Friday, November 18, 2011

Let Kids Be Themselves

I just stumbled upon this wonderful quote,
"A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves." - Bansky
and wanted to say a thing or two about it. Both unschooling and unconditional parenting are primarily about allowing your kids to be themselves. Letting them discover things like ways of being and moving to the beat of their own tune. I see it everywhere, kids doing things that parents arbitrarily disapprove of, and being either forcibly prevented from or violently punished for doing it.

It's rather a terrible thing. Children are in a foreign place, and everything is new. They're trying to figure things out. And while parents should keep them safe, they absolutely should not use force or violence to mold a child into something other than what the child wants to be.

Parental tyranny is rampant. My wife and I have purged this tyrannical impulse in favor of allowing our children to be happy, and to be individuals. We don't try to control them in ways other than keeping them safe. We no longer give thought to their "behavior" so long as they keep their hands to themselves. And as it turns out, they're making the right decisions. They are 2 and 6, but they've impressed us in some interesting ways.

We're excited for the future, and in seeing the people they chose to become. It's their choice, not ours.

Planting the Voluntaryist Seed

A short conversation between my 6-year-old son and I before reading our bedtime story went as follows:
Son: Dad, what is that second word on your book in the bathroom?
Dad: "Defined", the title is "Liberty Defined" (Ron Paul).
Son: What is liberty?
Dad: Liberty is when nobody else is trying to control you.
Son: Do we have liberty here (where we live, America)?
Dad: We have a significant amount of liberty in America, but we are still controlled in many ways.
Son: Who controls us?
Dad: The government controls us in many ways, bad guys sometimes try to control us.
Son: Oh.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Re: Spontaneous Road Order

There isn't a better case for spontaneous road order than India:



Some colleagues of mine just got back from a trip to India (to train some new hires), and their experience mirrored the above. They were mesmerized at the seeming chaos of it all, yet it worked. In 2 weeks, they saw 1 fender bender, which was resolved on the spot, no "public servant" involvement.

Re: Privately Owned Roads?

Guest post by Carl Uhl.

Skyler, I have been contemplating posting something regarding spontaneous order and traffic for the past few days and your post inspired me.

What sparked my thinking on this are my weekly trips taking my mom shopping at our local strip mall. Once we pull off of the centrally planned public roads and into the various parking lots you can quickly observe how people begin to unravel when the regulations and controls are taken away and the opportunities for spontaneous order are abundant. It is during these times that it is easy to observe how the lobotomy labs called public schools have removed the ability of people to think for themselves. Instead of using the electronic signaling devices built into our vehicles, eye communication and hand gestures to navigate and interact in this anarchistic environment, we instead allow it to create conflict.

There are numerous articles I could include to bring further enlightenment to this topic but a good start would be "Traffic Laws and Spontaneous Order". I also recommend the blog site Free to Choose Free to Move and the web site Equality Streets.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Re: Privately Owned Roads?

Ms. Mary March Newell comments, "People need to be able to move freely throughout the country. We can't have anyone 'OWNING' the roads..."

I'd like to introduce to Ms. Newell an important work on this very topic by the magnificent Walter Block titled, The Privatization of Roads & Highways. Very important, free read, and duly recommended.

Re: Intro. - Zen Anarchist

Glad to have you Zen! For those who don't know, "minarchist" mean "minimal-rule" or limited-government, ie. your nightwatchman-state libertarian. Some noteworthy minarchist libertarians are Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and F.A. Hayek. I, too, was once a minarchist, a necessary step on the way to complete voluntaryism.

I'm looking forward to what this young minarchist minister-in-training has to offer.

The Law According to the Somalis

Davi Barker gives us a very interesting look inside Somali law, and concludes,
The Somalis have demonstrated that providing justice in the free market is at least possible, and that you don’t need to pass statutes prohibiting murder and theft, because those laws already exist, whether you write them down or not. In short, they have demonstrated that life, liberty, and property are inscribed upon the hearts of mankind, like fingerprints in the clay of Adam.
This is a must read.

Re: Anti-Social?

Carl, a beautiful video! Indeed, state action is the epitome of anti-social behavior. It should also be recognized that state-owned schools, public schools, are where kids learn to be anti-social. Stuck in a chair 8 hours, with kids their own age (the blind leading the blind), and not allowed to speak unless spoken too. Consider also when kids do come in contact with someone from another grade. You're teased if you play with someone younger, and someone older will beat you up if you try to talk to them, or else they'll be teased by their own peers. Anti-social behavior all over the place.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anti-Social?

