Transcribing interviews today, and came across this conversation where I was discussing authority and the possibility to create a school in the village with a village chief. The question: can he tell the literate parents of the village to all teach a few hours a week, so that the children will have education?
Resp: They cannot accept to teach if we don’t pay them.
MH: But what if they would just teach half a day a month?
Resp: That would be good, but it is not possible. They have to go fishing. If they don’t go, how will they feed their children?
MH: I have trouble believing that teaching for only 4 hours a week will make the difference between eating and not eating.
Resp: I cannot command them. If they don’t want to, can you force them?
MH: You are the chief, do you not have that power?
Resp: I have power, but I cannot force people.
MH: So what kind of power do you have in relation to education?
Resp: If I command someone, who wants to go fishing, to teach and to force them to teach?
MH: I am just curious to see how it works in the village, the relation of power, authority and autonomy…
Resp: Before, the young people were receiving the village chief. Nowadays, after the arrival of human rights [a relatively new concept in the village, apparently], if you ask them to do something, they don’t accept it. When they don’t accept it, you have no right to take it by force.