Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

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Dialogue is a means of coming to a consensus on truth

Dialogue and Praxis: The Most Civilized Way to Resolve an Issue

We can grasp how colonial oppressive social conditions dehumanized a certain group of people, notably the colonized people, by looking back at previous historical occurrences. One can also see how these movements worked to rehumanize those colonized people by changing the oppressive conditions. That is why many social scientists characterize a liberation movement as cultural and political action taken by oppressed people against their oppressors rehumanize themselves and end dehumanization. From that perspective, a revolutionary movement is purely an act of humanization.

The basic argument of this article is that, while dehumanization is used as a justification for initiating a revolutionary movement, the movement’s ultimate purpose is to humanize the oppressed. In reality a revolutionary movement is, at its core, a process of cultural change aimed at liberating humanity from oppressive systems. As a result of this process of liberating humanity, the oppressed people who participate in the enterprise will become increasingly human. However, many people will find it difficult to remember the movement’s main goal, leading them to mistake being a man for being the polar opposite of who they are now. And it’s all due to oppressors’ prescriptive knowledge, which they’ve had for a long time.

Even though oppressed people’s ideal is to be a man, being a man means being an oppressor to them. As this is their idea of what it means to be a man, they will act like one at some point during their revolutionary journey. When such things occur, their humanizing acts become dehumanizing, as often seen in the history of revolutionary movement. So, they must constantly remind themselves of their ultimate goal of re-humanizing society. There is a significant need for frequent checks to ensure that they are on the right track of revolution.

For example, if they annihilate a member of their organization instead of allowing for debate, simply because he or she holds a different opinion, where does this leave their humanizing acts? At that point, we can consider the movement to be disconnected from its goal.  It can make their entire effort pointless at times.

If you’ve joined a genuine revolutionary organization devoted solely to humanizing acts, you’ll have to become more and more human over time. Every way you deal with situations will be qualitatively different from how oppressors act in similar situations. This will become a reality only after we have changed our perception of what it means to be a man as opposed to how oppressors have defined and preached to us.

We must reject oppressor-imposed cultural values and attitudes. To create a fertile ground for everyone to become fully human, we must negate the inhuman attributes within us. However, we appear to frequently accept oppressors’ cultural values and attitudes as a basic requirement for becoming a complete man. This delusion prevents us from seeing what a man truly is. As a result, the revolutionary movement will be transformed into a dehumanizing project at the end of the day.

We have seen in the past many revolutionary movements to be ended up in the suppression of humanity rather than the liberation of humanity. People all over the world criticized and branded them as reactionaries in some cases. They were frequently branded as such due to their use of oppressors’ methods in dealing with or resolving major contradictions.

As one of many radical ways to avoid this situation, they must engage in praxis while fighting for liberation. This ensures that no one gets the impression that a certain viewpoint is being forced upon them.  No one should objectify or dismiss others as ignorant because doing so is akin to accepting oppressors’ methods of maintaining power.  This will eventually lead to dehumanization, perpetuating the oppressive system.

Now it is crucial to figure out or name the method that the oppressors have used to suppress humanity.  We can call it anti-dialogical method if we use Paulo Freire’s terminology, in which oppressors objectify, conquer, and own the people they seek to control. People are indoctrinated with oppressors’ values and attitudes in order to dehumanize them, because oppressors’ power is based on people’s powerlessness.  True revolutionaries, on the other hand, take a completely different approach. For example, a true revolutionary group will engage in dialogue while resolving a conflict, in contrast to them.

When a true revolutionary sees this method in action, they must remind themselves that revolutionary praxis is a unity. Leaders cannot treat the people or his fellow revolutionaries as objects or their possession. It must be stopped right away, or they will become oppressors who suppress humanity. In other words, it will turn them, the leaders, into masked dominators.

So, revolutionary leaders should be dialogic people. No one should be in charge of the other, but they should cooperate. It doesn’t mean there won’t be a leader; rather, it means that the leader can’t objectify the people and blindly lead them. People must not be conquered, divided, or manipulated in any way. When dealing with issues that the movement faced, dialogic tools such as dialogue, logic, cooperation, and unity must be used instead. This is the only way for a liberation movement to fully humanize or liberate humanity.

To conclude this paper, I’d like to stress the significance of theorizing liberation methods.  This is to counter oppressors’ already established theories of dominance and dehumanization.  I strongly believe that the above-mentioned dialogue and logic-based method is the only basis for developing such a theory as demanded by a movement seeking to liberate humanity. Every leader who claims to be fighting oppression and suppression of humanity must now sign up for the dialogic tool of humanizing actions. They must let go of their fear of losing control over others. So it’s time to say goodbye to the oppressive anti-dialogic control and dominance tools they’ve used in the past. Or else, the social movement you call “liberation” or “revolutionary” will continue to oppress and dehumanize people rather than liberate them. And, most tellingly, the more people are dehumanized, the less human the liberators will become.

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