Guest post by Carl Uhl.

Many times the Libertarian/Voluntaryist is accused of being anti-social. Of wanting to distance himself from society with a go it alone type of attitude. While in actuality, it is the Voluntaryist who champions the ideals of social cooperation and the advantages of living in a societal environment. It is the state that in reality is anti-social and actually hampers voluntary exchange as explained in the following video that contains a short extract from Murray Rothbard's book, "The Ethics of Liberty":

The Drug Named "Control"

"If we are to outlaw drugs, then let us criminalize the worst drug of them all: the coercive control of sovereign individuals. Let us reject the notion that the punitive arm of the state can and should be employed to exceed its moral authority and instead impose whatever a majority of a legislature wishes. And most importantly, we must eliminate the cognitive dissonance permeating our society which supports outlawing certain harmful drugs while deeply inhaling the worst of them all." - writes Connor Boyack, read the rest.

Origin of Everything-Voluntary

Post by Skyler J. Collins.

Alright so, I've started this website and listed out the topics I'd like it to cover, all really without any explanation of how they relate or why I believe they're all important. Let's do that.

Once-upon-a-time, I was what I consider now to be a Socialist-Democrat. I was a "teenager" and just sort of believed everything my father told me about politics. Never really had my own ideas. This is common among public-schooled teenagers. There's really only a surface-level conviction when it comes to politics. Nothing with any amount of depth, or so it was with me.

It was after I got married in 2004 that I discovered libertarian-economist Walter Williams. I devoured everything he ever wrote. I discovered Thomas Sowell and bought several of his books on economics, ideas, and ethnicity. I become a libertarian for consequentialist reasons. I learned all about the free market. The study of economics became a passion. I soon discovered the Austrian School and Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, Walter Block, Hans Hoppe, Tom Woods, and Robert Murphy.

Via these great Austrian School libertarians, or austro-libertarians, I learned all about money, business cycles, monopoly, and the contrast between Socialism and free-market Capitalism. It wasn't long before I discovered the ethical side of libertarianism via these great thinkers.

So here I am. I'm a devout Latter-day Saint (a Mormon), a devout Christian, and for various theological and moral reasons I oppose the use of violence and coercion. And now I'm a libertarian, and for various philosophical, ethical, and consequentialist reasons I oppose the use of violence and coercion. But after 6 years of studying all of this, I have 2 children. I've learned to abhor violence and coercion, yet I was being violent and coercive with my children, mostly my son since he was about 3, now 5 by this time. I was conflicted.

I thought spanking and time-outs and controlling our kids was okay, that it was the right thing to do. A big part of me rejected violence and coercion, and the other part utilized it. I was a big fat hypocrite. Then a good friend of mine introduced me to Alfie Kohn's work on what he calls "Unconditional Parenting". I bought his book and his DVD and consumed both with my wife. Moral consistency forced us to change the way we approached our children. You can read all about that on my Life blog.

Here we are in mid-2011, and my son is ready for Kindergarten. I'd been studying different homeschooling methods for about a year and finally settled on unschooling. As I intensified my study of unschooling, I discovered that it too opposed any sort of control or compulsion over children and their learning. I fell in love! I was convinced on principle and managed to convince my wife on practice that unschooling our kids is what's best for them, and off we went. My wife and I are learning through experience the blessings of natural learning and academic freedom. My son had a week of Kindergarten, after a year of preschool, and now his public-schooling days are over. My kids will never be forced to go to school, or forced to learn what they don't care to learn.

I'm no longer conflicted. I'm no longer a big fat hypocrite. I can say with complete honesty that I live what I believe and I believe what I live, and I call it voluntaryism. It's such a beautiful thing and I've applied it to all areas of my life. Violence and coercion in pursuit of a goal is unethical and immoral. This conviction is heart-deep. I started Everything-Voluntary.com to share this conviction with others. And I've invited other voluntaryists to join me in this effort.

Equality of Opportunity

"Who, or what, is interfering with equality of opportunity?" asks Geoff B. at The Millennial Star. Voluntaryists won't be surprised at his answer.

