Education Freedom Manifesto – Section 9: Social Life and Community

This is the tenth post in a series comprising my Education Freedom Manifesto (full PDF Download). For part nine in this series, click here.

Education Freedom Manifesto

Section 9

Social Life and Community

The need for community is universal. A sense of belonging, of continuity, of being connected to others
and to ideas and values that make ourselves meaningful and significant—these needs are shared by all of us.
Thomas Sergiovanni

Social, Not Institutional

Childhood is not preparation for adulthood – it is a part of life.
A. Neill

Humans are social creatures, but not institutional creatures. Real socialization is not something that is done to people; it is something people do naturally and willfully. The so-called socialization of compulsory schooling is an institutional agenda of control based on myths. In such schools, adults control and humiliate students, and students follow suit by controlling and humiliating each other. This social hazing does not help people become well-adjusted adults, good neighbors, or informed citizens. There is nothing ennobling or humane about forcing children to share such miserable conditioning.

Community, Not Conformity

I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.
St. Augustine

In real communities, people are free to move around and to choose when, for how long, and with whom they will associate and cooperate. There is no other way to develop authentic relationships. People naturally seek and create small groups of friends with whom to share and compare their abilities, opinions, and emotions. When people are free to choose their associates, they are happier. The counterfeit of voluntary participation and engagement is force. Large-scale forced affiliation leads to conformity and other negative behaviors.

Organic, Not Linear

We would rather be in the company of somebody we like than
in the company of the most superior being of our acquaintance.
Frank Swinnerton

Life is not linear; it is organic. You cannot predict and control people, but you can foster communities where people can develop in healthy ways. People need opportunities to develop meaningful relationships of their choosing in their communities. Segregating children according to age and socio-economics and isolating them from the productive and the elderly is destructive to communities.

Talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of human life.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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  1. Pingback: Education Freedom Manifesto – Section 8: Money, Business, Success, and Happiness | Living Voluntary

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