over nature and mercilessly use its resources by means of it. Consciousness of that fact is not disputable. This calls into question both global and micro conditions for the survival of human life and the future. The study of increasingly more complex problems arising from this relationship represents a specific, continuous thread throughout the history of human thought devoted to oneself, others, and nature, to a unique whole that cannot be dealt with within the scope of this paper.
Today, at the turn of the century and the turn of one millennium to the next, it is necessary, probably more than ever before, to perceive both general and particular conditions, as well as the causes and effects of a discrepancy between consciousness and conscience under conditions of an increasingly faster scientific progress and its technological and social application. And one of the basic (yet insufficiently studied) characteristics of inhumane consciousness is the absence or deviation of conscience. It seems that the level and reliability of conscience are increasingly lagging behind man’s enormous technological power and challenging consciousness of this fact, which is increasing in a geometric progression. The unity of this power and the global economic, political, and military powers is announcing the possible realization of the ancient aspiration to rule and control the world.
The logic and morals of this specific humanistic unity of consciousness and conscience have always been regarded, especially today, as a sine qua non (something that is considered essential) for the survival of humans in the 21st century. 1
The Word “Conscience” and its Notion
The base of the Greek term syneidenai means “to be knowledgeable about, or be involved in something, or be conscious of something.” during the Hellenistic development of the language there emerged the appropriate deverbative syneidesis, which, apart from having the meaning of its verb, has a moral meaning as conscience.
By comparing the elements of the Old Greek word: syn / eidesis with:
Latin: con / scientia
Modern French: con / science
Slavic: s(a) / vijest (whereby the Slavic word vjest denotes knowledge, science, etc.)
We confirm not only their identical structure and direct relationship with the Greek one, but also their Latin origin insofar form is concerned. Thus, they can almost be regarded as its translation. Furthermore, the basic structure of the word consciousness contains the message about a semantic synthesis, that is, the linking of the “common” with “knowledge”. In classical and postclassical Latin, the word conscientia means insight into something that has been done, of which one cannot wash his hands and, thus, has the feeling of guilt: consciousness of something one has done, an internal subjective insight into the moral (non) acceptance of something you have done, or something that might be done. Hence, the ability of a moral evaluation of actions, that is conscience.
This evidently helps us to derive conscience/consciousness as the result of a conscious and, thus, logical and moral evaluation of the effects of one’s own (or collective) actions towards anther individual or others, by using the measures of knowledgeand morals adopted by the human community as a whole, as the criteria. This synthesis2, which is characteristic of the European languages, expresses very precisely the originally and legitimately collective nature of human conscience as a body of knowledge.
The Dictionary of the Serbo-Croation Literary Language, published by Matica Srpska from Novi Sad3, makes a clear distinction between the current use of the word conscience and that of the word consciousness by defining conscience as “the feeling of moral responsibility for one’s actions.” From such a viewpoint, and in the context of our topic, conscience is perceived in the dual dimension of the unique meanings, i.e.:
First, in the one that makes it an integral part of the notion of consciousness.
Second, a specific meaning which enables the identification of the position of conscience in the subject basis of moral judgments about people’s daily actions.
The comprehensive Dictionary of the Croatian or Serbian Language, published by the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts4 devotes five pages to the word svest (consciouness), concentrating on its special terminological and semantic contents linked to knowledge, perception of something by one’s mind, reason, or intellect. This points to the ancient Slavic origin of this word, “s-ved-ti”, and characteristic linguistic combinations, among which I wish to emphasize those with the possessive pronoun (my, your, our), the adjectives concerning the subject, i.e., the carrier of consciousness (human, God’s), as well as one of its qualities (good, bad, blind, sinful, guilty...), or the verbs linking it to some actions or process (to lose, to regain, to do something consciously, to study, to build, to reach, to understand, etc.). Thus, through the logic of the popular and literary language of the Croats and Serbs, we can confirm, inter alia, those three basic characteristics of the word/notion of svijest/svest (consciousness), which are also characterized by:
Individual and collective manifestation;
Numerous qualities based on logical, moral, esthetic, and other values, and;
Characteristics of actions that form part of man’s influence on conscience, or “by means of it.”
