real democracy

A great post on Wiki-Government up at the journal on Democracy is looking at what government might look like if it were really democratic and grassroots.  And talking about voluntary community learning centers, is a similar type of thing, a new way of looking at education, like homeschooling is at first.
Large-scale knowledge-sharing projects, such as the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, and volunteer software-programming initiatives, such as the Apache Webserver (which runs two-thirds of the websites in the world), demonstrate the inadequacy of our assumptions about expertise in the twenty-first century.
We have so little experience with actual democracy as an organizing principle that we don't believe it would work.  If democracy is about citizens having a lot of control over their lives, then homeschoolers are citizens activists who want to be actively involved with their families educational choices.  So many people do not trust this process:  just as new homeschoolers and unschoolers have a of of doubts and worries that have been overcome time and again by families of many different kinds.

Truly doing away with our compulsory attendance laws and moving toward voluntary community learning centers may sound incredible to some, but then those same people may not realize that the Internet is already doing this.  And so if homeschooling.

And the word democracy, like business or education is used to mean so many different things that the meaning is amorphous and reveals our deep-seated confusion.  For example, the film below bills itself as about democracy when the teacher is in a mass institution that forces children to attend by rule of law.  The teacher then selects herself three children to undergo a so-called democratic election.

This is hardly democracy however fascinating-- and sad -- this documentary is as a look at modern Chinese lives in schools. The kids are quite smart, their world is complex, there are many good things in their lives but ultimately they are not really in a democratic world but an artificial construct studying democracy.  And the majority of children and their families in the US also have no real democracy or choice in their lives.  It isn't really different at all.

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