RE: DSM: RE: Simple solution


Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Thu, 7 Dec 2000 16:34:21 -0500


Robert,

I find it somewhat difficult to respond to much of what you are saying; so
much of it seems to be your catastrophized reactions to what you imagine the
school to be like.

> I suppose in some ways Sudbury too has appointed
> people who take action in behalf of the community with no public
> vote taking
> place on every action. The danger in a republic is when community people
> loose touch with their responsibility to influence leadership. A
> person may
> loose interest, become ignorant, never be informed, feel
> helpless, or have a
> belief that there is a lack of communication, finances or time to be a
> contributor.

So I take it you are imagining that "appointees" make many decisions that
impact the school dynamic? Not so. We **elect** clerks to handle things
like building maintenance, maintaining the law book, landscaping. Having
learned this, I hope you agree that SM electing someone to keep toilet paper
in the bathrooms is not going to disenfranchise anyone very much.

Additionally, I do not share in your opinion that there is something called
a "responsibility to influence leadership", I think you need to own that one
as your _belief_ and not impose it upon me as a "THEIR responsibility
to...". I add that because it is important to me that I endeavor not to
villify students (or any members of a group) for failing to live up to my
beliefs.

> When the individual is not responsible for direction and
> change, he must be a pawn of status quo. What is so simply is
> what is so. As
> Paul Harvey says, "There can be no democracy without responsibility". And
> thus are we destroying the ecology of the planet, and we elect liars as
> presidents. "Them" is not at fault, it is us and our status quo.

This to me says that you think that people who want an issue to stay the
same are using, or even owning the people who choose not to vote or even
attend the meeting. While that may be true in a sense, I think it's a
pretty extreme example of using Machiavellian extrapolation to villify
apathy.

Nevertheless, the right not to actively participate at all times in the
governance of the school is no less sacred than the right to participate,
and the only possible purpose I see to portray nonparticipants as destroyers
is to coerce them into participating. I therefore hope you can see why I
would not introduce that kind of inflammatory rhetoric in the school
environment.

An interest lost is an interest gained, and to intervene in that transaction
on either end is that which enslaves.

> Is there a corollary to SVS? The students often seem to say they
> have little
> interest in or involvement with or understanding of the JC for most of the
> time they are a student there. Yet the JC is a constant supreme
> influence on
> the culture and happenings at the school. Talk about a pink
> elephant in the
> living room! Did SVS create a proletariat? If not, how is it I have missed
> indicators that students have been proud of their influence as members of
> the Sudbury community?

And yet it remains quite irrelevant how much school structures like JC push
the buttons of you and I and every other person outside School Meeting, the
fact remains that School Meeting chose JC, and can abolish JC or make
alterations to the way the school functions any time they want to.

My impression as to how you "missed indicators that students have been proud
of their influence as members of the Sudbury community" is that you have not
seen the specific kinds of indicators you expected to see.

And, I'm interested in what manner and number of students you have spoken
to. Everyone who has been at Fairhaven for a year or so knows all about
School Meeting and JC. That there is a student somewhere who has little
understanding of JC for "most of the time they are a student there" sounds
really strange.

> This is a simple matter of trusting democracy. The similarity to U.S.
> politics is the provision for amendments to the constitution. Were it that
> our fundamental operations could not evolve in behalf of social evolution
> where would we be today?

Amen!

-Joe Jackson



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