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The president called on his troops to be “pedagogues”. A childish word.

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“You have to show a lot of pedagogy” declared the president of the Social Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, Fadila Khattabi, at the start of the parliamentary debates on the pension reform. In this, she was following the line drawn by Emmanuel Macron, who had urged his troops to “not to be techno, but pedagogues”. Widely used by Alain Juppé during the social crisis of 1995, this word generally appears when things go wrong for a government. It’s a bit like the fire detector of public debate: when it sounds, you have to think about turning off the gas. He is often accompanied by another, “misunderstandings” (variant: “misunderstandings”). We can see the idea being pushed: the reform is great, but the people have not yet fully understood why. Once he’s been taught that clearly, he’ll be fine.

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A little political memory should, however, dissuade the power from posing in this way in overhang, like a monarch granting his lights to subjects. Since a long time, “pedagogy” et “misunderstandings” are the Duponts and Duponds of public debate. They show up when the damage is already done and only make the problems worse. In the current sequence, the French have “understood” very well what is at the heart of the reform, namely the requirement of a very unfairly distributed effort: it concerns neither companies nor retirees, and very few well-educated citizens – the wealthiest.

In this context, the word “pedagogy” can only appear as a display of contempt, even class contempt. As is known, it has been used since ancient Greece (παιδᾰγωγῐ́ᾱ, paidagôgia) to denote leadership, education (conduct, tent) of the child (child, paidos).

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It is therefore an openly infantilizing word. At least one minister has understood this: Olivier Dussopt. During his greetings to the press last month, the Minister of Labor distanced himself from the pedagogy/misunderstanding tandem: “I prefer the explanation, the debate to the pedagogy. Pedagogy always suggests that if people don’t agree with us, it’s because they haven’t understood, and so if they haven’t understood, we have to explain it to them differently.”. Less infantilizing, explanation (from Latin “ex-fold”, unfold) is a much better word. Especially if used in the sense of mutual explanation. For the opponents of the project, moreover, it is in the street that we will explain ourselves. And “fold” the project.

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Source : Nouvelobs

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