One of the questions I had in my dissertation, which remains unanswered, is what is the connection between power and invention. Yesterday, I watched a webcast of David Gervais, a Canadian Law Professor speaking on TRIPS. Some of the things he discussed related to what I discussed in my dissertation, because I asserted that power and invention are deeply connected - since invention often is the result of the exertion of power. Gervais was talking about an international agreement, but one thing he asked is what is the role of the state in innovation (in rhetoric and writing we'd call innovation invention). He pointed out that China, which has much less free speech rights, and is more authoritarian in its approach to "state," is second in the world in innovation (R&D). So, the question is, to what extent is invention forced? I mean, does invention happen outside a democracy - as based on my research I'd say absolutely yes. In fact, those who are oppressed tend to be extremely inventive. So this is something to think about when you consider things like "pre-writing" and "free writing." Things I've never done in my professional writing life. I have never done "clustering." I mean as a writer. I've used this in the classroom. But I've never done this myself, as a professional writer. These are strategies that lack force or power, and so I'm not sure if they even work. I'm really not sure. These are strategies that seem pretty "fake" to me at the present moment in time. On the other hand, I'm not saying you should oppress your students. :)
Yet, I personally prefer a teacher who knows how to get power and use it to benefit me.
Check out slide 52 and I'm ordering Reich's new book.
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