Peaceful Parenting - DRAFT

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Peaceful Parenting – by Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain, the largest and most popular philosophy show in the world!

This book is FREE – and I hope that you will share it as widely as possible.

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Prologue

I am fully aware that it seems melodramatic and precious to write an introduction that is basically a giant trigger warning – but it needs to be done. 

This book is the culmination of forty years work in the fields of philosophy, self-knowledge, parenting and ethics. 

Through my show Freedomain, I have had the privilege of having in-depth conversations with thousands of people about their early childhood experiences, and the effects that trauma has had over the course of their adult lives. They contact me in the hope that my training and experience in self-knowledge and moral philosophy will help them untangle the problems in their lives – I hope that I have served them well.[1]

I have interviewed many experts in the fields of parenting, child abuse, family structures, therapy and self-knowledge – these interviews are also available on my website. 

I myself experienced significant levels of child abuse. I was raised by a violent and crazy single mother, who ended up being institutionalized when I was in my early teens. 

I did talk therapy for three hours a week, for almost 2 years. 

At the end of my therapeutic process, and after months of trying to repair my relationship with my family, I decided to separate from them. I have not talked to my mother for twenty-five years. My father left when I was a baby, and I had little contact with him – he died a few years ago. 

I have been happily married for over twenty years, and have been a stay-at-home father for the past fifteen years to my wonderful daughter.

My daughter is homeschooled, and we are part of a truly great community of like-minded parents. 

My daughter and I do comedy shows together – mostly movie reviews – which are also available on my website. 

Now for the trigger warning. 

This is a very intense book. 

I have tried to write it twice before, but faltered at the depth and enormity of the task. 

As a child, I experienced a constant, deep and genuine bewilderment. I was surrounded by people who claimed to be good – and who also claimed to be experts at identifying and punishing immorality. My relatives, my teachers, my parents, my boarding school masters, the priests who instructed me, my neighbours – they all claimed to have the ability to accurately identify immorality and take strong steps to contain and punish it. 

I was punished in school – caned in boarding school – and in church, and by parents and relatives – all because they said that I had behaved badly, and deserved to be punished. 

But it was most strange… 

None of the hundreds of adults who judged and punished me over the course of my young life ever recognized that my mother was an evildoer who violently beat her own children. 

They were able to detect subtle signs of rebellion or disobedience in my demeanour, and sharply or aggressively punish me – but they were utterly unable to identify my mother’s obvious mental and moral dysfunctions – or ask me how I was doing, and take any actions to protect me, and oppose the violence I was subjected to. 

I have been wrestling with this massive issue for over half a century. 

How is it possible that adults can punish children for minor transgressions – I was once caned for climbing over a fence to get a soccer ball – but are utterly blind and helpless in the face of adult abusers of dependent and innocent children? 

When I was a child, I watched endless movies and television shows about heroes confronting, combating and overcoming evildoers. The heroes were good, the villains were evil – the fight was clear, the victories tough but certain. 

I was taught about religious and historical figures who found and fought evildoers almost to the death – and sometimes beyond it, sacrificing themselves to save the world from immorality…

These were the stories, the histories, the theology – yet no one in my life was able to detect or act against a clear evil in their midst – even in their own family, against their own flesh and blood…

Some expert trackers claim the ability to put their ears to a train track, and hear a locomotive coming from many miles away – if such a man were to claim this ability, and offer to listen to a train track – while failing to notice a giant thundering train bearing down on him, not 20 feet away, wouldn’t that be rather – bizarre? 

Wouldn’t that be a sign that he was, in fact, insane? 

Imagine hiring a safari guide to lead you deep into the jungle so you could take pictures of an incredibly rare white tiger. Imagine standing in the camp before you left, listening to him tell you all the complicated and mysterious tricks he was going to use to track this white tiger – and then imagine his speech continuing without pause as a white tiger walked up and sat right at his feet! 

And your guide saw – nothing! 

He just keeps rambling on and on, telling you how brilliant he was at tracking and spotting incredibly rare tigers, without noticing at all the giant animal at his feet! 

Again, would he not be a candidate for a mental asylum? 

Would you trust this madman to lead you deep into a trackless jungle? 

This is the world. 

The world of children. 

The world of the victims of abuse. 

We victims pass through the world – a world that claims deep expertise in the identification and punishment of evildoers – getting soundly punished for our most minor transgressions – while our abusers are either invisible, praised, or protected and defended. 

This is, of course, why the abuse continues to exist. 

Moral punishments are only meted out to helpless victims – never powerful aggressors. 

If, at a family dinner, an adult victim of child abuse finally reveals the horrors he faced, his family will generally be more upset at the open mouth of the victim, rather than the closed fists of the abuser. 

This is just the reality of where and how we live. 

Our world is a long way from heaven – it is hell for the victims, a sadistic paradise for the abusers – and a weird kind of purgatory for the enablers of abuse, who wander around in a foggy disconnected avoidance, claiming virtue, but only punishing the victims who speak out. 

Many people have been awaiting this book with great anticipation. 

I am sure that I will disappoint them. 

I’m sorry – I really am, but this book has to be the way it is. 

Countless people have begged me for years to write this book – I am sure that I will both shock and disappoint them as well. 

I’m sorry for that to. 

But I stand by the necessity of what I have done. 

People expect a book on peaceful parenting to be – well, peaceful, you know? 

It makes sense, I get that…

But bringing about a peaceful world means exposing and opposing evil and violence. 

You can bring peace to a town in the wild West, but you have to take down the bad guys first – and that is not very often a pretty process. 

This book is not about being nice to children – though do I talk about that. 

This book is not about reasoning with children – though I talk about that too. 

This book promotes peaceful parenting by removing the obstacles to it. 

This is not a pretty process. 

I’m not sure how many people will ever listen to me, but I will say it anyway… 

If you have hit your children, I beg you to engage with a good therapist before reading this book. 

If you have yelled at, neglected or called your children names, same. 

If you have significant unprocessed trauma from child abuse, same. 

If you don’t have a kind and trusted heart in your corner, this book is likely to be extremely destabilizing. 

Philosophers and theologians have written about good and evil for thousands of years – but almost never about the ethics and virtues of children and parents. 

Socialists have talked about the evils of power disparities – economic and political – for hundreds of years, but have never taken on the greatest power disparity in the human universe: the difference in power between parents and children. 

Feminists have talked about the evils of the patriarchy for decades, claiming that men have economic and political powers far greater than women – but have never talked about the infinitely greater power that mothers have over their children – and how often it is misused and abused. 

Communists talk about how the owners of the means of production exploit their workers by paying them less than the value of what they produce – but they never rail against the national debt, which is an exploitation and enslavement of the unborn – surely the greatest predatory theft in the history of mankind! 

Everywhere in the world, you see this wild avoidance – people shout their moral condemnations from the rooftops – screaming into the faces of the abstract classes, the political elites, the wealthy and well-connected – but never make their way into the nurseries, into the darkened rooms of hidden and broken children. 

You hear endless diatribes against the power of marketing, propaganda, and the evils of manipulative advertising – but how often is the rampant social programming inflicted on helpless and captive children in government schools even acknowledged, let alone condemned? 

This book will take on all the hypocrisy, lies and manipulations that enable and cover up the abuse of children in our society – all around us. 

In your family. 

Because – you know, right? 

You know some kid in your environment – that maybe you see every day – who is shy and downcast and avoidant and shaky, as if crushed under the weight of an invisible burden. 

As he is, of course. 

As she is…

The burden is not primarily the abuse he or she is suffering – but your silence and avoidance. 

Of course, society is so configured that it is very hard to know what to do in situations of child abuse. If we try to protect the child, that might further provoke the abuser, who still maintains brutal power over the helpless child. 

If we confront the abuser, same. 

I used to think that all the adults around me failed to protect me because they were afraid of further provoking my mother – I dreamed that they would wait until I was independent, free of her, before sitting me down and giving me their sympathies, telling me their reasons for failing to help me. 

I kicked my mother out when I was fifteen. 

I worked three jobs, took in roommates, paid my bills, made my way. 

I was free. 

And I would sometimes look at the phone – my red dusty rotary-dial phone – waiting for it to ring, for the sympathy and explanations to pour in. 

Nothing…

I waited a long, long time for all of this. 

In my mid-twenties, when my relatives came into town for a family wedding, I spent days with them, waiting for a word, an acknowledgement – an apology, perhaps. 

Again – nothing…

It’s been thirty years since then – they are all dead now. 

Pretty sure that old phone is never going to ring. 

But they have helped me, in a way – and through their help, I hope to help the world. 

The adults around me when I was a child did not lecture and punish me because they had moral understanding, a clear capacity to identify wrongdoing, and a strong will to correct immorality. 

No – there was another reason entirely

I will talk about that later. 

You can join me, if you dare. 

But it won’t be pretty. 

The authority figures of my childhood were not waiting until I was an adult to tell me how badly they felt that I was being abused. 

They either didn’t notice, or didn’t care. 

That is unacceptable. 

Another family used to take me in regularly – half as a refugee from the violence – and met my mother many times. 

Again, in my mid-twenties, I met up with this family again, and the mother asked me, with great sympathy and tenderness, “How is your poor mother doing?” 

Jaw-dropping, really. 

I do remember – even as a child – thinking that, if I ever got to any kind of public prominence, that I would do everything in my power to help the victims of child abuse. 

While I have personally confronted aggressive parents in public, the bulk of my work has been online, listening to thousands of adult victims of child abuse, sympathizing with them, and providing moral clarity about their desperate situations. 

How many of them ever told me that the adults in their lives tried to help them, when they themselves were children? 

I understand that this is a self-selecting group, but the answer has been grindingly consistent. 

Zero. 

No adult in their life – past or present – has ever shown the slightest shred of awareness, understanding or sympathy for the abuse they suffered as children – even the adults who directly witnessed that abuse. 

For 18 years, I have had an open channel to anyone and everyone to talk about whatever philosophical issues are on their minds. I have invited debates on ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, free will – you name it.

Any topic is open and welcomed.

And – what do people want to talk about, when they can talk about anything at all?

Their childhoods, almost every single time.

It sometimes feels like I am the only person in the world who will always listen, always sympathize, and always provide moral clarity to those who have suffered from evildoers.

I never tell anyone what to do, of course – I am a staunch believer in free will, and I would never try to get anyone to substitute my thoughts for their own judgement. 

Perhaps I give people a car – but I never tell them where to drive. 

Morality without control – morality that informs and liberates, rather than shames and punishes – can be deeply disturbing.

If you don’t understand this yet, you will over the course of reading this book.

I’m telling you this: if you choose to read this book, you will quickly realize why it has never been written before. 

The arguments are not complicated – the moral clarity is disarmingly simple. 

This is not a book detailing the mathematics of quantum physics, the wild contradictions of superstring theory, or how to navigate hyper-complex tax laws – or how to balance personal interests, social acceptance, and moral integrity.

This is a book that even a child can understand. 

This is the book that your inner child has been waiting for.

I have always been impressed by the fact that Socrates never used technical language when discussing philosophy with people – you can’t find a single example of him using the word “epistemology,” for instance. 

While I have certainly written more technical works of philosophical examination, I have worked very hard to keep this book as clear and accessible as humanly possible. 

There is no point writing a complex moral manual for the improvement of the planet as a whole. 

I normally write in fairly lengthy paragraphs – this book is mostly bullet points. 

Bullets indeed. 

If you were abused as a child – and most children in the world are, that is the way of the world – then you have my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies. 

It was wrong, it is unacceptable – and it must change! 

No one was there for me, and that is a real shame. 

Some people inflict their pain on the world – some people provide what they were denied. 

I’m so sorry that you are hurt – it was horribly unjust. 

I’m so sorry that – most likely – no one helped, or noticed – either then or now. 

I’m so sorry that no one was there for you. 

With this book, I can be there for you. 

Here for you, now. 

It’s time. 

Let us begin.

Introduction 

If the world is hell, it is because of childhood.

The unhappiness, misery, pain and violence of the world have all been “explained” according to various theories, all designed to distract us from the central, core and highly personal issue.

Socialists tell us that the world is hell because of economic and environmental exploitation – without ever asking why people end up so coldhearted that they can use and dispose of their fellow human beings via the chilly physics of grim economic utility.

Theologians explain that the world is hell because we are born sinful, and have to be beaten and terrorized into even a remote approximation of virtue.

Educators explain that the world is hell because children are willful and disobedient, and have to be threatened and bullied into pursuing knowledge and accepting conformity.

Antiracists explain that the world is hell because people mistrust and hate other ethnicities – without ever asking why people end up xenophobic, hateful and afraid.

Feminists explain that the world is hell because men hate and fear women, and thus lust to bully and control them – without ever explaining why men might hate and fear women – especially when they are raised by women!

Evolutionary biologists explain that the world is hell because mankind is an animal, with an animal’s lusts and passions and thirst for dominance. No one ever explains why science is possible for mankind – but not for any other species – but virtue is not.

Every civil rights movement has striven to bring excluded groups into the moral center of society. Morals – both legal and social – that were set up to exclude various races, sexes and classes, have all been challenged and overthrown. The goal of the inclusion of all excluded groups into the core moral principles of society has been avidly pursued – and often achieved – often to the betterment of all.

Why has there never been a civil rights movement for the most abused, controlled and exploited class in society – the children?

All will be explained.

What else?

Well, skepticism of artificiality has also been a central thrust of modern thought – avoid plastics, chemicals, pesticides and so on. Buy organic, live naturally, embrace the wisdom of your ancestors – countless communities pursue these goals with avid abandon.

We have terms for sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, fatphobia, classism – the list these days is virtually endless. Fear and hatred of the “other,” it is said, leads to hateful language, violence, terrorism – war, even.

For all our modern moral wisdoms, one word remains conspicuously absent from our endless patrolling of language, exclusion and contempt.

Where is the word “childism”?

Why do we not even have a word for prejudice against children?

“Ah,” you may say, “this is because society treasures its children, devotes endless energies to training and raising its children – therefore it would make no more sense to have a word called ‘childism’ than it would to have a word called ‘loveism.’ We cannot be prejudiced against that which we love!”

Interesting…

But – is it true?

It is certainly true that society claims to worship and love its children, and does devote endless energies into training and raising them.

What do we always hear?

“The children are our future, our heritage, our worlds, the purpose of our life and being, the foundation of our civilization…” – you name it!

The late singer Whitney Houston had a famous song “The Greatest Love of All” which started off thus:

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be…

Sadly, Whitney was a victim of childhood sexual abuse who grew up to be a drug addict – enacting all the inevitable abuse and neglect on her own daughter, who, like her mother, also died in a bathtub with a large number of drugs in her system.

Whitney sang about virtue, but lived a deeply broken and destructive life.

But – what is the general theory?

Well – that children are loved by society, and therefore we would never need a word to describe society’s prejudice against its own children!

If you love chocolate, how can you be prejudiced against chocolate?

If you love your wife, by definition you cannot hate and exclude her.

What on earth are you talking about, Stef?

Well, philosophy is all about skepticism – and the longer the claim has been going on – and the more widespread it is – the more philosophers are inclined to question it.

The institution of slavery was universally accepted and practiced through the world, for all of history – until moral philosophers and theologians eventually questioned it.

The modern world is founded on skepticism of traditionally-accepted “wisdom.”

Science, technology, engineering, medicine – these are all founded on skepticism of formerly-accepted “absolute truths.”

The battles against exclusion were all founded on skepticism of the accepted wisdom of excluding other races, sexes, classes and groups.

Reason demands that we judge others – and ourselves – by deeds, not words.

If a man claims to passionately value a woman, then ghosts her after sex, would we accept his protestations of affection?

No – surely we would judge his actions, rather than his words.

Good words often camouflage bad actions.

Con artists charm us before robbing us; seducers woo us before exploiting and abandoning us. Politicians promise us heaven, then deliver hell. People pretend to be injured to bring you close, then rob you blind. Scammers pretend to want to help you, then steal from you.

And – believe it or not – criminals generally claim to be innocent, even when guilty.

Imagine a world where mere statements equaled objective truth.

If you fail an exam, but you tell your teacher that you passed it, then she would have to adjust your mark!

If you fail to pay your taxes, but then inform the government that you did in fact pay them, that would have to be accepted.

If you were caught shoplifting, you could tell the store owner that you are not stealing, and he would have to let you go.

You could claim to be a doctor, and no one could disagree with you.

As a toddler, you could be caught with chocolate all over your face, but justifiably deny that you had ever touched any chocolate!

If you were tired of making mortgage payments, you could simply phone the bank and tell them that you in fact owned the house free and clear, and all would be well!

Society would crumble in about forty-eight hours if mere statements were always accepted as truth.

No, we have standards of evidence and empiricism and logical consistency and proof – in order to separate liars exploiting morality from honest people pursuing virtue.

What do we say, if we are rational?

“This is your claim, what is the truth?”

This is the essence not of just philosophy, but society, rationality, functionality – and survival.

Imagine a primitive hunter coming home empty-handed, but claiming to have felled a giant deer. Would anyone eat?

Imagine a man in the jungle being hunted by a tiger – could he save himself by closing his eyes and repeating over and over, “there is no tiger, there is no tiger”?

Of course not – these examples are almost too foolish to mention.

We all understand that we only empower and embolden liars by refusing to look for reason and evidence.

Society claims to love its children – very well, let us look for reason and evidence.[2]

Before we take this journey, though, I need to repeat my warning.

This book will be horrible for you – but the alternative is far worse.

Some medical treatments can be horrible, but they beat dying.

It is horrible to look in the mirror and accept that you are fat, but it beats getting diabetes and heart disease.

It can be horrible to be self-critical, but it beats the corruption and decay of avoiding rational self-correction.

Learning is pain – but the alternative is usually far worse.

This book will be painful for you because it is not about abstract topics, windy philosophical ideals or gentle exhortation to future virtue.

This book is about your pain.

This book is about your life.

This book is about your childhood.

This book is painful – but the alternative is infinitely worse.

If society does in fact love its children, and raises them wisely, virtuously and well, then we are truly doomed – because the current hell is the best we can ever expect.

If you exercise and eat sensibly, but gain weight every week, something is seriously wrong with your body.

If you eat too much and don’t exercise, then you have a solution to your weight gain – eat less, and exercise!

We must truly hope and pray that society does not love and treasure its children – otherwise little can ever be substantially improved!

In other words, if you’re already doing the best you can, you can never improve the outcome.

If society treats its children wonderfully, then there is no path to improvement. The violence, discord, loneliness, lovelessness, exploitation, betrayal – all the evils that fester and grow in the human heart – and our social world – can never be cured.

We have spent the past few hundred years attempting to become more inclusive and create harmony in society, but disharmony is only increasing.

We have spent countless millennia trying to stop war, but war remains.

We have spent an eternity combating immorality, but evil still grows.

Either we are missing something essential, or we are truly doomed.

I choose hope.

However…

Choosing hope means accepting pain.

So be it.

We will ask and answer this question:

Does society truly love its children?

Do We Love Our Children?

Love and violence are opposites.

A man cannot justly claim to love a woman if he also beats her.

A woman cannot claim to have great affection for her cat if she starves it.