Although the authors of this Dictionary evidently tried to make the clearest possible distinction between the words “svest” (consciousness), in which they have succeeded, three sets of characteristics of consciousness, presented at the very beginning, point to conscience as its specific and integral part. After all, the literary example of the word conscience, from the text by the well-known Croatian Franciscan Filip Lastric from the 18th century, “. . . consequently, when you go to confess your sins, try your consciousness and your soul well,”5 points to the idea that the contents and quality of consciousness and prompt its subject (by taking necessary efforts) to study conscience as an essential prerequisite for experiencing the sincere and greatest possible religious and moral catharsis through the act of confessing one’s sins.
At the same time, conscience has the character of “knowledge in general, perception,” as well as a specific meaning which, as it is emphasized in the Dictionary of the Croatian or Serbian Language, denotes “specific knowledge or perception of oneself; knowledge in a moral (ethical) sense, soul, soulfulness, as opposed to consciousness. . .”6 From such a viewpoint, a moral self-analysis, as man’s exposure to the “test of his own conscience” develops on the foundations of consciousness, its ability, will, or obligation to “duplicate” a person, thus enabling him to conscientiously evaluate his actions, regardless of whether they have already been taken, or there is just an intention to do so. Such a logical and moral “reconsideration of one’s actions” has a potential dual effect, projective and preventive. In that sense, this Dictionary reminds us that conscience “torments, makes one feel pangs, irritates, bothers,” but for just these reasons is can be “clear” or “bad” (which naturally depends on its source: consciousness); it can be also be “good, calm, weak, restless, bad, everyone’s”; it can be “calmed”, “satisfied”, and the like. From the viewpoint of a moral evaluation of one’s motive, every human action can be measured as to whether it has been taken “according to one’s conscience,” “for the sake of one’s conscience,” “in the name of one’s conscience.” And if such firm conscience, which is the basic characteristics of individuals and groups, comes into conflict with its own actions, it seems as if life can exert pressure on you with some bitter feeling of shame and repentance. This is just the message handed down to us by the Serbian nun Jefimija almost 600 years ago (in 1399): “I have been destined by my conscience . . .”7
The question as to whether, how and to what extent we engage—while following the echo of Jefimija’s words—in social, educational, and moral work on the development of conscience as the last chance on the road of awakening generations in the name of conscience vis-à-vis the future, is the question for which we can hardly indicate some answers.
The Development of Conscience
One of the most recent and comprehensive specialized French encyclopedic critical dictionaries, which is devoted to social activities8, treats the act of awakening as the way in which human conscience can become aware of itself and capable of evaluation its own actions. On the one hand, it sets an individual’s subjectivity, experience, and thinking into motion and, on the other hand, his attitude toward others, society, and nature. In psychology and psychoanalysis, awakening is the result of one’s work on oneself, with professional assistance (provided, naturally, by a psychologist or psychiatrist.) In social sciences, several forms of awakening have been dealth with by applying a number of techniques such as, for example, conversion, which is proposed by A. Touraine, socio-analysis, etc. In the aforementioned Dictionary, awakening especially denotes the method of collective action, supported by precise philosophy, which was especially developed by Paolo Freire9.
According to Freire, awakening, whose starting point is the rooting of man in his reality, acted as the factor of breaking up that reality. In that stage, awakening can be defined as the process by which men and women form different levels of society are awakened by consciousness of their social and cultural reality, identified according to their ability to overcome alienation and contradictions, and affirmed as the subjects being aware of their history. After becoming capable of mastering their own future, these human groups aspire to critical integration into the reality they wish to transform. It is the question of such an understanding of the process of awakening which, while “focusing on two dialectical elements—action and reflection—can be defined, in the second stage, as the “method of action, pedagogy, of involvement, liberatin education.”
The Process of Awakening
If we continue to follow the train of thought of the world-reputed social educator and practitioner Paolo Freire, we will come across the use of one of the Latin-American linguistic versions as neologism, which denotes the regular social dynamics of a group of individuals in the situation that commits them to pursue common interests and aims, so that they recognize each other in a solid relationship. Thus, they are transformed from a “potential” group-community into an “emerging” one, so that they finally become a real, “organized” community, which will act in a more or less synchronic way, according to its developmental needs. The process evolves in proportion to the increasing consciousness of an individual within his group of the factors interlinking them and making them interdependent and structuring common conditions, thus expanding through the revelation of “collective identity” that is shared by all. The stake is a cultural one, because it leads to an identifying picture.
