re[4]: DSM: self-government, individual v. collective

From: Jesse Fisher (freedomworks@burgoyne.com)
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 09:58:11 EST


Here are the definitions as I understand them:

Rule of Will = the arbitrary making/changing of laws (edicts) by one or few over the many. (A teacher in the classroom, Presidential Orders, etc.)

Rule of Law = All of the citizens participate, directly or through representatives, in the making/changing the LAWS which govern them.

> > Sudbury clearly
> > operates on a rule of law basis -- the law is king.

> Jesse, if I am to understand you, then no, it does not operate on this
> basis. As I said in another message, the system a school uses for
> governing itself is up to be democratically decided by the body.

> Many individuals have come along advocating a different system for
> balancing the rights of individuals and groups, but my reaction is
> always the same: if a group of students and staff decide on a system (as
> Sudbury Valley has done) how is it the system not the most approprate
> one?

> In other words, JC and whatever is not built in to the model; it is
> simply a system that, despite the objections of critics outside the
> school, works best for many schools.

> Joe Jackson

> My
> > classroom experiment was ultimately an illusion because
> > someone had arbitrary control over the experiment. Perhaps
> > this is what many on the list sense but haven't verbalized (lately).
> >
> > Jesse
> >
> >
> >
> > > 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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