A bully who abuses his victim cannot claim to love that victim as well.

What about love and exploitation?

Can a boyfriend claim to love his girlfriend while surreptitiously running up massive bills on her credit cards?

Enslaving others through debt is the opposite of love.

It is time for a thought experiment.

I want you to imagine a purple-skinned race of people.

Society claims to love and value “the purples” – but what does that mean?

Claims of affection are not proof of love – abusers usually claim to love their victims – stalkers terrify those they claim to treasure, exploitive corporations often refer to employees as being part of a loyal company “family.”

Cults regularly engage in “love bombing” – the practice of showering affection on lonely people in order to stimulate a bond to an exploitive gang.

It is true that society claims to love and treasure “the purples” – but as sensible, rational individuals, we should compare society’s ideals to the actual facts.

How would we judge society’s proclaimed “love” for “the purples” if we found out the following:

  1. It is illegal to hit anyone in society – except the purples. You can hit the purples without repercussion. In fact, those who hit the purples are generally praised for “maintaining social order.”
  2. It is illegal to perform genital mutilation on anyone – except the purples. Carving up the genitalia of male purples is encouraged and praised.
  3. It is both legal and encouraged to use the future earnings of even the unborn purples as collateral for government spending.
  4. It is illegal to run up debt and force others to pay – except the purples. It is both legal and praised to greedily dump about a million dollars worth of debt on the newborn purples, who must submit to this enslavement and pay for this debt for the rest of their lives.
  5. Purples are regularly sexually assaulted. It happens to about one in three females, and about one in five males. Although this is technically illegal, prosecutions are exceedingly rare.
  6. Bad behaviours which are absolutely unacceptable in general society are accepted – and often praised – when inflicted against the purples. If a waiter gets your order wrong, it is absolutely unacceptable to yell insults at him – however, if a purple does something wrong, it is good to raise your voice at him or her.
  7. Those who verbally intimidate anonymous retail workers are scorned and insulted as “Karens” – those who verbally intimidate the purples are praised as good and noble people.
  8. In non-purple society, it is absolutely unacceptable – and often illegal – to physically punish or traumatize people who disappoint you, or disagree with you – or make mistakes. When dealing with purples, however, you are allowed to physically restrain them, hit them, scream at them, verbally abuse them, withhold necessary food, shake them and so on. As long as there is no permanent obvious injury afterwards, you’re fine!
  9. You are never allowed to force others to live with you against their will – that called kidnapping, a criminal action that is severely punished by decades in jail. Oh, but you can keep a purple in your house – or a couple of them for that matter – and they are legally barred from leaving, no matter how terrible the environment. If they try to escape, they will be dragged back and punished, usually violently.
  10. You are not allowed to trap people in a room and inflict your ideology on them – that is either directly illegal, and would be prosecuted as dangerous cultish aggression and unlawful confinement. However, purples are forced to sit in a room for over six hours a day for twelve years straight – in an often-violent environment – and are relentlessly indoctrinated.
  11. If you provide a service or a product, it would be unthinkable and illegal to involuntarily drug someone for not wanting your product. You are not allowed to inflict mind altering drugs on people who fall asleep during your movie. Oh, except for the purples – you can totally drug them if they fail to pay attention.

There are more examples – countless really – but let us move on.

Surely these basic facts would arise in your mind when everyone in society constantly trumpeted how much they loved, treasured, respected and valued the purples.

If, instead of the purples, these were women, we would be outraged at such blatant, violent and destructive sexism.

If, instead of the purples, these were blacks or Indians or Hispanics – or any other ethnic group – we would be outraged at such blatant, violent and destructive racism.

Racism…

Yet we don’t even have a word for prejudice against children.

That is not an accident.

“Childism” is in part never defined so it can never be discussed.

Childism

What is “childism”?

It is the universal, relentless – and often institutional – prejudice against and hostility towards children,

In most countries, parents are allowed to hit their children. The vast majority of parents do hit their children, or deploy other forceful mechanisms to restrain them, such as using their size and strength to force them to stay in a sitting position, or be forcefully confined to a single room.

Parents deny their children necessary food, yell at them, call them names – scream abuse as well – dump them sobbing and crying into daycares – and ignore them at home too, very often.

Children are stuck at home, and cannot leave.

A society that truly loves its children would never ever have a national debt, or unfunded future liabilities such as healthcare and old age pensions, that children will be endlessly forced to pay for.[3]

A society that truly loves its children would never force them into mandated “schools” where the interests and preferences of the children are utterly immaterial – and where they are drugged for failing to pay attention while being relentlessly and pitilessly indoctrinated.

Children are far safer and happier in two-parent households, where the mother stays home to raise the children.

A society devoted to the safety and happiness of its children would do everything in its power to promote the nuclear family – because that is the most reliable way to secure the safety and happiness of children.

Society is the most safe and stable when children have secure bonds and attachments to their mothers. A society that cares about its children would never in a million years promote policies or perspectives that encouraged a mother to separate from her newborn child. Of course, if the mother dumps her baby in daycare in order to go to work, then her employer benefits, and governments benefit from her taxes – and the taxes of the daycare workers – but such a society is inevitably sowing the seeds of future chaos and violence by breaking the mother-child bond.

A society which truly loves and cares for its children would place its children’s needs and happiness at the center of almost every social and legal decision.

Every time any question of importance came up, the central driving factor would be:

  • Is this best for our children?

Should children be spanked?

The answer is surprisingly simple, as we will talk about later in this book.

Spanking is disastrous for children.[4]

Should we yell at children?

The answer is also surprisingly simple.

Verbal abuse and intimidation is disastrous for children.

Should we put children in government schools?

Again, the answer is surprisingly simple.

Children do very badly in government schools.[5]

Should we fund society’s current greed by enslaving our children to future debt?

To ask this question is to answer it.

To ask yourself whether society truly loves and treasures its children, we must simply ask the following:

  • What sacrifices does society currently make to ensure the best outcomes for its children?

If you were to say to the voting public that they will have to forgo some government benefits in order to pay off the national debt – and free the children that everyone endlessly claims to love and treasure – would such a politician ever be elected?

If schools were to radically change their curricula based on what children actually want to study – and what benefited the children the most – would this be acceptable to school unions and authorities?

If people who inflict divorce on their children – enormously traumatizing and harmful – were roundly criticized in society, would this be considered a good thing?

What about women who have children out of wedlock?

What about men who abandon their children?

(Well, we often do attack the men, but it is the women who initiate divorce far more often.)

Those merely accused of verbal bigotry in society are shunned and ostracized. Careers, reputations and incomes are all destroyed.

Yet those who directly harm their own children are very often praised.

People are destroyed over imaginary words, but praised for destructive deeds.

It is absolutely unacceptable to use slurs against other people – but yelling at children, hitting children, confining children and restraining children – and indoctrinating them – are all praised and rewarded.

The world is hell because of childhood.

Why We Punish Children…

Do you think this case is too strong, too radical?

Hey, no problem, let’s listen to the other side!

The counterargument runs thus:

“Well, of course children have to be hit or restrained or controlled or yelled at – because their brains are immature, and they lack any sense of consequences. You don’t let your child run into traffic, or grab at a pot of boiling water on the stove, do you? Children are impulsive and unaware of dangers, and thus you have to use physical consequences such as spanking or timeouts in order to prevent far worse outcomes such as grievous injury or death!”

This is an interesting argument, because it seems believable on the surface, but a moment’s thought destroys it entirely.

It is part of our essential bigotry against children – our childism – to refuse to extract the moral essence behind the above argument.

The moral argument goes thus:

“It is both appropriate and necessary to use violence against those with limited cognitive abilities.”

Do you see it yet?

If a cognitively impaired adult makes a mistake, or fails to think of consequences, is it acceptable for us to call him names, yell at him, beat him, restrain him, punish him for his ‘badness’? Can we hold him down on the stairs for one minute for every one of his birthdays? Can we lower his pants and spank him on his bare buttocks for his ‘immorality’?

In a group home for cognitively impaired adults, do we allow the orderlies to insult or hit the adults who don’t obey?

If your elderly mother is cognitively impaired due to age – as most older people are, even to a small degree – are you allowed to lift her skirt and beat her buttocks if she forgets where she left her keys, or forgets to turn off the stove?

Of course not – such suggestions would be morally reprehensible.

So – the idea that we beat children because children are cognitively limited is utterly and completely false.

Again, we find the same pattern – every group in society that shares the exact same characteristics as children is protected – except for the children, who are exploited and attacked.

We would never countenance beating people for the inevitable results of their cognitive limitations – except children, of course. We praise beating children for the inevitable results of their cognitive limitations.

If a mother is asked why she hits her children, she might say: “Because they just don’t listen to me!”

This is a complete lie.

Again, to extract the moral principle that it is good to hit people who do not listen to you, we can imagine the mother in a work situation, where she is trying to explain to her boss how something can’t be done, but her boss just won’t listen.

Does she then drag her boss across her knees, pull down his trousers and beat his bare buttocks?

Of course not.

She would be arrested for assault.

If she were to say to the arresting officers that she beat her boss because he just wouldn’t listen, what would they say?

“You don’t get to beat someone just because he doesn’t listen to you.”

Imagine being a politician running on the platform of making it legal to beat anyone who you claimed did not listen to you.

People would regard his campaign as morally insane.

Yet we accept this as a “reason” why parents hit their children all the time.

If we say that we arrest black people for stealing – but let every other race go free for the exact same behaviour, then it is a lie to say that we are arresting black people for stealing.

If we say that we insult, hit and punish children for making mistakes and not listening – but we never insult any other people for the exact same behaviour, then we are utterly lying about our moral motivations.

Everywhere you look, you see the exact same pattern:

It’s morally evil for us, it’s morally good for children!

This is the essence of childism.

People also say: Well, I have hit my children, because children are incapable of reasoning!

Can you imagine?

Imagine this in society as a whole.

Do you find society to be overly full of people deeply capable of – and committed to – reasoning?

Again, the moral principle would be: It is morally good to beat people if they do not reason.

Thus – if somebody makes an irrational statement, he can be beaten, right?

If you provide clear evidence, but somebody denies said evidence, you can beat her.

If somebody rejects a rational argument, you can beat him.

Do you see how insane this is?

Do you see how when you apply moral rules universally, the vicious prejudice of childism starts to become clear?

Children Reasoning?!?

Of course children can reason – even starting at about fifteen months, they can perform deep moral reasoning.[6] The grim reality is that most parents don’t believe that their children can reason because they have never tried reasoning with them!

For so many parents ‘reasoning’ means agreeing!

“I’ve asked you nicely!” is usually a prelude to coercive escalation.

For most parents, disagreement or disappointment or inconvenience provokes violence – violence against their children, either physical or emotional.

This is beyond madness.

If you are engaged in a verbal dispute with someone, and you pull out your gun, and he punches you – is that proof that he is not open to reason?

No, you provoked the violence by pulling out your gun. Your opponent was actually defending himself with remarkable self-restraint.

Parents do not struggle to reason with their children for months or years before hitting them – oh no, they hit them right at the start, from the very beginning. They do not have lengthy proofs that their children just refuse to reason – they literally prevent their children from developing the capacity to reason by hitting them from babyhood or toddlerhood onwards.

The hitting comes first – the “kids can’t reason” excuse comes much, much later.[7]

Morally speaking, society generally holds fast to two central principles.

Let’s examine the first:

  1. A genuine incapacity should never be punished, but rather gently accommodated.

If a child – or adult – cannot hear, we do not punish him for his deafness, but rather should learn sign language or provide a hearing aid and gently accommodate this limitation.

If a man is in a wheelchair, we don’t hit him for failing to walk, but rather build a walkway to give him access to amenities.

If we genuinely believe that children cannot reason, we would view this as an incapacity, and never dream of punishing children for a deficiency that is quite obviously beyond their control!

If we are hosting a dinner party, and one of our adult guests pees on our carpet, we would be justly horrified and appalled.

If we are holding a baby, and the baby pees on our carpet, it would be insane to have the same reaction – because the baby lacks the capacity to control her bladder.

We would not excuse the adult but punish the baby – if we were sane, which is to say not in the grips of unconscious childism.

Yet if an adult is not rational, or does not listen, we do not punish him.

However, children – who are physically limited in their capacity to reason – are punished for this inevitable limitation all the time.

If a guest decides to write on the walls of our house, are we allowed to yell at him, put him in a timeout, hit him or punish him in some other fashion?

Of course not!

We might be upset and angry, but we would never dream of attacking him in these ways.

The adult who has the capacity to know better is forgiven – but the child who cannot know better is punished.

None of this is about virtue.

It is all about power.

Why do we punish children?

Because we are good, and they are bad?

Nope.

Because they refuse to reason, and so aggression and violence is our only remaining moral option?

Nope.

Why do we attack and punish children?

For one reason, and one reason only.

Because we can.

When slavery was legal, slaveowners beat their slaves.

Why did they do this?

Because they could.

If a man is greatly tempted by pickpocketing, but denies this temptation, we would praise him as overcoming a potential vice.

However, if we find out later that this man has no arms, we would not praise his “virtue,” since he simply lacks the physical capacity to pick people’s pockets.

If we hit children – but never adults – scream at children – but never adults – punish children – but never adults – call children abusive names – but never adults – it’s just because we can.

If we are told that it is morally good to yell at, hit and punish our children, we will generally do so.

The world is hell, and those in charge are devils.

The second moral standard accepted by society is this:

  • As power disparities increase, moral standards also increase.

A man can ask a woman out – even at work. However, a boss should not ask out his employee, because he has too much power in the relationship.

Because his employee might fear retaliation if she does not go out with her boss, she cannot be objective in her evaluation of his proposal.

A policeman who abuses his power is generally considered worse than an abusive private citizen, because the policeman has so much more power. If a private citizen lies about a policeman, that is bad – but not nearly as bad as a policeman who lies about a private citizen – particularly under oath.

A corrupt judge is punished more severely than a corrupt salesman, because judges have so much power.

A private citizen does not get praised for refusing to declare war – a politician who possesses that power may be praised for embracing peace.

The more power that exists, the more virtue is required.

A man in a coma is not praised for his morality, since he has no capacity to act immorally.

A broke woman is not despised for failing to give to charity – a billionaire would be.

Power versus Virtue: A Love Story

We all accept the following to be morally foundational:

The greater the power disparity in a relationship, the more virtue is required from those who hold the most power.

Okay…

Are you ready?

Here is the rank prejudice – the childism.

There is no greater power disparity in the world than that between parents and children.

We balk at a boss asking out his secretary, because of the conflicts of interest and power disparities involved.

More power requires more virtue.

If a prisoner threatens to lock a guard in solitary confinement, this means little – if the guard threatens the prisoner, this means everything.

Imagine reproducing the power dynamics of parenthood in a marriage.

Shall we?

Okay.

Bob and Sally are married. Sally was assigned to Bob, and had no choice in the matter. She was forced to get married, and it is illegal for her to leave him until she has been married for at least eighteen years.

Sally is only allowed to leave the house when Bob leaves – or with someone else who has authority over her. She can never leave the house on her own, at least for the first eight or ten years of the marriage.

The husband Bob has total control over his wife Sally. Bob can hit her, restrain her, refuse to feed her, cut off her social contacts, confine her to her room, scream at her, call her names – and she is never allowed to leave, and has no right of self-defense.

If Bob hits Sally, and Sally tries to resist, Bob can then call the police, who will lecture Sally about the beating, saying that she has to strive to understand Bob more, and be more agreeable to his wishes.

If Sally ever attempts to talk about Bob’s abusive behaviour, everyone will tell her that she has to forgive Bob, that Bob is doing his best, that he may not be perfect – but then nobody is – and that she absolutely must stay with Bob for the rest of her life, and take care of him as he ages and gets sick, and give him whatever money he needs, and surrender her will to his preferences – and never expect Bob to apologize or ask for forgiveness or change his abusive ways!

In fact, for Sally, even talking to Bob about his abusive behaviour is a bad idea – it will just upset Bob – who again, is doing the best he can with the knowledge he has!

Sally is constantly lectured to remember that Bob had a difficult life when he was younger, and that her job is to love and understand him – and never, ever leave!

So – what happens if, after twenty years of being abused – and begging for change, and offering to go to couples counselling – Sally finally decides to leave Bob?

Well, terrible things happen then.

Sally will have to strive to keep the guilty secret of her freedom for the rest of her life – because the few people she does confide in roundly condemn her for failing to be loving and supportive to her loving husband Bob!

Everyone gets acutely uncomfortable – and often hostile – whenever Sally mentions that she escaped an abusive relationship – one that she never chose in the first place, because it was an arranged marriage.

The coldness and hostility Sally receives when she confesses how she escaped from an abusive relationship is incomprehensible to her – as she slowly begins to approach one of the lowest and hottest circles of hell in our corrupt society.

Sally will inevitably notice that women who voluntarily dated, became girlfriends, got engaged, got married – and then decided to have multiple children with a man – after having years to evaluate him – are praised as noble and courageous for leaving a marriage they claim is merely “unsatisfying.”

The women who evaluate men for years, who choose to get married and have children – and who then break up their families because they are merely bored and under-stimulated – these women are endlessly praised for their courage and independence.

However, Sally, who was involuntarily incarcerated in an abusive relationship, who begged for improvement, who bent over backwards trying to accommodate Bob – and who finally fled for the sake of her own sanity – she is condemned and ostracized for her coldhearted immorality and lack of sympathy for Bob.

The world only seems sane if you refuse to think.

Leaving a boring relationship that you voluntarily chose – to the massive detriment of your children – is good and brave and noble and courageous!

Fleeing a relentlessly abusive relationship you never chose is coldhearted and immoral, and a betrayal of your husband who genuinely loves you and always wants what is best for you!

Please remember that I am not objecting to the inevitable!

Children are dependent on their parents, and have no practical capacity to leave the relationship.

This is not a moral or legal issue, but rather an evolutionary and biological fact.

The fact that children are involuntarily trapped with their parents is not a problem to be solved – since there is no solution – but a power disparity to be recognized.

It is a deeply strange fact in society that we expect and require the greatest morals from the most powerful people – except for parents, who have the most power in the universe, and are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want.

This is a bizarre kind of moral flip or reversal – we have a principle, that as power increases, moral standards must also increase – except at the very top, at the pinnacle and summit of power, where the wildest immoralities are not just accepted, but praised and rewarded!

This would be as bizarre as a feminist claiming that inappropriate comments, glances and touches are massively evil – but patriarchal leaders are only moral if they abuse and rape at will.

It is also a strange phenomenon of society that there are many people who claim to oppose violence and abuse and corruption and devilry of every kind – but who also refuse to touch the unjust use of parental power against helpless and dependent children. Billions of people are obsessed and panicked about possible tiny changes in temperatures 100 years from now, while resolutely stepping over the countless broken bodies of broken children scattered in their midst.[8]

For thousands of years, moralists have condemned and opposed war – while resolutely avoiding society’s endless war against its own children.

Millions of people who support the nonaggression principle have steadfastly avoided condemning the greatest violation of this principle in the world: physical and verbal violence against children.

Reversing Principles

We cannot claim to have any morals whatsoever if we can reverse our principles at will.

