My Shifting Vistas

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“One Improved Unit” is an original bi-weekly column appearing every other Monday at, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OIU-only RSS feed available here.

One’s worldview as it concerns the political landscape shapes one’s angle of skepticism. Claims by governments and political leaders are prejudged for their honesty, intent, and meaning. Likewise, one’s homeview (if I may create a word) shapes one’s angle of skepticism towards their child’s needs and motives. As both my worldview and homeview have changed considerably over the years, I thought I would recount their evolution.

My Worldview

Having attended government schools, I learned from early on how great and wonderful, no, make that superior, the country where I was born and raised was relative to every other country on earth. I remember having a distinct pride in my country’s ability to “kick ass” in every war that we learned about, starting with the American Revolution. I don’t recall learning much about it’s failures, like Vietnam, however. And more, just how important government was to a peaceful and functioning social order. Most laws don’t require violent enforcement, the threat of such suffices, so the fact that where I grew up was mostly peaceful lent credence to the idea that government was good and necessary.

In contrast, being now informed by economics of the inefficiencies, waste, and poverty created by government interventions in the economy, not to mention the immorality of threatening violence to enforce legislated dictates, I now see government as an unnecessary evil. Most in society value peace, but the state exists by violence. For that it is crystal clear to me that the state is society’s enemy numero uno. Or rather, those individuals who make up the state are inimical to those who desire liberty, peace, and prosperity. It’s impossible for the desires of each group to be attained. One must succumb to the other. Liberty cannot exist nor be protected by the state, and neither can it create peace or prosperity. Its very nature makes all three impossible.

My Homeview

I was raised with the idea that children and their needs were inferior to adults and their needs; that respect for parents and teachers was a given; that “bad” behavior should be punished in order to instill the fear necessary to produce “good” behavior. If I hurt one of my brothers or sisters, even if by accident, I should be roared at and spanked into feeling remorse and regret for my actions. What I was taught over and over again was that my actions have arbitrary consequences for me. The real consequences to others was seemingly irrelevant. And further, I was taught that what certain adults thought I should memorize and regurgitate as “learning” was all that was necessary to become a well adjusted member of society. My own interests and passions were less important.

Having started my own family out along this same road, the time came when I was conflicted. My actions betrayed my beliefs toward coercion and violence. I was inconsistent between my homeview and worldview. A good friend told me about a good book, and thus began my evolution toward peaceful parenting and radical unschooling. My understanding of how children work and learn has grown immensely. Once again it became crystal clear to me that violent parenting and compulsory education are incompatible with liberty, peace, and prosperity. If we are to have a free society, it must be reared into every child of coming generations. And the only way to do that is by giving our children genuine freedom of their minds and bodies.

Final Thoughts

My worldview also includes seeing everybody, no matter where they were born or the color of their skin as equals with myself. Though there are hundreds of public criminal gangs spread out over the entire earth, every society has similar struggles (with a difference in degree) with their criminals as I do with mine. Society after society must learn the truth of their subjugation, and having done so commit to both undermining the state through peaceful exchange and raising their children in love and peace. I don’t believe that liberty can be obtained and maintained while its denied to either ourselves (by ourselves) or our children, but I could be wrong.

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Founder and editor of and, 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“. 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 his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.