Sunday, April 6, 2008

Freedom Is Not Free

note: this post is taken from our book, Smarting Us Up (see sidebar)

There are only two ways that people can interact. One is voluntarily; the other is by force. Either we are free, or we are someone's slaves. In our relations with “authorities,” we are either free to interact with them and associate with them, or we are not. If they create laws that force us to educate our children by their methods and/or rules, then to the degree they do that, we are their slaves.

Granted, homeschooling is merely a part of our lives, and therefore, we are not true slaves, and homeschooling regulations do not comprise total slavery. But the distinction is only a matter of degree. The regulations are backed by force, and it's the force that we need to acknowledge. Force is what takes away our freedom and our choice and our sovereignty as individuals.

If we are forced to homeschool our kids according to the dictates of anyone else, then to that degree, we are their slaves. On the other hand, if a friend persuades us to UNschool or to use another method, that is our voluntary and free choice.

The word ‘slavery’ naturally brings to mind the most drastic deprivations of freedom, so it makes people uneasy when we refer to certain state homeschooling regulations as slavery. But that is what it is -- the opposite of freedom to live as we choose.

Freedom is not free. If we are not vigilant and ready to stand against tyranny -- no matter how small or how ‘reasonable’ its demands may seem, we will move further down the slippery slope to slavery. In order to be a truly free people, we need to eliminate all the little rules of enslavement (rules backed by force) that control our lives.

Luz and I are libertarians -- yes, members of the Libertarian Party ( That means that we believe in liberty: Unless we harm someone or take advantage of someone or use force against others, then the foundations of this country declare that we are free to choose how we live our lives. We need to keep it that way. Nobody said it would be easy.


Mrs. C said...

I agree entirely, though I *do* follow our state guidelines. They're pretty generous as far as state guidelines go, 1000 hours of "instruction" in given subjects, keep a portfolio.

I think I'd rather be slave to that than what's in the public schools. I agree with your premise, though.

Ned Vare said...

If we "voluntarily" give away our freedom - either little by little or all at once -- are we still free?
By the a guideline the same as a law in your state? I'm asking if you are forced by law to provide one thousand hours per year of instruction for your child in prescribed lessons. If so, it sounds like slavery to me, for both of you.

Mrs. C said...

Yeah, Ned, it's a law.

But I could tell the slaves in the other states that my massa's better than theirs!!


Seriously, though, you're *RIGHT*.

christinemm said...

Hi Ned,
I just wanted to share again that I am happy you are blogging. I see your frequency of posting is down. I hope you are feeling well.