Re: DSM: degrees of illusionary freedom

From: Bruce Smith (
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 11:50:10 EST

<<I presume that I am one whom you see as crying "can't we all just get
along?" That is not my wish. Your use of such hyperbole is an example of
what I do wish we avoided, however. My wish is that we communicate our
truths respectfully>>

But that's my point: is hyperbole inherently disrespectful? Are we
equating someone's taking offense with the speaker's disrespect? I, for
one, don't wish to go down that path. Alan certainly doesn't intend
disrespect by labelling my terminology "hyperbole"; at least, I assume
that to be the case. It's important to observe the distinction between
argument and attack, and I was merely lamenting the readiness I've seen to
blur that fine line.

<<and that we acknowledge the fact (and I use the word
advisedly) that the way many of us communicate our truths is turning many
people off who could become allies at least, if not outright converts.>>

I acknowledge your point, yet I maintain that so long as we are truly
respectful we need not fear people's reactions to our honest opinions,
and this discussion forum should proceed just fine.

<<You imply in your past paragraph that adults do not maintain the
ultimate "veto power" in democratic schools. This is false. Ultimately,
since the monetary and governmental power resides with adults, so does the
veto power.>>

Your point is well taken. Still, the "real limits" to which you refer are
not irrelevant political restrictions imposed by ordinarily well-meaning
adults. At Sudbury schools, students and staff encounter and deal with
real-world limits such as finances all the time.

<<the good work that is being done on behalf of democratizing
non-democratic schools.>>

This touches on the reform vs. revolution dialectic, and our varying
opinions on whether it is possible and worthwhile to introduce bits of
democracy in an otherwise totalitarian environment (oops -- guess my
hyperbole filter needs some work :). If someone wants to take that up,
more power to them; but I've said enough for now.



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