The Foundation for Critical Discourse Nepal (hereinafter shall be referred to as Foundation) is established in 2019 as an institution dedicated to work for the academic-political education and enlightenment of the left students, leaders, cadres, activists, authors, etc. through discourses on a multitude of subject matters related to emancipatory theory and praxis of past, present and future.
The conception and formation of the Foundation ensued primarily from a strongly felt imperative to intellectualize the left leaders, cadres and supporters by engaging them in critical discourses. The imperative of intellectualization was felt given the fact that a huge mass is gravitated to and active in the left politics—which, however, desperately lacks understanding of necessary theory and praxis or inculcated in frozen ideologies, which, consequently has impaired the genuine left movement and politics. The Foundation is conceived on the idea that emancipatory movement and transformation requires, inter alia, an adequate number of people who constantly engage in a process of intellectualizing themselves and others and, thereby, the whole movement. We believe, and practices and experiences also confirm, that emancipatory movement has suffered most from the intellectual unpreparedness of party, leaders, cadres and the masses—that is, from the poor understanding of historical and material conditions and the lack of the ability to see feasibility and suitability of emancipatory politics and programs.
The ultimate normative commitment of the Foundation is human emancipation—a condition in which “freely associated men” rationally decide and conduct their collective affairs. Human emancipation entails, in both the means and the end, a condition which ideally approximates the condition of critical discourse. We believe that the idea of self-determination and of self-emancipation as collective and rational process can be practiced and secured only in discourse. Hence, we are committed not only to promote the theoretical idea of discourse but also to practice it in collective self-education and self-enlightenment. Put it simply, our pedagogical method and goal—both are critical discourse.
Generally, the Foundation has high regard for all philosophical traditions which emphasize the importance of reason and enlightenment in securing human freedom. Specifically, we consider Marx more inspiring and practically oriented evident in his statement concerning the relation of philosophy and emancipation: “As philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its spiritual weapon in philosophy.” For Marx, a theory becomes material force as soon as it grips the masses. But, when does a theory grip the masses not as alien but their own creation, determination and power? The answer is: When theory originates from or is agreed upon in the process of discourse.
The Foundation is prepared that it will have to go through oddities, constraints and obstacles given the fact that in the present-day capitalist world, the power of capital has suppressed reason and enlightenment; and consequently, discourse as theory and practice has frustratingly degenerated—representing the crisis of reason. However, we firmly believe that interventions are imperative as well as creative responses to conditions of crisis: crisis calls for and enables transformative action. The Foundation is reasonably optimistic that it will accomplish its mission through it unshakable commitment and relentless engagement in a multitude of discursive activities.
The Foundation is committed to creating and expanding the critically informed and educated political intellectuals necessary for the improvement and consolidation of the genuine left forces or for leftizing the left in Nepal.