For an education with a party

Image: Will Mu


Anyone who decides on the path of science, knowledge, education, just for having accepted this course for their life, has already taken a side

“The scientific struggle is an armed struggle” (Pierre Bourdieu).

Our premise indicates that education must take the side of enlightenment, emancipation, autonomy, and, notably, act in the fight against all forms of obscurantism, stultification and oppression.

So, first of all, we must understand what is defined by party. If we say that there is or should be education without a political party that directs it in terms of postulates, objectives, meanings, validated contents, then yes, the answer is positive: public education cannot be dominated by a political party. There should not be any political party guiding the universalization of education, since our guide must feed pluralism, diversity, secular, ethical and scientific knowledge.

However, if we think strictly, we can say that political parties have the plausible right to organize their political training courses – and, in this case, obviously, the “school resulting from this would have a party by origin”.

As long as they do not promulgate illegal, immoral, and offensive allegations against humanity, the democratic rule of law, political parties are legitimated – on the left and right of the political spectrum – to form their cadres.

On the other hand, if we postulate that education should not take sides in the face of reality, facts and actors in history and politics itself, then the answer is the opposite. Education must take the side of freedom, enlightenment that formulate postulates specific to emancipation and the postulation for equal opportunities, as well as seeking to eliminate conditions that promote inequality, prejudice and discrimination.

There is no neutrality in knowledge, education, science – much less will there be neutrality, even in the indication of the principles, goals, logics and processes outlined.

Neutrality, because it does not exist, already indicates the selection of the premises, the starting point, the selected themes, the object and the objective that we aim for: the choice of the object already indicates the conceptual and ideological framework that we have: the worldview that directs us, consciously or unconsciously, is an open door through which we continually enter.

There is no neutrality because no one is a tabula rasa, nor are babies marked by their genetic heritage – genetics that will be articulated with the cultural heritage and with the social environment present in their survival.

The scientist, the professor, the researcher, the reader – anyone –, everyone makes choices all the time, that is, they take sides at all times. Relationships, business, desired education, commitment, job search, having children or not, obviously, all of this is taking sides – the side that interests each one at certain times, under necessary, determined circumstances, interdependent on our wills.

Birth rate and infant mortality are specific aspects of public management that are linked to or reflect choices, personal options. The regulation of abortion, the maintenance or expansion of status quo legal are political decisions – the use (or not) of a referendum for a PEC to modify the Federal Constitution of 1988, in this aspect and in others of the vital space, is, equally, a political decision that incurs political consequences. That is, all of this points to the worldview we have and which monitors the side we take in these situations, as individuals and as a society.

If we announce that girls wear pink and boys only blue, we are taking sides, the side of a conservative, reactionary standard for the practice of social control. If we demand that the working class has guaranteed access to public education, but in order to acquire technical knowledge, we take sides. However, if, on the contrary, we advocate social diversity and access to quality content in public schools, as a prerequisite for the formation of conscious citizenship, we take sides.

We took sides when we opted for military school and religious or financial education – for young people who only have school lunches as a source of food –, and without the slightest notion of what social pacification is, without offering sex education. Even knowing that hundreds, thousands of girls and teenagers get pregnant without care, without structural conditions to be mothers, we insist on the same party. And even if they die in clandestine abortions...

We took a stand when, in this so-called “new” high school, we replaced Portuguese and mathematics with “trails that lead to discovering 'what's going on around there'”. Some still ask, why sociology and philosophy?

We take sides when we divert, overprice, millions of reais in the acquisition of robotics kits; we take sides when we robotize students.

In this same line, if we fight for the working class to be its own spokesperson, forming its organic intellectuals – unifying the Homo sapiens to gay faber in social class positions –, as Antonio Gramsci (2000) wanted, then, we sided with the emancipation of the working class.

We take sides as humanity, as we are social beings who have stood out from the determinations of nature, precisely because we provoke political inflections in all dimensions of our “being social”. The choice to have the State-form (or not) determines what a certain social group will be, and is clearly a political decision of the group or its leaders – as political anthropology teaches (BALANDIER, 1969).

Or, in other words, we are political animals; our sociability stems from “doing politics”, that is, from decision-making, and from the influences/consequences that spread to others.

