Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

What I Learned in the Men’s Room

Guest post by Ted Olson.

“Daddy, listen!” A common plea from my son, Thomas. I’m often lost in thought or working on a post, or trying to dictate a command. Getting my full attention can be difficult. Listening, really listening, is not easy. Yet, deep listening makes all the difference in a relationship.

What does this have to do with a men’s room? I’m getting there.

When Thomas was 6 we were out in the back yard. I was weed whacking and he was playing with his sister. They got into an argument so I called Thomas over. He wouldn’t come. I called again; still nothing. I couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t take a few simple steps so I could have a quick conversation with him. I resorted to yelling – still nothing.

When Does Law Become Criminal?

Post by Skyler J. Collins. Originally written August 2011.

If you've ever criticized taxation in front of an average statist, be them liberal or conservative, you know that it quickly turns awkward. They insist that taxation is necessary for certain services and that they're happy to pay it. They sometimes even assume you're advocating not paying taxes, then the conversation turns towards a discussion on the merits of "obeying the law".

Do You Shame Your Child?

Guest post by Laura Markham.
"Children learn to regulate their behaviors by developing an emotional 'clutch,' located in the prefrontal cortex, that can turn the accelerator off when the brakes are applied and redirect their interest in more acceptable directions....An activated accelerator followed by the application of brakes leads to a nervous system response with a turning away of eye gaze, a feeling of heaviness in the chest, and a sinking feeling...This limit-setting 'no-induced' form of shame is healthy...different from toxic shame...(where) the child feels disconnected from us, misunderstood...'bad'..." - Dan Siegel and Mary Hartzell
That mild feeling of shame -- the prefrontal cortex clutch shifting -- is how kids learn to shift themselves from "forbidden" behavior to acceptable behavior. In its mild form, as Siegel and Hartzell describe, it's a universal, useful feeling that keeps us on track. Think of it as the voice of conscience.

The "forbidden" behaviors that trigger shame are clearly taught, because they vary across cultures. But the mechanism for learning to regulate behavior so we can live communally is probably universal, given that all adults recognize the feeling.
Read the full thing »

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quality Parenting?

I fear too many would say that they agree with this picture. Why? Because then that would mean they would be supporting a parent who fails to understand why his daughter felt the need to lie to him; what it is about their relationship that the daughter felt like she couldn't trust him; what it is about the father's behavior that would cause the daughter to feel like she couldn't trust him to be there for her when she made a mistake; what it is about the daughter's behavior that her father did not adequately anticipate via a close, loving, and trust-filled relationship with his daughter. I don't know what she did, but I can guess why she lied about it to her father. Use your imagination, I'm sure you can too. The problem here isn't what she needed to lie about, it's her feeling that she needed to lie at all. Her father's past behavior has something to do with that, I'm certain. Quality parenting? If by "quality" we mean "bad".

What is Morally Right About Economic Freedom

Guest post by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

Why Kids Hit, and How to Help Them Stop

Guest post by Laura Markham.
"Dr Laura -- My 4 year old hits my 9 month old. It is very hard to see any danger signs with him as he will push or hit her out of the blue. One minute he is sitting there patting her gently and cooing and then in a flash he will push her over or hit her. There is not much outward anger in his feelings so I struggle to know how to deal with the situation as I feel silly saying to him 'You are angry' when he shows no signs at all of being angry or upset -- he seems to just do it for the fun of it." - Belinda
If we saw his anger, frustration, or jealousy it would be easier because at least we could understand that. But when he acts like a cold-blooded bully, inflicting pain "for the fun of it" or "just because he can" -- that strikes terror into our hearts. We're afraid that somehow our child is becoming a monster.
Read the full thing »

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rights as Things

Post by Skyler J. Collins. Originally written April 2010.

What are rights? The purpose of this short essay, or collection of thoughts, is to explore that question. So many commentators on rights treat them as something tangible, such as:
"We have rights." as compared to "We have milk."
"Don't tread on my rights." as compared to "Don't tread on my land."
"Rights are a gift from God." as compared to "Manna is a gift from God."

Why Equate Government with Social Cooperation?

Guest post by Jeffrey Tucker.

I don’t mean to harp, but the more I think about Obama’s now-famous speech (“You didn’t build that”), the more annoyed I become. If you listen to what he said, he can’t conceive of cooperative human relations apart from ridiculous government projects. He imagines that market activity is isolating, autonomous, and selfish, and only sanctified when blessed by the inclusion of gigantic government projects like the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.
Read the full thing »

Stuck in a Bad Pattern?

Guest post by Laura Markham.

Sages say that raising children is one of the best paths to enlightenment because it stretches the heart and teaches us to love. Parents have daily opportunities to dig deep in search of patience and compassion. Luckily, we're strongly motivated by our love for our children, so we stretch.

