Do "True Libertarians" spank their children?Submitted by snakepit22 on Thu, 05/02/2013 - 12:27
Over the years, I've had many libertarians tell me that spanking my children doesn't mesh with the non-aggression principle. By most accounts, I like to consider myself just as libertarian as the next guy, maybe stopping just short of Penn Jillette style anarcho-capitalism. However, I just don't seem to have any trouble reasoning out a very simple justification for spanking my child. That's not to say that it is my preferred method, or that I think everyone should use this method, but it seems to work in some occasions and seems fitting for some children.
Simply put, parenting is force. There really isn't any way around the fact that to be a responsible parent, there are times when you must use force on your children. For those of you who take this harshly, remember, all force means is that you are controlling the actions of another. I "force" my two year old to go to bed at a certain time. I "force" my ten year old to go to school. I "force" my kids to eat, or to live at my house instead of running away with the circus.
By any account, if they were adults and I forced them to do these things, then I am a tyrant. But they are not adults, and as much as I'd like to rid them of the shackles of my oppression as soon as they are ready, they just aren't at this point. Having said that, the force I use to make them go to sleep on time is really only marginally different from the force I use when spanking them as a punishment for not accepting the earlier force I attempted with my words.
I've put a link to a good book about the topic at the top of this article. If this post isn't enough to satisfy your thoughts on this topic, and you don't want to shell out $2.99 for the book, let me know. Coincidentally, I own the rights to the book so if you want it for free, let me know and I'll email it to you. Not a great way to sell books, but I get much more enjoyment out of the debate, so feel free to lambast my pseudo-libertarian ideology on this topic. Hopefully it will make for some lively conversation on the topic of libertarians raising libertarians.