Thanks, Erik,

I should probably have been more explicit in defining democracy. I did more or less define it implicitly in the article, where I said that the meta-rules of play are also the principles of democracy. Then I went on to list them: the meta-rules, which, essentially are: (1) Decisions & rules are made by those affected by the decisions and rules; (2) individual rights are respected (each person may choose their own route to happiness), within the boundaries set by the agreed-upon rules; and (3) the principle of equality, meaning that each person is considered equally worthy, regardless of differences in abilities, interests, etc.

These principles are the ideals striven for--never quite reached--in democratic government and in healthy play. I hope this helps.

My main point is that children's social play is not anarchic. It is very much rule based, and those rules are formed in a democratic manner, centered on these principles.

I have an article coming out in the April issue of the American Journal of Play that deals with the idea that play was the foundation for democracy in hunter-gatherer bands. I argue there that the human capacity for play allowed us to develop far more cooperative ways of living than had existed in other primates. I contrast the idea of governance through play with the idea of governance through dominance and describe the many ways by which hunter-gatherer bands encouraged play and discouraged dominance as the foundation for social existence. You might want to take a look at it when it is published. Once it is out I will be free to discuss those ideas more extensively in the blog.

Best wishes,
Peter

More Posts