Proceeding from the concepts of classical German philosophy, from Kant to Hegel, the process of such consciousness-raising in Karl Marx and those inspired by his ideas was extended to classical theory “in itself” into a class “for itself” through the process of developing (self)-consciousness, and, by its subjectivity, class consciousness implies the knowledge and understanding of the notion of classism, but it is not automatically conveyed; it is formed through action in social reality itself. However, the formation of one’s consciousness of the (relative) identity of an individual in the existence and essence of quite different social entities is based on the reality of numerous versions of their direct manifestation, proceeding from a family of local microcosm. In that sense, not only class-consciousness but also all similar forms of social consciousness are formed rather like blurred notions full of abstractions. Hence, such a number of their ideological and political deviations and abuses.
Awareness of something that is common makes up the shared destiny, the destiny of collective identity, cannot be developed without familiarizing the people with something that is both the condition of their life and the necessity that must be shared with others. An impartial dissemination of information, which is expected to produce some collective identity, will be facilitated if some preliminary studies identify the interests, values, common needs, and problems of the population, or a social class, as well as social partners expected to be potential or real allies, or opponents. Transition from one level or content of social and political conscience/consciousness to another is neither mechanical nor linear.
According to Paolo Freire, awakening is based on the three crucial concepts of man, knowledge, and culture. Every man is the potential subject of his own life. In order to realize himself, he must live consciously and in a community. Accordingly, he must free himself rom that which is poisoning that existence “for himself.” As a collective being, he is the subject of history. His specific characteristic is the ability to keep a distance from the subject of his research, from his environment, and thus being able to analyze himself. By the famous Aristotle’s definition, man is a political being. Knowledge enables the rejection of the official knowledge in favor of new models of acquiring knowledge through action, by proceeding from the fundamental needs of people, an analysis of their empirical reality (liberating them from “domesticating” conservative education.) Culture is a harmonious set of answers to every-day questions of life, developed by a given group of people according to the challenges of their environment and actual possibilities for inclusion, while at the same time transforming them.
Meta-ethics, Normative Ethics, and Applied Ethics
This is an opportunity to turn out attention to the characteristic triple approach to the analysis and definition of ethical assumptions. An interest in a meta-ethical analysis of the very nature of an ethical and moral analysis rose abruptly in the middle of the last century. A typical example of a meta-ethical debate is the raising of the question as to whether it is possible and logically justified—in the sense of Kant’s well-known categorical imperative—to take the a priori view that man always acts from the viewpoint of his own interests.
The view of much older normative ethics is based on evidence that man does not necessarily have to be aware of his interests, let alone of someone else’s interests. Therefore, he prepared a specific “moral action guide” through customs and moral standards within the culture corresponding to the coping conditions of any community. They should provide practical answers to numerous and ever-emerging questions concerning the dilemma of how to act. It can stated that Kant and Bentham are typical representatives of normative ethics, whose origins can already be found in Chinese, Sumerian, and Greek teachings. Many discussion about the relationship between meta-ethics and normative ethics, which were held in the second half of the last century, led to a prevalence of the view that, as a rule, meta-ethical studies are permeated with normative ones, almost like the relationship between theoretical and practical approaches. This provided scope for the development of applied ethics, which is especially significant for numerous humanistic activities, implying numerous types of social work.
Applied ethics has developed through the studies of specific means and conditions of the ethical foundations and criteria for the performance of a wide range of human activities, both in social relationships and relations with nature. Theoretical and action studies of applied ethics had already begun in the 1970s. They are still affirmed b y the results of research on the ethics of management, engineering, the Internet, numerous old and new professions, etc.
While addressing the problem relations to the conditions for setting universal moral norms, J. Habermas emphasizes the significance of the fundamental freedom and equality of the members of the human community, whereby he underlies the following three principles:
The principle of universalization, according to which all adopt the perspective of “balancing interests.”
The principle of participation and adoption of a norm by those whose interests are related to said norm.
The principle of consensus in the free adoption of a norm.
The Elements of Forming Conscience
The formation of conscience is based on a continuum of interconnected elements, whereby individuals move during their realization. The most important elements are as follows:
Formation of self-conscience (and consciousness) concerning oneself, one’s situation, and one’s ability to effect some change, which implies the establishment of a motive for searching for change.
Formation of conscience concerning the collective aspects of a problem when others have similar situation or experience.
