Alliance for the Separation of School & State
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The Education Liberator, Vol. 2, No. 4, May 1996

From the Editor

The wall is cracking

The Separation idea is so bold that even some staunch advocates back away from predicting triumph any time soon.

Personally, I look for victory sooner rather than later. Whenever I chide myself that this is just wishful thinking, I remember the amazing sight of Germans partying atop the Berlin Wall on the night when that forbidding barrier ceased to be a barrier. It was as though hundreds of thousands of people decided, at the same instant, to wake themselves up from a long bad dream.

Maybe we'll never see people dancing on the roofs of darkened school board buildings, but the demise of state schooling ? and its replacement with freedom ? could happen almost as swiftly and dramatically. The fall of the Berlin Wall was preceded by a massive, months-long exodus of East Germans to the west, which the Communist authorities did little to try to stop. One of the signs Separationists might watch for is an exponential rise in the number of parents and students fleeing the state schools. An even surer sign will be when the state schoolers give up trying to stop the hemorrhage.

The late libertarian intellectual Murray Rothbard once gave a speech in which he expressed surprise at other people's surprise over Communism's sudden collapse. I remember him saying that that is precisely how momentous changes usually appear to happen. Things go along day to day and year to year without anything really changing (or seeming likely to change), then suddenly everything turns upside down.

Revolutions don't happen by accident, of course. Even as we continue laying the groundwork for achieving Separation, we can expect many battles before those with an entrenched interest in the existing system give up and let freedom happen. But when it does, I'm betting it will happen with the force and suddenness of an earthquake. At least that's how it will seem to most people as they wake up wondering why they ever let the failed experiment of state schooling go on as long as it did.

The wall is cracking even now. You're invited to the party.

Steve Smith

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