We cannot claim that it is wrong for a boss to ask out his secretary, because he holds so much power over her – but that it is right for a parent to hit her child, where the power disparity is infinitely greater.

The secretary can complain, file a grievance, quit her job, transfer, work to get her boss fired – or refuse his advances and take her chances.

What choices do abused children have?

They cannot leave.

They cannot fight back.

They very rarely can get any support at all.

If they complain, they are rejected and dismissed.

If they fight back, punishments escalate, sometimes to the point of mortal danger.

Children have no economic independence, no legal standing, no choice, no freedom, no self-defense, no capacity to avoid their tormentors.

We often say to children bullied at school – just avoid the bully.

If the parent is the bully, there is no avoidance.

Let us return to Bob and Sally.

If Bob genuinely wants his wife to love him, but she is arranged to marry him against her will – and is never allowed to divorce him – what can he do?

It is not impossible for Sally to end up loving Bob – but Bob does have to overcome the involuntary nature of their union.

Involuntary relationships come with an inevitable deficit – the obvious fact that they are not chosen.

If we assume that a joyful marriage is a plus ten, then a forced marriage must start at a minus ten.

People who choose to get married are already happy and enthusiastic about the relationship, so they are probably starting at a plus six, seven or eight. To get to a plus ten is only 2 to 4 extra points of happiness.

People who are forced into a marriage are starting out at a minus ten – to get to a plus ten means twenty extra points of happiness!

How much work does Bob have to do to get Sally to truly love him, given that she never chose to marry him in the first place?

Surely this would be one of the greatest efforts imaginable – to turn a virtual prisoner into a truly happy partner.

Surely Bob would say to himself: “Well, my wife is not here by choice, and she cannot leave – therefore I have to be such a great husband that she would still choose me – even if she were given all the choice in the world! In other words, I have to act as if she were not forced to marry me, and could leave at any time – I have to have the very highest standards of benevolence, love, good humour and virtue, in order to overcome the deficit that she never chose me, and is forced to live and stay with me!”

The involuntary nature of the relationship would require the very highest possible standard from Bob’s behaviour in order to transform it from unchosen to chosen.

(This analogy has one limitation, which is that adults can leave abusive parents after eighteen years – but this is largely impractical, because it will cost them almost all their relationships to stand up to their abusers. This would be like a wife being allowed to leave her husband after eighteen years, but at the cost of all of her social and familial relationships.)

Parents choose to have children; children do not choose to be born – or choose their parents.

In a very real sense, children are trapped with their parents – again, this is not a moral or legal issue, but a stark biological reality.

It is an arranged marriage – arranged by parental choice.

If parents want their children to love them, they must think as Bob should.

Bob says: “Even though Sally never chose her relationship with me, I must act in such a way that, if Sally were able to choose any husband in the world – or not to be married at all – she would still choose me.”

In the same way, parents must say: “Even though my children never chose their relationship with me, I must act in such a way that, if my children were able to choose any parent in the world, they would still choose me.”

The greater the power disparity, the higher the requirement for virtue – we all accept and praise this as a moral absolute.

Except…

Except with parents.

If Bob were to say to Sally: “You owe me obedience, and I will physically and/or emotionally punish you if you disagree, disobey or inconvenience me,” – then what would the chances be that Sally would end up loving Bob?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Imaginary Obligations

One way to abuse someone is to create imaginary obligations, and then punish her for failing to pay what she “owes.”

Imagine a man who thinks that taking a woman out for dinner entitles him to have sex with her.

If she refuses sex, he will get angry and yell at her.

This would be unjust and abusive.

However, when parents create an imaginary obligation called “obedience,” or “respect,” or “convenience” – there are hundreds of such obligations of course – they then feel fully justified in punishing their children for failing to pay what they damn well owe their parents!

If you borrow my lawnmower, and refuse to give it back, I am allowed to take it back without consulting you – by force if need be.

If you rent a car, and refuse to return it, the rental company can take it back without consulting you – by force if need be.

If you take out a loan to buy a house, but refuse to pay the loan, the bank can take your home from you – by force if need be.

The person who borrows – and refuses to return or repay – is in the wrong, and aggression – even violence – is justified to right this wrong.

“Entitlement” is the idea that you are owed something that you do not have to earn.

A man who believes that women “owe” him sex is a dangerous person.

An employee who believes his boss “owes” him a paycheck – even if he never shows up to work – is deranged – and also dangerous.

People who believe that the government “owes” them a pension or welfare or healthcare are equally dangerous.

Billions of parents across the world genuinely believe that their children owe them something – and if those children refuse to pay, those parents are entirely justified in using aggression and violence to punish the children.

Here is a shocking fact.

Your children do not owe you obedience.

They do not owe you respect.

They do not owe you love, or support, or resources, or attention, or time, or phone calls, or money.

It is far easier to create imaginary obligations than to earn genuine respect.

It is far easier to threaten people until they claim to “love” you than to earn their true love through virtue and affection.

In other news, it is far easier to steal than to create.

It is far easier to copy an MP3 than to learn instruments, then write and record a song.

It is far easier to kill than birth and raise life.

It is far easier to bully and threaten children into obeying you, rather than inspiring emulation through virtuous action.

If a man did not borrow from you, but you take something of his, you are the thief, not him.

If you imagine that your children owe you obedience – and then you threaten, punish and bully them into “paying” you, you are immoral – not them.

If you force the woman who never chose to marry you to obey you and claim that she “loves you,” you are a vile bully, and nothing more.

Shooting the Messenger?

Now is the time for conciliation.

This book is doubtless deeply shocking and alarming to you – and I massively praise and respect you for making it this far – the worst is still ahead, to be sure, but there will be no shock like these first pages.

Isn’t this all so blindingly obvious?

And, if so obvious, why has it been hidden from you?

Why have you suffered so much from this rank hypocrisy?

Well…

You were lied to – and everyone around you is doing the same terrible things.

This all comes as a shock to you – and I sympathize, I empathize – I really do – and your first impulse will be to hurl this book aside and condemn me.

When everyone has lied to you, your first impulse is to attack the first person who tells you the truth.

It is frankly horrifying to see the depths of moral falsehoods, hypocrisies and downright evil in the society around us. When we walk through the mall and see all the countless people there with children, and know for certain that the vast majority of them are bullying or hitting their children at home – this is deeply disturbing and alienating.

It is a “red pill” moment which we can never return from.

You will be mad at me, because my arguments are creating acute discomfort within you, and we are all very used to punishing anyone who causes us discomfort.

Frankly, this is just another effect of bad parenting.

In the common perception, children owe their parents obedience and love – and when the children fail to pay what they owe, this causes great upset in the parents, who then feel fully justified in punishing the children for “causing them pain.”

Attacking children is thus legitimately reframed – at least in the minds of the parents – as a form of self-defense against injurious disobedience.

In this way, the parents are not really “attacking” the children, but defending themselves against their children for the pain caused by the children’s noncompliance.

Almost all parental abuse falls under the imaginary category called: “Well kid, you started it!

Conclusions

If you grow up believing that the world is flat – because it sure looks that way – and everyone around you tells you that the world is flat, and your teachers instruct you that the world is flat – and punish and fail you for believing anything else – and all the scientists tell you that the world is flat – and all the people who question whether the world is flat are called crazy, and attacked and ostracized – are you really to blame for believing that the world is flat?

I think it’s important to have some sympathy and gentleness for the errors you have absorbed – or which have been inflicted on you, more accurately.

Analogies involving science and physics are of limited use in moral questions, however, since they cannot be resolved with a moment’s thought.

Discovering that the world is a sphere and not a tabletop cannot be achieved with ten seconds of critical thinking.

However, we all know that violence is wrong – we all know that excluding entire swaths of humanity from the moral law – or rather reversing the moral law for them – is wrong.

The American Declaration of Independence is criticized for saying that all men are created equal, but then allowing for slavery.

This is a rank contradiction obvious even to people at the time.

It barely takes a moment’s thought to notice it.

It does not take an advanced degree in physics to notice that your children did not choose you as their parent – this is obvious to everyone who takes a moment to think about it.

It does not take a significant number of physical experiments to notice that we hold those in power to higher moral standards.

You do not need to be excellent at vector calculus to notice that those with disabilities are treated more gently in society.

You do not need the moral acuity of Aristotle to note that we do not generally encourage the use of violence against the most vulnerable members of society.

These are all simple principles, accepted by everyone in society.

Everyone reading this has known for many years about the national debt, about failing schools and the hitting of children.

Everyone reading this was mindlessly bored in school, and desperately wished for someone – anyone – to listen to our preferences.

We know all of this – we have experienced all of this, and perhaps that is the difficulty…

It’s one thing to believe that the world is flat, when it looks that way and everyone tells you so.

It’s quite another thing to believe that the world is flat, after we have been taken out into orbit, lived there for years, and have spent countless hours gazing out the window at the obvious sphere of the planet.

We all experienced this as children – this contempt, this hostility, this aggression, this violence, this abuse. We were either raised in bad families, and experienced this directly – or were raised in great families, and saw the difference all around us.

We are either in danger because we were lied to, or we are in danger because everyone else was lied to.

There is no escape but the truth.

There is no way forward but through.

We are going to talk about the facts, we are going to reason through the ethics, we are going to reveal and break up the bottomless prejudice of childism – we are going to finally live up to what we proclaim: that we love and treasure our children.

We will do what is the hardest.

We will accept nothing less than honesty, truth and virtue.

We will grind through our pain to get to our moral destination.

We will do all this because the alternative is not in fact hell, but death.

PART 1: THEORY

Peaceful Parenting: What Is It?

The strangest thing about peaceful parenting is that it is nothing other than what we all accept and practice in the vast majority of our daily lives.

Peaceful parenting is nothing alien or foreign or revolutionary or contradictory.

Peaceful parenting is exactly what you teach your children – how you live your life – what you praise and want and prefer in almost everything you do.

Is this incomprehensible to you?

Let’s look at the larger picture. The historical picture, if you like.

Peaceful parenting is the greatest moral revolution in the history of the world.

It is the greatest progress that can be imagined.

It both falls in line with – and extends – all prior moral progress.

What do I mean?

Well – science, technology and morality all progress when exceptions are eliminated.

The more that local principles can be distilled into simple universals, the more power we gather over knowledge, nature – and ourselves.

Early moral commandments forbade stealing – but only from one’s own tribe.

It was fine to steal from those outside your tribe, but you should respect the property of your fellow cultists.

Every planet and sun is a sphere – imagining that the Earth is flat creates an exception to a universal rule – and an exception to the physical laws which cause large masses of matter to collapse into spherical shapes.

In ancient societies – and even in some contemporary ones – human rights and privileges are reserved for only some people – while those in the lower castes – as well as women and slaves – remain largely unprotected.

Why do we allow these complications?

Why do we invent rules – and then immediately start creating exceptions?

Well, that is all about power.

That which is complicated is almost certainly corrupt.

Sometimes, changing a single variable can simplify the entire system – transforming it from corrupt to moral, from convoluted to correct.

In the ancient world, when the Earth was considered the center of the universe, the retrograde motion of Mars – the fact that Mars seems to move backwards in the sky at times – was “explained” using the Ptolemaic system. This system was based on the belief that the Earth was at the center of the universe, and all orbits were perfect circles. Thus, in order to calculate the position of Mars, hundreds of calculations were required.

After the early Middle Ages, when astronomers began to toy with the idea that the sun was the center of the solar system, the movement of Mars became enormously simple – the fact was that the Earth sometimes moves faster around the sun than Mars, because the Earth is closer – which makes Mars appear to move backwards in the sky.

Simple.

One of Isaac Newton’s greatest insights was the theory of gravity, which states that everything falls. An apple falls to the ground – the Earth falls around the sun, the moon falls around the Earth, and so on.

Einstein also vastly simplified our understanding of the universe by rejecting the 19th-century theory of ether, and substituting the theory of relativity, and the famous equation E = MC squared.

The extension of the rights of self-ownership and property – as well as voting rights – to all adult human beings eradicated prior moral justifications for the existence of slavery.

Every human being owns himself, and owns the effects of his actions – this is the foundation of political liberty and property rights.

Morality with an asterisk has always been a central curse of humanity – the asterisk refers to all who are exempted from the general moral principle.

“Everyone has the right to enter into contracts – except women!”

“Everyone can vote – except slaves!”

“Only the King has freedom of speech!”

In some religions, only the priestly class can commune with God – in others, everyone has access to the divine.

What is the most important moral principle that desperately needs to be extended?

The Non-Aggression Principle

We all accept and enforce something called the nonaggression principle, or NAP.

The nonaggression principle states that it is immoral to initiate the use of force against another human being. Self-defense is acceptable in an extremity of danger, but you cannot just walk up to someone and punch, kick, strangle, rape or murder him or her.

The nonaggression principle has been accepted throughout all of human history – but with an enormous set of asterisks that limit it in practical terms to various specific groups.

Nobles can sell their own land without selling themselves, but serfs are tied to the land, and bought and sold with it, like cattle.

Members of an in-group are allowed to strike or steal from those outside the group, but have to respect the nonaggression principle and property rights for members of their own group.

So – what is peaceful parenting?

Why, it’s so simple that it’s almost embarrassing!

Peaceful parenting simply takes the nonaggression principle and fully extends it to children.

Does this sound obvious?

Crazy?

Redundant – I mean, we already protect our children, right?

Give me a moment, let me blow your mind.

Here…

The extension of the nonaggression principle to previously-excluded members of society defines the moral progress of our entire species – throughout history, across the world – but we seem to have a strange barrier to understanding this – and thus to extending our moral and physical protections to the most helpless and vulnerable members of our society: our own children.

Peaceful parenting universalizes the nonaggression principle – it is immoral to initiate the use of force against children.

It is immoral to enter into contracts on behalf of children.

It is immoral for individuals – and societies – to borrow against the collateral of children’s future earnings.

Are you beginning to see?

The extension of the non-aggression principle to children means that it is immoral to initiate the use of force against children – just as it is immoral to initiate the use of force against adults.

As a result, it is utterly immoral to beat, hit, confine, spank or otherwise physically abuse or restrain children.

Wait, wait!

I know…

I know that a thousand strenuous arguments against this principle are erupting in your mind as you read, as you listen – and I truly do sympathize with that, and I will work very hard to overcome them over the course of this book.

But just bear with me for a moment…

Wouldn’t it just be so much simpler to have one moral rule, rather than one rule for adults, and a complete opposite rule for children?

I mean, wouldn’t it be considerably less confusing for children who are being told not to hit anyone, to not be hit themselves?

Wouldn’t it be good for authority figures to follow their own rules, and not hit others?

A certain proportion of you – about 10-20%, by all measures – will accept that hitting children is wrong, and I thank you and appreciate you for that!

However, that is only one part of peaceful parenting.

The second part of peaceful parenting is to recognize that verbal abuse against children violates the nonaggression principle.

Verbal abuse can take many forms – from telling a child that she is stupid, lazy, selfish, mean, thoughtless, careless, clumsy – to telling her that the world is going to end soon, that she is immoral for genetic characteristics beyond her control – or that his masculinity is bad, inconvenient and negative to the educational system.

If you kidnap a woman, lock her in your basement – and then brainwash her for a year or two – you are charged with psychological abuse, as well as forcible confinement.

Many court cases seek damages for the infliction of emotional pain and suffering.

Cult leaders who confine and indoctrinate their members are charged with grievous crimes.

Children have no chance to leave their family environments – and their brains are deeply shaped and formed by the words their parents use.

We have laws against libel and defamation – as well as false accusations, which can result in lengthy jail terms – because we understand that words have the power to cause real-world harm.

In other words, we ban physical violence and verbal abuse against adults – why would we not also ban them against children?

I understand if you reject the statements as they stand – but be patient please, I will go into these arguments in more detail throughout the course of this book.

Remember – science, technology and morality all advance when simple, widely-accepted rules are simply extended to everything and everyone.

We accept that moral laws exist to protect those who cannot protect themselves – the biggest and strongest man in the village rarely has to fear physical assault.

Moral laws exist to protect those who cannot protect themselves…

All right, who are the most vulnerable members of society?

Come on…

We all know this one!

By far the most vulnerable and helpless members of society are children – but children remain largely excluded from all the moral laws that we have developed to protect powerful, independent adults.

Independent, free and powerful adults are protected – dependent, trapped and helpless children are thrown to the wolves.

This is no longer acceptable.

It never was, but the time has come to change everything.

What The World Should Be

Why do we find it so hard to live our values?

This is not by accident – it is by design.

Pretending to be virtuous in order to do evil is the oldest con of mankind.

“Virtue” was invented not to make mankind good, but rather to exploit us.

You don’t believe me?

Good!

You shouldn’t believe anything I say just because I say it!

Let me prove it to you.

I want you to think of two warring tribes in the distant past – the Hatfields and the McCoys.

One respects property rights, one does not.

In the Hatfields, you can own land, machinery, make and sell weapons – everyone can trade, allowing for specialization and the division of labour.

As a result, the Hatfields become quite wealthy.

Among the McCoys, however, property ownership is virtually impossible – everyone steals from everyone else. No one bothers to plant crops, because the crops will just be stolen. No one researches and develops weapons, because they can’t reliably build and sell them.

It’s clear that, when the Hatfields and the McCoys run up against each other, that the Hatfields will always defeat the McCoys, because the Hatfields have stronger warriors, superior weapons, and extra food.

Thus every tribe, nation and group has a very strong incentive to respect property rights. When Christianity universalized the Biblical commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” Christianity spread worldwide, by the book and the blade.

Teaching a respect for property rights creates wealth – this wealth can then be taxed away by the elites, and used to control the masses and expand their own power.

“Honesty” is only a virtue when you are in possession of information that those in power wish to extract from you.

It is not a virtue – in fact it is roundly punished – when you tell truths inconvenient to those in charge.

Then, it is labelled “rude” or “insensitive” or “blasphemous” or “heretical” or “seditious” or “hate speech.”

“Courage” is generally praised because it undermines the self-preservation instincts of soldiers and other enforcement agents.

“Courage” in service of the elites is a virtue – when “courage” is used to oppose the elites, however, it is called terrorism and treason.

If you unpack each one of these “virtues,” you will see that – in every single instance – “virtues” are always the behaviours that benefit those in power.

The exact same virtues are then punished if they go against the benefit of those in power.

If a soldier kills an enemy of those in power, he is given medals, parades and pensions.

If he kills someone out of uniform – a tax-paying citizen – he is severely punished.

Make sense?

Now – virtues such as “honesty” and “courage” are indeed good. My goal in explaining all this is not to make you cynical about morality, but rather to help you understand why it is so difficult to apply consistently.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander…

Moral Reversals

If an action is good in one situation, but evil in another, we can call this a moral reversal.

Sadly, we experience these moral reversals in our personal lives all the time – from the very start of our lives!

Would you like an example?

Well, our parents raised us to tell the truth – but when we told truths inconvenient to our parents, we were often punished.

When your mother demanded to know who broke the lamp in the living room, she wanted you to tell the truth, and praised truth telling as a virtue.

If, however, at a family dinner, you mentioned that you saw your mother kissing another man – does she continue to praise your honesty as a virtue?