Formation of conscience that refers not only to the possibility of taking collective actions, but also to the power gained through joint efforts, in relation to an individual; people begin to evaluate the costs and benefits from their involvement in a collective local actions both from their own viewpoint and the viewpoint of their local community.
Formation of conscience concerning the political nature of decisions of local administration in relations to incomes, possibilities, and division of power.
Conscious concern about the way in which the interests of a group are closely related to the interests of some other group, local administration, settlement, or town.
Conscious dealing with general social and economic problem, and engaging in regional, national, and international politics.
A conscious attitude toward the world, which surpasses a simple interest in acquiring knowledge about the events taking place in it; it is the question of a critical approach to one’s own situation and that of one’s fellowmen, an analysis of the phenomena such as the distribution of (natural and public) resources, possibilities for advancement, and power in society.
Methodological Approaches to Stimulating Conscience
Modern thought on awakening has developed a number of methodological approaches, including specifically the following:
Acquiring literacy/awakening, which anticipates not only learning how to read and write, but also attempts to raise reading up to (decoding) a critical review and solving of a problem, as well as writing (transformation) based on an authentic expression of acquired knowledge and personal experiences in the environment in which an individual lives, or the environment of a given society. The first phase consists in expanding the vocabulary of a given group. General issues are raised in the second stage. In other words, human thought is explored in relation to reality and human action in relation to human thought. This operation, which is called “decoding”, proceeds from an analysis of reality, which enables a transition form a specific, local situation to global reality.
Surveying developing conscience/consciousness represents research on conditions for the existence of social categories within people so as to become aware of obstacles to their progress and mobilize themselves against them. It is prepared by the same groups, which, thus, change their passive status as objects into a status of collaborators in this research, whereby animators participate only to provide methodological support. Such research, which is conducted within these groups, includes not only analytical hypotheses about the problems in a given situation, but also the determination of potential actions which would solve one or more problems of a given group of people. The are “awakened” by elaborating the topic, as well as the “object-problem” of the survey, translating it into the answers for the questionnaire or interview and, thus, confirming the hypotheses.
Awakening action, inspired by the practice and ideas of Saul Alinsky and Paolo Freire. It stirs up “driving” events which (as a challenge) mobilize the population (for a critical review of its position and its involvement). It is the question of a collective (group) action, which should bring to light some social tensions, which induce the social forces to take a stand. It revives attention of a conscious/unconscientious community, and reveals some “unusual way”, and detects (obstacles to unjustified) bans. It creates a new situation, transforming confusing popular solidarity into an alliance (of people linked) by joint action.
Cybrnetic World (Cyberworld) as the Politics of the Worst
It is now essential to ensure, in all areas of human activity, a systematic confrontation of consciousness and conscience with erroneous ideas about a pure technological welfare and righteousness of the rule of the new order of human rights. In this regard, the contribution by Paul Virilio10 to the book of conversations with Philippe Pestit11 is especially interesting. It points to four interrelated complexes of the greatest, mythologically disguised, erroneous ideas about pure technological “progress” of today’s world. It is the question of the following:
Transition from the 19th century industrial revolution to the information era at the close of the 20th century, which raises the question about the relationship between the pace of change and political power, as well as about an erroneous idea that real-time technology can contribute to the advancement of democracy.
The emergence of a great problem relating to the means we have at our disposal, so that, by surpassing the Babylonian conurbations, that “tomb of nations”, we can create such a habitat once again in which our social body (and soul?) will rediscover, within a humanistic ecological conception, an appropriate private and public space that will be stimulating for new and more subtle forms and contents of human relations and new needs when the quality of life is higher.
We cannot run away from the actual possibility of universal disaster by remaining inactive and silent. It has been regarded long enough as a “reverse wonder”, as the last “revealer” which enables use to “evaluate the flaws of progress”, leaving their “rectification” to future generations.
What is a war in real time, since the whole atmosphere is “covered” by satellite information and remote controls? What is the future of war when a disaster is not always certain and the time has come to rethink its new appearance?
