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The Grayness of Children’s Rights

Guest post by Wendy McElroy.

Children’s rights confuse me. But, then, children’s rights and the issues that surround them, such as parental responsibility, have confounded a great many otherwise clear minded theorists.

Some libertarians reach definitive conclusions that directly contradict each other. For example, in an article entitled “Taking Children Seriously & the Future of Liberty,” Sarah Fitz-Claridge wrote, “I certainly do not think that children should be controlled by the state instead of parents. I think that they should control their own lives, just as adults do. Indeed, TCS [her children’s rights organization] advocates raising children not just without beating them but without doing anything to them against their will.” Meanwhile, the 19th century individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker believed parents owned their children and could kill them at will. On this sliding scale of opinion, I am in the unfamiliar position of being a moderate.
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