Re: DSM: RE: SVS and conservative people

Scott David Gray (
Tue, 20 Jun 2000 09:15:30 -0400

In the modern US, in my experience, the terms "liberal" and "conservative"
generally mean two things:

 1: People who like the idea of ownership of every resource. The conservatives
tend to favor ownership by private individuals and organizations. The liberals
tend to favor ownership by a single powerful organization -- the state. This is a
new feature; in past centuries, liberals tended to believe in the concept of
ownership, while conservatives tended to believe in the concept that some things
were too sacred to own.

This assumption doesn't concern Sudbury Model Schools per se.

 2: People who want some measure of social control. The conservatives tend to
prefer that those who exert the social control be overt about it (school uniforms,
back to basics). The liberals tend to prefer that those who exert the social
control be discreet about it (a guiding hand, programs for bringing the student
into the fold). This is a new feature; in past centuries Martin's analysis may
have held, and conservatives tended to favor social control while liberals tended
to oppose it (then again, those who headed the French Revolution obviously
believed in total social control, and were obviously not conservatives).

In the field of education modern liberals stand for giving students the _sense_
that they have a say in what they learn, even if they are only allowed to choose
between alternatives laid out for them in advance. The liberal educationist is
more interested in attacking the student's motivation so that the student
"chooses" the course already laid out for him/her, while the conservative
educationist prefers to attack the details of the student's day and lay out a
direct curriculum.

The Sudbury model rejects this sort of social control -- and is therefore at odds
with both the modern liberal and modern conservative in the US.

Martin Wilke wrote:

> By "conservative" I mean a more or less authoritarian approach: wanting
> to control how a person behaves and what that other person does with
> her/his life, being less tolerant, disliking minorities, accepting
> whatever anti-liberal means against crime / more or less advocating a
> police state and zero tolerance, prefering hierarchical structures
> instead of democracy, being ignorant of social injustices and human
> rights violations, being against sexual liberty, ...
> Most of these conservative people, but not all, are much in favor of
> reducing welfare, and of privatization of everything they can get.
> In the field of education conservatives stand for giving students no say
> in what to learn, when, how, where and with whom to learn, they stand
> for more testing and standardization, obedience, oppression of
> individuality - among other things.
> Maybe this brainstorming helps
> Martin Wilke


--Scott David Gray reply to: ============================================================ A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

-- Winston Churchill ============================================================

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