3 March, 2024


Replacement Of Political-Governing With Political-Management

By Rehan Derrick Fernando –

Rehan Derrick Fernando

The whole political world is in chaos with many political ideologies, which have in a way turned upside down the ordinary systems of people or rather obstructed people-building capacities. As I have discussed in one article published in a journal called Colombo Telegraph, it is the dominant world system that has harmed the conscientization of people in which peoples’ genuine socio-political capacities have been destroyed[1]. The etymological meaning of the word ‘governing’ is to have the right and the authority to control something such as a country or an institution [Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary]. It indicates that the power is either given or taken to control something or a group of people. The definition of the word ‘management’ on the other hand explicates it as an act or skill of dealing with people or institutions successfully. In other words, it implies and creates more space for people to exercise their conscientization more freely, because it is a skill that one has got but not a given or taken controlling power or authority. Wherefore, in this article, my research is to introduce the term political-management as a tool that could be the best paradigm to replace the term political-governing. 

Problem-posing governing structure

The primary harm in the system of political governing is dehumanization. When the power and authority are either given or taken through mere election campaigns, the phenomenon and philosophy of humanization are absolutely disrespected and harmed. The final outcome, therefore, is demonization, which is none other than stolen humanity[2]. Such a methodology can be considered as the distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human. Within this so-called process of dehumanization, the oppressors create sub-oppressors. These sub-oppressors are the persons who create a reliable mechanism for their primary oppressors to continue to be in power. In countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, China, Russia, and especially in North & South American countries; the ‘sub-oppressors’ structure for ‘false-generosity,’ in which they tend to do charitable works to get the attention of the public. Since people are more emotional due to poverty, it is quite unchallenging and undemanding for sub-oppressors to pave the way for their main oppressors.

One of the major crises of political governing is creating fear of freedom. Generally, freedom requires autonomy and responsibility. Freedom can never be situated outside of a person; it must first exist within; then exercising freedom outside happens automatically. However, a political governing structure is so selfish that it creates a ‘mythical freedom’ both internally and externally among people and forces people to follow the agenda of oppressors. Such a process does not allow people to struggle to transform human society, whereas, it primarily creates a prison-cave. Within the premises of the mythical freedom that any political governing makes does not allow people to work at critical discovery level. For instance, this is what precisely happened in the Vatican from 1978. After the death of Pope John Paul I, two conservative popes, both John Paul II [1978-2005] and Benedict XVI [2005-2013] maintained a rigorous dominant system, in which there was no freedom of thoughts in the church. What existed in the dealings of the church is none other than ‘fear of freedom.’

Solidarity is one essential component and aspect of any society. As Freire asserts “solidarity requires that one enter into the situation of those with whom one is solidarity; it is a radical gesture.”[3] Solidarity in other words is nothing but ‘being for other.’ Any corrupted political governing system will never allow people to work in solidarity. That is why some genuine revolutions in history were squashed and trampled down. It has in a way blocked the space reserved for a real confrontation of the realities both critically and analytically[4].

A power-oriented political governing is only concerned with the mere transition of authority and hierarchy, which sometimes comes as a result of forcefully-taken-wealth. It is quite clear when we consider the wealth of North America. Such a political governing setup lacks the praxis of commitment. Therefore, unveiling the forms of oppression is a mere process for such authorities. When there is the absence of the praxis of commitment, then there begins violence. Violence is initiated by those who oppress, exploit, and who fail to recognize other men and women as persons[5]. This is precisely the negation of humanity. Often people think that violence in history has been initiated by the oppressed, but a careful rereading about history reveals how the oppressors have made the first step in an option for the violence. African slavery in North America and the violation of their rights are classic instances.

Political governing methods, which come from the hands of oppressors will never allow a revolution to happen. A revolution is nothing but the conscientization of the oppressed. It also rejects mere dependence on the oppressors. To understand the essence of a revolution, any political system needs to recognize and realize the meaning of a true pedagogical action, which leads toward revolution. For an instance, during the white supremacy of Donald Triumph, he failed to understand the revolution began with the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed though he continued to murmur for nine minutes saying “I can’t breathe.” Revolution began with those three words because it was a conscious murmur for life, but a president like Triumph whose head was swollen from power and wealth and with political governing supremacy did not pay single attention. That revolution continued until the penalty was given to the white policeman who killed Floyd and Joe Biden confirmed “no one above law.”

The political governing methodology also indicates a banking system. This is a clear fact in Asia’s party politics. The governing system deposits what the authorities want. It does not allow the public to transform and creatively apply their lives. Such a dominant system was obvious during the feudal era too. The church during the medieval period dominantly maintained a system in which the church took the upper hand deposited what the church wanted. Nobody was allowed to question the church’s procedure. It is precisely a banking structure, where we see many systematic errors. Such a governing body is nothing but a dictatorship. Concepts such as militarization and colonization are the results of any dictatorship.

Management as a mutual process

A transition from governing system to a management system can be alien to the political world. However, it has significant and tremendous meaning when we go into a deeper study both academically and practically. Let me brief this new gesture with a classic instance. In a family both nuclear and extended, if either father or mother begins to govern the family, there will no mutual understanding and concern. This is what mostly happens in patriarchal societies. A father-centered and father-dominant setup has caused many problematic situations. Thus, when the father or mother manages the family, there appears mutual trust, creative space for all, family love, and so on are timely built.