As we said, the choice of the research object, its treatment and how to develop it, in itself, already refer to decision-making as an a priori. The “technical a priori is a political a priori”, would tell us Herbert Marcuse,[I] as much as “the struggle for science is an armed struggle”, in the words of Pierre Bourdieu (2004).

Therefore, there is a very serious conceptual and methodological error in the mere assumption that the choice for science, for knowledge, for education, can be acts not determined by effects external to the very condition of its agent.

Of course, resisting pressure is also a result of taking sides (or not). If the market is highly competitive and rewards for accelerated and accumulated production, participating in this game of patents (or not) is up to each individual: many of them enter due to lack of knowledge of this mercantile logic, often of the objective conditions that define their areas of activity or, simply, because they yearn to participate in this game – which is not exempt from being a game of power, often brutal and stultifying.

Thus, resisting these pressures means taking sides – remembering that, whichever side you take, in these situations, there are inherent costs and benefits, effects and responsibilities.

Anyone who decides on the path of science, knowledge, education, just because he has accepted this course for his life, has already taken a side. Here, a side was taken against obscurantism, denialism, the dominant ideologies in most (or in all) apologetic discourses, such as those that defend flat earthism, non-vaccination, denialism, irrational resignation in the face of any supposed destiny.

Therefore, adopting science, the path of knowledge, education that takes the side of freedom, autonomy, inclusion, which denounces elitist capaticism (meritocracy discourses), in the face of absolutely unequal and oppressive realities (for the weak side of the social equation), all of this is evidently a decision-making, taking the side of elucidation, of the search for conscience, for the maintenance of social intelligence and its rationality.

We said that there is no neutrality in the face of facts and that is correct, after all, refusal, escapism in the face of the obligation to act, for example, imply and impact on omission – and omission can even be configured as a crime.

There is no crime of alienation – unless you think of a one-party State –, but there is a crime of lesa patria for anyone who invests against public vaccination, democracy, human rights, against the poor, black and oppressed people.

There is still a thesis to be evaluated, that the Federal Constitution of 1988 supports the Right to conscience, especially in the chapter dedicated to education, in addition to when it lists the principles that govern us constitutionally, such as pluralism, diversity, teleology, the very right to have rights in the environmental State of the XNUMXst century, the civilizing process, the paradigms of inclusion, of social elucidation as a result of emancipation through knowledge; in addition to respect and full obedience to human dignity.

In addition, and there is much more, in this summary we can think that everything and everyone who denies the right to conscience adopts the anti-popular, anti-democratic path, playing against the slightest idea of ​​citizenship expanded by access to knowledge, education and the scope of science.

Well, defending this right to conscience is the party we are taking at this moment, defending it as a support of civility, of social intelligence mediated by active individuals, since we are social beings in articulation with the various autonomies, political animals aware of “doing politics”, and as an intimate support of each one of us who are gathered in search of democratic coexistence and knowledge that aggregates and transforms us as beings in formation, in progress – in order to know ourselves a little more.

As Max Weber (1979) would say, I took the path of a vocation for politics, of living for politics – and not of politics; in this way, I made or scheduled the vocation of the Republic, of the vital public space.

This is the side I take every day as soon as I wake up, and it's the last side I take when I go to sleep.

*Vinicio Carrilho Martinez He is a professor at the Department of Education at UFSCar.


BALANDIER, Georges. Political Anthropology. São Paulo: European Diffusion of the Book & Publisher of the University of São Paulo, 1969.

BOURDIEU, Pierre. The social uses of science: towards a clinical sociology of the scientific field. São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2004.

GRAMSCI, Antonio. COUTINHO, Carlos Nelson (Org.). Prison Notebooks. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Civilization, 2000.

MARCUSE, Herbert. Technology, War and Fascism: collection of articles by Herbert Marcuse. São Paulo: Editora da UNESP, 1999.

WEBER, MAX. Sociology Essays. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores, 1979.


[I] “The worshiped machine is no longer dead matter, but becomes something resembling a human being […] Rational behavior becomes identical with the factuality that preaches reasonable submission […] But this 'internalization' of coercion and authority has reinforced, rather than attenuated, the mechanisms of social control […] The objective and impersonal character of technological rationality endows bureaucratic groups with the universal dignity of reason […] For such individuals society appears as an objective entity […] it is Himmler, Göring or Ley, but the Gestapo, the 'air weapons', the work front” (MARCUSE, 1999, p. 81-119).

the earth is round exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.

See this link for all articles