It can be said that the speed with which the world is changing, is becoming that of the telescopic lens. In other words, television and other media are increasingly contracting both time and space in the way the telescopic lens contracts the horizon by skillfully adapting a one-sided illusion of reality to the taste of its master. The vision of the world is changing and public space is becoming an almost “served” public picture, which we obtain through photographs, film, and television. Do those who shape such a picture consciously have any conscience and how can the evening ritual of the “tele-directed” formation of the consciousness of a large number of semi-educated people, tired of everything, be prevented? And the field of increasingly fiercer, modern economic, social, political, and other battles is becoming increasingly more sensitive and more vulnerable in the “naïve” perception of the “world on the screen”, which guarantees a timely forecasting of any danger and information about everything that is endangering us, thus becoming an essential element of our experiencing the constant waves of dangers, while at the same time assuring us of the safety of the system which takes care of our security . . . and so on, without end, in a circle.
This informative contraction of time and spaces, as the essential feature of a tremendous progress and success of present-day and future technology, with its frightening power of chain multiplication, requires an appropriate technological culture, such as the culture of art. Unfortunately, technological culture has not developed and remains largely elitist. Today it would be necessary to develop the critique of the art of engineering sciences so as to be able to identify the relationships towards it and ensure humanistic domination over it. In this regard, I think that only a detailed and accessible specific critique can spur the progress of global technological culture.
Behind technological and informative globalization, however, there are ongoing preparations for something that has been analyzed by Foucalt as regards the 18th century: great closing. This great closing is before us. It occurs in the absence of geographical space and a break required for communication, which forms part of man’s freedom. In contrast to the fundamental freedoms, such as mans’ freedom to move, man has found himself paradoxically enclosed by speeds and the need not to move at all.
The closeness of the world is being manifested so abruptly, as if we will soon experience the end of the world once again. Not the end of an apocalyptic world, but the world as finiteness. “The time of a finite world is beginning,” said Paul Valery. Today, that is the space of the finiteness of the time that is beginning. As stated by Paul Virilio12, a dramatic element of this closeness lies in the fact that the young cannot conquer the world anymore. It is even difficult to imagine the state of closeness in relations to succeeding generations. The possibilities and the need for offering resistance to the prevalence of the effects of such a phenomenon fall among the key issues of our consciousness and conscience. So, due to the globalization of urban space, the center of the city is not regarded as the center anymore; instead, some cities are becoming the center of the world. Thus, cities are becoming suburbs in relation to a global city. Parallel to the metropolization, a hypercenter, or a metacity, or a giant virtual city is developed. It exists only as the result of urbanizing telecommunications and is “developed on electronic highways.”
The threat of a chain and uncontrolled disaster is hidden behind “technological and scientific progress.” We are less and less facing the risk of a local and precisely located disaster. Instead we are facing the risk of a global disaster which—should it not affect our planet as a whole—it will certainly affect most of those persons who, as the users of specified technology, live a comfortable life, which is directly and highly dependent on it irreproachableness. It seems that we have forgotten the message left to us, say, by great Mahatma Gandhi that “civilization in the true sense of the world does not consist of the multiplication of the needs, but in the conscious limitation. That is the only way to perceive the true fortune and be more easily at the disposal of others.13”
In the unusual dimension of relationships between the “two worlds”, technologically advanced and backward, Paul Virilio offers us a fantastic, authentic story broadcast by television which, by contracting time and space, tells us about a group of Iranian soldiers who surrender to a drone (U.S automatically controlled air vehicle used for reconnaissance), because they knew that behind it’s “eye” there were powerful American aviation and rocket systems that could erase them from the face of the earth in a jiffy. Thus, they literally tried to “induce mercy” in it by putting down their arms in front of it. It seems that on the threshold of undreamed-of wonders of the “electronic era”, there began the materialization of the ancient idea about the all-seeing God’s eye before which man can only lie face downward and pray for mercy. So, the already large-scale telesupervision suddenly revealed itself as the modern almighty “eye”, which is mercilessly impartial and is threatening the disobedient with inevitable punishment.
Conscience as the Measure of Humanity
Under conditions of an increasing threat of ongoing technological and global dehumanization, we are witnessing a specific deification of the human, linked to the events of a higher order: the birth of a planned and free family and modern love, whereby this most precious social relationship is not based on tradition, but on emotions and mutual attraction. In his book devoted to Man Made God or the Meaning of Life, Luc Ferry14 points out that the former “vertical” transcendences, such as God, Country, or Revolution, are being increasingly countered by the transcendence that is “horizontal” and belongs to ordinary people. Does this enable—due to the suppression of conscience as regards the distinction between good and evil—the creation of some kind of Man-(anti-)God, whose conscience definitely contains the conviction that there exists only rights, thus soothing the conscience as the source of one’s sense of duty? the most recent contradictions provide evidence of this: bio-ethnics presents man as he is in a humanitarian way—he is sovereignly shaping the unheard-of sanctities almost without any moral dilemma. If man simply decides to reject the “fruit from the tree of knowledge”, as the curse of the unattainable differentiation between good and evil, this will raise the question of the workability of such a synthesis of his conscience with secular spirituality that could substitute for conscience!
