[Discuss-sudbury-model] TCS vs Sudbury Valley

From: Richard Berlin <rberlin_at_pacbell.net>
Date: Sat May 31 20:54:00 2003

TCS is at its core a libertarian philosophy.

The Sudbury Valley model is a democratic model, not a libertarian
one. It gives children the status of "first-class citizen," which
is an enormous step past what they would experience in other schools.
But it does not run according to the libertarian ideals that are at
the core of TCS. (I wonder if it could actually do so and still
qualify as a "school," since most states apply their own coercion
with respect to attendance. And there's the matter of a judicial
committee and a lawbook.)

The TCS website does have some fascinating stuff. Sarah Fitz-Claridge
has done some laudable work in, for example, raising consciousness of
people who call themselves libertarians but who nevertheless treat
their children in a terribly autocratic manner. I take inspiration
from her ability and willingness to think outside the box when
confronted
with standard parenting problems. But I think libertarianism is a
philosophy with limited applicability--I don't understand how it can
continue to function properly unless everyone is earnestly participating
and capable of sufficient self-control--and non-coerciveness seems to
break down when faced with an individual who is a threat to the
well-being
of others. Or perhaps it simply requires people who are willing to
endure
great suffering in the name of their ideals. In any case, it seems to
require that everyone have a pretty high level of investment in the
philosophy--one or two people are enough to bring the whole thing
crashing down.

-- Rich
Received on Sat May 31 2003 - 20:53:23 EDT

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