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January 18, 2011 / Mike Biggs

Thinking Lessons Revisited DFQ#8 Richard Hoggart, British sociologist

Richard Hoggart, British sociologist, director of UNESCO and author of First and Last Things:

“Democracy is never an abstraction. It has to be rooted
in a sense of our own particular culture, of its virtues,
strengths, limitations … It arises from the people
we have known, loved, respected as we grew up, whether that
was among the urban or rural working class,
or the conscientious and public-spirited among the middle class,
or the upper class.”


Daily Feedback Question:

What can you take from this to think about today?

My response:

The first thing I notice is that he qualifies the lower, working, and middle classes but does not qualify the upper class. Does this imply that the upper class is by virtue ‘conscientious and public-spirited’? This is probably a pedestrian observation.

The modus operandi of anything needs to be part of the core organic make up. For example democracy came about due to market forces, and has become and is part of the fabric.

Thinking is the same, it needs to be part of what we do, not something else we do.

Democracy is a fine example of an organic system that has the ability to self reflect and change it’s own very structure to suit new situations. Unlike a rigid system of Government or Religion that has a set of systems and procedures that are unchangeable and isolated from its constituents.



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