L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 261, February 29, 2004
Libertarian Women, Men & Children
Special to TLE
To become CONSISTENTLY "libertarian" PERSONS (entities with rights & obligations) and CONSISTENTLY libertarian "free moral agents" most humans must, to some extent, transcend part of their biological heritage:
Female humans in general are BIOLOGICALLY "optimized" for breeding, nurturing vulnerable babies & children thru a lengthy (relative) development into early adulthood, attracting and "securing" maintenance and support for her brood; USUALLY by a male who is powerful enough to be a good "provider" This is why "power" is GENERALLY such an "aphrodisiac" to breeding age females. The "optimal" range of attention is the "nest" with its "clients" to which they are giving "care" and keeping the provider "involved" (committed?)
Male humans who are not sufficiently "susceptible" to the "charms" of "involvement" in this scenario so that they will risk life and limb (if need be) in SUCCESSFUL quests for "provisions" are less likely to have their genetic dispositions "promoted" :)
Child humans are already "natural libertarians" though not yet mature enough to CONSISTENTLY "get it right"
If two tykes are fighting in a sandbox, what is the most probable defense that will be given to the intervening "care giver" to "justify" this physical assault of a "peer" It will be something like he/she "started it" There may be gross misunderstanding of the situation which thus resulted in a "self-defense" response. BUT, without having read an entire library of libertarian philosophy, if the tyke can talk, the tyke at least gets the libertarian paradigm right.
Now comes one of the most destructive acts to human liberty; and it is administered by a usually loving caregiver. What is the most likely utterance by the caregiver who intervenes? "I don't care who started it, *I'm* telling you to stop" That "abstracts" to something like "your impotent developing notions of PERSONHOOD (entity with rights & obligations) and FREE MORAL AGENCY (self actualizing arbiter of right/wrong behavior by one's self) are null and void. If you want to prosper (know what's good for you) apply yourself to complying with AUTHORITY and keeping its favor"
So, now this immature human copes with an internal conflict between an inherent libertarian nature and an imposed authoritarian veneer. There is a "bell curve" distribution in the population of how it's resolved. Most will go thru life with partial resolution; thus live in the bulk of the bell. Some will shake off the "conditioning" and live at the libertarian bell toe. Tragically, others will stay retarded and live at the authoritarian bell toe.
Of course, a certain amount of compliance to COMPETENT caring authority is an enhancement to well being for the very young. If they are lucky, they won't be regarded as "property" but will have parents who regard this as "stewardship" of a developing human being who is to become a "free moral agent" and "person" in their own right.
Consistent libertarians may be the transcending leading edge of a developing new life-form (homo-liberates?)