Structural Analysis

Continuing from Father Gustavo Gutierrez’s premise of the three level theory of liberation (1. Outside World – Oppression, 2. Personal World – Flesh, 3. Spiritual World – Sin) and its relation to the practice of “Personal Analysis,” which is a vital function of the inner to outer / Internal to External relational paradigm. And to clarify, even though “Personal Analysis” can be equated to the removal of sin stage in Father Gutierrez’s theory, it is not a religious function in itself; it just contains a similar sentiment as personal analysis deals with all aspects of person-hood – moral, ethical, social and behavioral. But personal analysis is a micro practice. First, the micro is established, then afterwards, the macro, which we will segue into. As personal analysis examines the different aspects and levels of person-hood, structural analysis extrapolates the same principles and practice onto society as a whole. The process is just as intimate, just as thorough and just as introspective. As previously mentioned, we have superstructures in our own lives. And as these exist in our lives so do they exist in society as well. Structural analysis requires the same level of honesty and clarity necessary for personal analysis. In Marxism theory, superstructures constitute the facets of state and society, including its traditions, cultures, functions and mores. The function of analysis requires no planning, as planning and strategy are a part of another process altogether. Analysis is not concerned with long term results, as this process is more of an immediate nature. Engaging in structural analysis, observing the parts which comprise the superstructure, and understanding the manner in which they function, especially in relation to the individual in society. This also includes the observation of flaws in these various mechanisms. As we see our personal flaws during the personal analysis stage, we see the flaws in the structure become readily more apparent. This is precisely how personal change correlates to societal change on a whole. How can one, who is not honest enough to assess themselves, be trusted, or even have the ability to assess and analyze society? Structural analysis is a practice that is not for the faint of heart, as during the process, subjects that prefer to reside in darkness (racism, classicism, injustice, etc…) will come forth to the light. And yet still, in this day and age, these subjects that come forth as a result as a result of structural analysis, are still taboo. But what may present a further challenge is these subjects may challenge you personally by contradicting previously held notions or causing a deep uneasiness, an uneasiness which will force you to think, awakening parts of you that you may have never known existed. Hence, we see the overlapping of structural and personal analysis, and vice versa. As the individual is to the state, so is personal analysis to structural analysis. This is the reason why the first stage cannot be overlooked. And as they overlap, they may occur simultaneously as these processes are ongoing, as we and society are in a constant stage of evolution. So now it can be understood, the reasoning behind Che Guevara’s theory of the “New Man,” in “Socialism and Man in Cuba,” as a new man equals a new society.


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