Marxist Paulo Freire is one of the most influential critical pedagogues. Critical theory, developed by Marxist Max Horkheimer, is the basis of critical pedagogy, which is the Marxist method for educating students in America’s public school system. Wherever you find critical theory in use, you have found Marxism. Accordingly, critical pedagogy is thoroughly Marxist and is significantly influential in public education in the USA. Freire’s books, such as Pedagogy of the Oppressed and The Politics of Education, are highly prominent in the Marxification of American education. James Lindsay says, “Pedagogy of The Oppressed is the third most cited book in the social sciences and humanities. It has sold over one and a half million copies. It is lionized in virtually every single school of education in North America. And the book is [an] absolutely communist tract about changing our education system into something completely different.” Reflective of his Marxist beliefs, Freire believes our system of education, where the teacher is the educator, and the student is the one being taught from the teacher’s acquired knowledge, is a form of oppression. This form of education must be destroyed so the student and teacher can be liberated from the oppressor/oppressed (teacher/student) dynamic.
Freire argues that the teacher must become a teacher/student, and the student must become a student/teacher. In other words, the teacher learns what to teach from the student instead of from her studies or expertise. The teacher’s knowledge is to be drawn from the students, which always focuses on an oppressor/oppressed dynamic and minimizes the teaching of objective facts flowing from the teacher’s training. Then standing in solidarity with oppressed students, teachers seek to motivate them to become involved in liberating the rest of the people from our oppressive capitalist and Christian-influenced society. Included in critical pedagogy is a relentless effort to demonstrate how unjust America and our form of government are because they are built on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. That is to say; critical pedagogy teaches students to become revolutionaries.
Freire provides several reasons why teachers teaching objective facts is oppressive. The following are some:
-the teacher teaches and the students are taught
-the teacher talks and the students listen—meekly
-the teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined
-the teacher chooses and enforces his choice, and the students comply
-the teacher chooses the program content & the students (who were not consulted) adapt to it
Resultantly, when you see the teacher’s role brought to the same level as the students, or the emphasis shifts from teaching objective facts to emancipating students, or the focus is on the evil of American capitalism and the virtue of socialism, you are witnessing our children being trained to be Marxist revolutionaries.
This trend has been growing for decades; consequently, we see less teaching of facts and disciplines necessary to have a productive life based on Judeo-Christian values in the great country of America and more teaching that America is a failed and oppressive society, despite being flooded at every border with immigrants. In critical pedagogy, the emphasis is only on America’s failures and oppression. Critical race theory and its impact on our culture, particularly in education, is one of the most evident examples of critical pedagogy and its influence.
One problem with quoting Marxists is that they rarely use words the way we do, according to the way most Americans understand them, which causes us to misunderstand what they mean by what they say (which is somewhat intentional) so that we either tend to agree with their statement, or we dismiss them for not understanding what they are talking about. Both are errors on our part that favor them. We must constantly evaluate their language and use of words from a Marxian perspective rather than ours.
For example, when Freire says, “The teacher talks and the students listen—meekly,” he does not mean respectfully or quietly. Instead, he overstates reality to ridicule America and easily influence people toward Marxism. Of course, they always do this with capitalism, Christianity, and whatever is against Marxism so they can present our system in the worst light—called problematizing—and Marxism in the best light.
He is really making a caricature of our education system in which teachers study and learn their subject and then teach it to the students; to a Marxist like Freire, this is oppressive. Rather than making students active subjects in what is taught, they are merely passive objects to be filled with the knowledge the teachers think they need to know. It is an oppressive system because the teacher determines the lesson rather than learning it from the oppressed students.
To further understand Freire’s words, one has to recognize his caricatures of our system of education, in which the teacher is trained in a particular discipline and passes that knowledge to her students. These students will, in turn, pass this knowledge to others or use it in a job or career and become contributing members of society to strengthen and perpetuate the existing system of government, economics, values, faith, and culture. He caricatures our model of education by frequently referring to it as the “banking model,” which he contrasts with the Marxist model, labeled “the problem-solving model” of education—also referred to in Marxist circles as the libertarian or emancipatory model. The latter is good, and the banking model with teaching and objectivity is faulty, oppressive, and perpetuates the dreadful status quo—the present system of capitalism, law, and meritocracy.
It is oppressive because it supports the concept that the teacher instructs and the student learns facts and so-called objective ideas. According to Marxism, the great evil of the banking system is that it stops students from developing a ‘critical consciousness,’ which is necessary for revolution. He says, “In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing . . . The raison d’être of libertarian education, on the other hand, lies with its drive towards reconciliation. Education must begin with the solution of the teacher-student contradiction, by reconciling the poles of the contradiction so that both are simultaneously teachers and students. This solution is not (nor can it be) found in the banking concept. On the contrary, banking education maintains and even stimulates the contradiction through the following attitudes and practices, which mirror oppressive society as a whole.”
First, note that he portrays our view of students as those who “know nothing,” which is a caricature. Contradiction is a word Marxists use to show America as unfair and even unjust. For example, we believe in equal rights for all, yet, they would say the student does not have equal rights to the teacher in the classroom; thus, a contradiction. We believe in equal opportunity for all, but not all make the same amount of money; thus, a contradiction. Of course, these are not actual contradictions, but they exist as contradictions to them because they look at America through the prism of idyllic Marxian socialism.
Accordingly, their goal in education is to teach the injustices of America, pitting groups against each other, in order to radicalize our children so they will join the revolution and help overthrow America and replace her with communism. That is their goal, which they work tirelessly to obtain, and it is the reason “Johnny can’t read.”
Sovereign Nations, “The Great Gaslight,” 13:24-13:44, YouTube, December 16, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9R4YQ6_Mv8, accessed 1/12/2022.
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, translated by Myra Bergman Ramos (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), 73.
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, translated by Myra Bergman Ramos (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), 72-73.