L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 310, March 13, 2005
"Words and Guns"
Re: "Peace of Mind", by Ron Beatty http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle309-20050306-03.html
Mr. Ron Beatty writes, "Once parents have decided that a teen is responsible enough to start driving, it is up to the parents to teach that child correct driving behavior."
It would be a mistake to consider a teenager a child, and also a mistake to consider it the responsibility of parents to choose for a teen whether or not to start driving. Many cultures around the world consider the age of menarche in a woman to be the age of adulthood for both men and women. That age is fairly reliably 13 years. It is statist nonsense to retard the maturity of any individual beyond the age that individual chooses to assert adulthood. It is biological madness to suppose that deliberately forcing juvenile status on a biological adult is good for that individual.
Individual responsibility begins at home. Once the individual has chosen to start driving, it is up to the individual to get educated about driving. It is not the responsibility of the parents, any more than it is the responsibility of the state. It is not properly the decision of parents whether or not someone else may drive.
If the issue is one of property ownership, then, certainly parents may require anyone to show evidence of driver education before allowing them to use their automobile. But, many teens are quite competent to earn a living on their own. However hateful pro-union laws preventing "children" from starting businesses or undertaking to enter the work force may be, these laws are easily circumvented and widely ignored. So, teens who choose to start driving should be free to earn money and buy their own vehicles, and have the related responsibility to learn to use those vehicles.
It is time to start taking children seriously. It is time to stop putting off the adulthood of individuals. The reason we have a nanny state is because people have been discouraged from taking personal responsibility for their own lives from a young age.
Re: For Me, But Not for Thee", by Lady Liberty http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle309-20050306-05.html
While digesting the arguments made in Lady Liberty's essay, I was struck by a couple of points which I'm sure didn't escape the notice of my fellow readers.
Although the whole essay is quite valid, one assertion jumped out at me, specifically, that religion is a matter of faith, while science is a matter of fact. I'm afraid I can't swallow this one whole. It is undeniable that religions, at least in matters of dogma and the interpretations of various scriptures and holy writings, depend largely on faith. However, the exact same thing is also true of science, particularly those branches of science which attempt to explain the origins of the universe, the earth, and the human species.
To the contrary of statements presented as fact by evolutionists, there is no clear evidence to support the idea that evolution has occurred, or is now occurring, on our earth. Yes, that's right; despite what you might have heard from Ross on 'Friends', there is no unbroken chain of fossil records describing how life evolved. The various theories of evolution, which have continuously evolved since Darwin and his contemporaries, cannot rely on the fossil record to bear out the postulated origin of human kind, or any of the other species on earth. Any theory of evolution requires faith, a zealous faith which ignores the massive gaps and even more massive contradictions inherent in even the most clearly articulated versions of the theory. A kind of faith that will be invested as long as the theory at hand frees the believer from the possibility that mankind may not supreme.
Any scientific theory that revolves around the idea that complexity can evolve, whether biology, or cosmology (e.g. the 'Big Bang'), requires faith. We weren't there to see the event or events happen; we have no physical evidence that there was an explosion of matter at the birth of the universe, or that single-celled organisms spontaneously began to change into multi-cellular organisms. We must take these things on faith, and the purveyors of that faith are the scientists who are originating or expanding the theories in question. We must take these assertions on faith if for no other reason than because they violate the principles which we can demonstrate and verify, here and now in the real physical universe. The most burdensome of these principles to theorizers is causality.
However, discussions of faith versus fact and religion versus science, either here or elsewhere, are really only window dressing. The essay goes on to describe the efforts of various Christian groups to inject their own beliefs into school curricula. Now we come to the real problem at work here, but it may not be what you think.
The real problem isn't those pesky Christians and their efforts, although they are part of the problem. No, the real trouble is that those schools exist in the first place.
The groups who want to force creation into government schools are statists, no different from the other groups who have been systematically purging any Christian influence from the same government schools for years. (Pick a number of years, be it 25, 50, 75 or more, and you'll probably be correct.) All of these groups are nothing but statists, delegating force to be used against you and your children and justifying that delegation in their own minds and to each other by dressing it up with their own buzzwords. If there's a difference to be found here, it's only a difference of degree. They're all statists of one stripe or another.
They force the child of their neighbor to attend a government school, where a government teacher leads them in a fascist pledge to the state's flag, and then teaches them the state-approved religion, masquerading as science. The Christian statists will go along with all of this, as long as their own theories get equal time along side the pseudo-science. It is my theory that they are blinded by a decidedly un-Christian idea that they know what is best for everybody at large, and that they have divine justification to employ their superior knowledge no matter what the cost. On the other hand, the non-Christian statists see nothing wrong with forcing their Christian neighbor's child into a system that disdains and scorns their faith and its teachings, and heaps ridicule on that faith's practitioners.
Bear in mind that your money, extorted from you by the state, is the fuel that makes this whole machine run.
The solution is quite simple. End the government schools. Educate your children at home, or, send them to a school which will teach them according to a curriculum that agrees with you. Without having to support the bloated government school system, you'll be able to afford either option. Or some of both.
Now, I do live in the real, verifiable, physical universe. I am a realist, and I think I have a fair handle on how things are set up in our world. Bearing that in mind, I know that the end of government schools is not near. A monolith with the size and resilience of the government school system won't be torn down over night, especially when that monolith is only being strengthened on one side by Christians who should shun the whole monstrous system, all the while being shored up and expanded by teacher's unions and other vested interests on the other sides.
I'm a realist, and I'm also a Christian. However, I am not a statist, and as an anti-statist, my advice to people on both sides of this issue is to vote with your feet. Get your children out of the government schools, no matter what it takes. If you think that the government schools will become compatible with your Christian beliefs just because capital 'C' Creation gets added to science class, you're fooling yourself. And non-Christians need to understand that having their children in a government school is good for the school, and nobody else, certainly not the children.
Your tax dollars are the fuel, but your children are the cogs that make the whole machine grind onward. Remove enough of those cogs, and the whole misbegotten contraption will clank to a halt. And the sooner, the better.
As spring peeks around the corner, the Free State Project is sending speakers and liaisons to a number of events.
Jason Sorens will be speaking at the University of Pittsburgh, Florida State University, and the Vermont Citizens for Property Rights annual meeting this month, and Amanda Phillips will be speaking at the New Jersey Libertarian Party convention this month and the Minnesota LP convention next month. We also have a number of other speakers at other conventions this month and next.
For a full rundown of FSP events, see the Calendar: http://freestateproject.org/news/events.php
The Calendar does not contain most of the local groups meetings, so if you're looking to meet up with other Free Staters in your local area, please contact your local group leader: http://freestateproject.org/community/localgroups/ Many local groups use Meetup to schedule get-togethers: http://fsp.meetup.com/
The FSP plans to send leadership representatives to at least 20 states this year, so the chances are that you'll be getting an e-mail at some point this year about an appearance near you.
Of course, we can't forget to mention what will likely be the biggest liberty event of the summer, PorcFest 2005!
If you aren't yet sure New Hampshire is right for you, or if you just want to see the Free State up close before you can make the move, PorcFest is the perfect time to visit, meet lots of Porcupines, and see the many wonders of New Hampshire. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time!
We're planning many events to take place during the whole week. We'll kick off the week with a 4th Birthday Bash for the Free State Project. During the week, we'll have hiking, touring, 2nd Amendment activities, and even a mock town hall meeting in a real town hall! There are numerous seminars planned and we'll close the weekend with a day of speakers including
For more information, please visit: http://freestateproject.org/news/festival/
The Free State Project