Of course not.

If your mother tells you to go and kiss your Aunt Edna goodbye, but you loudly state that you don’t want to, because her breath stinks – are you praised for your honesty?

No, you are punished for your “rudeness.”

Virtues are praised when they serve those in charge – those exact same virtues are then punished when they upset those in charge.

Your school teachers probably always wanted you to tell the truth – unless you honestly told them that they were boring and incompetent – in which case you were punished for telling the truth!

Those same teachers told you that it was never OK to use force and threats to get what you want – but then went on strike, shutting down the entire educational system and half the economy, in order to get what they want!

Teachers and principals always told you to stand up to bullies, and that bullying was unacceptable – but when you or your friends went to them to complain about being bullied, did those teachers and principals stand up to the bullies and their volatile parents?

Nope!

You see?

You, at the age of 5 or 10 or 15, were supposed to stand up to bullies – but teachers and administrators didn’t do that at all!

Naturally, the virtues inflicted on you are all described as universal – without exceptions – but are never applied universally – yet this moral reversal is never explained, or even talked about!

This is why we don’t even notice when our society claims to love and treasure children, but then abuses and exploits them.

The “morality” is a cover for the exploitation.

If a moral philosopher, say, comes along and insists that we actually consistently live our values – accepting and enacting all the claims of universality – we feel existential horror at the concept – because throughout all of human history, attempting to live as if morals claimed to be universal were in fact universal – was largely suicidal.

We were, in essence, told:

“These morals are universal and absolute – but if you live as if they are moral and absolute, we will destroy you. We will also destroy you if you ever talk about these obvious contradictions.”

Again – killing against the wishes of the elites is murder – killing with the approval of the elites will get you a chest full of metals, tickertape parades and a lifelong pension.

We generally only feel safe when we speak nobly about our universal ethics, but then do the exact opposite when required – and never ever notice the contradiction.

Noticing this moral reversal is very humiliating, because it reveals our fundamental enslavement.

The world, in other words, is hell precisely because it pretends to be heaven.

What Should Be

Let us imagine a world where we truly lived our values of loving and treasuring our children.

Imagine a world where every decision that impacted children was designed to benefit them the most.

Let us begin this journey.

Children care most of all about the virtues of their parents, because consistently positive actions are the basis of loving bonds and emotional security – which children crave most of all.

In a world devoted to the happiness of children, men and women would choose each other based on demonstrable virtues, rather than shapely faces.

There is nothing wrong with shapely faces, of course – I am not some radical idealist attempting to overthrow billions of years of evolution. Shapely faces indicate physical health – studies have shown that more attractive people tend to have better health outcomes over time – and physical health is important.

However, love is our involuntary response to virtue, if we are virtuous – and children desperately want to love their parents – and respect their parents – which is only possible if the parents are consistently virtuous.

It’s hard to imagine a company hiring a man, paying him for months or years – and only then casually inquiring if he was in fact an engineer, after all his bridges had collapsed.

It’s hard to imagine an employee taking a job, working for months or years – and only then inquiring about salary.

No, those in economic relationships define and negotiate mutual values upfront, ahead of time. Employee credentials are checked, salaries are negotiated and contracted, mutual goals are established, contracts are signed – and only then does the economic relationship begin.

That’s not how dating works – certainly not in the modern world.

Dating exists for the sake of future children – to create the most secure and positive environment for raising a family.

Dating does not exist for your vanity, or your mere sexual satisfaction, or your pride and conquest – or for thirst-posting on social media.

Dating exists as a mechanism for checking compatible values before embarking on creating a family.[9]

In the past, dating was managed by tribal elders, and the tribe was defined by shared values, so the chances of ending up with someone with incompatible or opposing values was virtually zero.

In the modern world, we are in charge of our own dating – and are so consumed by lust and vanity that we often avoid bringing up our values, for fear of torpedoing our sexual conquests.

Sexual bonding is designed to cement compatible values into a permanent monogamous relationship – but we go about ‘bonding’ very differently these days.

Now, we have sex as a result of mere physical attraction, and then steadfastly avoid talking about values. These values inevitably diverge – or are revealed as divergent over time – and then we break up.

Our emotional mechanisms interpret this breakup as death or disappearance – and so refuse to provide the same level of bonding the next time.

As we go through half a dozen or more relationships, our bonding mechanisms cease to operate – to protect us from despair, since they interpret these constant breakups as indications of an extremely dangerous and violent environment. Throughout most of human history, the only reason you would go through six or more partners is because of war, starvation, disease or rampant predation.

Over time, we lose our capacity to pair-bond – even more so for women than men – and become cold, hard-eyed and suspicious. We are constantly paranoid, anticipating inevitable betrayal or abandonment, which makes us hard to get along with, and impossible to love.

Like clear plastic sticky tape, the more bonds we make and break, the less we are able to bond, until we can’t really achieve it all.

In our thirties, panicking about fertility, we try to settle down and have kids, but become increasingly depressed and anxious when we fail to bond with our spouse – and also often, tragically, with our own children.

If you don’t bond with your children, it’s really hard to enjoy parenting, and really easy to slip into depression.

Who we love is who we are – if we cannot love, we feel our identity slipping away – and so we dump our children in daycare and run back to work for a prefabricated identity and purpose.[10]

Things generally get even worse from there – we will talk about this in more data-driven detail later in this book.

This is not how we are designed.

This is not survivable.

We are designed to pair-bond with mutual values – good moral values, of course, not random preferences.

Countless couples have dated for years without ever discussing whether they want children, or how to raise them. They have never negotiated the inevitable value divergence of two independent souls – and so are bonded – emotionally and legally – with no ability to navigate opposing ideas and approaches.

It can’t be overemphasized how insane this would be in any other relationship.

Would you consider taking a job and signing a lifelong contract without ever discussing responsibilities or salary?

Would you consider having a child without even thinking about what your life will look like after you become a parent?

Would you sign up for a 40-year mortgage without any discussion of interest rates or payments?

Of course not.

People date for reasons of lust and enjoyment – fun and sex – utterly hijacking the purpose of dating and sexuality, which is to filter for value alignment, and then emotionally pair-bond with mutually compatible morals.

Since dating comes before children, any society which truly valued its children would start by reforming dating.

Dating is the process of looking for empirical evidence for stated value compatibility. Before going on a date, you talk about values. Once compatible values are established verbally, dating is the skeptical process of testing these claims against reality. If a man claims he wants to provide for his family, dating is the process of checking out his education, assets, income and potential in order to verify that he can in fact do so. If a woman claims she wants to resolve conflicts peacefully and reasonably, dating is the process of practicing disagreement, in order to establish the truth of her claim.

Power tends to corrupt humanity, and dating is the process of giving another person ever-escalating power over your own happiness and security. No one starts as a CEO – employees are given progressively more responsibility, to see if they can handle it productively.

Dating is the process of asking and answering questions about virtue – is the person on time? Is she thoughtful? Is he kind and courageous? Are they reliable? Does he or she consistently make my life better for being in it? Knowing the power of lust, do I enjoy this person’s company in the absence of sexual opportunity? Is this person a good conversationalist? Does he or she have good social skills? How is this person around children? Does this person have a vice such as gambling, drinking – or a bad temper? Is this person conscientious?

Once emotional trust is established through empirical verification of value statements, pair-bonding and sexual activity commence.

Sex is the reward for value compatibility – truly putting the cart before the horse, modern dating attempts to use sex as a reward for proximity.

This leads to disaster – and disaster leads to lying.

Parents who divorce – and I am including couples who never married, since if you separate after having children, that equals a divorce – are not acting in the best interests of their children.[11]

The data on this is very clear – we will discuss this in detail later.

Single mothers in particular often claim that their children are their highest value – which is empirically false, since treating children as your highest value would mean making absolutely sure you do not get pregnant with a man who will not stick around.

If a woman’s partner abandons his children, there are only two possibilities:

  1. He was a bad man to begin with.
  2. He was a good man, but she drove him away.

If he was a bad man, the mother is responsible for choosing him as a father.

If he was a good man, the mother is responsible for driving him away.

In either outcome, what is best for her children is empirically not her highest priority.

Thus – if society wishes to even begin living up to its values of placing children first, and loving and treasuring the next generation, it will start by reforming dating to align the process of pair-bonding with the best and safest outcomes for children.

Marriage, welfare and divorce laws would change to promote stable and permanent marriages, since children are by far the safest and most secure in the protection of a stable marriage.

After conception, what is best for children?

Pair-bonding with the mother is best for children.

Breast-feeding is best for children.

For the first five years at least, a stay-at-home mother is best for children.[12]

If we want to genuinely live up to our values of loving and nurturing children, women would stay home with their babies, love them and breast-feed them.[13]

Of course, women who stay home with their babies don’t work in the economy or pay taxes, so this lowers gross domestic product and general economic activity – not to mention lowering tax receipts.

However, stay-at-home mothers also raise the wages of men by not competing with them.

If we were hyper-focused on economic activity, GDP and taxable income, we would encourage women to abandon their babies to daycare. This also creates additional tax receipts and economic activity from the daycare workers – as well as giving governments enormous power over early childhood.

Do we value our children, or lust for political power and moneymaking?

Do we want happy babies, or short-term higher bars on economic charts?

Of course, very few women make enough money to pay for taxes, expenses and daycare, and have much left over.[14]

The most tragic fact is that women are not abandoning their children for wealth, but for a pittance – or even a net loss.

The average mother makes only a few dollars an hour after expenses.

If we cared about our children, this would almost never happen.

Do we care about our children?

Well, as mentioned above, this is a value statement which needs to be verified.

Verification is easy.

We simply ask: what is best for children?

Then we see if society is doing that.

If society is not doing that – as it is empirically not at present – then that is either because society does not want to do what is best for children, or does not know what is best for children.

If society claims that it wants to do what is best for children, but empirically does not do what is best for children, it is essential to point out this hypocrisy.

If society claims that it wants to do what is best for children, but never examines what is in fact best for children, it is essential to point out this hypocrisy.

If I claim that I want to lose weight, but steadfastly avoid learning anything about weight loss – and get very angry at people who try to instruct me – it is safe to assume that I do not in fact want to lose weight.

The purpose of pointing out this hypocrisy is not to shame or change the hypocrites, but rather to prevent everyone from wasting their time trying to reform the hypocrites.

Open hypocrisy is a confession that no change is intended.

If my friend claims that he wants to lose weight, but keeps gaining weight, and I point out that he is eating too much and avoiding exercise, and he yells at me and storms out, then it is clear that I should not waste any more time trying to help him.

My friend has no intention of actually losing weight – he just talks about it to feel better in some way, or to trap me in the same nihilistic frustration that he feels.

If a woman claims that she wants a stable, moral man, but keeps dating alcoholic losers, a good friend will point out this contradiction to her. If she ends up yelling at her friend and attacking him, it would be irrational for him to waste any more time trying to instruct her.

Of course, some people will change for the better when their hypocrisy is pointed out – this is wonderful, and worthy of further investment.

This tends to be the exception, however.

Look, we all do wrong from time to time – the wrongs we do tend to be recoverable when we can admit our fault, make restitution and work hard to prevent recurrence.

If a man cannot admit fault, he cannot prevent recurrence – and he will never make restitution, any more than you would happily pay a bill you never incurred.

If restitution has become impossible, fault will almost never be admitted.

If you hit someone’s car, you can pay for the damage and repair the car.

If you hit someone’s car and kill his wife, restitution is impossible.

If a parent snaps at a child, the parent can apologize, make restitution and work on anger management to ensure it does not happen again.

If a parent violently abuses a child for fifteen years straight, no restitution is possible, because the child can never be made whole again.

Restitution occurs when emotions become neutral.

If someone dings your car, pays to repair it, and throws in a few hundred dollars for your time, he has paid reasonable restitution.

If you had a terrible childhood, what would it take for you to be okay with what happened?

To put it another way, when we work for pay, we do things we probably wouldn’t do without being paid. If we take a job for $20 an hour, we know ahead of time that we will sacrifice an hour doing what someone else wants, in return for the $20.

The restitution paid for us doing what our boss wants is $20 an hour.

But things are very, very different with childhood.

To deeply understand why, try this…

Imagine you are floating above the world before you are born, a potential soul in orbit.

Now imagine that a screen pops up, and shows you your life from before you are born to about the age of 18.

You don’t know what happens after that, you only know what happens over the course of your childhood.

You are then asked if you wish to take the gift of life.

If the childhood you see is full of abuse and tension and stress and terror, would you take this supposed “gift”?

How much would you have to be offered to accept being born, if being born meant that you would be abused for almost twenty years straight?

If you take an unpleasant job for $20 an hour, you are agreeing ahead of time to do something you don’t really want to do in return for the $20.

If you had a bad childhood, and were given the choice before being born of whether to accept the gift of life or not, what would you choose?

If you would not choose to live – knowing ahead of time that you would be subjected to 18 years of abuse – then clearly no restitution is possible.

Your abusers can never make it right.

They are unforgiveable.

If you find the above analogy too mystical for your tastes, we can always apply it to your present life instead.

If someone knocked on your door today – interrupting this essential reading of course – and made you the following offer, would you accept?

“Hello there! How much would I have to pay you in order to surrender yourself to someone else’s control, and be abused for the next 18 years?”

I can’t think that any sane person would name any amount.

In fact, most people pay taxes and obey the laws so they don’t get thrown in jail, where they will doubtless be abused for months, years or decades.

Since there is no amount of money that you would take to surrender to somebody else’s control and abuse for the next 18 years – and you had an abusive childhood – then you can never receive restitution for your tragic and violent history.

A person who refuses to apologize and make restitution cannot be forgiven – since forgiveness is earned, not granted.

In the same way, no one can be forgiven whose wrongdoing is beyond restitution.

Earlier, I talked about how virtues that served those in power were praised, while the exact same virtues that harmed the interests of those in power were condemned – well, forgiveness follows exactly the same pattern.

As a child, if you made a mistake, and were punished, then clearly you were not forgiven!

Punishment was the ideal, not forgiveness.

On the other hand, when you grow up and confront your parents for any of the wrongs they did to you, ah, how things abruptly reverse!

Now, suddenly forgiveness is the ideal, not punishment!

Do you remember?

If you failed to study for a test as a child, then you were not forgiven, but rather punished – you received a failing grade, and were probably yelled at, spanked or confined to your room.

This happens to billions of children when they are seven, eight or nine years of age.

Parents will very often get angry at children who come to them at the last minute, saying that there is some school project that they need parental time and resources to finish. Perhaps it is practice for a spelling bee, or materials for a science project, or a stack of permission slips to be signed.

We all know what parents say…

“You’ve known this has been coming for weeks, why are you bringing it to me now?

To extract the principle – which is the job of philosophy of course – we would say that the essence of their criticism is this:

Failing to prepare for known deadlines is a punishable offense!

So – parents get angry when children fail to prepare ahead of time for known deadlines.

They punish those children!

It is part of the moral madness of society – not just our own, of course, but all across the world, all throughout history – that we hold children to infinitely higher moral standards than adults.

Actually, it’s far worse than that.

Refusing to forgive children for their lack of preparation is a virtue – refusing to forgive adults for their lack of preparation is a stone evil vice, deserving of condemnation and ostracism!

Do you see?

Punishing children for failing to prepare is good – punishing adults for failing to prepare is evil!

You think I exaggerate?

Deep down, you know that I do not.

From the time that people first learn how babies are made – to the time that they actually make a baby – parents have years to learn how to parent best.

Except in fundamentalist circles, most parenting books written since the end of the Second World War – almost three generations by now – have discouraged hitting children.

Most parenting books discourage yelling at children, calling children abusive names – and encourage parents to reason positively with their children, and spend lots of time with their children, so that the children feel loved and treasured.

People have many, many years to study best practices in parenting before having children.

Quick question – which do you think is more important – a grade 7 spelling bee, or peaceful and healthy parenting practices?

Is it more important to be adequately prepared for a science project when you are 11 years old – or to research whether violence and aggression should be used against your own helpless and dependent children?

You see how this goes?

Who should be held more morally accountable – a child whose brain is still a decade or more away from final maturity – or a fully-grown adult?

At the moment, society fully believes that 40-year-old adults should never be punished for their failures to prepare for the most important test of life – parenting – while an eight-year-old child should be punished for failing to prepare for an inconsequential make-work school quiz.

Parents who failed to crack a book about parenting – well, they should never be punished for any of their inevitable failings!

A nine-year-old girl who forgets about an upcoming quiz – well, she gets an ‘F’!

A child who fails to prepare for an inconsequential test must be punished – and parents who fail to punish are negligent, prone to producing entitled brats to the detriment of society as a whole!

However, parents who failed to prepare for parenting – the most important moral task of mankind – must never be punished, but rather eternally forgiven!

It’s one thing for parents to demand forgiveness for their failure to prepare – it’s quite another thing for parents who regularly punished little children for their failure to prepare for inconsequential tasks to later aggressively demand forgiveness for their own failures to prepare for their most important task – moral parenting.

If a child fails to prepare for a test, and does very badly – does that child get to use the excuse “Well, you can’t get too mad at me, because I did the best I could with the knowledge I had!”

No, of course not.

If a man who can’t drive steals a car, then crashes it into a schoolyard – does he get to escape punishment by saying: “Hey, I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time!”

He does not.

The child who fails is told that it was his responsibility to get the knowledge before the test – and if he failed to get that knowledge, he cannot claim his lack of knowledge as an excuse for failing!

We are all constantly told: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse!”

Yet parents who never learned anything about good parenting practices constantly claim that they did the best they could with the knowledge they had!

Tax systems are notoriously complicated, but failure to follow all of the myriad and complex laws is no excuse – you get punished, fined and prosecuted anyway!

Do you see it now?

Children are subjected to the very highest moral standards in society – but when parents are subjected to those same moral standards – the same standards they inflicted on their children – they are outraged!

If an adult victim of child abuse says to his parents: “You yelled at me, hit me, called me names – that was really bad! Why didn’t you read any books about parenting, or consult any experts, or go to therapy, before becoming a parent? Why were you so unprepared?

First of all, naturally, the parents will deny, minimize and gaslight – but if these strategies fail, the parents will fall back on the aggressive demand for forgiveness by saying that parenting is really hard, that they did the best they could – and that their own childhoods were bad, so it was hard for them to be good parents.

Again, philosophically, we have to extract the core moral principles from these excuses, to see if they can be applied universally – or are accepted at all, if so applied.

“Parenting is really hard!”

Okay, is it acceptable for a child to fail a math test because, according to the child, math is really hard?

No, of course not – the child will be told that he has to work even harder, because math doesn’t come quite as easily.

“We did the best we could with the knowledge we had!”

Okay, so is it acceptable for a child who fails a test to say that he did the best could with the knowledge he had?

No, of course not – the child will be told that he was responsible for failing to study the necessary facts in preparation for the test.

“I had a bad childhood, so it was tougher for me to be a good parent!”

Okay, is it acceptable for a child who fails a math test to say that he always found math tough, and he had a bad teacher when he was younger, so clearly it’s fine for him to fail the test?

Of course not.

