Re: DSM: self-government, individual v. collective

From: Bruce Smith (bsmith@coin.org)
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 08:30:11 EST


Thanks for the reply, Jesse. Yet I still don't buy the argument that
freedom can be fragmented as you describe and still be meaningful. If I
have intellectual freedom but not control over my movement/time, then how
much good does that do me? ("You can think whatever you like, but you must
remain within these four walls until I say otherwise.") Likewise, if I'm
granted a "break" from the usual mind control to do what should be my
unilateral right, should I be grateful? In either case someone else retains
ultimate control, and my "freedom" extends only as far as their whim. You
can argue that individual and collective self-government aren't mutually
dependent, but I certainly wouldn't want one without the other.

Bruce

At 12:12 AM 11/6/01, Jesse Fisher wrote:
> > Could you please explain how this is possible? How can a group be
> > self-governing, when the *selves* who comprise the group are not?? Who
> > exactly is governing what?
>
>Sure, Bruce,
>
> I would deem students who enjoy a healthy level of intellectual freedom
>as self-governing individuals -- their right to determine their own
>learning (and not the learning of anyone else) is being respected to a
>substantial degree. But if the rights of that child and his peers to
>govern themselves as a group (to collectively resolve disputes and punish
>the violations of rights) are not protected, then I would say they have no
>political freedom, thus, they are not politically self-governing. A class
>of students who are not allowed to choose the subject of their studies,
>could be granted political freedom -- they could interupt their mandated
>studies to prosecute a fellow classmate for bullying, for example. Hence,
>they are not individually self-governing, but they are self-governing as a
>class (politically). The two are not mutually-dependent.
>
>Jesse
>
>
>> At 10:12 PM 10/31/01, Jesse Fisher wrote:
> > >a class can be self-governing, even if the individuals unfortunately
>can't
> > be.
>
> > Could you please explain how this is possible? How can a group be
> > self-governing, when the *selves* who comprise the group are not?? Who
> > exactly is governing what?
>
> > Your game represents the same sort of illusion epitomized by so-called
> > "student government" in traditional schools. They play at the form of
> > democracy, made an empty shell in the absence of actual power. How can you
> > justify calling this "a real opportunity to practice self-government"? You
> > were closer to the mark when you called it a game. All I see it preparing
> > students for is a life of believing that democracy itself is a
>shallow game
> > controlled by a few powerful people.
>
> > Bruce Smith
> > Alpine Valley School
>
>
>
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