Turnips and Firing Squads

Randall McElroy, below, is right. There is hardly a single action any western government ever takes, in relation to the family, which lacks an ulterior motive.

For many decades the world's socialists have been driving us towards a complete breakdown of western society, so that they can fragment it into a myriad of bloody shards to rule over the shattered pieces.

Here in Europe, with you folks over there in the US catching up real quick, they now control our minds through the imposition of public education systems; they now control our bodies through the imposition of public health systems; and they now control the very shirts on our backs, through the imposition of ever-increasing purchase and import taxes on cotton, and ever more intrusive public regulations governing the manufacture and distribution of cotton-based products.

However, there is one last great bastion of freedom which the socialists have yet to destroy ? the family. Yes, they have done their best with the creation of cradle-to-grave welfare systems, to generate extra poverty, to nurture the intrusive welfare monolith bureaucrats, and to destroy extended families. And yes, they have successfully created hundreds of thousands of divorced and broken atomic family units, with a showcase of several generations of badly adjusted children and mentally-battered parents to prove it. Essentially, though, the idea of The Family still remains in place. Though an idea, one admits, grievously scarred.

However, the socialists still know the idea of the family for what it truly is ? their greatest enemy; as Robert Heinlein demonstrated in his magnificent book, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. And if the socialists are ever to achieve their glorious New World Order, where ten billion turnip-eating peasants will labour perpetually upon the fields of the Earth, with firing squads watching over them, to put champagne into the glasses of ten million seared-tuna-eating socialist rulers, the idea of the family must be eradicated.

But how to do it? First of all the socialists had to get behind the steel-plated family door marked Private, Keep Out. To do this, they had to establish that they had the right to do this. And it has taken them over a century to do this, starting with the imposition of state education in Massachusetts, in the nineteenth century, right through the hue and cry over paedophilia in our own age. The ratchet has tightened every time each tiny incremental piece of legislation chipped away yet one more piece from the right of the family to maintain itself away from the prying eyes of the men and the women in the castle of state.

And now the denizens of this odious castle are finally behind our doors there is no stopping them, as we have witnessed in Great Britain in the last week, and as Randall reports below. Here in the UK it will soon become illegal for me to slap my own daughter's legs, should she run into the road in front of a speeding truck, especially if some busy-body policeman or nanny-state social worker happens to walk by to notice the slight reddening of her skin, as my last-resort lesson sinks in.

Soon, and I hardly know if I'm joking, it will be illegal for me to feed her beef, especially from non-French outlets, or illegal for me to take her within one damned Napoleonic kilometre of a man smoking a cigarette, unless it's a bloody Gauloise, or even to drink a glass of wine in her presence, regardless of whether this is in our family home or not, unless the wine is from the Loire valley. Though of course, the socialists will still somehow manage to force themselves to take all of the heavy tax duties from these heinous products. For our own good, au naturellement, rather than theirs, heaven forbid.

What's the betting? In twenty years it will be illegal to let your own children live in your own home without every single room possessing a wide-angle camera. All the pictures will go direct to Europol Centrale, or Government Center, to ensure we bring up our own children up as good communal citizens, without the fear of us assaulting them every five minutes. Oh yes, and we get to pay for the cameras too, and we have to pay a compulsory monopoly fee for the surveillance operation. And if we don't like it, our children get carted away permanently to the comprehensive communal re-education centres for lessons in love, environmentalism, and world peace.

Jesus H. Christ. Re-reading that last paragraph, it's almost like I'm re-reading yesterday's news and it's already happened. Welcome to the future.

Share this

bq. _Here in the UK it will

bq. _Here in the UK it will soon become illegal for me to slap my own daughter?s legs, should she run into the road in front of a speeding truck_

What the hell, exactly, would be the *point* of slapping your daughter's legs?

Do you live in some parallel

Do you live in some parallel universe? I thihk you must because the world you describe isn't the one I live in!

Qiwi writes: What the hell,

Qiwi writes:

What the hell, exactly, would be the point of slapping your daughter?s legs?

Forgive me, for I assumed too much in my explanation.