If a parent tries to help his child study for a math test – and then the child fails that math test – is it an acceptable excuse for the child to say that the parent was a bad tutor?

No, of course not.

Parents will say: “Well, if you know that you’re not great at math, then you need to study extra hard to make up for that. Being bad at something is no excuse for not studying – in fact, you are even more responsible for failing to study, since you knew ahead of time that you were bad at the subject.”

You see how this goes?

If a child says that he failed the test because it’s too hard for him to study when he has his phone in his room, because the phone is too distracting – what do his parents reply?

“Come on – if you knew ahead of time that having your phone in your room made studying too difficult – then clearly you should have not kept your phone in your room! If you know about a problem ahead of time, you are all the more responsible for fixing the effects of that problem! If you know that you burn easily, you are all the more responsible for putting on sunscreen! You can’t say – well, I got a really bad sunburn because I know that I burn easily, and I didn’t put on any sunscreen!”

So, this is the principle – if you know ahead of time about a particular weakness, you are even more responsible for working even harder to achieve your goal!

If a child claims that he is going to watch a movie – and study for his math test at the same time – no one will believe that is possible.

It’s clear that you cannot study for a math test while also watching a movie – so when he fails the math test, the boy cannot claim that his knowledge was deficient because he was watching a movie while trying to study.

What will his parents say?

We all know!

“Well, if you know that you can’t study while watching a movie, you are responsible for failing the test!”

If a mother knows that she had a bad childhood, and that this will negatively affect her parenting, then she is fully responsible for overcoming her problems.

If a man knows that every time he hangs out with a particular friend, he gets falling-down drunk – then choosing to hang out with that friend is also choosing to get falling-down drunk.

He can’t say: “Well, I’m not responsible for getting falling-down drunk, because I was hanging out with my friend!

If a man compulsively gambles every time he goes to a casino, then he can’t claim that he had no choice to gamble, because he was at the casino!

If we know cause and effect, then we cannot claim to have no responsibility for the effect.

If a boy knows that he is too distracted by his phone to study effectively, then he is responsible for failing to study effectively – because he decides to keep his phone in his room.

If we held parents to the same standards that they hold their children to, peaceful parenting would have already been achieved!

However, as usual, it’s even worse than that!

Children and Control

In our society, children are not only punished for actions which adults demand forgiveness for – children are punished for things entirely beyond their control!

Imagine two children: Bob and Sally.

Sally has wonderful, educated parents who encourage reading, discuss books with her, and make sure that the house she lives in is conducive to reading, studying and writing.

Bob, on the other hand, lives in a house of violence and chaos. His parents don’t read, and mock him for opening a book. Drunken parties constantly interrupt him, and prevent him from getting a good night’s sleep.

Sally and Bob are both judged by the same standards on tests.

Bob will often fail, while Sally will get straight A’s.

Obviously, Bob is not responsible for his family situation – but he is still punished for it!

Sally did not earn her good fortune, but is constantly rewarded for it.

Children who get good food are judged by the same standards as children who are fed junk food on a daily basis.

By doing this, we are saying to the children: “You will be rewarded and punished for things utterly beyond your control!”

This same society will absolutely condemn adult children who criticize abusive parents.

Parents are in control of the household – but must never be punished for their bad choices.

Children have no control over the household – but must always be punished for their parents’ bad choices.

Parents must never be punished for what they themselves choose – but helpless children must always be punished for what their parents choose!

Are you beginning to truly see what I mean about the deeply insane moral reversals in our society?

Are you beginning to understand the deep, widespread and systematic – and institutional – bigotry of childism?

Childism

In many ways, children can be thought of as slaves.

Slaves do not choose who has power over them – neither do children.

Slaves are provided with food, shelter and healthcare – as are children.

Slaves are not allowed to talk back, or punish their masters – neither are children.

Slaves can be punished at the whim of their owners – but the slaves can never hold their owners accountable for anything!

Same goes for children.

For a master to aggress against his slave is fully acceptable – for a slave to aggress against his master is absolutely unacceptable.

Slaves are not free to leave, and are subject to the random rules of their masters.

Same with children.

In fact, the relationship between master and slave is far more honest, because masters at least do not say that the entire purpose of human society is to love, praise and elevate the slaves.

Society does not cry out that the slaves are the most important members of society, that the slaves must be respected and treasured, that the slaves are the future, and that society lives for the sake of the slaves, etc.

Historically, slaves got to keep well over half of what they produced – children are born into perpetual debt, greater than their lifetime income!

No, the slaves are owned and beaten and bought and sold, and treated as human chattel and livestock – without moral falsehood, without sentimentality, without hypocrisy – through the brute exercise of violent power.

And slaves who escape to safer countries are praised for their courage – not ostracized and attacked for their lack of gratitude!

A slave who makes a mistake is punished – a master who mistakenly punishes must be forgiven.

A slave who is beaten is given little sympathy, because clearly he brought the beating on himself, through disobedience or neglect or malice or mistakes.

When we look back through the bloody tunnels of time – and see slaves being punished for the sins of their masters, we recoil in moral horror.

A slaveowner driving a carriage, who crashes into someone – and then blames his slave, saying that the slave was driving – what would we think of such a monster?

We would say that it was terrible that the master was blaming the slave for the mistakes of the master!

If we saw the master lecturing the slave on the need to take responsibility for his actions, we would be revolted by this level of hypocrisy!

If the slave protested, saying that he was not in fact driving the carriage, and that it was the master who had to take responsibility for his own actions, would we support the master, or the slave?

Currently, in society as it stands – and as society has always stood – with regards to children, we always support the master, never the slave.

If a master hits his slave, it is always the slave’s fault, we say.

If the slave gets free of an abusive master, we attack the slave for failing to forgive the master – who was just doing the best he could with the knowledge he had – and had been raised with slavery, and so is not responsible for being a slaveowner!

The master is always praised for refusing to forgive the slave – but the slave is always attacked for refusing to forgive the master.

Parents are praised for punishing their children – but adult children are always attacked for holding their parents responsible for their abuses.

The way we look at slavery in the past, the future will look at most parenting in the present.

It will be even worse for us, though – because we regularly hold people in the past accountable for their moral misdeeds – while regularly excusing the greatest violations of universal ethics in our own lives, in the present, in our own houses.

We condemn the historical slaveowner – while neglecting, beating and verbally abusing our own children.

We condemn the slaveowner for dehumanizing those under his control – while verbally abusing and denigrating our own children.

We condemn the slaveowner for preventing his slaves from becoming educated – while throwing our own children into brain-deadening Gulags for 16,000 hours.

We condemn the slaveowner for attacking any slaves who fought back, or spoke back – or who escaped, or fought for the freedoms of all slaves – while endlessly attacking moral philosophers who speak up for the moral rights of children.

We see how good men and women throughout history were attacked for saying and doing the right thing – but then mindlessly attack good people in the present for speaking up for the rights of the abused.

We have no excuses anymore!

We either look in the mirror and see the true face of evil – or we pretend we are angels, thus imagining our children are devils, and becoming worse and worse thereby.

There are no rights without children’s rights.

We have no morality unless we apply it to children first – and always!

We have no honour if we punish helpless children for the same actions that we – as adults – demand forgiveness for.

We have no integrity if we bury our children in debt in order to satisfy our own political material greed.

We condemn ancient cultures for sacrificing their children to irrational gods – but we sacrifice our children to the irrational mob.

We attack our own children, claiming an utter lack of knowledge about how to parent peacefully.

But this is a complete and total lie – everyone knows everything about how to parent peacefully!

You don’t believe this?

I can prove it very quickly!

Parenting in the Media

For many decades, child abuse has been virtually absent from popular media. If child abuse ever was shown, it was utterly condemned.

The vast majority of parents hit their children – if they are truly comfortable with this, why is it never portrayed in popular family shows?

We can think of countless sitcoms – certainly from the Second World War onwards – where parents have conflicts with their children.

Did Fred McMurray beat his children in the 1950s sitcom “My Three Sons”?

Of course not – he reasoned with them.

Family Ties, Eight Is Enough, Leave It to Beaver, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Cosby Show, Full House, Happy Days, Growing Pains, Who’s the Boss?, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Mr. Belvedere, Saved by the Bell – all these shows modelled peaceful parenting for many hours a week – and were watched by billions of parents over the decades.[15]

Can parents who avidly consume thousands of hours of edifying examples of peaceful parenting really claim to have no idea what it is?

Imagine this…

Imagine the reaction if, in one of these sitcoms, a child who made a mistake, or who disagreed with – or disobeyed – her parents – was dragged over her parent’s knee and soundly beaten.

Imagine if a child who came home late was verbally abused – yelled at, called names etc.

Can you imagine the complaints that would pour into the network, the regulatory agencies – perhaps even law enforcement itself?

Endless raging articles would be published – networks, actors and writers would all be ostracized and boycotted.

Do you see the problem here?

Parents justify their own attacks on their children by claiming that such parental punishments are morally good – well, if this is the case, why would they be so outraged when seeing their own behaviour reflected back on the television screen?

I mean, parents like it when violence is used to punish bad guys in movies, right?

I’m sure you are well aware that people who create sitcoms and other forms of entertainment are constantly looking for what pleases audiences the most.

Without a doubt, many sitcom scenarios with harsh parenting were tested with various audiences.

Countless groups were gathered together and asked to evaluate potential scenes, television executives standing by with clipboards to record the test audience’s reactions – and every single time, the test audience members recoiled from accurate portrayals of most parenting – their own parenting – claiming bottomless offense and upset.

That’s why we don’t see children being hit or yelled at on television.

Isn’t this strange?

We don’t see children being hit or yelled at on television because it horrifies people. It enrages and angers them, and they never want to see it – even though most of them do it, every day!

If a man works out every day, why would he be outraged to see a character working out on a comedy show?

Wouldn’t he be happy that his healthy lifestyle was being promoted?

If yelling at and hitting children is good and right and proper, why don’t parents ever want to see it in movies and on television?

Since when do people recoil from seeing morally good heroism in their entertainment?

Doesn’t most entertainment exist for the sake of portraying moral heroism in a positive light?

I mean, we don’t see Superman joining a child trafficking gang, or Batman teaming up with the Joker to take out Commissioner Gordon.

We don’t see Wolverine attacking schoolyards, or setting mass murderers free from prison.

No, we want to see moral heroism reflected back to us.

In particular, we want to see our own moral heroism reflected back to us!

If hitting children and yelling at children is so good and right and proper and moral and necessary for the salvation of society – why do we never see it in popular entertainment?

Or, on the occasions that we do see it, why is it always a villain doing these terrible things?

It gets more and more bizarre, the more that you think about it.

Since parents on television and in movies do not yell at or hit their children, they end up reasoning with their children in a positive and patient manner.

Billions of parents the whole world over have watched thousands of hours of detailed depictions of how to parent peacefully.

It’s not foreign or unknown – remember, I said that earlier?

Peaceful parenting is exactly what people tune in to watch!

They know exactly what it is – and how to practice it!

And, because they tune in to see it – and praise it – and never want to see their own aggressive parenting – everyone knows exactly how good and right and proper and moral it is to reason with your children, rather than yell at them, call them names and hit them.

Even with very little children, television parents are sweet and reasonable and patient – they do not hit them, yell at them – or grab them physically and push them down on the stairs in a “timeout.”

Do you understand?

None of it seems to make the slightest sense!

Why do parents recoil from the aggressive parenting they claim is so moral and necessary?

This would be like a policeman who claims that his work is essential for society to function being horrified at seeing a policeman arrest a criminal on television.

Would a doctor who believes in vaccines be appalled at seeing a television doctor administer a vaccine?

It’s almost beyond crazy…

Every good parent in movies and television is a peaceful parent.

This is because everyone wants to see peaceful parenting on the screen.

Good parents in movies and television do not yell at, hit or otherwise abuse their children.

This is because everyone recoils from abuse against children.

And then so many of them get up from the couch and abuse their children.

People watch thousands of hours of peaceful parenting on the screen – and then claim that they have no knowledge of how to do anything better.

People demand that on-screen parents reason with their children, and never abuse them – and then claim that they had no choice but to yell at and hit their children, because they didn’t know any better, and had no way of knowing any better!

The world is an asylum because it pretends to be sane.

If parents have no knowledge of better parenting, why do they always demand to see better parenting on television, and would be horrified if their own parenting is accurately depicted on the screen?

Because…

Because they know.

You can’t consistently demand something decade after decade – and oppose any deviation – and then claim to have no knowledge of that thing!

(Part of the reason why good parenting is so consistently shown on television – apart from appealing to the horrified vanity of parental abusers – is to make the victims of child abuse feel more alone, as if everyone else is having an infinitely better time than they are.)

Peaceful Parenting Media Training

One central question – the central question – is why parents who claim that aggressive parenting is good parenting never want to see aggressive parenting in the shows they watch.

It can’t be because people don’t like seeing conflict in art – otherwise there would be no shootouts, no war movies, no torture scenes – no fighting – verbally or physically – between spouses, friends, business partners, you name it. The entire basis of art is conflict – man versus man, man versus nature – man versus himself. Included in man versus man is parents versus children.

So – it’s not that!

Every show that involves children also involves disagreements between parents and their offspring. If people genuinely believed that reasoning with children leads to disaster – then surely they would rail against shows where parents merely reasoned with their children.

How would a group of nutritionists respond to endless shows that promoted junk food – especially to kids?

Wouldn’t they be outraged?

Wouldn’t they prefer shows that promoted feeding children healthy meals?

Now, imagine that same exact group of nutritionists also constantly enjoying shows promoting junk food to kids – and sending endless raging letters to any and all authorities should a child ever be shown getting within 10 feet of a salad!

Would that not be utterly incomprehensible?

Wouldn’t we say to these nutritionists: “Wait a minute – you have dedicated your lives to promoting healthy eating – why do you love shows promoting junk food, and rage against the shows that promote the very healthy eating you claim is so essential to human health and happiness?”

But, as usual, it’s even worse than that.

Nutritious eating – at least for adults – is a matter of health, not morality.

Imagine a prominent group of feminists who endlessly and happily consumed media depicting women being humiliated and beaten – and wrote endless letters of rage and complaints to any and all authorities should a show ever reach the public depicting women being treated with dignity and respect…

If parents truly believe that reasoning with children – instead of aggressing against them – produces entitled brats, undermining the security and safety of society – then those parents should rail against any and all shows that promote the practice of reasoning with children!

A group solely focused on promoting healthy consent for sexual activity should not endlessly praise shows depicting sexual assault as comedy – and violently oppose any and all shows depicting healthy consent.

Again, it’s almost incomprehensible.

Aggressive parents do not just believe that aggression is good for their own family – they believe it is good for all families, for society as a whole – and that reasoning with children is not just bad for their own family – but is bad for all families – and for society as a whole!

To them, aggressive parenting is not a mistake, or an accident, or a bad thing – it is a good thing, infinitely superior to the alternative, which produces spoiled entitled brats with no sense of boundaries or respect for authority.

How many people who genuinely claim to care for children would want to see practices advocated on television that would result in the maiming and death of children?

Imagine comedies that showed children having a great time crossing high railway bridges in the middle of the night, and jumping away from onrushing trains.

Imagine programs showing children laughing while grabbing at poisonous snakes – and the children who avoided such dangers being laughed at, mocked, ostracized – and coming to very bad ends indeed.

Imagine seeing a show that portrayed children having great fun daring each other to cross highways at night.

Come on!

Parents would rail against the promotion of such dangerous activities!

Remember – aggressive parents genuinely believe that children need to be hit and controlled, so that they don’t get injured or killed – the two inevitable examples are a child who gets terrible burns by grabbing a pot of boiling water, and a child running towards a busy road.

The only way to prevent children from receiving terrible injuries – or being killed – is to aggress against them by yelling, hitting, punishing and restraining them.

Thus, shows which promote only reasoning with children are exposing children to injury, maiming and death!

Aggression against children saves their lives – reasoning with children gets them maimed and killed.

By cheering on shows that promote reasoning with children, aggressive parents are cheering on practices which they truly believe lead to children getting maimed and killed – and also which lead children to become selfish, entitled adults who undermine and destroy society.

Again, this is incomprehensible.

Almost…

But nothing in the human mind escapes philosophy.

Reasoning in Media – The Answer

So – what on earth is going on?

Why would parents give time and money to advertisers on shows that promote child injury and death – and the destruction of their entire society?

Why would aggressive parents rail against shows that promote the very parenting practices they claim are necessary to keep children safe and happy – and keep society functional and sustainable?

This would be like an army showing endless training videos to new recruits instructing them on how to reason and negotiate with their opponents – and filing legal complaints against any instructor who tried to teach the new soldiers how to actually use a weapon.

Clearly, this would be an army that was setting up its recruits to get killed in combat.

We can clearly see the true insanity of any group that claims to dedicate itself to promoting ‘X’ – but which only promotes and consumes material advocating for the opposite of ‘x’ – and rails against any material that actually promotes ‘x.’

What is the answer to this riddle?

In a movie called “Remains of the Day,” a harsh, strict and emotionally cold butler is revealed to have a soft spot for reading sappy romantic novels.

In this fairly Jungian approach to psychology, the exterior shell of the personality is a reactive response to an unacceptable emotional core.

In the movie “American Beauty,” a violent neighbour who hates homosexuals is revealed to be secretly gay himself – he really hates the gay part of himself, but projects that hatred onto homosexuals in the world.

Earlier, I talked about the unconscious and unspoken “moral reversal.”

To believe that something is moral – and also believe that the opposite of that thing is also moral – requires the creation of at least two personalities that have no contact with each other.

The psychological concept of ambivalence describes two opposing forces in the personality. A woman might love dating bad boys, but knows that a good man would be far better for her.

An addict both needs and hates his own addiction.

When a boy first asks out a girl, he feels a combination of desire and fear – the desire draws him to her, the fear is trying to keep him away from the pain of rejection.

Having opposing feelings is natural in life.

So…

In parents, there are usually two personalities – one aggressive, and one reasonable.

The reasonable personality tries talking to children – if the children don’t listen, the aggressive personality takes over.

It’s the good cop/bad cop switch so often seen in television, movies – and reality, no doubt.

If a woman tries reasoning with an abusive husband, but he becomes increasingly aggressive – she will probably call the police, and turn over her self-defense to them, and their capacity for aggression.

Parents use the same process with their children.

“If you won’t listen to me, then clearly you have to be forcefully controlled!”

In other words, the aggression is the result of the child not listening to the parent.

From the children’s standpoint, the fact that aggression will be deployed if the child doesn’t listen means that the “listening” is just a charade, a farce.

It’s similar to a thug cornering you in a dark alley and demanding that you give him your wallet – while pointing a gun at you.

Of course, he’s just “asking” for your wallet – but his verbal request is backed up by a very real gun that could end you if you do not comply.

Since potential violence is present in the interaction, nothing the thug says is reasonable. The gun is doing the real talking – he is just mouthing the words.

Or, to put it another way, the thug is telling you the purpose of the gun, which is to get you to comply with his verbal commands.

Parents perfectly willing to resort to aggression are never in fact “reasoning” with their children – because the aggression is always part of the equation.

You can never “reason” with someone if the result of her failing to agree with you is violence.