Sometimes, of course, we get stuck. In resentment, or the insistence that our child should be different. It's only human to think we should be able to force our child to change. But children (and adults!) naturally rebel against force, so you can't actually control anyone except yourself. That's why change needs to start with us.

So what can you do when you and your child are stuck in a bad pattern?
Read the full thing »

Coming Soon: Everything Voluntary (Large Print Edition)

I've created and ordered a proof copy of Everything Voluntary in Large Print format. It will be sized at 8.5 x 11 inches, and sold for $12.00. I will announce it's availability soon. Here's the page for it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Everything Voluntary, in Vancouver

If anyone's in the Vancouver area, Agora Financial will be having their financial investment symposium July 24-27. Agora Financial is the parent company of Laissez-Faire Books, and their bookstore will be selling copies of Everything Voluntary. Check it out.

Voluntaryism, Crime, & Self Defense

Voluntaryism does not require that one be a pacifist, meaning the complete abandonment of the use of force. It merely requires that one does not initiate force or aggression against an innocent person or his property. In a free society, the first line of defense and lynch-pin of collective security is the personal use of firearms. In other words, voluntaryists are pro-carry, concealed or not (though the former attracts less attention). Exhibit 1, how to defend yourself and your neighbors from an armed robbery:

It's fairly straightforward. In a free society, more people would carry, and more would-be robbers would be less-willing to chance an encounter with an armed would-be victim. It's true, more guns mean less crime.


Monday, July 16, 2012

What it Means to Be a Voluntaryist

A video podcast describing why I'm a voluntaryist:

Discipline, Respect and Obedience

Guest post by Ted Olson.

Many of us parents have a traditional view of discipline, respect, and obedience. That is, children must be taught to obey and to respect their elders. Discipline measures vary, but range from time-outs to spanking.

Many of us grew up in homes where kids were to be seen and not heard. While our physical needs were usually taken care of, our emotional and spiritual needs were trampled. It was lights out because “I said so!” and “Let’s go, hurry up!” It was “Sit still for Pete’s sake!” and, “Stop crying, before I really give you something to cry about.”

The State is a Tragedy of the Commons

Guest post by Michael Suede.

Some of you may already be familiar with the economic law called “the tragedy of the commons,” but for those of you who are not, I shall explain it. The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone’s long-term interest.

Why Muslim Fundamentalists Should Embrace Voluntaryism

Guest post by Davi Barker.

I want to be clear from the outset what I mean by “fundamentalists.” I’m not talking about muslims engaged in suicide bombing, plane hijacking, church burning, cartoonist murdering or teddy bear rioting. Those people have departed from any semblance of what I can call islam. So, for the sake of distinction making let’s call them “extremists.” I’m talking about a rigorously literal and conservative interpretation of islam which includes movements to establish a new Caliphate and an emphasis on end times prophecies. These are the type of fundamentalists that join islamic political parties, or separatist movements. And despite what the fear mongers pretend, very few of these fundamentalists have any interest in imposing islamic law on America. They’re far more concerned with countries like Saudi Arabia, which they don’t view as legitimate in any sense. At most they’d like America to stop thwarting their efforts in their own lands.

Putting all that aside, to explain why muslim fundamentalists should embrace voluntaryist anarchy we’ve got to start with some basic review of these two areas of islamic scholarship, the Caliphate and end times prophecies. This argument is primarily written for the fundamentalists themselves, but I’ll try to explain it in terms accessible to a general audience.
Read the full thing »

Why I Don't Like Adults

Guest post by Ted Olson.

My son Thomas, 9, said “Hey daddy, you know why I don’t like adults? Well, some adults anyway?” “No, why?” I asked. “Because they think they’re better than me. They think they know everything – that they have all the answers, and that my opinion isn’t important,” he replied.

“You’re right, Thomas,” I said. And he is.

Too often adults think they know what’s best for children. Rather than ask for their input or opinion, we assume a position of superiority. We disregard their needs, wishes, and desires as trivial.

"I, Pencil" Documentary (2 minutes)

Guest post by Lewis Foster.

Based on "I, Pencil" by Leonard Read, Chapter 11, Everything Voluntary.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Voting Franchise

Guest post by Entito Sovrano.

I have no interest in being ‘represented’ in the heteronomous halls of power. Neither do I care for the silly ‘struggle’ for ‘representation’ that we are told occurred within the past few hundred years. Further, I do not care for the mythical ‘rights’ that have supposedly been given to me and are a product of this ‘struggle’ for them.

Be Real

Guest post by Scott Noelle.

Presumably, you want to be a respectful, creative, loving parent -- and you'd rather not *ever* be coercive with your child. Wonderful!

But what about those times when you're just in a bad mood and don't feel like being a super-parent? Must you sacrifice your authenticity, fake a smile, and go through the motions?