Bruce Smith (
Sun, 11 Mar 2001 09:57:58 -0700

It seems fairly clear to me at this point that, his statements to the
contrary notwithstanding, Marko wishes not to improve the Sudbury model,
but rather to adopt something entirely different. That's fine for him, but
I wish to make one more attempt to clarify the basic incompatibility of his
ideas with the Sudbury model.

School-sanctioned psychotherapy and forced consensus do *not* fall within
the model. Sudbury believes in individuals' right to their own thoughts and
opinions: conflict resolution via psychologizing, and decision-making via
unanimity, violate this foundation. Others have pointed out that there is,
indeed, room within the model for therapeutic action, and there is in fact
a great deal of consensus-building. But Marko wishes to institionalize
these things, which strikes me as quite odd as he finds the existing
structures of Sudbury so formal, external and coercive.

I find Sudbury far less external and coercive than Marko's theoretical
model because, in the Sudbury model, each individual's privacy and the
integrity of their opinions are respected, and because the process is
clear, consistent and impersonal. A system with informal "guidelines"
rather than rules, forced unanimity on every decision, and problem-solving
through revealing and discussing one's feelings is, imho, *much* more
arbitrary and coercive.

In sum, there are things about the model which are formal and
institutional, and things which are not, and it appears to me that Marko
wishes to switch the two. Again, this is not a matter of improving the
model, but rather creating a new one.

We're talking apples and oranges here, and for my part, I don't want no
genetic engineering to attempt some crazy hybrid!


p.s. In what possibly way is the following an improvement on SM?? Does
Marko think SM is not formal or long enough? Is it so frightful that people
could actually disagree with a majority decision? Do people not get to talk
enough at SM? Come on!...

<<I was wondering about an alternative way of meeting. It
could go e.g. followingly:
   1) introduction for the issue being discussed about
   2) round of discussion so that everybody willing to speak would
announce themselves and everybody would get to say what they wanted to
   3) round of suggestions for the problem so that everybody having one
would announce themselves and everybody would get to say their
   4) discussion in pairs for (e.g.) 2 minutes about the suggestions
   5) vote for the suggestions
   6) if there wasn't an agreement, would go back to 2)
   7) repeat until unanimous decision reached>>

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