A schoolyard bully with his fist raised is not “requesting” the smaller child’s lunch money.

Sure, he’s only speaking words – but the raised fist is the essence of the interaction.

A child who knows he could be hit is never being “reasoned with.”

The “nice” parent is one personality – the aggressive parent is another – and they do not connect with each other.

Victims of child abuse constantly note that their parents are fully capable of restraining their abusive habits in the presence of external authority or social repercussions.

Children who are beaten at home are never beaten at the mall, or in front of teachers or policeman or priests or extended family.

Parents are fully able to restrain their aggression when the consequences of that aggression would be negative to them – they wait until they get home, and then they beat their children.

The peaceful parent reigns supreme in social situations – the aggressive parent comes out in the dark, behind closed doors.

The peaceful parent personality loves watching sitcoms where families laugh together, and parents never yell or hit, and children listen with good humour and respect.

If a parent on television were to suddenly haul off and hit a child for disagreeing with her, the peaceful parent would see the effects of abuse without the personality transitioning to the aggressive parent. The peaceful parent would see the actions of the aggressive parent without the dissociating provocation of a real disagreeable child in the vicinity.

We have often seen shows where a mass murderer has a second personality – a sweet mild-mannered innocent character who is horrified by the actions of the murderous personality.

The aggressive parent personality is motivated by the belief that children owe obedience – and if children do not pay what they owe, they can be aggressed against.

However, the switch from the peaceful parent to the aggressive parent requires a real disagreeing child in the vicinity.

How you feel about what you watch on screen is often the complete opposite of what you would feel in real life.

People enjoy listening to true crime podcasts – but would distinctly not enjoy being the victim of those crimes in their real lives.

Women in particular made the abusive pornographic novel “50 Shades of Grey” the biggest selling book in human history – much to the despair of more literary authors – but most of them would be appalled to be beaten during sex in real life.

The aggressive parent personality runs on the principle that “my own children must be aggressed against if they defy me.”

However, when watching a show on television, child actors do not fall into the category of “my own real children disobeying me.”

Thus the tripwire for the aggressive personality is not triggered.

As a result, watching a television parent suddenly hit a television child gives the peaceful parent personality a sudden and unfiltered glimpse of the aggressive parent personality.

Imagine how horrified you would be if you suddenly received irrefutable proof that you were a mass murderer. Imagine that someone sent you video footage of you sleepwalking and sleep-killing in the middle of the night.

I’m sure that you, a most moral and mild-mannered reader, would be utterly appalled, shocked and horrified to the depths of your very soul to find out that you had an unknown second personality that did great evil in the world.

You would probably feel great rage against the person who exposed your evils to you.

Of course, as a moral and good reader, I’m sure that you would want to turn yourself in, get help, and make sure that you didn’t kill anyone else while sleepwalking in the middle of the night.

The existence of this second murderous personality would be so deeply shocking to you that it would destabilize and destroy your entire life, your entire conception of yourself.

To bring the analogy closer to home, imagine that you had a dog, and could never understand why your dog kept getting more and more aggressive, even though you loved and petted that dog constantly.

Imagine you installed home security cameras inside your house, and then saw yourself terrorizing and beating your dog in the middle of the night – while having no memory of this whatsoever in the morning.

Imagine how unbelievably destabilizing it would be to suddenly realize that – although you thought every part of you loved this dog – that you are inhabited by a kind of midnight demon who brutalized and tortured a helpless and defenseless animal.

Before you knew all of this, you probably enjoyed watching videos of dog owners playing with their pets – and would be utterly shocked and appalled to see videos of pet owners torturing their dogs.

You would be incredibly angry that you had been exposed to these ghastly abusive images, and would report them to the social media company, or perhaps even to the authorities.

In the classic movie “Manchurian Candidate,” a man is programmed to murder when he hears a particular sequence of words. He goes into a psychological fugue state – the summoning of another personality that entirely eclipses his regular self – commits his murder, escapes the scene, and then has no idea what he actually did.

The universal absolute of the moral reversal creates two distinct and opposing personalities that never communicate with each other – because if they did communicate, the contradiction would be exposed, and possibly efforts to reconcile this contradiction would be undertaken.

If the peaceful parent personality suddenly encounters depictions of the aggressive parent personality, the personality as a whole is deeply destabilized. If the peaceful parent personality suddenly sees on television the aggressive parent personality – the aggressive parent personality within the mind recoils at being exposed – just as a bank robber will punch or shoot a security guard who catches him in the act.

The powers that run this world never want us to try to reconcile these moral reversals – because they rely on these moral reversals in order to maintain their power.

In the ancient world, when Alexander the Great captured a pirate and demanded to know why he used violence to prey upon others on the high seas – the pirate replied that he was only called a pirate because he had only one ship – if he had more ships, he would be called a Navy – as Alexander the Great called his own gang of violent seagoers.

In the novel “Crime and Punishment,” the petty thief and murderer demands to know why Napoleon – who killed millions – is celebrated as a great historical figure, while the murderer who killed only two is imprisoned.

Ah – this is running a bloody finger along the bladed edge of the moral reversal.

In the classic novel “The Godfather” – an organized crime boss admits that his organization kills people – but compares their own paltry death count to the millions murdered by political leaders in wartime.

The Joker in “The Dark Knight” says that people recoil from murder in their city, while celebrating mass murder in a foreign country under the guise of “war,” since the latter is part of a plan they accept, while the former is not.

We all hate murderers, but love soldiers.

We fear and punish those who kill without permission – but praise and reward those who kill with permission.

Moral reversal.

Of course, there are antiwar activists – pacifists often – but they tend to want further expansions of government power in the realm of social programs and income redistribution – just different coercive actions.

We cannot genuinely oppose violence because we hide from ourselves how much we love violence, commit violence, justify violence, and advocate for the expansion of violence.

We cannot oppose the predations of the elites because we prey on our own children.

We cannot reduce the violence in the world until we confront the violence in ourselves.

An aggressive parent who sees her own behaviour accurately depicted on television rails against that depiction, because it holds a mirror up to her own actions, which she cannot accept.

She empathizes infinitely more with a child actor on television than the offspring of her own body – her own children.

It is unacceptable and evil to hit a child on television – while moral and necessary to hit her own child in real life.

It is morally wrong for a television parent to scream at a television child – but it is morally necessary for her to verbally abuse her own children, because apparently they just don’t listen.

The world is an asylum founded on unconscious moral contradictions.

Here’s a tip though.

It’s free, like this whole book.

If you would hate and loathe seeing your own parenting depicted on television, maybe don’t do it at home.

If it’s appalling to see a pretend parent pretending to hit a pretend child on television, maybe don’t really hit your own real child in your own house.

It would be crazy to smash a mirror for accurately showing your obesity.

The problem is not in the mirror, but in yourself.

The camera does not add 10 pounds.

That’s just how you look.

You must accept it in order to change.

In order to save the world.

In order to protect your children from yourself.

The Evolution of Abuse

Imagine having to use the same communications technology your grandfather used.

Rotary dial phones, switchboard operators – the telegraph system, hand-written letters sent through snail mail…

What effect would these restrictions have on, say, your business career?

How about hanging out with friends?

What about your dating life?

It would be almost impossible to navigate the modern world using communications technology from just a generation or two ago.

Why is this important?

Well…

There is no absolute or objective reason why child abuse tends to replicate through the generations.

There is no reason why a boy raised in violence tends to become more violent – this is evolution, not physics.

Why does a girl raised without a father menstruate earlier, and tend to be more promiscuous?[16] [17]

Why do people who were abused tend to abuse their own children?

These are not facts of the universe like gravity and radiation – these are all subject to the whittling whims of evolutionary pressures.

Let us unpack the reasons why, so we can have more compassion for the present.

It’s almost impossible in our ever-changing modern world to understand just how repetitive the experiences of prior generations were.

Depending on how it is measured, humanity is about 150,000 years old – but until a little over a century ago, going to a doctor usually meant you got more sick.

Until a few hundred years ago, human beings didn’t even know the shape of the solar system.

The Internet is only forty years old.

Modern cell phones are only two decades old.

The rate of change we experience in the modern world is inconceivable to anyone born even 100 years ago.

These massive changes are contained on the whole in less than a single generation – compared to the 5,000 generations that came before.

We have evolved mental and emotional systems designed for unchanging repetition – which are striving to navigate a truly kaleidoscopic pace of constant change.

The modern world, in a very real sense, is an unending drug trip.

Sexual Success

When you are born, you are in the presence of two people who have successfully reproduced.

They are your templates for sexual success.

Given that human beings generally evolved in small tribes with fixed beliefs, to succeed in dating and mating, you had to do what your father did, because the females that surrounded you would all be just like your mother.

If your father beat you, that signaled to you that the women in your tribe were eager to mate with men who beat their children.

If your mother screamed at you, that meant that the men of the tribe were happy to have children with women who screamed at their children.

Forget your happiness for a moment – even forget morality, since we are talking about prehistory.

Remember, your genes don’t particularly care about your happiness – all they care about is their own reproduction.

If happiness serves reproduction, sure, be happy!

If unhappiness serves reproduction, go be unhappy – just breed!

To put it another way, men and women who pursued happiness at the expense of genetic reproduction reproduced far less than those who pursued genetic reproduction even at the expense of happiness.

You are designed to breed, not to be happy.

Of course, to the degree that happiness helps your breeding success, it is encouraged – think of the orgasm.

But any happiness that interferes with your breeding success will be ruthlessly whittled out of the gene pool over time.

What we call “love” serves the genes, not morality or our own personal happiness.

Human pair-bonding exists because it raises the chances of our offspring growing to an age where they can successfully reproduce.

Imagine you are a boy in a primitive tribe.

Your father beats you, your mother screams at you – but let’s say that you find this highly objectionable, and grow up telling every potential mate that you intend to raise your children peacefully.

Unfortunately, everyone else in the tribe is a big fan of aggressive parenting.

So – who will mate with you?

The reason women will shy away from mating with you – aside from the obvious imprinted habits from their own parents – is because if tribal members prefer aggressive parenting, but you raise your children peacefully, then your kids will face greater obstacles to reproductive success than if you raise them aggressively.

You would in fact be teaching your offspring an eniurely different language – a language which no one else in the tribe speaks.

If you went to live in Japan, and never learned Japanese – and never met anyone who spoke anything other than Japanese – what would your reproductive odds be?

You don’t need to be Asian to understand that they would be very, very low – virtually impossible, really.

If you do the opposite of what your parents did, you will very likely end up with the opposite outcomes – since your parents reproduced, you will not reproduce, and the genes that influence this behaviour will end with you.

Parental Compliance

The same pressure applies to the question of whether or not to comply with your parents.

Throughout most of our evolution, resources were scarce, predators were everywhere, and competition was fierce.

At least half of children died before the age of five, which meant that parents sometimes had to choose to withhold scarce resources from sickly children.

If you have five children, and one of them is weak and sickly – but you don’t have enough food for all of them – well, we all know what happens to the weak and sickly child.

Again, we’re not talking about morality at this point – just simple evolutionary pressures.

If you have a child who defies you at every turn, fighting you constantly and opposing everything you say, you will be unable to implant your cultural and reproductive customs and habits in that child.

If it is the custom in your tribe for the males to spend two weeks doing mating dances in front of potential mates – but you have a son who opposes everything you try to teach him – then he will be an evolutionary dead end, and there’s no point spending a lot of time and effort keeping him alive.

Of course, countless children were born throughout human history with rebellious streaks, who fought and opposed their parents – even as toddlers – and what happened to them?

Well, their parents were just a little bit slower to rescue them from predators – a little bit more hesitant to give them any extra food – a little less careful in protecting them from dangers – because the parents just didn’t particularly like that child, because their instincts were telling them to stop wasting resources!

In this way, blind rebellion against parents was selected out of the gene pool over tens of thousands of years – or really, hundreds of millions of years.

As a child, you had to submit to your parents – because if you didn’t, the odds of you making it to adulthood went down considerably.

Reversing Aggression

Ah, but a definite switch is required.

If parents are aggressive – as they all were throughout human history – then it is essential for their children to submit to their will.

Rebellion, in other words, is the most dangerous predator.

However, upon reaching sexual maturity – puberty – it is equally essential that the children rebel and become aggressive themselves – particularly the males.

Remember, the women were raised by aggressive males – which tells them that aggressive males are sexually successful. If a male child remains submissive and compliant to his own parents after the age of sexual maturity, then the females will not find him attractive – because he is the opposite of the father who raised her, who is her template for sexual success.

This is the well-established pattern of children becoming aggressive – particularly males – during and after puberty.

To put it another way – boys who did not become aggressive and rebellious during and after puberty were not selected as mates by the females, which means that this passivity would quickly vanish from the gene pool.

Negotiation versus Violence

It is important to understand what a recent miracle it is that negotiation – rather than violence – is able to gain resources and success in human society.

Trade requires property rights – and property rights are a very new phenomenon in our species.

Property rights require relative peace, a high trust society, an honourable judicial system, empathy, literacy, education, reasonably inexpensive contract enforcement – and a whole host of other factors not exactly common throughout most of our evolution.

Property rights allow for specialization, which then requires trade for survival. A blacksmith does not grow his own food – a farmer does not forge his own tools. The blacksmith trades his output for the farmer’s food, and both become wealthier thereby.

Unfortunately, as we all know, trading societies always end up being preyed upon by warrior societies. The wealth of trade societies draws in the violence of the warrior societies, since it is far easier to steal than to create.

In a trade society, excessive violence in the raising of children produces volatile and unstable adults who cannot defer gratification, and have no real capacity to negotiate.

Of course, parents do have to have some flexibility in their parenting styles – if a warrior society has settled into a more trade-based society, then children need to be raised less violently.

If trade is a better method of acquiring resources – and violent criminals are jailed or killed – then children need to be raised with better negotiating skills, and a lower capacity for violence.

For instance, for hundreds of years, England killed off about 1% of its population – the most violent male criminals, generally.

Wars also tend to kill off the most aggressive members of society.

Dead criminals – or jailed criminals – face significant barrier to reproduction, which is one reason why England evolved into a polite society that enforced its moral standards through icy ostracism, rather than bloody violence.

Some parents are more reasonable, some are more violent. In a more peaceful society, the children of reasonable parents do better – in a more violent society, the bullies rule.

So – a boy raised by violent parents must assume that his entire society is violent – and that fertile women prefer violent men – and that he must first submit to his parents, and then rebel against them. The submission ensures that he reaches sexual maturity – the rebellion means that he will attract a woman who prefers an aggressive male.

Abuse – at least, what we now call abuse – was survival.

Moral philosophers can quibble with this all they want, but they are only alive to quibble because this was a basic fact common throughout our entire history.

In every parent is both a coward and a bully – in every human soul, for that matter.

The coward complied with the parents as a child – the bully rebels against the parents as a teenager.

The child survives by nodding with the parents – the teenager reproduces by shaking his fists at them.

In other words, throughout our history, it was abusive to your genes to not abuse your children.

The submissive child is the parent of the aggressive teenager.

It is rational to submit when you are little – and equally rational to be violent when you get big.

In the modern world, things are much more complex.

In our modern world, the most resources are generally acquired by people who pretend to be rational, but actually profit from violence.

Heads of corporations sit down with politicians to work out how to use the power of the state to profit both parties.

Politicians make millions trading stocks, most likely with insider information about upcoming laws, rulings and regulations.

What looks like a peaceful negotiation is actually a violent predation.

As the old saying goes, only amateur thieves rob banks – professionals own banks. (And the gods of criminality own central banks.)

Poor people vote for free government money – this all looks like a civilized and peaceful negotiation, with politicians making speeches, and people shuffling into booths and checking boxes on a piece of paper.

It looks like a negotiation, but it is actually predation – taxes are collected, money is printed and borrowed – and other people are forced to pay, or go to jail.

Negotiation in public, violence in hidden practice.

Negotiation as a cover for violence.

Words as camouflage for fists.

You see how this relates the modern parenting?

The Duality of Modern Parenting

Modern parents pretend to negotiate in public, and usually use violence in private.

They are simply mirroring the society in which they live – which in turn feeds off their parenting in order to swell its own political power.

It is the ultimate – and most literal – vicious circle.

Modern citizens generally recoil from open violence – so the violence must be cloaked in rituals and language.

Everyone raised by an abusive parent knows the magic power of that random phone call. The parent can be screaming bloody murder at the child, but if the phone rings, and the parent is expecting a call – sweet and gentle tones instantly replace blue-veined yelling.

In this moment, what has happened in the mind of the parent is that the abusive adult has been replaced by the sweet and compliant child.

This moral reversal that I have spoken of repeatedly has its deep roots in early childhood.

When you are aggressed against as a child, you dislike it – no one likes being bullied and hit and screamed at and insulted.

You dislike it, but you have no choice but to comply – because if you don’t comply, your odds of survival are significantly reduced.

So, you swallow and bottle up this anger – and then release it as a teenager, in order to model the aggression that is clearly the most attractive trait in your tribe.

When you are a child, you cannot conceivably allow yourself to experience just how horrible it is to be abused – because if you have genuine sympathy for yourself as a child, you will fail to achieve the aggression necessary for reproductive success as a teenager.

You must deny your sorrow and anger at being abused as a child. This dehumanizes you as a child even to yourself – but this is necessary so that you can in turn dehumanize others, which is required for you to be aggressive and threaten violence against them.

Throughout all of human history, excessive empathy prevented the development of the capacity for violence necessary for reproductive success.

The moral reversal is the inevitable result of the psychological split from I hate being hurt to I enjoy hurting others.

You can’t empathize with others more than you empathize with yourself.

If empathizing with others interferes with reproductive success, then it must be abandoned. If the only way to abandon empathizing with others is to stop empathizing with yourself – well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Evolutionarily speaking, parents raised by violence are actually protecting their children by abusing them – the real abuse – genetically speaking – would be to cripple their chances of reproductive success by raising them in a highly unattractive peaceful and reasonable manner.

Parental Hypocrisy

You might be wondering how I can combine a sensitive and accurate analysis of how abuse came to be with a fair amount of hostility towards abusive parents.

Well, really it is the hypocrisy that bothers me the most, to be honest. When I studied the aboriginal tribes of Australia and New Zealand in preparation for a speaking tour, it was evident that abuse against children was openly practiced, without hypocrisy. Children were beaten, raped and killed right out in the open – without lies, without hysterical claims that all the tribal elders wanted to do was protect and nurture the wonderful children.

Hypocrisy is when we pretend to be virtuous, while actually doing evil.

A parent who accidentally hurts a child – through playfighting, say – immediately apologizes and vows to take fewer risks next time.

However, if a child gets injured by a parent, and then complains to the parent about the pain – and the parent smiles and does it again, but harder – then that child is doomed, because the parent is a sadist.

If you convincingly pretend to be good, that’s because you know what goodness is, and how to achieve it.

Someone who already knows what virtue is – at least enough to convincingly emulate it – but then happily does evil whenever possible – well, such a person can never be reformed.

Somebody who wants to be good, but does not know how to be good – well, they have a chance to be good if instructed on the true nature of virtue.