Thought Experiments on The Violence of The State

Michael Suede of LibertarianNews.com has some excellent thought experiments on the violence of the state:
-Your mother grew illegal vegetable matter and gave it to her sick friend. If found guilty, she faces 1 year in jail and a 1000 dollar fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother is the CEO of her privately owned corporation and she hid corporate income in order to avoid taxation. She used the money she kept to help you pay for your college. If found guilty, she faces 5 years in federal prison and a 100,000 dollar fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother owns a restaurant and she agreed to allow a 15 year old waitress to work overtime during the summer so she could save money up for a car. She is guilty of violating child labor laws. If found guilty, she faces 6 months in federal prison and a $10,000 fine. – would you convict her?

-Your mother installed an addition to her home without asking the State permission before doing so. She is guilty of failure to obtain a building permit. She was supposed to pay a $6,300 fine for avoiding the permit, but refused to do so based on principle. She doesn’t feel she should have to ask the State permission before adding on to her home. Now she faces criminal contempt charges. If found guilty, she faces 6 months in jail and a $10,000 fine in addition to the $6,300 dollar fine for avoidance. – would you convict her?

-Your mother hired a nanny to help raise you. You absolutely loved the nanny and view her as a second mother. Your mother paid her under the table and the nanny was in this country illegally. Your mother faces tax evasion charges and labor law violations for hiring an illegal. The nanny has already been deported. If found guilty, your mother faces 5 years in prison and a $100,000 dollar fine.

-Your mother purchased a handgun for your father from a friend because they live in a high crime California neighborhood. Their landlord happened to spot it laying out one day and called the police. It turns out the handgun was not on the approved gun list and was not registered. If found guilty, your mother faces 3 years in State prison.
My answer is NO!, on every one. The theory of "jury nullification" has intrigued me. So much so that the next time I get a call for jury duty, rather than throwing it away I'll be responding to it in hopes of being selected. If the opportunity presents itself to bring real justice via an act of jury nullification, I'll seize it. I encourage you to do the same.

(cross-posted at truth.skylerjcollins.com)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Common Genius

After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We supress genius because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.
John Taylor Gatto, from Weapons of Mass Instruction.

(h/t unschoolers.org)

Child Sexual Abuse Scandals and Parents

Of all the people who's names are being brought to light as guilty for one thing or another in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, we can't overlook the role of the abused boys' parents.

Ultimately, parents are the ones responsible for the welfare of their kids. If they send their kids to school, to be raised by strangers, they're to blame when those strangers raise them to less than ideal standards. And they're also to blame if they send their kids to who turns out to be a sexual predator.

It can happen anywhere, and from anybody. Teachers at school, your priest, your Boy Scout leader, your little-league coach, ANYBODY and ANYWHERE. Wake up, people! Be a little more involved in your kids' lives. Keep them a little closer, and make sure they're always "standing in holy places". If it were me, take a pay cut, ie. keep one spouse home, and unschool your kids. Thousands of unschooled kids have learned every practical skill they've ever needed to know, all without the baggage of compulsory schooling. In my opinion, there's not a single good reason to send your kids to be raised by someone else, usually against their will.

Attend their extra-curricular activities, their sports, including their practices. Be there with them, sharing every moment of their lives. Of course, you could fail miserably at this. How? By trying to control everything they do. Give them freedom, and enjoy the ride. And most importantly, keep them safe. They're yours for just a short while, before they're on their own. Prepare them for life. Remember, if they get abused, it's partly your fault.

Re: An Article to Pass On to Priests, et al

Christian Prophet, great article. This is something I've thought a lot about. The Israelites in the Old Testament were told what sorts of atrocities a king would inflict on them, yet they demanded one anyway. A clear showing of whom it was they were placing their faith in, and who they wanted to provide for them and fight their battles.

It's happening today. Those who claim to be Christian, or any religious affiliation, really, have increasingly turned from their God and his promise to take care of them. They put in office counterfeit gods who wield the sword of state to rob society in order to create the illusion of security and prosperity. We've had a diminishing return on both.

Only a free society can provide true security and true prosperity. When everyone is held accountable to the same standards of civilized conduct, meaning that no one has a monopoly on administering law, real law, mala in se, then nobody is allowed the opportunity to climb on the backs of the productive class to claim their spoils.