Re: DSM: students rights

From: Scott David Gray (sgray@aramis.sudval.org)
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 16:10:48 EST


One can also respect liberty as a policy and a concept,
without believing that people are innately good.

One line of reasoning goes like this:
 1: People have the capacity for great evil, and indeed some
of them do actively seek to hurt other people.
 2: People often misunderstand what others want and need.
 Therefore: A person is more prone to damage another person
than s/he is to damage her/himself.
 3: The only alternative to giving a person power over
him/herself and/or responsibility for him/herself, is to
give that power and/or responsibility to another person
 Therefore: Less damage comes from letting these imperfect
creatures make their own choices, than results from letting
some of these imperfect creatures decide who others should
live.

I guess that I naturally come from this perspective.
Though it is pretty clear that people happen to have a great
capacity for wisdom and goodness -- I see the evidence every
day before my eyes in the community at Sudbury Valley. But
I don't want to trust that capacity far enough to call it a
"propensity" for goodness, and so stick to the position that
the "safest" government is self-government (aka democracy
with a respect for personal liberty).

On Tue, 22 Jan 2002, Karen Locke wrote:

>
> >Angela wrote:
>
>
> > I'm very interested in looking at the roots of this oppression and how
> >an evolving democratic structure will help and/or hinder the efforts of
> >education
> >reform.
> >
> >I
>
> I think part of the root of oppression is the viewpoint that people in
> their natural form are evil. Therefore the job of the school is to train
> this evil tendency out of us. My assumption is that children are naturally
> good, wise creatures, who will learn what they need to know if they are
> allowed the freedom to do it and aren't guilted all over the place. We do
> have rules and penalties because we are an organized society, and we need
> to come to some common agreement about what behaviors are acceptable
> in our group. But we don't need to micromanage because learning is innate.
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by an evolving democratic structure. If you
> mean each school in its evolution, I would think that as these schools work
> out ways to make and enforce their own rules, we can point to these
> successes as evidence that children aren't the wild, mean beings that lots
> of adults would expect them to be in a free atmosphere.
>
> Karen
>
>
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-- 
 
--Scott David Gray
reply to: sgray@sudval.org
http://www.unseelie.org/
============================================================
If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.  These
days only the rich get given more.

-- Martial's Epigrams, Book 5, 81. Translation: James Michie, 1972. ============================================================

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