Education

The 12-Year Prison Sentence

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One of the world’s most important reform educators was, of course, an anarchist and free thinker, Francisco Ferrer, who, in an impressive manner, raised the means to found a modern school. A school whose model and program have absolutely nothing in common with the statist and/or catholic church schools, but whose pupils had grown up to be highly intelligent and educated free thinkers. In his great work, “The Modern School”, – a groundbreaking book on children raising (if you haven´t read it, READ IT), – he describes exactly how this school was founded and what incredible results he achieved before he was murdered by a Spanish military court in 1909 because he was a thorn in the side of the ruling class. Bastards of course didn´t want him to raise a whole generation of non-obedient freethinkers, who read books and study on their own, they wanted conformist idiots, who do exactly as they´re told and leave the thinking to them.

During the first few pages of Ferrers magnificent work, he wrote; “As a result, I limited myself to my students and chose for my purpose those who I considered the most capable and best suited. Now that I had a clear idea of ​​the goal I had set myself (…), I started to discuss various subjects with my students after the lessons. Sometimes we talked about Spanish customs, then about politics, religion, art or philosophy. I always tried to correct the exaggeration of their judgment, and I showed them how harmful it is to subordinate your own judgment to the dogma of a sect, school or party, as is so often the case unfortunately. In this way I managed to bring about a certain agreement between people who were very different in their views and in their creed. (…) And my students and friends were happy to be able to give up some of their old mistakes and adjust their minds to truths that made them bigger, richer and nobler.”

What a great man he was. He talked to them about important stuff, he corrected their exaggerations, and explained how dangerous blind belief towards religious myths, statist schools and political partys are. Try to do that with modern day people, and you will realise how dumb they´ve become. According to Ferrer, strict logic was necessary to apply indefinitely on occasion, to eliminate fanatic bitterness, to establish spiritual harmony and to promote progressive thoughts. His aim was to create free thinkers who contradicted the Church, who rejected the legend of creation, the imperfect moral of the Gospels and spiritual ceremonies. “Republicans, with their Oppurtunist views, or people in general who are satisfied with the democratic equality that culminates in the title of “citizen”, but does not blur out the slightest class difference – philosophers who believed that they found the cause of all things in their metaphysical labyrinths, – they were all able to recognize the foreign as well as their own error, and to be guided by the principles of common sense.”

Such people have become veeery rare in the 21st century. People who are ready to recognize and admit their errors are hard to find in this modern world, in which everyone believes to know things better, yet never even dared to sit down and practice some extensive studying and thinking. However, we anarchists can still try to do the same as Ferrer did; come and put our ressources together to open up a school after his model. We can begin with offering evening courses in a room we rent. Libertarian pedagogy should be understood as a concept that as a theory offer is given a historical and systematic character. The connection between anarchism and pedagogy as an educational model; Abolition of compulsory school attendance and the associated state regular school system. Rejection of personal and structural authority and rule over people in the pedagogical context. Enabling education through casual learning. Demand for de-institutionalization and debureaucratisation of all educational processes. Training for solidarity and mutual help (P.Kropotkin) at the heart of educational goals. A politically non-neutral pedagogy, the guiding principle of which is an egalitarian, federalist and stateless society.

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