What Abrome is Trying to Accomplish

“A society free of compulsory or coercive schooling, where young people are celebrated for their contributions to society, and where they all have the confidence to believe that they can improve the human condition.” [1]

Abrome was not envisioned because we believed that schooling could be administered more effectively; Abrome was envisioned because we know our civilization can be better. We live in an unjust, hierarchical, authoritarian society where human rights are violated and human capital is destroyed on a mass scale. Despite the tremendous progress that we have made economically and technologically over the past century, we have not made similar strides when it comes to expanding the freedoms and dignity of all people. [2]

Of all the levers that we could pull to radically improve the human condition, none comes close to the abolition of compulsory, coercive, traditional schooling. Schooling is not the only problem in society, but it is one of the most significant ones, and it perpetuates or amplifies virtually all of the other problems in society.

Schooling injects injustice into children’s lives at an early age. It strips children of their freedom and free will, and replaces it with strict rules on conduct, manner, thinking, and beliefs. In schools, children are voiceless. Sure, they may be allowed to talk, if they raise their hands, or at recess, if recess still exists, but their words carry no weight. Adults dictate to them anything adults think is of consequence.

Schooling introduces hierarchy in ways the family or church cannot. For most children, school is the first place they learn that there is a steep hierarchy in society, and that the assumed place for children is at the bottom. With the passing of time, so long as they obediently stay in their place, they can hope to slowly move up, one step at a time, one year at a time.

Schooling stamps authoritarianism onto the soul of children. It becomes obvious on its face that the teacher has complete control over the children in the classroom. And that the principal has complete control over the children in the school. There is no consensus, or shared responsibility. What the person in charge says is true; it is law. Those who question, resist, or rebel are punished quickly.

Schools prepare young people to become compliant members of the status quo.  They are not educated; they are indoctrinated. They are not celebrated; they are simply measured. They are not trusted; they are managed. They learn to keep their mouths shut when they see injustice, and they are encouraged to go along to get along. If they are particularly compliant, and they figure out how to ingratiate themselves with their masters, they can even hope to rise to the top so that they can be the ones controlling others, whether it be as a teacher, a police officer, a corporate executive, or a politician.

By encouraging compliance, and allowing young people to think that they can only make a difference by moving along the approved and preordained paths prescribed to them, schools perpetuate and amplify the injustices already present in our society. It gives power to those already in power, and makes powerless those who come to believe there are no other ways to improve their world.      

Through Abrome we aspire to radically alter the way society operates. We will free young people so that they can lead remarkable lives, fully confident in themselves and their ability to change the world for the better, with a support network that will encourage them along the way, as opposed to pulling them down. And just as importantly, we will validate this as a superior alternative to the status quo. Instead of placing children into destructive schools, it will become apparent that allowing them to be free actually increases the health, happiness, and future outcomes of young people. We will prove that we do not have to sacrifice the youth of children, nor do we have to make tradeoffs between health, happiness, and achievement, for the sake of their future.

Over the coming weeks we will highlight how the Abrome model is working to invalidate the traditional model of schooling so that parents will pull their children out of these schools, and instead allow their children to attend truly alternative schools, or to homeschool or unschool. We will write about how we eliminate the harmful structures and practices of schooling, and we will also share how Abrome provides Learners with the space and tools necessary to improve the human condition.

 

1. http://www.abrome.com/mission/

2. Although the rate of economic growth and technological innovation over the past century is unparalleled in human history, we have only scratched the surface of human potential. If humans were respected, freed from oppression, and empowered to participate in all aspects of economy, we would be significantly more advanced, prosperous, and egalitarian. Purely on economic terms, Libertarian L. Neil Smith claims that we would be eight times more wealthy if we were free. http://lneilsmith.org/utopian.html  He is not alone in postulating how much wealthier we would be if free, as many others have made similar arguments. His estimate, however, is short by orders of magnitude.