Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]definition of democracy

From: Scott David Gray <sgray_at_sudval.org>
Date: Thu Oct 3 11:24:00 2002

Hi Joe,

Democracy is a tool, like any other. I wouldn't personally
evaluate "democracy" on its "own" merits any more than you
would, but only in terms of how it serves aims I would
consider to be just/decent in the context of the community
in which it is being used. Of course, after evaluating
democracies for years, and having found that democracy tends
to produce ends which I like to see -- particularly in the
context of the other tools espoused/used by Sudbury schools
-- it seems reasonable for people of my aesthete to talk in
shorthound about "democracy" as a good.

But my comment, quoted below, _wasn't_ (as you claim) that
it is "good" or "bad" for a school to be "democratic" (you
wont find one word in the text you quoted below claiming
that democracies are "good") but only that the word is often
misused in/by schools, and that we work very hard to not
misuse the term in Sudbury schools. I also think that we
work very hard not to misuse the terms "rule of law,"
"equality," "liberty," or "inalienable rights" and that
Sudbury schools apply these ideals in their day-to-day
operation.

It is my feeling that taken as a whole, in context, an
environment that actually provides "democracy," "rule of
law," "equality," "liberty," and "inalienable rights" makes
the citizens/students wiser, happier, more tolerant, more
forgiving, more honest, and more fulfilled.

It's purely a matter of my own personal taste that makes me
prefer the people around me to be wiser, happier, more
tolerant, more forgiving, more honest, and more fulfilled.

Some states/schools/individuals place a higher value on
"sanctimonious," or "obedient," or "with politics/ethics
much like those of the state." I don't really like those
states/schools/individuals very much.

-- 
 
--Scott David Gray
reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
http://www.unseelie.org/
============================================================
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong
impulse to see it tried on him personally. 
-- Abraham Lincoln
============================================================
On Thu, 3 Oct 2002, Joseph Roach wrote:
> Scott:
> 
> Does this mean that democracy is the end itself?  Or is
> there some other driving reason?
> 
> I do not see democracy as a good end in itself, because
> democracy does not necessarily respect the rights of
> individuals or minorities.  Tyranny can exist as easily
> in a democracy as in a monarchy.
> 
> If the reason for education is to encourage liberty for
> individuals and equality between members of the school,
> then democracy is the best method of rule.  Democracy,
> as an end in itself, is empty.
> 
> David, was this what you were getting at?
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Joe Roach
> The New School
> Newark, DE
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Scott David Gray <sgray_at_aramis.sudval.org>
> Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 11:38:13 -0400 (EDT) 
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]definition of democracy
> 
> 
> > On Tue, 3 Sep 2002, Default wrote:
> > 
> > > would you kindly define democracy.
> > 
> > Many people would check a dictionary, but I can understand
> > the reason for your question.  Many schools claim to be
> > democratic, but don't really mean it.
> > 
> > The word "democracy" is rarely used in the context of
> > education to refer to actual government by the governed or
> > equality before the law.
> > 
> > Anyway, here's the definition I get from dictionary.com -- 
> > which applies perfectly to any Sudbury Model school:
> > 
> > > de·moc·ra·cy   Pronunciation Key  (d-mkr-s)
> > > n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
> > > 
> > >    1. Government by the people, exercised either directly 
> > > or through elected representatives.
> > >    2. A political or social unit that has such a 
> > > government.
> > >    3. The common people, considered as the primary source 
> > > of political power.
> > >    4. Majority rule.
> > >    5. The principles of social equality and respect for 
> > > the individual within a community.
> > 
> > How does this work in practice in a school?  Check 
> > http://www.sudval.org/texts/governed.html
> > 
> > The bizarre disconnect between our nation's schools, and our
> > cultural and national support of Democracy, was one of the
> > reasons for the founding of Sudbury Valley and the Sudbury
> > School movement.  One of our first books -- the Crisis in
> > American Education -- addresses this head on.  See
> > http://www.sudval.org/texts/crisis.html
> > 
> > -- 
> >  
> > --Scott David Gray
> > reply to: sgray_at_sudval.org
> > http://www.unseelie.org/
> > 
> 
Received on Thu Oct 03 2002 - 11:23:56 EDT

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