Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Anarchist Academy

What would an Anarchist Academy look like? How would it operate? What would the benefits be of having one?These are allquestions that I will explore in this blog. I see this as a necessary follow-up to my short critique on education. Anyone can critique, few can offer viable alternatives. I feel as though simply pointing out society's problems is far too easy for the Anarchist Theoretician--we need alternative methods as well!

An Anarchist Academy would consist of open campuses that one could come and go freely from. No restrictive bell schedules or bus-route planning are needed. A student would receive a schedule of all classes and workshops offered, and what times the professors were going to be around to teach them. No lengthy scheduling process or credit amount is needed to 'graduate,' because the simple fact that you want to cultivate yourself through learning is graduating from ignorance!! Teachers would set their own schedules, work their own hours, and offer a variety of classes, diversified in not having to adhere to a code of what must be taught (imposed by the government and college boards).

An Anarchist Academy would demonstrate Free Association in action, and to its fullest extent. You don't need to stay and you don't need to go, but if you do stay, you'll be a better, more cultivated and learned person. An Anarchist Academy would be filled with affinity groups and collectives that could offer various services to the vagabond student passing through in their demonstration of Direct Action. In this way, goods and services would be offered to everyone, creating other reasons and attractions for would-be students to get involved and learn.

This community created among and around the Academy would be very fruitful for the entire society. Students could fully realize their creative potential while making the world a better place. That's what Anarchy is about for me, and these Academies would promote Anarchist Ideals to their fullest extent, getting the message out there. Subjects you ask?

Philosophy (East, West and More)
Political Science
English and Creative Writing
Gardening and Home Agriculture
Culinary Arts
Communications (Radio, Television and Internet Media)
Self Defense
Personal Fitness


An Anarchist Academy seems to me an integral first step towards achieving a better society. As I said, the communities that would almost necessarily spring up around these students and their affinity would be ideal, as well as enabling the traveling student to take what he/she has learned elsewhere and implement it again, to spread the word. The possibilities and benefits of an Anarchist Academy are astounding, and hopefully one will turn out where squatting is the norm. I guarantee you that I would be the first to sign up.

Education and Knowledge are the keys to freedom!!



HalfCrazy said...

I think I want to enter this Anarchist Academy.

About the schedule, you mean there are already set schedules and students can just pick up whatever schedule they desire from those schedules? If that's what you're talking about, that's my school's system when it comes to schedules that's why I love it when it's scheduling time, I get to pick whatever time I want from a list of available schedules from Professors.

I love the subjects you listed! Well.. except Math because I'm bad at it LOL. The rest is important and I would excel in it LOL.

Monkey Wrench said...

That's really how it is for your school? That's fantastic--we're already progressing!

Subjects would be constructed of core things, of course, but the amount of other things--Bicycle Maintenance Workshops, Massage Therapy, much more! We would be bound only by our imaginations, not by an administration.

Thanks for the comment,


HalfCrazy said...

Yes, I'm sure it has been going on for 5 years now! The downside is that the owners of the school are businessmen so even if we are free, there's still a little bit of Capitalism on the side.

Are those classes really offered in the States? Because they're not offered here, just the basic mumbo jumbo that I don't really give a crap about lol.

Monkey Wrench said...

Oh good lord! If there's one thing I can say about schools over here, there ARE a variety of subjects, a vast array of everything, literally hundreds. Now, you have to pay ridiculous prices to attend these colleges (can you tell I'm pro-student aid??), but the schools that have cropped up are very nice, with some courses bordering on the microscopically particular. It's a good thing!!

Again, though, it all comes sadly down to how many Lincolns are in your bank account...

Jesse M. said...

As usual spot on!
Education ='s (for better or worse) freedom of thought- and I do not mean education as in indoctrination!

Well put my friend!

(and thanks for the comments, they keep me sane! )

Monkey Wrench said...

Thanks for the comment Jesse!


HalfCrazy said...

Really, hundreds of 'em? And you get to enroll whichever one you want or there's a system for it? That's just too cool. I imagine those subjects are more practical than the crap we have here.

I mean who gives a crap about subjects if you can't use them when you graduate? We have a lot of those subjects in here. We are forced to study them (we follow a curriculum but we choose our own schedules; this only applies to my school where I'm enrolled right now, most of the schools in here have the Registrar to arrange schedules for the students) and we pay a huge amount of money.

When I think of the wasted time, it drives me nuts.

Monkey Wrench said...

I know. sometimes I really wish I could skip the General Education classes we ahve to take (however brief they might be) and just focus on my major. There is a lot of wasted time, I agree.

Still, there is such a variety of courses it's just astounding. I give credit for these institution, even though (and trust me on this) they oppress students in many ways too.

But, I just can't be all grumbly about institutions devoted to learning and self-cultivation!!



This Brazen Teacher said...

Nobody thinks they are "normal..." so I respectfully suggest you might be "normal" in that regard.

I linked to this post... definitely will return to your blog again.

LLnL said...

I attended the Open School for the 7th and 8th grade. There were no traditional grades, very little homework, we were able to choose our own assignments, very few test (we checked them ourselves) and our electives were completely up to us.

The Open School was not as free as An Anarchist Academy but I'm so happy to have had the experience. For the first time I was motivated to learn with adult guidance. Before I hated homework, it felt pointless and like forced busy work. Now I found myself studying things on my own, going above and beyond the assignments and trusting my intellect.

When I think about this homeschooling sounds kind of appealing. I would love for my kids to experience this for themselves.

LLnL said...

I forgot to say I found you through This Brazen Teacher's link.

Monkey Wrench said...

Thanks all for your comments!! Finally I get some traffic. thanks to everyone who commented.


HalfCrazy said...

Glad to know you're getting much deserved traffic! :)

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

I agree schools are not structured along the lines you have mentioned. However, arent our universities a lot like this?

Monkey Wrench said...

They are sort of like this, but all the restrictions, the presence of haughty campus police and ever-present CCTV cameras just kill whatever good there was in creating a more conducive space for thought. We get mired in more restrictions, more benchmarks for grades, more slime.