A Libertarian, An-archist and A-crata approach to education

Felix García Moriyón

Abstract


When anarchism appeared as a political proposal, it was accompanied by a philosophy that encompasses all aspects of human life. In this political project, education plays a very important role on the road to a radically different society. Education is a necessary condition to foster free people who tend towards social solidarity. At present, anarchists offer three different educational proposals: deschooling society, creating schools with an anarchist agenda and ethos and teaching in free and compulsory schools. In this paper, we explore the third option in a more detailed way: the role of an anarchist teacher in public schools. We pay attention to the three essentials that run throughout all manifestations of anarchist ideology: freedom (libertarian*), autonomy (anarchism) and empowerment (a-cracia**). The three of them should guide anarchist teachers, according to the central principals of anarchist political praxis: direct action, prefigurative politics and mutual aid. The means employed to change society must be coherent with the ends to be achieved.

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*Although I continue to use the term ‘libertarian’ in my paper, it is, in Spanish (and also in French or Italian), synonymous with ‘anarchist’ and has a weak, but interesting, relationship with the US term ‘libertarian’, which is normally on the right of the political spectrum (Roderick, 2018; García Moriyón, 2019).

**‘Acracia’ is a very frequent term in Spanish to refer to ‘anarchism’, and ‘ácrata’ is almost synonymous to ‘anarchist’. This term exists also in French, Portuguese and German, but not in English. I want to use it because it refers to a fundamental trait of anarchism: a society without power nor domination. ‘Acracia’ comes from ancient Greek: α-, a ‘non’, y κράτος, kratos ‘power’. It is very different meaning to that of the English term ‘akrasia’: weakness of will.


Keywords


deschooling; non-authoritarian schools; prefiguration; direct action; self-government; anarchist education; anarchist teacher.

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