A lack of knowledge can be fixed by providing knowledge – hypocrisy is irredeemable, because the hypocrite does not lack knowledge.

A con man knows exactly what trust is – and trustworthiness as well – which is why he pretends to be trustworthy in order to rip people off.

Telling a con man that it is better to be trustworthy is a complete waste of time – he already knows that trust is of great value, and how to appear trustworthy.

It’s like going to a counterfeiter to loftily instruct him that paper currency has value – he already knows that, which is why he counterfeits!

No, what bothers me about abusive parents is their pretense of virtue. This informs me that they already know what virtue is, and how to be good.

They use virtue as a camouflage, which means it will be forever inaccessible to them as a practice.

Aggressive Parenting: The Steelman Case

Parents don’t set out to harm and/or abuse their children.

They claim – and may in fact believe – that they have the best of intentions.

If you ask parents why they hit their children, they will say that the purpose of spanking is to teach children boundaries and respect.

“Since children are too young to reason, or understand the consequences of their actions, you must apply immediate negative stimuli to them to ensure their safety.”

“If a child gets into the kitchen drawer and starts playing with a sharp knife, that child can conceivably cut himself so badly that he bleeds to death. A few light smacks on the behind is a small price to pay to keep the child alive!”

A few needle vaccines is far better than your child becoming maimed or killed by some terrible disease!

It is essential for the parent to have the respect and obedience of the child, so that if the child is doing something dangerous, when the parent cries out “STOP!” – the child does in fact stop immediately, without question.

The child needs to be at least a little bit afraid of the parent, so that parental commands to keep the child safe are obeyed without hesitation. Parents know almost infinitely better, and can see consequences invisible to the child.

Children are incapable of reason – that is one of the key definitions of childhood – and it makes no more sense to reason with your offspring when they are very young than to give a cat a calm lecture about peeing on the sofa.

Particularly with multiple children – and a busy parenting schedule – endlessly debating and arguing with every single child about everything that needs to be done quickly creates an exhausting logjam of paralysis.

Sometimes, children just need to get out of bed, eat their food, take care of their siblings, go to the doctor, submit to the dentist, do their damn homework – and not argue about every single little thing!

Children can absorb new knowledge when they know that knowledge is missing – children’s brains are so immature that they don’t even know the knowledge they lack.

When they grow up, life will teach them consequences – and those consequences will most likely be very painful. If they fail to apply sunscreen, they will get a terrible sunburn, which could endanger their health in the future. If they fail to show up to work, they will get fired. If they fail to study for a test, or pay their taxes, or obey the law, terrible consequences can – and will – occur.

As adults, if they fail to take care of their health, go to the dentist, eat sensibly and exercise – they will be punished infinitely worse than a forgettable spanking at the age of five.

Nature, bosses, the government, health – these do not “negotiate” with people – they say “jump,” and all you can do is ask: “how high?”

Adult life is not a theme park, or a vacation, or a place where everyone asks nicely, or shields you from the consequences of your own bad choices – adult life is a harsh world of unforgiving blowback.

If all you do is endlessly discuss everything with your children, how on earth are they supposed to navigate a world full of aggressive people, and dire consequences?

If all you do is debate with your kids, what happens when they get pulled over by a cop, or have to pay their taxes, or some bully shoves them in a bar?

They will be helpless bleating useless lambs, falling to their knees and begging for negotiation in a world full of brutal absolutes.

You are literally sending them as lambs to the slaughter.

As adults, your sensitive precious “reasoned with” children will go out into the world and meekly try to compete and reason with those raised with absolute strictness and dire consequences.

If you had to bet your life savings on a running race, would you choose the runner whose coach had meekly reasoned and negotiated with him – or the coach who dragged the runner out of bed at five in the morning, and forced him to run sprints until lunchtime?

Like it or not, sunshine, you are going to have to go out and compete in a world full of people raised very strictly – even brutally, if you like – and they are going to have an iron will and a discipline that the talky-talky children simply will not possess.

The simple truth of society is that most people cannot be reasoned with; they use guile, manipulation, force and threats to get what they want. Are you preparing your children to compete in a Darwinian world by raising them with the pretense of angelic virtue?

Again, lambs to slaughter…

If your child wants to eat junk food all day, and you try to reason with him, but he pushes aside his vegetables and reaches for another dingdong – what are you going to do?

Well, I guess if you’re one of these “talk and talk” parents, you meekly remind him that vegetables are better for him, that junk food is bad for him – and cross your fingers behind your back that one day he just might make the right decision.

Total crap!

It’s almost unbelievable to encounter this perspective – for one simple reason: If children were capable of making the right decisions, they wouldn’t be children!

These “reasonable” parents know for a fact that their children are not adults, but rather under the care, control and custody of the parents. They know for a fact that a child’s brain is no more developed than his or her body – but still they want to treat those children as if they were adults.

In a military context, they would be the equivalent of generals forcing children to become soldiers.

No – being a soldier is the job of an adult, not a child.

Making good decisions is the job of an adult, not a child.

We don’t give children drivers licenses, heavy weights to lift, bills to pay, jobs – or contracts to sign.

Why not?

Well, because they are children!

We don’t give mentally defective adults full rights, responsibilities and freedoms – because they are mentally defective, and thus need to be contained and managed and controlled.

If we encounter a thirty-year-old with the mentality of an eight-year-old, we know that something really bad has happened to his development, and he cannot be a truly free and independent adult.

In other words, we don’t let him make his own decisions!

You think yelling and spanking is harsh?

A parent uses corporal or verbal punishment as a far more gentle form of inflicting consequences than nature – or others – will inflict.

Exercise can be unpleasant – but it is infinitely preferable to muscle atrophy and bone degeneration.

We make children exercise in order to build a good foundation of health and a strong body – we make them eat well for the same reason. We take them to the dentist, to the doctor, to the nutritionist if need be – and to a coach, if they want to achieve any kind of excellence in sports.

All these experts will inflict pain and discomfort on the children – out of the truly benevolent goal of bringing them health, wealth and excellence in the future.

Children don’t know what is good for them in the long run – and often even the short run – but parents do. Should parents allow children to eat junk food and avoid exercise, and then deliver those children to adulthood severely obese, diabetic and short of breath?

Should parents indulge their children’s desire to avoid the dentist, and deliver them to adulthood with half-missing, half-rotten teeth?

Should parents indulge their children’s desire to stay in and play video games, and deliver them to adulthood with flaccid muscles and weakened bones?

Is it better to inflict a small amount of suffering when the children are usually too young to even remember it – or is it better for the children to face lifelong sickness and disability, because the parents were too frightened – or too weirdly ideological – to discipline their children at all?

Would children rather read challenging books, or play brain-dead video games?

Books train language skills, empathy, self-knowledge and the deferral of gratification – video games train stress, reflexes and a crushingly short attention span.

When children grow up with no literary skills – and having gained useless immaterial trinkets in some long-gone video game – will they turn around and thank their parents for failing to discipline them, and point them in the right direction?

When fat children grow up to be sickly unattractive adults, will they thank their indulgent parents?

Parenting by its very definition is instructing children on what children cannot know themselves, either through brain immaturity, a lack of experience, or an inability to foresee consequences.

The idea that you can instruct children without inflicting any negative consequences is truly insane – and deeply immoral.

Maybe it’s fine if you have just one child – a girl, probably – who is naturally compliant and agreeable.

But try that with a house full of crazed boys – I dare you!

Maybe you let your children run into the street – maybe you let them ride a bike without a helmet – maybe you let them play with knives and electrical sockets and grab at pots of boiling water on the stove – and maybe all that works out for you, but statistically you are basically playing Russian roulette with your children’s lives.

Such laxness is not about what is best for children – it is about what the parents prefer.

It’s not fun to physically discipline your children – any more than it’s fun to diet and exercise – but we do it because it is the right thing to do.

The so-called “peaceful” parents are simply pursuing their own peace of mind, at the expense of their children’s security, safety and maturity.

They don’t like disciplining their children, because they want to be “best buds” with their offspring – they can’t stand the idea of their children looking at them critically, or negatively, or with any fear or hostility.

The fact of the matter is that their children will look at them that way – later on, as adults, when they realize that they have been crippled by all that spineless agreeableness and absence of consequences – and have no capacity to deal with the real world – a world that refuses to endlessly negotiate with them to ensure that they never feel any discomfort whatsoever!

Give your kids candy instead of vegetables – yeah, they like you in the moment, but hate you later, when they realize the damage that your appeasement has done to their health and future.

Boys who avoid suffering never ask girls out on dates – girls who avoid suffering get fat and lazy, and never get asked out on dates.

Everyone who succeeds knows that rigid discipline is essential for achievement.

It’s far better to teach discipline to children when they are young, through the judicious application of negative consequences – lectures, coldness, raised voices or spanking – because anyone who succeeds is going to need discipline at some point, and it’s far better to learn it early, when the stakes are lower and the negative consequences far less severe.

If you’ve ever tried learning a foreign language as an adult, you know that it is infinitely harder than learning a native language as a toddler.

Would you never bother teaching your children how to read, and let them try and figure it out when they are adults?

That’s a terrible idea – because children have a window of language learning opportunity which, if missed, leaves them crippled for life.

Would you let your children go to bed whenever they wanted, sleep as long as they wanted, nap during the day, as they saw fit?

Again – a terrible idea, because children with sleep disturbances grow up to be adults with sleep disturbances – and they’re going to have to get up to go to a job at some point in their lazy lives!

No – your kids are going to have to learn language, good sleep hygiene, nutrition, exercise and discipline at some point – it is infinitely easier to learn all this when they are little, so that it becomes innate, rather than struggling to learn it later on, against all of the lazy habits of their first eighteen years.

The key question that pro-discipline parents answer – that the so-called “peaceful” parents constantly avoid – is this:

Will my children thank me when they reach adulthood?

If assertive parenting – what is called sometimes “aggressive” parenting – produces strong bodies, disciplined minds and healthy habits – then without a doubt children raised this way will thank their parents when they reach adulthood.

If a child is afraid of the dentist, and therefore his “peaceful” parents keep him away from the dentist – the child feels enormous relief in the moment, but will be very angry at his parents later on in life, when he has to deal with endless tooth pain and gum disease.

What kind of citizens will these spoiled children – yes, I’m going to say it – spoiled! – turn into when they reach adulthood?

Will they respect the laws of society?

How could they?

No rules were ever inflicted on them!

Will they think deeply and reasonably about the consequences of their actions?

Of course not – their parents never inflicted any consequences, and shielded them from any and all bad effects!

Will they be hard workers?

Of course not – they’ve never been exposed to any difficult discipline!

Will they be strong and healthy?

I’ll let you figure that out, given that their parents let them eat whatever they wanted, and avoid exercise if they didn’t feel like it.

A central definition of maturity is damn well doing things that you don’t want to do!

You don’t need any discipline to eat cheesecake, or sit on the couch, or watch your favourite show, or light another cigarette if you’re a smoker!

Drinkers don’t need any discipline to have another drink – it’s easy and pleasant for gamblers to roll the dice one more time!

No, the purpose of parenting is to teach children the value of doing what they don’t want to do.

Children don’t understand the benefits of deferring gratification – they don’t understand the value of doing what they don’t want to do, because they live in the moment, for the hedonism and pleasure of the next five seconds.

Try taking Halloween candy from a six-year-old, telling her that it is better for you to hold onto it, so that she doesn’t eat too much.

Will she gravely nod, and thank you for your thoughtful consideration?

Of course not – she will cry and scream and hang onto her candy like grim death!

There’s nothing wrong with this – she is a child, after all!

Exactly the point – she is a child!

“Peaceful” parents avoid disciplining their children because the parents find it unpleasant to do so. In other words, they are modelling hedonism, and somehow expecting discipline to magically appear.

One of the great values of spanking, for instance, is that the parent doesn’t want to spank the child – but is willing to do so for the sake of benefiting the child in the long run.

Spanking a child shows discipline, and the deferral of gratification, and a willingness to undergo the negative experience of your child disliking you for a short period of time – which models exactly the behaviour you want to produce in your children to your children!

The child being spanked will at some point understand that the spanking goes against the immediate happiness of the parent, and is for the long-term benefit of the child.

In this way, the child internalizes the habit of going against his own immediate happiness, for the sake of his long-term well-being.

The “peaceful” parent refuses to undergo anything unpleasant – either for herself or for the child – thus teaching the child that it’s always great to avoid negative experiences.

Inevitably, the child ends up self-indulgent, pleasure-based, discipline-avoidant, weak and – yes – narcissistic – as an adult.

I say “narcissistic” because the child is only interested in his or her own pleasure – and utterly unused to sacrificing immediate pleasures for the happiness of other people – even his or her own future self!

Parents who sacrifice their own immediate happiness – through spanking – for the long-term benefit of the child are teaching children the value of thinking of the happiness of others, even at your own expense in the moment.

When the child reaches adulthood, and looks back in gratitude at the harsh lessons inflicted by the parents – he thoroughly understands, in a deep and visceral manner, how important it is to sacrifice immediate happiness for the sake of long-term well-being – his own, as well as others!

Peaceful Parenting: The Rebuttal

Just a gentle reminder – a caution, to help you, which is my greatest goal.

If you have had power over children over the course of your life, please check with them. This is not just for parents, but also for aunts, uncles, grandparents, elder siblings and so on.

If the children you had power over have complaints, please listen to them before consuming this next chapter.

I have always strongly recommended talk therapy. If you have unresolved childhood or parenting traumas, please work to deal with them before continuing.

All right?

Good.

So – here is an interesting challenge.

If we say that children need to be spanked, we are saying that being hit prepares them for adulthood.

However, it is illegal to hit adults.

If we say that verbal abuse is necessary to prepare children for adulthood, we face the challenging problem of explaining why we generally tell people in verbally abusive relationships to get the hell out!

I mean, we don’t raise children speaking our native language – and then punish them for speaking that same language as adults.

We don’t spend countless hours teaching children how to read and do math – only to launch them into an adulthood where reading and doing math are illegal.

Parents are thrilled when they help their toddlers learn how to walk, because we walk for our entire lives – we don’t get thrown in jail for walking the moment we turn eighteen.

Try to think of teaching methods for children that are illegal for adults.

(I don’t mean teaching environments such as school, but teaching methods such as instruction, repetition and testing.)

We teach children to take care of their things, and put them away when done, and keep their environment clean – all these habits are praised in adults as well.

We teach children to brush their hair and teeth – we don’t throw them in jail for basic grooming and hygiene as adults.

If a boss verbally abuses his employees, he is not loved and respected as a great teacher.

If a boss hits his employees, we would be appalled, and he would be charged criminally.

It makes less than no sense to train children using violent and abusive methods – when those violent and abusive methods are illegal for adults.

Spanking

A child who is hit will change his behaviour in the short run, out of fear of violence and pain.

He has not internalized or learned the value of changing his behaviour – he has not learned the value of the new behaviour at all – he is only avoiding pain.

What does the parent who spanks really teach his child?

Well, he teaches his child that larger authorities can use violence to inflict pain on a whim, if they are disobeyed, or if the child displeases them in some important way.

He does not learn that the parent is bigger and stronger, because that is obvious to all children.

He learns that he has no physical boundaries or autonomy, and that his own nervous system can be hijacked to inflict pain against him if he displeases his parent.

He learns that “love” includes violence and pain.

Although spanking is often portrayed as an act of reason and self-control – give warnings, explain why the spanking is going to happen, never spank in anger, explain afterwards why it happened, etc – everyone knows that most spanking violates any and all of these supposed standards.

Most spanking is done in anger, out of a desire to punish – not in a state of calmness, and a desire to instruct.[18]

In other words, children are told to control themselves by parents who are out of control.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse – raised voices, intimidating words, insulting phrases – is inflicted against children on a regular basis.

What does it teach those children?

Children are often verbally abused for “talking back,” or “defying orders,” or “not listening,” and so on.

In other words, they have verbally “misbehaved,” and their parental protectors then deploy an extreme form of verbal misbehaviour called abuse.

This is like hitting a child while yelling that hitting is always wrong – a not uncommon occurrence.

One essential aspect of peaceful parenting is that it is immoral and unjust to expect behaviours from children that you are not first consistently modelling yourself.

You would never punish a child for failing to learn a language he or she had never been exposed to – or if you did, you would be a complete monster!

If you want your child to know what a tree is, you must first point at trees and use the word repeatedly.

If you want children to listen, you must first model listening.

If you want the child to respect you, you must first respect the child.

If you want the child to reason, you must first reason with the child.

You are the cause of your child’s effects.

Your child’s choices are the shadows of your own prior decisions.

Tantrums

Parents often say: “Well, that is all well and good in theory, but what happens when my child throws a tantrum, and refuses to listen because of extreme emotional upset?”

The ubiquity of child abuse leads to the myth of natural tantrums.[19]

According to this myth, children are so prone to hyper-excitement and overstimulation that they just kind of “tip over” into wildly emotional meltdowns.

Childhood is perceived to start as a series of random emotional “seizures,” which can only be cured by steadfastly ignoring or punishing said “seizures.”

The mindset is:

“When contradicted, children escalate hysterical aggression and emotional upset to the point where they lose their minds completely, throwing themselves on the floor and kicking and screaming in loud spasms of hyper-emotional insanity. Patient parents must ride out this storm, without giving into this emotional bullying and manipulation. The children will calm down eventually – and over time, will learn that these meltdowns do not achieve the intended effect, and will stop having these silly tantrums.”

This is the complete opposite of the truth.

To understand tantrums, imagine that you are a diabetic, and you wake up naked in some strange cage in the middle of nowhere. There are people outside, but they do not speak your language, and don’t seem to understand anything that you say.

You have to get your insulin right now, or your health will be in grave danger.

When you try to indicate injecting something, they just laugh at you, or ignore you – or get strangely angry at you.

How would you react?

Your increasing panic will cause you to raise your voice, gesture more frantically, beg and plead and cajole.

However, the more desperate you become, the more people laugh at you, turn away, mock you, make silly faces, roll their eyes and indicate that you must be crazy!

Terrified, enraged, you try to break through their contemptuous, amused indifference by showing your emotional desperation.

They just walk away, into the darkness, leaving you alone, facing severe illness and death in your cage.

You scream, cry out for them, beg them to return and save your life – but they do not return, and you are left alone in your little pool of light, staring out into the blank darkness around you.

At some point, your emotions will fade as you accept your fate. You will become resigned, and swallow the grim facts of the situation.

Tantrums arise because children are unable to satisfy their own physical, mental and emotional requirements.

Children cannot get what they want – they are in a powerless cage of inability.

Childhood Paralysis

We have reformed society to allow people in wheelchairs far greater access to buildings and amenities – because we recognize that a person in a wheelchair cannot climb a set of stairs.

Young children are disabled in similar ways.

They cannot get their own drinks or snacks, or buy their own toys.

They cannot comprehend or deal with the aches and pains of their own bodies.

They cannot even comfort themselves when upset – they require their parents to comfort them, so that they learn how to do it over time.

Expecting a child to comfort his own unhappiness is like expecting him to invent his own language, or grow his own food.

When a child is upset, it is because she feels that she is in danger, or there is a barrier between what she needs and what she can achieve, or there is a discontent that only the parent can solve – which is a test of love, connection, bonding and devotion.

