Declaration on the Birth of the Child Lorca
We will not send our child to a public school, or even to a private one in the usual sense. Together we have managed to learn much the schools couldn't teach us, and unlearn some of what they did. The heart of our knowledge is ours now, and it tells us we must be responsible ourselves for the conditions of our child's growth. This is no romantic hippy daydream. It is a full political act: grounded in theory, chosen as strategy, implemented with all the skills of our consciousness.
We chose to move on the future by freeing our child from the control of the present State. We declare independence from its essential instrument, the System of Education. We will not give our young over to be conditioned in obedience with its programs by any of its representatives, however unofficial, informal and liberal. We will grow our own. And we will grow them as free as we can manage, in situations where we have only to contend with what is in ourselves of the lives we are trying to leave behind.
Several years ago we left the Educational System, where we were cut off from our many selves. We sidestepped the institutions that continue it in society, and began to come together. Now we know that other lives of learning are possible. We can name them. Crippled as we are, we can create their initial conditions: we understand what is involved and have the skills and the power. For we have been learning to be what we imagine: to live in our bodies, make art with our lives, realize cooperation, and fight Fascism by any means necessary, including the creation of alternate realities, guerrilla enclaves of Life in the State of Death.
Good life learning means understanding is integrated in action. We display our knowledge of the culture of specialized roles, with its destructive systems of education, competition and authority, by how we manage to be each other's teachers, siblings and lovers, parents and children, by how we tend and heal and share each other's growth. We must focus at home through this if we are to focus anywhere else and into the future. We will grow our own. And we ourselves must be directly involved in what and how our children learn, for no one else can represent our interest in the future.
For this we must make our lives over: rearrange the ways we work, the styles of our play, the priorities of our time and our love; and move beyond the roles that still bind us from within. To replace what we reject, we must learn anew what we have to share, and grow to make it adequate. The price of making of our lives a school for our children is our own transformation. We believe it is possible, because it is already begun.
Our parents were forced to abandon their children to the part-time uses of the State because they were integrated into its economy and culture, because they saw no alternative, because they were isolated in marriage and privacy and could not organize their lives to be also a school. We know now that no couple can cope alone with even their own relation. We learn in a larger community. To free our young many must come together, to share their powers in critical mass and intimacy. We believe it involves all entering equal as children into the school of a larger Family.
It also means learning economic cooperation, to free space and resources. And it means committing ourselves to political identity and struggle. At present here, one elementary credential can front for up to fifty kids, leaving us with only our own limitations. But when many choose to use this freedom it will be curtailed, and that will be only the beginning. For Fascism is rising softly in this land, you have seen its sign in the black headline of the sky.
The State registered our son with a number at his birth and designs to own him. Our growing up prepared us for integration into its army, its civil and industrial bureaucracies, its systems of consumption and exploitation, decision and power. It cannot afford us to let our son grow unprepared, let alone prepared for something else. It will not give him over to the gropings of our freedom without a deadly struggle. This will take many forms. To meet them, we must realize together who we are and the politics of our necessities and choices. And prepare to resist, to fight for the cradle of the future, and to flourish in and beyond our resistance.
1 June 1970