Re: Raising kids [was Re: Freedom or death? ]
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 15:26:59 -0400 (EDT)

Paul G. Bassett wrote:

> The discussion about how to raise kids leads to the more general
> societal question of how values and authority should override
> individuals whose judgement in certain situations may be impaired.

Many discussions eventually come down to the same thing - should freedom have
limits? (duh?)

> Children are generally assumed to lack good judgement, especially when
> very young. But we all are like children in situations where we cannot
> know some or all of the important outcomes of our actions, or where we
> are aware of the outcomes but we attribute very different values to
> those outcomes than do others who care about the outcomes and/or us, or
> where we differ in the assessment of probabilities of various outcomes,
> or all three.

In the long-term we will have sensory-rich physically safe environments for
both adults and children. At present we do need some form of parenting and,
yes, some form of government. I believe in self-responsibility and
spontaneous order, but currently the majority of individuals, like children,
cannot support themselves. Just as expect technology to increase the
self-sufficiency and individuality of adults, I believe it will also have
great affect on children. If children are in an environment where they are
physically safe there is no need for any such parenting.

> Who/what is going to act as the parent in such situations? Who gets to
> decide who is the child and who is the parent? Do "parents" have rights
> to impose their wills on "children?" I will take a Devil's Advocate
> position and say that (even in a post-human society) one of society's
> most important functions is to be the "meta-parent," deciding the
> policies that provide good answers to the above questions. As a
> meta-parent society must strike numerous balances among competing values
> and ignorance of outcomes. Else the resulting chaos and anarchy will
> reduce the society's potential to achieve win-win outcomes, and to avoid
> self-destruction (assuming self-destruction is something to be
> avoided!).

Anarchy is not against supplying information (it's not _against_ anything).
The information to help you through life is there - at your fingertips - you
can decide whether to listen and use that information without the need for
coercion. This can be done without government or parents.

> Does this make me pro-government? No and Yes. Governments as we know
> them today by and large abdicate their responsibilities to be good
> meta-parents. But some form of self-regulating authority and enforcement
> is clearly needed, just as real parents are.

Even a Child's mind can get by without government or parent coercion.
Animals, with far less intelligence, survive far harsher environments than
any child does today (I'll admit the casualty rate is pretty high). We are
increasingly moving towards physically safer (but mentally challenging)
environments. We will still shape each other (even coerce each other) as
individuals, without the need for any imposed hierarchical structure.

Hierarchy 0
Anarchy 1

Next challenger please!


If the government's granting you rights, there's something wrong.