TCS: The Final Phase of The Enlightenment
Transcript of a speech given at the World Libertarian Conference in London, Ontario, in July, 2000.Taking Children Seriously (TCS) is the name of an organisation I founded to promote the libertarian educational philosophy.
How can there be such a thing as the libertarian educational philosophy? Aren't parents in a libertarian society free to educate their children in any way they wish?
Yes. But that doesn't make every possible choice morally right, or best for the child, or compatible with the survival of the libertarian society. To satisfy these criteria, we must look more deeply than libertarian political philosophy – which is basically about how a society can run without the initiation of physical force.
What justifies both libertarian political philosophy and TCS education theory in my opinion is reason – something which, I fear, has yet to emerge in the spheres of education and childrearing.
Many parents do a very good job of bringing their children up to believe in authority and obedience to dictators, whether parents or the state. Recently, I had the misfortune to be present when someone I know was subjected to a violent attack by his parent. I was very shaken and didn't throw myself between my young friend and the angry adult, but I did manage to pluck up the courage (once I poked my head up from behind the sofa where I was hiding) to express the opinion that hitting children may not be the best way to deal with disagreements, and that it may not be entirely morally unobjectionable. Perhaps I was less diplomatic than the parent thought appropriate, because he accused me of trying to coerce him into changing his parenting practices, and then played the “children-are-property” card: “It's none of your business how I raise my child.” ...Read More...
More TCS links:
Wikipedia - Taking Children Seriously
Genius Toiling in Obscurity's take on TCS
This is not the same as that... so don't any of my Aussie readers mistake the two.