Political management primarily is concerned with radical transformation, creativity, and knowledge. I have discussed that these three elements, which are absolutely missing in political governing. It is in these three elements; political management allows any genuine revolution. Since political management is for transformation, creativity, and knowledge sharing, there is no banking system, which means the deposition of ideas of the persons who manage a system. What prevails is nothing but a mutual exchange of ideologies. That type of conscientization is what political management aims for. Political management, therefore, gives enough space for people’s conscientization. So, there is no threat to people’s consciousness. I also pointed out how political governing in a way domesticating the reality in which a governing method does not work for liberational praxis; whereas political management knows the primary essence of the liberational praxis of people because liberational praxis of people depends on authentic thinking. This authentic thinking is guided by mutual communication. In the deposition of the ideas of a political governing system, which means in the banking system, there is oppression, overwhelming control that leads to death, but political management on the other hand leads toward creativity, which implies life. My point here is that political governing is a practice of domination, whereas political management is a practice of freedom.

One of the essential perspectives of political management is the dialogical formula. Dialogue is a human phenomenon. It is a praxis. Human existence cannot be silenced by false words, but it is being nourished by a mutual dialogue of life. Political management, therefore, gives space for this dialogue of life to happen. In political management, dialogue must be a dialogue with the poor. Dr. Michael Rodrigo, in his work toward inter-religious harmony, promoted dialogue creating an accessible opportunity for the newness of life. He aimed towards newness, which engages with new age and a new society. For him “newness or conversion means a radically a new person.”[6]

In political management, both work and words must go simultaneously. Wherefore, no false words should obstruct the works of political management because both words and works are needful partners in praxis[7]. Political governing has caused many civil wars in history since there was a radical absence of works, words, and praxis. In other words, conflicts, civil wars, intended violence, oppression, suppression, torture, massacre, and so on are primary parts of political governing. Instead, political management looks for transformation, creativity, revolution, and knowledge sharing. It also looks for dynamics of liberational activities, in which people’s free will is respected and upheld. Even illiterate persons must profit from political management. Such a managing body is called a culture of transformation, but not a culture of silence as political governing promotes.

From hypocrisy to genuine social revolution

There is an urgent need to experience a shift from hypocrisy to a genuine social revolution in Sri Lanka. People have to understand and realize this urgent need, which must be an up-side-down thinking revolution. All people of goodwill and the people who need true democracy must understand the danger of the pretended cold democracy of Ranil Wickremesinghe, killing regime of Rajapaksa family, and over theoretical left-wing parties and work hard to get rid of this sub-culture and opt for a practical revolution, which brings solid liberation because Ranil’s pretended cold democracy, Rajapaksa’s killing regime and mere left theories are results political governing in this country. Therefore, it implies an alternative social revolution.  For such a social revolution, a new man must be born in all corners. It is apt to recall the words of Ernesto Che Guevara, “we revolutionaries often lack the knowledge and intellectual audacity to face the task of development of a new human being by methods of different from conventional ones, and the conventional methods suffer from the influence of the society that created them.”[8] Further, Che also insists on a true revolution that is guided by strong feelings of love. Therefore, according to him, it is impossible to think of an authentic revolutionary without the feeling of love. In such a revolution, Che strongly insisted on revolutionary leaders who must have a large dose of humanity, a large dose of a sense of justice and truth to avoid falling into dogmatic extremism and isolation from the masses. In my concept of political management, Che’s ideology exists very clearly. It is also apt to mention Freire’s “cultural action” at this junction. What I mean in the Sri Lankan context is nothing but a social revolution of a new cultural action, which emerges through theory and praxis. None of the prevailing systems, especially Gotabaya’s militarization does not allow Sri Lankan citizens to live as “persons.” It is only through a social revolution of political management that we could struggle.


History and politics are interconnected. Nobody can analyze history without politics. But what we experience in the world as politics is just components of power and authority. In such politics, there is no space for transformation, knowledge sharing, creativity, and a social revolution. If political governing does not allow for such essential aspects, there must be an alternative system, which I have introduced in terms of political management, in which people will have to make resolutions in the fields of politics, social, economics, religion, and culture. I promote political management to erase the political governing system from society. Political governing in a way a living ghost that massacres ordinary people’s conscientization. To sum up, it is time to “rise and rise again until lambs become lions.”

In my opinion, when any political system trampled down people’s confrontation of the reality, which can be done through critically and analytically, it indicates how people-engaged-pedagogy can also be destroyed.

[1] Rehan Derrick Fernando, “A new Conscientization for People-building,” Colombo Telegraph, 11 June, 2021. 

[2] Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Continuum, 1970), 26.

[3] Ibid., 31.

[4] Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 37.

[5] Michael Rodrigo, “Buddhism and Christianity: Toward the Human Future,” in Fr Mike and His Thought, Logos, vol. 2. No. 4, (19-29). (Sri Lanka: Center for Society and Religion, 1988), 21.

[6] Work + Word= Praxis. And this praxis [I mean praxis of commitment] is a result of reflection.

[7] “Man and Socialism in Cuba,” in Venceremos! The Speeches and Writings of Ernesto Che Guevara, ed. John Gerassi (New York: Macmillan Company, 1968), p. 396.

*Rehan Fernando is a Ph.D. student, doing his research on inter-religious dialogue with a case study of Dr. Michael Rodrigo OMI. He is also the author of 4 Sinhala books and 3 English books. He is also the editor of a journal called “Paadhai.”

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    A eureka moment in Lankan economy. Presidential hype mdia division told increasing the fuel prices will straighten the banking syatem ?? ( it is not straight now Rusiri ) strengthen the economy/ foreign exchange , develop health and education, get vaccines and decouple us from consumer based to indigenous economy blah blah . Why did no one think of this until now ???

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