The question of conscience is always confronting us with the rhetoric of difficult duties—the slogans such as “you should, therefore you can,” and the life. As emphasized by Luc Ferry15, such a long-standing, militant rigorism is accompanied by the logic of individualism and contest, consumption and fortune or, in short, by the existence of authenticity, closeness with oneself, which was antiphrastically called “ethics”. Thus, the aims such as “concern for oneself”, one’s welfare, and that of one’s fellowmen, fierce competition, as well as search for material and psychological comfort have replaced the ancient demand for self-sacrifice through the erosion of the feeling of radical dependence on the Divine, or the Nation. It seems as if the flood of secular ethics in our twilight of conscience and duty—in the crazy world of “cyborg” consumption—refers simply to the need for a radical review of the dominant trends of development.
The use of conscience in evaluating one’s own actions anticipates spiritual life in which, like in some “inner dialogue”, the subject of man’s “I”, being aware of some action, is confronted with conscience as a special spiritual subject which is more or less capable of making an impartial, moral evaluation of one’s own, someone else’s, or joint actions. Today, the humanistic intelligentsia in Europe and in the rest of the world is asked about the fall, return, or revival of ethics, and the moral progress or dissolution of humanity in individualism and endless consumption. The parallel debate relating to modern culture does not stop searching for modern expressions of the new or only sensed, yet realistically possible, qualities of humanity and conscience, being a match for the imminent influence of human mind in nature as a whole.
1 This statement forms part of the manuscript devoted to the paradigm of logic and morals of the combination of human consciousness, conscience and duty, as contrasted to the mythomania of power and abstract rights. (Y-R-N)
2 Conscience in Sanskrit, transcribed as Satasatikarshakti, means the “power of differentiating between good and evil,” including the forms of their appearance.
3 Recnik srpsko-hrvatskog knjizevnog jezika, Matica Srpska, V, P-S, Novi Sad 1973, p. 600.
4 Recnik hrvatskog ili srpskog jezika, published by the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, 72/XVII, Zagreb 1960, pp. 250-264 (consciousness), and 62/XIV, Zagreb 1955, pp. 738-739 (conscience).
5 Recnik hrvatskog ili srpskog jezika (svijest): Filip Lastric, Nedilnik dvostruk-govorenja za svaku nedilju, Venice 1766.
6 Ibid., p. 738
7 Ibid., p. 738
8 Dictionaire critique d’Action sociale, Souse la direction de Jean-Yves Barreyre, Brigitte, Bouquet, Andre Chantreau, Pierre Lassus, Collection “Travel Social”, Editions Bayard, Paris 1995, p. 437.
9 Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, Random House, New York 1946; Paolo Freire, L’education: Pratique de la liberte. Ed. Cerf, Paris 1971; Pedagogie des opprimes, Ed. Maspero, Paris 1978.
10 Paul Virilio (1930) is a typical representative of the restless and inquisitive French intellectuals belonging to the middle-aged generation, who are especially concerned with the questions about the meaning of “great values,” imposed by the conditions of life, which did not help to solve any crucial social issues of mankind. Thus, he takes a critical view on the mythology of modern technological “progress”. One should emphasize the significance of Paul Virilio as one of the rarely brave thinkers who are concerned with revealing the danger of cybernetic revolution and rebellion against the fantasies of virtual (artificial) democracy. He is an author who points clearly to the moral, political, and cultural consequences of a “cyberworld” caused by the acceleration of global time. (Y-R-N).
11 Philippe Pestit, French philosopher and journalist.
12 Ibid., p. 57.
13 Mahatma Gandhi: Selections from Gandhi, Nirmal Kumar Bose, ed. Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1948, p. 39.
14 Luc Ferry, L’Homme-Dieu, ou le Sense de la vie, Editions Grasset & Fasquelle, Paris 1996, pp. 250.
15 Ibid., p. 167.
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