I relate 'Anarchism' to parenting in several very simple ways: I firmly believe that large-scale industrial capitalism is inherently bad for babies; I think all children are inherently anarchists and that these qualities need to be nurtured and respected rather than repressed; I advocate a refusal to follow accepted norms (without massive research) as applied to my children's diet, medicine, entertainment, education, etc.; I think that families are best served and children best reared by as much economic and political freedom as possible. I believe in creative problem solving, involving children in political activism, and being as anti-corporate, anti-capitalist and anti-standard as possible. I believe we need localized communities operating on a face-to-face basis in equilibrium with each other and their surroundings without official hierarchies and centralized establishments to arbitrate and rule our lives. We have learned from this system of coercion, capitalism, domination and patriarchy that it does not work, does not jive with the natural human spirit or bodily rhythms. Now it’s time to try something else.
I relate 'Green' to parenting thusly: I see today's generic diet and monocropped culture as definitely deadly to the kids and mothers and fathers of the future (that's all of us); I see lowering the ecological footprint of today's typical American family as a fundamental first step to saving tomorrow's children, as well as maximizing our own limited time here on the planet; I believe that, as a species, we require a healthy chunk of re-wilding in order to return to some sustainable balance with nature as well as with our own collective psyche; I believe that a resurgence to THE LOCAL for food and medical needs for our families and elderly and children will best sustain our communities and revitalize our economies with the inherently unique culture granted them by place.
If we don’t want a world full of standardized testing and rulers and competition then we need children who can live outside the box and be the most unique individuals they can be. If that is what they want to do. And I think it will be. If we want a world without bars on its windows then, more than ever, will we need children who are free.
This essay was first published by Tomas in Rad Dad #7, July/August 2007.