Antonio Rossin WDDM Home Page
Education to Democracy Starts From Inside the Family∞
(PPT presentation, Lucknow, Dec. 2007)
Critical Thinking and Education for DD∞
As a MD and a neurologist, I studied the relation between language patterns learning in earliest child's age under parenting feed-back and the self-fixing of the individual's brain framework and future living style. I've spotted out two main parenting models, as two opposite ends of the educational continuum: the hierarchic authoritarian one, backing the rigid conservative personality building, suitable for mass aggregation into hierarchic fundamentalist social arrangements, and the "Dialectic" one, backing the autonomous flexible personality suitable for the individual's aware and active participation into society in what we call "Direct Democracy".
"Since Democracy is a product of human mind, it is inside the people's minds that Democracy must be built first
," I said to myself and brought a paper, "The Grassroots Bottom-up Approach to Democracy" http://www.flexible-learning.org/eng/bottom_up.htm∞
at the Athens-Delpi 2nd CICDD conference, June 2000, where WDDM was founded.
Other writings in my web site http://www.flexible-learning.org∞
; the last editing of some in Jud Evans' "Athenaeum Library of Philosophy", at: http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/study.htm∞
To explain better the matter, I append below an excerpt from the Submission
made by Doug Everingham, a former Australian Minister for Health and Western Pacific region's Vice-President, World Health Assembly, Geneva, to the Officers & Members of the WHO's Commission on Social Determinants of Health:
(Quote - from D.E.'s letter)
Our Cultural Straitjacket ("LFS")
After World War 2, Bowlby and others studied child casualties following widespread fragmentation of families in Europe. Dr Spock's infant care manual became a best seller. Later studies have exposed emotionally cold institutions in the western world, notably under authoritarian regimes. It is still not, I think, common to find collaboration between disciplines concentrating on infant emotional / cultural security on one hand and on the other hand sociological epidemics, like drug misuse, domestic violence and war.
In the past few years an Italian family doctor with a special interest in neurology and child care, Antonio Rossin 
, has started to publish his theory of a pandemic "Low Flexibility Syndrome (LFS)" -- cultural rigidities consolidated in infancy. This concept seems to me potentially critical for building a saner world culture. He suggests educators, in particular, should work with parents to test strategies for giving infants experience and confidence in joint decision-making during a period fundamental for stable social interaction -- between the ages of six months and three years -- the age, appropriately enough, with peak capacities for some basic language learning skills.
He says parents tend to instill into most of us authoritarian attitudes. A dominant parent or mentor has the first say and the last say in crucial decision making. Another parent figure, mentor or monitor, commonly acquiesces. We thus learn the comforts of conformity, avoiding critical judgment that could challenge our inherited / adopted socializing group(s). Dr Rossin suggests that the child (or community member) should have the first and last say in decision making that affects herself / himself in a democracy-seeking world. We should thus be persistently encouraged to participate in decision making to the limit of our developing capacities. Central to that encouragement should be the example of our mentors -- negotiating consensus, resolving conflict .
Thus our socialization should be seen as a "triadic, dialectical" process with mentors / authorities and the rest of our (world or local) groups / community who are their dependents or constituency, cooperatively contributing to relevant decisions and their implementation.
Clearly the theory itself discredits any plan to impose its strategies on parents, with or without involvement of other professions -- a "top-down" or authoritarian approach. Yet I urge support -- initially for testing the theory and formulating its cultural strategy -- from educators, whose priorities seem more concentrated on post-infancy learning (language, literacy, numeracy, cultural conformities). Dr Rossin suggests parents are most likely to consider trying his suggestions first as a preventive approach to one of the least confident and least secure fields of parenting -- drug misuse. His theory might then become a factor for preventing fundamentalist rigidity in stress reactions and decision making in a wider sphere: fanatical militancy, bigotry etc.
The Committee might recommend a multi-disciplinary assessment of the 'low flexibility syndrome' theory of Dr Antonio Rossin, and its relevance to drug misuse and other social problems, especially involving experts in conflict resolution  and social development in infancy.
. Antonio Rossin MD, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, web site
In short, what I'm campaigning to us DD activists is: besides giving the people the best DD fish , i.e. DD guidelines, Constitutional Charters etc. for them to follow, let's also provide them with the best fishing mindframe, allowing them to approach awarely, autonomously and responsibly the daily
communication occurrences of society we live in, from the family territory up to the state, towards building a better Direct (participatory) Democracy.
My message is directed to the DD activists (including ISPO), Educators, Parents, People
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