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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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An Open Letter to the Next Generation of School Survivalists
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Ky Offline
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Posts: 5,201
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An Open Letter to the Next Generation of School Survivalists

A few years have passed since I first joined the School Survival community, and several months have passed since I received my high school diploma. In fact, some of you reading this are likely even younger than my little brother.

In other words, I feel old. While my anti-school activism is far from over, I've not only reached the point at which I am no longer affected by compulsory education, but at which I feel it is my moral obligation to reach out to those who are. Those of you who remain under the tyrannical grasp of coercion and indoctrination, this open letter goes out to you.

So, for your benefit - and the benefit of those who will, in turn, succeed you - I offer the things I've learned about the status quo and what can be done to change it.

As you likely know by now, schools are prisons of sorts, whether public or private - opponents of compulsory education have called them such for decades. At first glance, it might appear that the point of these institutions is simply to provide taxpayer-funded day care for children and adolescents while their parents are at work - after all, they do indeed achieve this theoretical objective by keeping the youth occupied with mandatory, unpaid, and seemingly-aimless busywork. It's true that schools keep the youth from their homes, the streets, and various places of business for several hours a day; it's also true that there are many in the working world who would consider the state's policy of compulsory of education to be a public service. This, however, is not the entire story - I've found in recent years that schools are not just prisons.

The truth is far more sinister: Schools are factories, and we are their products.

The busywork students are given isn't aimless at all; in fact, it is specifically designed to inculcate obedience and a greater capacity for rote memorization in those it is assigned to. The most malleable, docile, and observant individuals are given the keys to what looks like a bright future: college scholarships, job opportunities, and other financial incentives. Those who treat the busywork as what it is - busywork - and give it no more effort than is necessary to pass are hurried along instead. Those who fail to endure it are cast aside and regarded as scum. This is not a system that favors the smart over the dumb - it favors the dependent over the independent, the obedient over the obstinate, the submissive over the resistant - and its aim is to produce an entire society of workers.

It is succeeding at this aim, and has succeeded for many generations. Those who control even a single generation have the very world within their hands, and there's no better place to harness the power of a generation than from its most formative years.

My generation, like those before it, has so far failed to shake off the shackles of oppression, even in the face of rising college costs and a failing economy. It is at long last in a position at which it can demand a mass redress of grievances, yet it asks only for concessions - for civil rights realized far too late in the course of human history. So many people my age believe themselves to be on the right side of history, not realizing the origin of whatever cultural values they embrace.

And they're dutiful workers, perhaps more so than any who have come before them. Already, many of them have lent their arms to turn the cogs of industry, to ingratiate themselves in the "work culture" they have been trained nearly their whole lives to take part in. This is neither a capitalistic nor a socialistic culture, though it contains elements of both: It is a widely-held dedication to the production of wealth by any means necessary, be it private enterprise or government planning. For more than a century, in the interest of continuing this elaborate wealth-distribution game, governments the world over have been making excessive use of one resource in particular: the future. That is to say, you.

It all starts with compulsory education - as long as schools can keep churning out entire generations of workers, the entire system continues to function.

The problem with that is debt. You cannot borrow from the future without paying something back one day. That, in fact, is what sustains this facet of society; it's the rich, powerful, and generally-old who keep this game going so that they can continue to benefit from it. In their eyes, the young and the poor still have to pay their dues, and many of those young will grow up to demand the same from their successors. It's a cycle of exploitation - everybody works to the point at which they no longer have to, at which point they can say "well, I've got mine."

And it isn't sustainable. One day, the debt could grow beyond the ability of one generation to pay it back... and that's when things would really go to hell. Year by year, our seniors create a world increasingly unfit for the presence of our juniors, and it is for the sake of this world that this trend must be stopped, or even reversed if at all possible. It should be our mission to make this world a better place not only for own generations, but for every generation to come.

This is beyond climate change, economic recessions, or class conflict. We're talking about the future, and defending the future means stopping our predecessors from consuming it. This is your world, but if you want it, you're going to have to fight them for it. This starts with the abolition of compulsory education and the liberation of future generations.

It seems that this will require nothing short of a revolution, and revolutions are only possible with the cooperation of an enormous number of people. No generation of compulsory education's opponents has ever been able to come close to that - here's hoping yours will be the first. Failing that, I want you to pass this message along to those who come after you; we're fighting for the future, and it's looking increasingly likely that the future is itself the only hope for the future.

One more thing - it's precisely because you're not doing this on your own that you don't need to worry; the burden is not yours alone to bear. Even if we cannot liberate the entire world, it is a comfort to know that even small deeds can make the world a better place than we found it, and that's more than many of those who came before us were willing to contribute.

Remember what it is you're surviving - and, once you're out, join me in my endeavor to break the chains of those still suffering the same. That's all. Thank you for reading!

Public Service Announcement: First world problems are still problems.
08-21-2016 02:36 PM
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 Thanks given by: SoulRiser , DreamRebel , Rule_BreakerXVIII , Ilija.m , vonunov , stevehein , -SCS-
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An Open Letter to the Next Generation of School Survivalists - Ky - 08-21-2016 02:36 PM

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