On Block on Spanking

Stefan Molyneux missed his opportunity to shatter Walter Block’s argument in their debate on spanking. Block’s entire premise was that the protective use of force did not violate the non-aggression principle of libertarianism. I agree to the extent that one using protective force is forgiven for their offense, which is quite likely the case in genuine protective force scenarios. Where Blocks mis-stepped was in equating spanking with the protective use of force. Molyneux’s “The Facts About Spanking” shows quite convincingly the destructiveness of spanking. Spanking is not an act of protection over a child. It’s an act of aggression with negative consequences. To argue that spanking does not violate the NAP solely based on the claim that it’s protective, without any accompanying evidence to support such a view, is like arguing that the sexual molestation of children is likewise NAP-friendly. After all, many adults sexually molested as children also turn out “just fine.” Right? And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.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“. 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.