Re: a theory of racial prudery
- Dear Robert,
I think it's true that we reap what we sow and that this applies to
institutions as well. I liked the whole theory of repressed sexual
energy-I think it beats the excessive wind theory by a mile-but have
you ever asked yourself why Waldorf Schools would sow such seeds of
hostility in the first place?-Val
--- In email@example.com, "eduardo" <edwardudell@...> wrote:
> I see several sources of hostility to Waldorf Education. I think some
> of the reasons people have are partly justified, and should be
> acknowledged. I say this as someone who thinks Waldorf is often
> wonderful and a huge blessing for kids.
Me, I'm still hung up in the sexual energy angle that Robert introduced. I'd say that there is a sense of camaraderie or dare I say communion that is developed by critics of Waldorf Education. Then maybe it's like the song says,
When you lay your dream to rest
You can get what's second best
But it's hard to get enough
Anyway, I don't think it's any substitute for sex but I spent some time there and I have to admit that there were certain aspects that were, what can I say, kinda fulfilling.
> Some people are hostile to Waldorf mainly when it enters the public
> realm so that you have Waldorf-inspired public schools. I agree with
> the movement for increased school choice, so I disagree with the
> opposition raised by people like Dan Dugan to Waldorf-inspired public
I would rather see school vouchers rather than public Waldorf Schools.
> Others are hostile to Waldorf because of a phenomenon I´ve observed in
> religious and spiritual settings. In such settings, people who are in
> authority, and must make decisions, sometimes base those decisions on
> arbitrary personal choices dressed up in spiritual garb and
> pseudo-spiritual justification. That is done not necessarily
> intentionally, but because of a lack of self-knowledge and an
> abundance of self-deception. To be at the sharp end of such
> "spiritual" decisions, which one perceives as being in reality
> entirely arbitrary, arouses justifiable outrage and disgust.
> Again, this is a phenomenon that seems to be prevalent in spiritual
> settings -- when there is a dispute or a conflict, the thing is
> sometimes not resolved in an open way according to some kind of
> transparent due process. Why is that? Because one is in a spiritual
> setting, and everyone has or seems to have idealistic intentions, and
> as a result sometimes too little attention is paid to the shadow side
> of authority and of the human person. Thus when a conflict emerges
> between teachers and parents or teachers and children, there may be no
> commonsense structure for airing the conflict and resolving it fairly.
> Instead the whole thing proceeds in an entirely arbitrary manner
> according to the "spiritual insight" of some authority or authorities
> "meditating" the problem. I don´t actually think that Waldorf is so
> bad on this score, but I´ve no doubt the abuse of authority, masked
> with supposed spiritual justifications, happens sometimes.
> Few people can be counted on to judge fairly when their own interests
> come into conflict with the interests of others. Nor in any truly
> enlightened setting, surely, should a party to a conflict at the same
> time be the judge and jury over that conflict. But that is what
> happens sometimes in spiritual settings, because everyone coming
> together for spiritual purposes feels so pleased with their motives
> for what they are doing, and the lack of sufficient doubts or
> suspicions or awareness of the dark side means that sometimes no
> objective accountability structures fair to all parties are set up.
> Ironically, if you go to many an ordinary, crass, business
> corporation, however, where people are naturally very suspicious of
> motives, you often find extremely enlightened due process arrangements
> in place, and all kinds of protections for employees against
> employers, precisely because no one is under any illusions about the
> saintliness of everyone involved. How ironic that in anthroposophic
> and spiritual settings, the standard of an ordinary crass business
> corporation are sometimes not even reached!
Well, I think that's one side of the coin-and this side costs the schools alot of $$$$ so it does tend to improve over time if the school is to be financially viable. But the other side is that WS's can appeal to "new progressives" or "cultural creatives" who have rejected organized religion and rituals and who feel an affinity initially with you know-"the vibe." I've told this story, I think before, but years ago my children's school had this nationally renowed independent school marketing guru guy come to spend like a weekend with the Board. He'd never even heard of Waldorf before so he wasn't a Waldorf guy. So what he said was:
A. you are the entire top of your market-whatever authentic education, or real education is-that's your identity and
B. the good news is that you own the entire left of your market but the bad news is that there's no money there.
So, I'm like cool-we could be kleenex, or better yet, coke-let's spend the weekend figuring out how to brand this sucker. But the consensus was that we should re-position ourselves to the right-go after the money-a capital idea!
So that's what we did and the school's been working toward re-positioning themselves in the local marketplace ever since.