Because I can only assume that you don't have children, though I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong. But if you have a daughter who continually runs into the road, whenever she is free to, despite your continual verbal warnings not to, over several months, from the time she is physically able to, and you rescue her, one day, at great risk to both your lives, from being run over, by a speeding motorist, then you smack the back of her legs, in a rational manner to re-inforce the point that she should not run into roads without looking, as a sort of one-off nuclear option last warning of resort, and then she never ever does it again, and never risks being run down again from that day to this, then that would be 'the hell' the point.

If that means nothing to you, then I make no apology. I would rather my daughter learn how to remain alive in a dangerous world than gain anybody's approval of my actions.

Ian writes:

Do you live in some parallel universe? I thihk you must because the world you describe isn?t the one I live in!

We all live in different universes Ian, about one for every person living alive today.

I don't know which part of the world you live in, though it would have been nice if you'd told me. But I'm assuming, though once again I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong, the place where you live in a nice safe civilised part of the world, one where slavery, fascism, communism, dire poverty, genocide, machetes, starvation, and oppression, are all taking a rest break at the moment.

But even in perhaps the most civilised part of the world, North America, in the recent historical past has seen terrible slavery, and people being shot in the street for fun by oppressive imperial troops.

And in that philosophically advanced land, Germany, and the surrounding area, the home of Goethe, Mozart, Beethoven, Kant, and many similar others, has, within a human lifetime, seen degradation and slavery at a level not even witnessed within the appalling slave-based Roman empire.

It only takes one, two, or possibly three decades, for a perfectly civilised place to become a hell upon Earth. Maybe even the place where you live?

All we have to do is ignore the warning signs around us, or even better, castigate and mock those who flag up these warning signs, and let those who desire an authoratarian society hypnotise us into obeying their will, for one of these hells upon Earth to come a'calling. For it surely will. For if you deliberately create a world in a form which would be easy for dangerous authoritarians to take over and dominate, no matter how nice you yourself are, then that is exactly what will happen. Or maybe you trust all those nice men and women in the government machine where you're currently living?

Actually, let me recant my piece. Let's all just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm sure it's going to be just swell. I love the EU and all big governments everywhere. It's the best thing ever invented. And the people who run them have no ulterior motives whatsoever. I trust every single one of them.

Hey folks - we're all

Hey folks - we're all friends here. This is an issue that generates intense reactions, but nobody will convince the other side with barbs.

bq. you rescue her, one day,

bq. you rescue her, one day, at great risk to both your lives, from being run over, by a speeding motorist, then you smack the back of her legs, in a rational manner to re-inforce the point that she should not run into roads without looking,

If she was not rational enough to understand your warnings not to run into the road, what makes you think that hitting her on the legs will magically make her understand? Is it at all possible that it was the harrowing experience of the near-miss you describe above that finally made her understand why she should not run into the road, rather than the smack you administered?

Oh, and to respond to your

Oh, and to respond to your appeal to authority, I do have one child, but it is still inside my body.

Hi Jonathan, No problem this

Hi Jonathan,

No problem this end, though I much prefer gaining maximum marks by being gratuitiously insulted by socialists rather than fellow travellers, however I think the reactions above do actually illustrate an important point.

For the socialists always use the route of least resistance, to get what they want, by picking areas in which they know they can pick up the grudging support of even their committed enemies.

So each time one of these measures is debated (abortion, corporal punishment, whatever), which they hope to undermine the family with, it is always somewhere where even we of the 'light side' sometimes feel forced to agree with them.

And then once they've got that new law passed, they chip away with another one, feeding one law upon the next.

And while we argue emotively, and I include myself, about these things, they gradually wear away all of our resistance. It is very clever and very difficult to combat. Hence, why socialism currently rules the world, from Washington DC, through to Brussells in the EU, and why the ideas of classical liberalism (or whatever you wish to call it) don't.

But we musn't be afraid to debate these things, especially the libertarian treatment of children, otherwise we are lost. For if we give the socialists all the ground on children, then it is precisely the territory of children which they will use again and again to get what they want, to defeat us, while we cower in a corner afraid to engage them.

So when Uncle Murray Rothbard says it's Ok for parents to starve their children to death, but not to physically chastise them, then although that is something where I must disagree with the Master, we must still remain unafraid of debating it.

