Re: DSM: why democracy

John Axtell (
Tue, 27 Mar 2001 08:21:48 -0800

Sorry Ben I should have been clearer. I am referring to the political process
not the geographic definition you commented on though it did give me food for

My question specifically addresses the political foundation upon which the SV
model seems to be based, democracy as compared to a republic form of government
which, in general, is practiced here in the United States.

I am specifically interested to learn why a democratic method of running a
"free" school is superior to a republic method.

Two different political systems.


Ben Robins wrote:

> The word republic doesn't come up much in conversation up here in Canada, so
> I had to look it up. From here are 2 of their 5 main
> meanings for republic:
> "A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who
> are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them."
> Candy and Alan'd be calling that a form of democracy. I'm guessing that
> John means this definition:
> "An autonomous or partially autonomous political and territorial unit
> belonging to a sovereign federation."
> John, are you wanting us to see the possibility of a Sudbury school made up
> of a federation of partially autonomous republics? If so...
> Let's break Sudbury Valley School up into partially autonomous republics.
> There's the Republic of Kitchen, the Republic of Art Room etc etc. Each
> Republic has its own laws - you can cook in the Republic of Kitchen, but not
> in the Republic of Art Room. Since they're only partially autonomous, they
> are governed to some extent by the school meeting (or its equivalent) which
> perhaps enforces safety rules.
> Because of mobility within the school, people are members of more than one
> Republic. Perhaps Republics have attendance rules - you can only take part
> in rulemaking if you are regularly in the Republic, and maybe you can only
> enter the Republic if you know the most important rules.
> I hadn't thought of this when I started writing this yarn, but how similar
> is the Republic of Kitchen to SVS's Kitchen Corporation? From my limited
> knowledge, it would be the same, except that the Kitchen Corp is more
> closely watched over by School Meeting (?).
> Another possiblity for the republican model for SVS:
> Say they want to expand, and they get an offer they can't resist on a
> fabulous campus down the block from Sudbury Valley. A couple of years later
> they find that most students tend to stay on one campus or the other, but
> still want the option of going to the other campus. Long story short, they
> form the Sudbury School of Campus Republics.
> Ben "when you start posting, you just can't stop" Robins
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