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Spankings, Surplus Crops, and Infant Schooling

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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original weekly column appearing every Monday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

As mentioned in the inaugural edition of this column, I will give my voluntaryist perspective on “two or three” popular news stories. That may have been an understatement. Throughout last week I found several that I’d like to comment on, but I need to limit myself to standard weekly column size. For that I’ve had to pick the most interesting stories to me and hopefully to you. The more timeless stories are easily pushed to the following week, so those have been the first to go.

This week, however, I talk about a high schooler getting spanked by her male vice principal and other spanking news, North Korea and crop surplus property rights, and New York Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal for a government-funded extremely early, pre-pre-K, childhood education program. I have also decided to link to one or two other voluntaryist perspectives (not necessarily by an avowed voluntaryist) on the specific or general topic discussed in each section. I have done this retroactively to my inaugural edition.

Spanked High Schooler

Taylor Santos of Texas High School faced a choice, suspension or a spanking by school administration. She chose the latter, and received her spanking by the school’s male vice principle. Having a male administer the spanking to a female technically broke the rules, but the question remains, should spanking even be an option? When I first saw and shared this story on Facebook I was appalled. But on further analysis, I’m okay with this. Let me qualify and explain.

Now, I oppose any and all forms of public schooling. On that point alone this episode should never have happened. Further, I don’t know if this girl was forced to attend this school or had the option to stay home. If she had the option, and chose to attend and follow their rules, then I can move on to my next point. She broke the rules and faced a punishment. She could either be suspended (who wouldn’t want a vacation like that?) or recieve a spanking. This was, arguably, her second choice in the matter; the first to attend (assuming) and follow the rules, and her second to receive the spanking over the suspension. On those two conditions, and I recognize the first is an assumption, but I’m making it in order to make this particular case, her getting spanked was not a violation of her rights. Would I have chosen the spanking? I don’t know. Maybe if the vice principle was Jennifer Aniston, but probably not if it was Jesse Ventura. The point is, what I originally reacted to with dismay can readily be seen as possibly kosher to the voluntaryist. She was reaping what she sowed, and even had a choice in her style of punishment.

Back to where we started, this episode should never have occurred, but assuming she chose to attend this school and follow its rules, and she chose to break a rule that lead to her punishment, which she then chose as a spanking, I cannot say that her rights were in any way violated. She’s old enough to consent, in my opinion.

In other spanking news, Marion County, Florida schools are considering re-introducing corporal punishment (spanking) as a response to misbehavior. Now this is the story that truly appalls me. Corporal punishment is never okay (unless you’re in high school and ask for it, see above) and always counter-productive (assuming virtuous ends). No school should ever have this policy, and those parents who have kids that attend schools like that should pull them out forthwith (for older kids, if they don’t object, of course) and let them control their own education.

And further, I would be okay with government bans on corporal punishment all together, such as what’s happened in Deleware recently. Take note, I did not say that I support or promote statist bans on corporal punishment. On the contrary, I want to see the state abolished. I don’t support or promote any of its actions. But I am okay with it. Just like I’m okay with statist laws against robbery, rape, assault, and murder. The state only enforces these haphazardly (or not at all among the ruling class) mind you, but they’re there and I’m okay with them (properly enforced, that is). Hitting a child is like hitting a wife. It’s assault, plain and simple.

(Other voluntaryist perspectives on this topic: Jan Hunt, John Valusek)

North Korea’s Crop Surplus

In surprising news, North Korea is poised to give farmers substantial property rights over their surplus crops. This is certainly a step in a good direction. Farmers will be able to create a semblence of a market which can only serve to make traders better off. I am very pleased with this development and will be following the country closely to see what else changes in the direction of free markets.

(Other voluntaryist perspectives on this topic: Joshua Snyder, Jacob Hornberger)

New York Pre-pre-K

If public education wasn’t bad enough, New York is now taking it upon itself to educate your fresh New Yorker in the arts of infant cooperation and socalization. This is patently absurd and a complete robbery of common sense and the myraid levels of tax “payers” stuck with the bill. Infants need to be in the arms of their parents, not the state. As bad as it is to offer this program, any parent who would willingly admit their infant should be ashamed. Why did they even become a parent if they weren’t going to, you know, parent their own child? Infants don’t need this, nor do they deserve this. What they need, like all children, is love and freedom. Abolish this silly program, New York.

(Other voluntaryist perspectives on this topic: John Holt, Grace Llewellyn)

Final Thoughts

Truly bizarre things are happening these days, but not all news is bad news. North Korea is moving in a good direction, whereas America is not. What does the future hold? For my family, it’s whatever we make of our lives having the freedom to clear our own paths. We don’t have to accept the state and it’s demands. We can consider the risks and ignore it. And like Lew Rockwell always advises, we should point out it’s weaknesses, it’s illegitimacy, and laugh at it. I’m laughing, are you?

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Skyler J. Collins (Editor)

Written by 

Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents” and “Items of Note.” Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on the official Everything-Voluntary.com podcast.

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