Editor’s Pick. Written by fk.
The subject of spanking is no-no topic for polite conversation, and has, in general, been put with many other subjects in the “do what’s best for you” category of aesthetic preference. But I don’t think it really ought to be considered merely an aesthetic preference. On its face, it seems much more like something that requires a moral value judgment, particularly for those who hold to the non-aggression principle.
Given this, here are my thoughts on the topic. First and foremost, parental spanking appears on its face to be a violation of the non-aggression principle, as it is the imposition of one’s will upon another by the means of physical force. Some libertarians attempt to argue that spanking is not a violation of the non-aggression principle on the grounds that the child is a guest on the property of the parent and therefore has consented to be subject to the rules of the parent. This may be true in some cases, but not in all, as a great many children are simply too young to give consent, and spanking is sometimes used outside the home on property that does not belong to the parent.