Hence my post.

Qiwi writes: If she was not

Qiwi writes:

If she was not rational enough to understand your warnings not to run into the road, what makes you think that hitting her on the legs will magically make her understand?

Well, something seems to have done the trick.

Is it at all possible that it was the harrowing experience of the near-miss you describe above that finally made her understand why she should not run into the road, rather than the smack you administered?

Well, no Qiwi, because she didn't notice the car when she ran into the road, and as far as I'm aware never noticed it before, during, or after the near miss, just daddy diving into the road, scooping her up and dragging her (I might add at very great speed, far greater than you would believe possible for a man who has never attended an Olympics as an athlete). She may even have laughed, though here my memory may be playing tricks on me.

She may even have noticed the car. But as far as I'm aware she didn't.

However, getting away from the relative unimportance of a blog debate, congratulations on your imminent arrival. I hope all goes very well! :-)

You'll find 'the naughty step' and counting to three (with the naughty step being the guaranteed option on numero trois) is by far the most effective form of child discipline, short of the nuclear option. At least, that's the lesson this end. And I have only had to use the nuclear option once. I hope I never have the need to do so again.

But I simply believe it is up to the parent to decide. Not the state. And that the state doesn't care anyway. It just wants to intrude, for the sake of intrusion.

bq. ... congratulations on

bq. ... congratulations on your imminent arrival. I hope all goes very well! :-)

Thank you very much! I saw its profile today--it's only 2.5 inches long, but all the parts are there. Can ya believe it?

Oh Andy, I've never advocated the State doing anything, ever--I'm a balls-to-the-wall anarch. I am sincerely sorry for the tone of my first comment, because it was an honest question, and yes, I did need to know more about the situation to understand, and that is why I asked the second question.

bq. She may even have noticed the car. But as far as I?m aware she didn?t.

Is it possible that she was impressed by how upset you were? Children are far from indifferent to their parents' feelings. The dragging sounds hard to ignore, and purposeful. All I question here is if the slap added anything to the lesson that you'd want it to. As with all communication :), what you convey with the slap is not likely to be what you intended.

I think these "these people":http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/node/view/48.html are on to something.

Andy, Rothbard did not say

Andy, Rothbard did not say "it's Ok for parents to starve their children to death". He said if they did, it wouldn't be a rights violation. Your using the word "okay" implies some sort of approval on his part.

Hi Manny, Rather than debate

Hi Manny,

Rather than debate the point, let's quote the relevant piece so that those who haven't yet read it can make up their own mind on Uncle Murray's implications [my emphasis in bold]:

p.100, The Ethics of Liberty:

Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have the legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive. (Again, whether or not a parent has a moral rather than a legally enforceable obligation to keep his child alive is a completely separate question.)

So you can starve your child to death, under Rothbardian ethics, and the law will say nothing. but lightly smack your child to, in your opinion as the child's temporary 'owner', help save its own life in the future? This gets the full weight of the Rothbardian legal system thrown against it.

This is where, for me, and it pains me to say it, the less robust but more warm-blooded attractions of David Friedman (The Machinery of Freedom) and Bruce Benson (The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State) come into play, to challenge Austro-libertarian law and the more monolithic and robust cold-blooded ethics of Uncle Murray Rothbard.

bq. The parent therefore may

bq. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.

That the parent is not obligated to provide for child does not equate to a right to "allow it to die" because obviously the parent does not have the right to prevent the child from taking action to provide for itself or to find other adult guardians who are willing to provide for it--too bad the State makes it almost impossible for children to work. I am not obligated to provide *you* with food Andy, but that doesn't mean I'm starving you to death.

In the case of tiny children who have no or limited capacity for locomotion or communication, the witholding of food would seem to be analagous to a case of kidnapping someone, i.e. forcibly preventing them from going where they choose or communicating with others. I say they are analagous because the parent undoubtedly caused the child to exist, and the only possible state for an infant is immobile helplessness, therefore the parent essentially caused the state of helplessness. A parent of a tiny infant who chooses not to provide for the child without allowing an opportunity for others to take on responsibility for the child is as guilty of murder as a kidnapper who starves his victim to death.