the libertarian contrarian

Our modern-day phobia that our world is unsafe, especially for our boys, is creating an environment where they are finding it ever more difficult to find that place of self-worth through external moments of potency and success. We now run the risk of creating a generation of frustrated and angry young men…

Our children’s lives tend to be micromanaged, over-supervised and planned, and there is very little freedom and autonomy.

I love your parenting posts. We are AP's and had a home water birth. I even dehydrated our placenta and encapsulated it for hormone rebalancing... (Although they actually made me crazy!)Anyway. Do you have children? How do you educate them? Homeschooling? Unschooling?

Sorry, but I limit the personal info I share on here, especially with Anon questions. No offense. I commend you on your AP commitment!

Let me reply generally by saying that I advocate homeschooling, unschooling, hackschooling, free schools, democratic education, and Montessori education. I find merits to all of these approaches. The key is to balance your children’s educational needs with that of the family. You can’t commit to any particular plan that puts too much stress on the family unit or impedes the parents’ ability to fulfill their primary roles as providers. And don’t feel limited to any one particular methodology, but try as much as is allowable to trust the instincts and interests of your child. The goal, or at least the goal I advocate, is to raise young people to be independent in thought and action. To be independent the child first needs to have the confidence and self-esteem to act independently, against the pressures of social conformity. Nothing instills confidence better than allowing children to take risks at an early age and to endure the consequences. Parents all too often try to buffer their child from the effects of their choices, but the child must be allowed to experience consequences, within reason of course. This feedback loop enables children to develop creativity, adaptability, resilience, skills necessary for independent living. Through this pattern of risk-taking and consequences the child then begins acquiring self-knowledge, another critical element of overall maturation. When combined together, independence, confidence, creativity, resilience, and self-knowledge all give people the best chance at success and personal happiness. So the goal of education isn’t to learn information or model behavior that pleases authority figures (pedagogues, politicians, or even parents). Instead, the end of one’s education and personal growth is one’s own happiness. That’s right, happiness at the center of education and life in general … a novel concept, right? :)

Youth are passed through schools that don’t teach, then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist and finally left stranded in the streets to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.

Huey P. Newton. (via curvesincolor)

Sooooo … we can either continue to empower the institution by which this imbalance has been created (i.e. government) … or we can begin separating school from state so that young people can begin learning how to be creative and active job-creators rather than passive job-seekers and submissive test-takers.

Future of Freedom


Author Sheldon Richman, Vice President of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

  Sheldon explores the critical distinction between capitalism and free markets; discusses corporation socialism, the challenges facing publicly funded schools, and much more.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013.


If you always do as you’re told, you will always be told what to do.

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy

This 13 year old gives one of the best TED talks I’ve ever watched!

~ John Holt

The genius of public education…

The genius of public education…

Who is John Holt?

Stefan Molyneux interviews Dr. Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn.

A great discussion and a great book about the fundamental problems with public (compulsive) education and conventional parenting. Creating a better world begins with how we treat children!

Here is an earlier interview with Dr. Peter Gray, entitled School Is A Prison.

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College. He has conducted and published research in comparative, evolutionary, developmental, and educational psychology; published articles on innovative teaching methods and alternative approaches to education; and is author of Psychology (Worth Publishers), an introductory college textbook now in its 6th edition. He did his undergraduate study at Columbia University and earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences at Rockefeller University. His current research and writing focuses primarily on children’s natural ways of learning and the life-long value of play.