The Slave Next Door


Paulo Freire was a scholar who contributed significantly towards education systems in the mid 19th century. Having lived and experienced both extremes of life, Freire's outlook towards life in general changed. He dedicated his life to liberating those whom the society looked down upon and those who were neglected. According to Freire, the poor and the down trodden were extremely productive people only that the society did not accord them equal opportunity. His main preoccupation was to help third world people surmount illiteracy. Paulo Freire authored two books: Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Education for Critical Consciousness; where he propagated the concept of critical consciousness (Freire 1 and 2). The fundamental of this concept was to help third world people attain an awareness of the world surroundings besides teaching them how to write and read. Together with Kevin Bales, these men have dedicated their lives to serve the down trodden in society (Freire 12).


Freire categorized literacy into two kinds; he came up with categories of people. Some have no idea what letters or symbols mean. There are also those who can read as they were taught grammar at school but cannot understand what those words mean. To those persons or organizations that oppress others today, Freire would warn them that their days are numbered. He would continue to reckon that individuals who become obsessed with wealth, they only consider having wealth as the ultimate values in life often lose the ability to think logically with time. They become blind of the obvious circumstances facing them.

The plutocratic elites' main preoccupation is gaining wealth and fame. Freire would caution those individual that the dynamics change with time and there is no way one will perpetually ride on the backs of others. According to Freire, individuals are progressive beings, if given a chance and with time, they can change their circumstances. It is ignorant as Freire puts it for any individual to enslave others simply because they occupy advantageous positions in society. Oppressors are illiterate only that perhaps they know how to read and write. These people according to Freire, constitute the category that he described as persons who only know how to read grammar as they were taught in class but cannot comprehend what those words mean (Freire 57).

People should relate with others as equals irrespective of their deference in status. No individual has a right to treat another as a second-class citizen whatsoever. Paulo Freire traversed this world working in various capacities to enlighten third world people. He discovered that this class of people has tremendous capabilities only that their present circumstances hinder them. Freire realized that with little education, this people could transform their lives immensely. He outlined some of the factors that make third world people a vulnerable lot. Freire stated that oppressed people allow others to decide for them, in full oblivion of the happenings around the world and they believe that their situations cannot change. He is quick to add that these conditions are just temporal. Oppressed people have the power to transform their lives. I think this would be an alarm bell to those who enslave others today. Their subjects will at one point wake up in a new don that will mark an end to their slavery.

The life of the oppressor will be miserable because an oppressor can only live on the sweat of others. Freire will describe the oppressors as those who can only survive because others around them are ignorant. These categories of people have perfected the art of siphoning into others. He will also caution them not to be guided by their selfish ideologies but regard all human beings as equal. Wealth can be created in ethical ways and there is no need for an individual to ride on the backs of others in the quest for wealth. Freire would caution the enslaved not to allow to be oppressed and encourage them to emancipate themselves.


Paulo Freire and Kevin Bales have contributed enormously to the plight of the underprivileged in society. Kevin has authored several books about human trafficking and exploitation. They both concur that human trafficking and other inhuman acts must be discouraged. They would probably caution those governments and individuals to stop this inhuman trade. Victims of this trade are guiltless individuals who are unaware of the ongoing around them. Freire and Bales agree that if all individuals were sensitive to each other's needs, then there would be no person suffering because of the greed of others. Governments especially should put up a strong fight against human trafficking and exploitation (Bales 63).

Human trafficking and other acts of human exploitation have dominated international arena for centuries. These are the earliest forms of trade that human beings ever new. The war against this form of business has been there for ages but with little success. Bales says, in his book that the complexity nature of the business and the diversification of human culture makes the war against the trade impossible. He asserts that compared to other criminal activities, victims of human trafficking and exploitation are not easily recognized.

The victims are concealed or hidden making it difficult for any person to suspect. Governments and other relevant authorities need to devise appropriate means of fighting this menace. In certain instances, it is the corruption and ineptitude of the law enforcement agencies that complicate the fight against human trafficking. Freire would urge these agencies to focus on and empathize with the plight of the victims.

Human beings ought to read in between the lines. People must interrogate their actions and avoid being driven by selfish interests. People must break from a culture where by people are judged by what they own as opposite to their inner values. Both Freiri and Bales would want people to resist being enslaved or being mistreated. Paulo Freire encourages those who are underprivileged. He says that this group of people should not despair. They should continue fighting for their freedom. It is possible for people to free themselves and transform their lives.


The world accords all people equal opportunities. Human beings very diverse in their cultures religion and other things yet they are similar in their needs and aspirations. According to Paulo Freire, the sufferings that afflict most third world people are human created. He says that most societies attach so much value on material wealth. Individuals go extra miles to attain wealth in order to get recognition in their societies. Often people do not question the means to acquiring wealth. According to Freire, it is the high and might, those huge corporations and the media that oppress the poor most.

This form of ignorance is what Freire was advancing in his books; he cautions that circumstances should not make individuals look down upon others. People who are in peculiar situations have the power to transform themselves. They only need enlightenment and courage to soldier on. The same enlightenment must come from within them. The population should be proactive in championing for the rights of others. Every individual must fight the war against human trafficking and other forms of inhuman behavior.