Part 6: University and the teacher that truly changed my life, a Native Algerian Berbere Philosopher/Manager/Psychologist!
So as you can probably see in Part 5, I could write an entire book just on our 7-month European journey, but I digress, this is NOT an autobiography, but more of a treatise to awaken our deeper selves, our souls, our spirits, our inner Christ, call it what you will, but the object of this book is to help awaken all of mankind including myself who is immersed in the process at the moment. I would like to point out that, unlike the previous blogposts about my ebook, there are no personal pictures in this one.
One of my most profound A-HA, awakening experiences was after being brainwashed for two years at the HEC – Hautes Études Commercial, Quebec’s leading business school, using Harvard Case studies among others, into becoming a docile pawn in a mega-corporation, Omar Aktouf woke me up to a much vaster reality, and one that was very dire indeed for much of the Earth’s inhabitants, animal and plant life included!
I recall on our very first class, he sat us down to view Roger and Me(1989), my introduction and beginning of a lifelong bromance with Michael Moore’s work. It was an eye-opener to the despicable actions of GM to close down a number of Flint, Michigan auto plants the towns life source, bleeding it’s population down from 80000 in 1978 to 50000 in 1992, nearly creating a ghost town. In 2013 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. (Wikipedia) Basically what is depicted was an international mega-corporation that didn’t (and don’t) give a rats ass about the local population, any local population really, if it negatively affects their bottom line. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t so innocent to not know what was going on in the world at that point, having travelled quite a bit, having volunteered for a few environmental groups, but, what this movie and teacher did was awaken me further to the plight of our planet, and all of its inhabitants, all the natives, the animal life, the plant life, all of its life support system COULD NOT indefinitely withstand the onslaught of Capitalism…
At the film’s climax, Moore finally confronts Smith at the chairman’s annual 1988 Christmas message in Detroit. Smith is shown expounding about generosity during the holiday season, concurrently as Sheriff Fred Ross evicts another family from their home. After Smith’s speech, Moore hounds Smith, addressing him from a distance. The face-to-face encounter between Michael Moore and Roger B. Smith is shown as this:
“Moore: Mr. Smith, we just came down from Flint, where we filmed a family being evicted from their home the day before Christmas Eve. A family that used to work in the factory. Would you be willing to come up with us to see what the situation is like in Flint, so that people…?
Smith: I’ve been to Flint, and I’m sorry for those people, but I don’t know anything about it, but you’d have to…
Moore: Families being evicted from their homes on Christmas Eve.
Smith: Well, I’m… listen, I’m sure General Motors didn’t evict them. You’d have to go talk to their landlords.
Moore: They used to work for General Motors, and now they don’t work there anymore.
Smith: Well, I’m sorry about that.
Moore: Could you come up to Flint with us?
Smith: I cannot come to Flint, I’m sorry.”
Dejected by his failure to bring Smith to Flint, Moore proclaims that “as we neared the end of the 20th century”, as the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, and “it was truly the dawn of a new era.” (From Wikipedia)
Did I mention that Omar was a fan of Das Kapital, Karl Marx’s communist manifesto? The most important part of it, he claimed was that the ultimate conclusion of capitalism besides the complete exploitation of labor for profit was the end of Nature and all in it. Because it also believed in continuous material growth, which of course is impossible on a finite planet, as we are not yet star-faring people. I would like to point out that I am not a Communist, Socialist, Marxist, Statist or any other “ist”. I am human first and foremost and am an Earthling too.
The purpose of Capital: Critique of Political Economy (1867) (Das Kapital) was a scientific foundation for the politics of the modern labor movement.
In 2017, the historian Gareth Stedman Jones wrote in the scientific journal Nature that:
“What is extraordinary about Das Kapital is that it offers a still-unrivaled picture of the dynamism of capitalism and its transformation of societies on a global scale. It firmly embedded concepts such as commodity and capital in the lexicon. And it highlights some of the vulnerabilities of capitalism, including its unsettling disruption of states and political systems. […] If Das Kapital has now emerged as one of the great landmarks of nineteenth-century thought, it is [because it connects] critical analysis of the economy of his time with its historical roots. In doing so, he inaugurated a debate about how best to reform or transform politics and social relations, which has gone on ever since.”
I was always so eager to go to that class!
Have you ever felt this for any teachers, course, study group or mastermind group?
It is truly the best feeling in the world! You know that feeling of learning about something that actually matters! There was so much bullshit at that school, it was pure brainwashing. Critical thinking was kept to a minimum like I believe in most curriculum and schools.
You are taught just enough to do your job well, yet not enough to give you a good reason to do the job in the first place, except to survive, pay for your car, your house, your weekly vacation, and of course to put a little away so you can enjoy retirement at 65-70 (or more soon) and continue with more less the same lifestyle you had before (minus 40% about), minus the 40-50 hours at work or transit for work. To keep you as a debt-slave, easily manipulated through cultural programming, etc…
The legendary Charles Bukowski sums it up well here:
If you want out of this situation, check THIS out.
The greatest teacher I ever had gave me the opportunity to see the world with the eyes of a genuine humanist.
For this, Omar, I am infinitely grateful.
– Stephane St-Pierre
I am going to end this here for today, even though I could go on forever with Omar Aktouf’s humanist philosophy and outlook, but I digress. There will be so much more in Part 7 out in the next week or so.
And please take a moment to add a little comment below and let me know how you are enjoying the blog so far, and this e-book in the making? Thanks in advance
End of Part 6.
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