A baby in a high chair who drops a toy on his plate can pick it up himself, and so does not cry.

A baby in a high chair who drops his toy onto the floor cannot pick it up, and so cries for the parent to solve the problem – just as you would beg the people outside your cage to give you life-saving medicine.

Babies and toddlers are effectively disabled – and we so often ignore, mock and shame them for their disabilities.

Tantrums are the natural panic that arises when children are not listened to, and then mocked for their increasing desperation.

“Oh come on!” say many parents. “So a toy dropped off the high chair, it’s no big deal!”

These are the same parents who get enraged if someone cuts them off on the road, or their Internet goes down, or a crack forms on the screen of their cell phone.

Everything is a big deal to a toddler, because toddlers have not learned how to prioritize importance – as is also true of the majority of adults.

When the toy falls off the high chair, the baby cries, to signal to the parent to return the toy.

Babies are in a near-constant state of ferociously attentive learning – the toy is being explored so that the baby’s brain learns about the nature and facts of reality – which is essential for the baby’s survival over time.

The baby is not “playing with a toy” – the baby is studying the facts of reality, so that the baby doesn’t die.

Imagine being back in your cage, and your potentially cruel jailers give you two plates of food – one with red berries, one with blue berries. They point at each plate, shrug their shoulders, then draw their fingers across their necks, indicating that one of plates is fatally poisonous.

Naturally, you would be absolutely desperate to know whether the red berries or the blue berries were poisonous, because you are starving, but don’t want to die.

Oh look, you’re about to have another tantrum!

You see how this works?

Babies are desperate to learn about reality, but they need their parents help to achieve knowledge – and so survive.

If parents fail to fulfil the needs of their babies, then the babies panic, because without their parents, their chances of survival are slim to none.

Failing to attend to your baby is handing your baby a very legible death threat.

Without parental care, supervision and instruction, that baby is going to die.

Babies thus clamour for parental attention – in the same way that they clamour for breastmilk when they are hungry.

Parents often feel that a baby’s crying is difficult and unpleasant – which is very strange!

Of course, a toothache is very unpleasant – but your tooth is trying to save your life, because if you don’t deal with it, the infection can easily spread to your heart and kill you outright.

Both you and your tooth have the goal of your long-term survival – and your tooth is trying to help you achieve your goal.

A crying baby is trying to help you!

Of course you don’t want your baby to die, so when your baby needs something, and can only communicate by crying, your baby is trying to help you achieve your shared goal of keeping the baby alive!

People sometimes feel that babies who cry are being intrusive, or lack empathy – but imagine how horrified and appalled a mother would be if her baby decided to let her sleep late rather than cry out for breastmilk – then died of starvation before she woke up.

My gosh – the mother would be infinitely more miserable standing over a dead baby than she would have been being woken up for the second or third time overnight.

Crying babies are trying to help you!

Unless you are an outright sadist – and thus highly unlikely to be reading this book – you want your baby to be happy and healthy, right?

You cannot directly mind-meld with your baby, and so you need audio and visual cues as to what is best for your baby, what your baby needs to survive and thrive.

The audio cues can be crying or laughter – the visual cues are tears or smiles.

This is your baby trying to help you achieve your greatest goal, which is the survival and happiness of your child.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you are desperately trying to help someone, but that person reacts with rage, hostility or indifference, you know how frustrating this can be.

A standard example is trying to help your father fix something in the darkness by holding a flashlight, or passing him tools.

You are really trying to help him, but he snaps and snarls at you for “getting it wrong!”

You want to please your mother by helping out in the kitchen, but she rolls her eyes and orders you away because you just don’t know how to do things properly.

As an adult, your friend asks you what you think of her new boyfriend – you think he is handsome but unintelligent, so you gently tell her that, “He seems like a nice fellow, but he does I think lack your level of insight…”

This is about as mild statement as you can make – but she takes great offense, shuts down the conversation, and never talks to you again.

If someone who has gained weight asks you if you think she has gained weight, and you answer honestly, and she storms out, this is not an overly pleasant experience.

Being attacked for trying to help can be kind of difficult – I can tell you this from significant lifelong personal experience.

Children who communicate their upsets to parents are trying to help their parents – but their parents so often react with impatience, hostility or indifference.

A tantrum is a child’s desperate attempt to break through the emotional hostility or indifference of his parents. The child cannot feel secure or safe – because the child is neither secure nor safe – if the parent remains unresponsive or hostile to the child’s emotional and physical needs.

If you can’t supply your own life-saving medicine, you desperately need your jailers to listen to you – otherwise, you die.

All who are trapped and tortured become desperate over time – the hysteria arises from the existential panic of realizing that you are going to have to find a way to survive a dangerous world without the help of your parents.

The rage element of tantrums arises from the hostility that children feel towards their parents, based on the simple, savage, instinctual question: If you didn’t want to take care of your children, why bother having them?

Or, more personally: Why have me – why keep me – if you don’t love me?

The dying down of the tantrum is the death knell of the connection – the abandonment of the need for support, and the ghastly, grim acceptance that you’re going to find some way to make it alone.

Tantrum Appeasement

Is the solution to a tantrum to appease the child?

Perhaps – but not always.

If a child feels listened to, and understood, the chances of a tantrum are very slim.

Tantrums occur when a child’s emotions are mocked and ignored – not when the child doesn’t get what he wants.

You know how frustrating it is when someone says ‘NO’ to you without even bothering to listen to what you want.

If you are listened to, and empathized with, the “no” becomes much less important.

When my daughter was little, and wanted candy at a store, I would tell her how much I wanted the candy too – that I would eat a whole row if I could – but I had to think of my teeth and my belly. I would mime my teeth falling out and my belly getting huge. I used one hand to grab at my other hand that was reaching for the candy, striving to pull it back and save myself.

We usually ended up laughing.

She has never ever had a tantrum.

But My Childhood…”

Many – most – parents say that they raise children the way that they themselves were raised.

If adult children bring up childrearing deficiencies to their parents, after a suitable period of gaslighting, avoidance and denigration, those parents may eventually admit some problems, but then claim as their defense that they parented as they themselves were parented, and there was really no possibility of doing better.

That is a very interesting argument, and worth unpacking in detail.

Parents who claim that they had no choice but to parent as they themselves were parented face a fascinating objection, which goes something like this:

Are you still using the same phone or computer that you used forty years ago?

Do you have a car with air conditioning or a GPS?

You have new clothes, right? Have you adapted to any new fashions over the past few decades, mom?

Are you still doing the same job that you had as a teenager?

Hey – do you use any new words that you didn’t learn as a child?

Do you still have the same haircut?

These questions could continue almost to infinity – I’m sure the central point is very clear.

People have an endless ability to upgrade everything about their lives – technology, clothing, housing, jobs, education, contacts, language – so why on earth would parenting – the most important thing – be excluded from this universal pattern?

If your mother suffers from tinnitus, and a new miracle cure for the condition arrives, surely she would seize the opportunity, and put a final stop to the ringing in her ears.

Billions of people eagerly accept new treatments for illnesses – but they could never have read a few books to upgrade their parenting?

People upgrade everything in their lives, all the time.

Do you still have the same cell phone plan that you had ten years ago?

You read new books, articles, tweets – watch new movies, documentaries – sometimes take new courses, training, or pursue informal education.

When I was the Chief Technical Officer of a software company, I constantly had to learn new technology and tools – and encouraged my employees to learn with me.

Older parents had almost no access to credit cards when they were younger – I bet they have them now.

Do parents still do all their banking in a physical branch, or have they figured out how to bank online?

You get the picture.

When parents say that they had no choice but to parent as they themselves were parented, they are saying that they can upgrade everything in their lives – learn new tasks, new skills, new responsibilities – except for the most important thing, which is actually being a good parent.

But it gets even worse than that, as it usually does.

Spanking and Free Will

If your mother hits you, and later says that she had no real choice, because she was herself hit as a child – then she is saying that she had no capacity to be a peaceful parent at all.

All right – but the fact of the matter is that she upgraded her parenting every single time you were in public.

When you misbehaved or disobeyed her in public, maybe she shot you a venomous look, or maybe she pulled you aside and hissed that you were gonna pay for it later – but she probably didn’t haul off and belt you in front of everyone else – at the mall, at a friend’s house, at a parent-teacher conference, at church – or anywhere!

So, your mother later says that she had no choice but to hit you – but she constantly exercised that exact choice to not hit you – everywhere, all the time, whenever you were in public, or when the consequences of hitting you could be negative to her.

This would be like moving you to Japan when you were five years old, then later complaining that she didn’t know any Japanese, but fluently speaking Japanese at the time whenever you were in public.

I don’t speak Japanese, so I never have the option to speak Japanese – whether in public, private, on top of a mountain, in the subway, at a restaurant, or in my dreams.

If a parent says that she has no choice but to hit her children, because she was hit as a child, then the moment that she exercises her choice not to hit her children – anywhere, any time – then she reveals that she did have the choice, she always had the choice – and that she chose to hit her children every single time she did so!

If a father hits his son until the son hits puberty, and gets big and strong – then the father always had the choice to not hit his son.

We don’t blame parents because we are subjected to gravity, because neither the parents nor us have any choice to avoid gravity – it is a fact of life, a reality of physics, an inescapable force.

When parents say that they had no choice – finding even one counterexample destroys the entire defense!

If I say I cannot speak Japanese, one recording of me having a fluent conversation in Japanese destroys my claim.

A man with epilepsy cannot control his seizures – a man with Tourette syndrome cannot control his outbursts. A man with no arms cannot choose to clap.

A man who claims to be disabled only has to get out of his wheelchair and walk one time for his claim to be utterly debunked.

If your parents never hit you in public, or in front of authority figures, then they clearly had the capacity to refrain from hitting you.

That’s how they hid it from the world.

If your parents hit you – and then claim that they had no choice in the matter – then if they were never caught or seen hitting you, their claim is false.

It is not only false – it is a continuation of the abuse.

Childhood and Moral Free Will

But it gets even worse than that, as usual.

A thirty-year-old father who hits his five-year-old daughter has already assigned a moral will and philosophical free choice to his five-year-old daughter.

If he hits her for, say, sneaking candy, then he is saying the following:

I am hitting you because you are taking candy without permission – which you know is wrong, and have the full and free choice to refrain from doing!

You know where this is going by now, right?

Later, when the father is fifty, and his daughter is twenty-five, and she comes to him and complains that he hit her, and he says that he had no real choice in the matter, because he himself was hit as a child – then he is explicitly stating that she had full moral responsibility and free will at the age of five, but that he, at the age of thirty, had absolutely zero moral responsibility, and no free will at all!

This is morally insane and corrupt beyond words!

But – it gets even worse, as I warned you at the beginning of this book – and this chapter.

The fifty year old father says that he had no moral choice or free will at the age of thirty – and that this was the result of being hit when he was a boy.

In other words, he fully knows that the result of being hit as a child is the stripping of moral free will and responsibility – and then he goes and hits his daughter anyway – destroying her capacity for moral choice and free will, just as it was destroyed in him.

His equation is this:

“Children start with moral responsibility and free will – then you hit them and, over time, hitting them destroys their moral responsibility and free will. In other words, I hit you because you have moral choice and free will, with the certain knowledge that hitting you will destroy your moral choice and free will – just as it did to me!”

Also:

“I knew that I hit you because I was hit myself, but knowing why you are doing something does not give you any power to change what you are doing. Of course, you took candy without permission because you wanted the sweet taste – you knew that ahead of time. However, knowing why you were taking candy ahead of time does not give you any power to change your actions – any more than me knowing why I was hitting you ahead of time did not give me any power to stop hitting you. I will hit you when you are five, because knowing why I am doing something gives me no power to change it – even though I expect you to change your actions at the age of five – especially because you know why you are acting!”

It makes no sense for an adult with self-knowledge to make excuses for his behaviour – but punish a five-year-old for her behaviour, when her capacity for self-knowledge is far lower.

A father claims that he has no moral responsibility because he was hit as a child – but then claims that his five-year-old daughter has full moral responsibility, even though he is hitting her.

Does being hit remove someone’s moral responsibility?

Apparently – yes for the thirty-year-old, no for the five-year-old.

Does knowing why you want to do wrong prevent you from doing wrong?

Apparently – no for the thirty-year-old, yes for the five-year-old.

It’s almost impossible to imagine the moral viciousness and cowardice it takes to pretend that a five-year-old child has infinitely more moral responsibility and free will than a thirty-year-old adult.

The father says to his five year old: “You did wrong because you are bad – I wasn’t wrong because I was wronged!”

“You as a child are bad, and must be punished – I as an adult am a victim, and must be sympathized with!”

“Five-year-old children must be punished, not forgiven – but thirty-year-old men must be forgiven, and never punished!”

I hope you truly understand how repulsive this all is.

I have to take a break and get some air.

Humanity Versus Power

It is an old adage that human beings are corrupted by power.

The greater the power, the greater the corruption.

One of the paramount sleights-of-hand of human history has been distracting everyone from the chief power in human society – which they have the most control over – to a distant, lesser power, that they have no control over at all.

As the Biblical question goes – why do you focus on the speck of dust in your brother’s eye, while ignoring the log in your own?

Human beings – particularly males – are obsessed with controlling political power, because of its danger to us all.

Feminists are obsessed with controlling the supposed power of the patriarchy; economists of the Austrian school are almost solely focused on controlling the power of central bankers; political scientists focus on laws and constitutions designed to limit the power of the state; and lawsuits and courts often aim to limit the arbitrary powers of those in charge.

This is all largely nonsense – not because abuses of power by the powerful do not exist, but because it is all a distraction.

You and I will not be presidents or prime ministers or kings, or governors or members of Parliament – but most of us will be parents.

The most power we will ever experience over the course of our lives is our power over our own children.

In Western democracies, parents have almost infinitely more power over their own children than governments have over their citizens.

Laws certainly affect us – often negatively – but the lawmakers do not live in our own homes, and have no immediate power to control us in the form of spanking, physical restraint, hunger, time-outs, confiscation, confinement and so on.

As adults, we can often conform to unjust laws, and escape punishment.

Unjust parenting is designed to inflict punishment. “Rules” change constantly, so that the child can be perpetually aggressed against.

Citizens have legal remedies against governmental abuses – children have no such recourse.

Citizens can avoid becoming the focus of governmental attention, by avoiding contentious topics.

Citizens can move countries, go off the grid, live quietly and unobtrusively – and escape negative attention from state power.

Children have no such options.

Children have no legal standing, no ability to enter into contracts, no recourse against injustice, no capacity to live alone.

Arguably, even soldiers fare better than the victims of child abuse.

Some soldiers will face injury or death in combat – but most people in the military do not engage in direct combat.

Soldiers have companions – brothers in arms – uniforms, commendations, the support of the community, medals, pensions, tickertape parades and so on.

The trauma inflicted upon soldiers is inflicted on already-formed adult personalities.

Soldiers choose to enter their profession – children do not choose their families.

The soldier also has an entire regimen of support, therapy, medication – and friendship, which heals most wounds.

Combat soldiers usually spend only a few months fighting – and then have time off before returning to the fray. Most soldiers only fight for a few years, off and on.

This is not to say that soldiers have it easy, or that combat is not traumatic – they don’t, and it is.

However, the victims of child abuse are under the direct control of cruel people who manage and bully every aspect of their lives – and who terrify and abuse them constantly – and who live in the same house.

The victims of child abuse usually remain under the direct control of their abusers for at least eighteen years straight.

The victims of child abuse are often bathed in destructive stress hormones even in the womb, as their parents fight.

The victims of child abuse are isolated in society – in a way that soldiers could never imagine.

Many children are also maimed and killed by their parents, just as soldiers are by their enemies.

In the USA alone, more children are murdered by parents every 18 months (2,630) than soldiers were killed in the Afghanistan war over two decades (2,448).[20]

Soldiers are trained and equipped to fight back – children cannot resist.

Child abuse is inflicted on an unformed personality – it shapes and defines that personality, in a way that soldiers never experience.

Childhood is like a soft mixed concrete mush – by adulthood, it has hardened into immobility.

You can leave a handprint – a fist impact, in the case of child abuse – on soft concrete – but hardened concrete steadfastly resists your touch.

Every adult is called unpleasant names from time to time – a crazy person on the street yells a rude word at you – but we usually shrug it off, and move on.

Verbal abuse is unbelievably destructive to children, because the words sink into their core, shaping and defining their personalities irrevocably.

Children who resist being abused face escalation of that abuse – so they have to conform, swallow their resistance and go along with whatever the parent says and wants.

If the parent tells the child that she is lazy, selfish, careless, stupid, entitled, greedy, thoughtless – the list is endless – then the child has to accept and absorb these definitions of her personality.

It is impossible to push back against verbal abuse – at least until the teenage years – because the parent will escalate, perhaps even to the point of life-threatening violence or abandonment.

To put it another way, children who resisted abuse survived less, so those patterns of behaviour have been weeded out of the gene pool.

Verbal abuse is the implantation of the child’s passing negative actions into the root and definition of the entire personality.

“You did” is turned into “you are.”

When a child lies – as we all do – the abusive parent does not say that the child told a lie – the parent says that the child is a liar.

If an inattentive child knocks over a cup, the parent does not say that the child was momentarily distracted – no, the child is thoughtless and careless and clumsy and so on.

The redefinition of negative actions to include the entire personality is constant, when you see it clearly. It’s not great to say to your children, “Well, that was kind of dumb”– but it’s way better than saying: “You’re just stupid.”

If a parent says to a child: “I don’t feel I can reason with you right now” – that is an accurate statement.

If the parent says: “You can’t be reasoned with” – that is a very different statement, much more dishonest.

If the parent says: “You’re just irrational!” – that is even more dishonest.

If the parent hits the child, that is an implicit statement that the child is beyond reason, and must be punished for his “badness.”

The ability to define an entire personality by passing negative actions is a function of power.

The state has the capacity to brand you a “criminal.”

Government schools have the ability to brand you a “failure.”

The media has the ability to brand you a “hater.”

Religion has the power to brand you a “sinner.”

And parents have the ability to define you as “bad.”

The Restraint of Power

So – what restrains power?

This is the most essential question of moral philosophy – because if political power is unrestrained, morality becomes worse than useless – it becomes actively dangerous, and often violently attacked by those in power.

A man prepared for a verbal debate will always lose to a boxer.

What restrains parental power?

Think of a communist restaurant in the Soviet Union in the 1950s.

The cooks, waiters and managers get paid whether they have any customers or not.

They get paid whether they serve good food or bad food.

You have no choice but to pay them, because they are paid by the State, which takes money from you by force.

What incentives do the people in this restaurant have to provide quality food and service?

They have no incentives – in fact, they have strong disincentives.

It’s more difficult to make good food than serve bad food.

It’s more pleasant to sit and play cards than to get up and serve customers.

Even if you want to serve good food – well, you’re in a centrally controlled economy, so none of your suppliers have any incentive to deliver quality ingredients – in fact, just like you, they have disincentives, because it’s harder to provide quality than it is to do the bare minimum.

The quality of goods and services under communism is a bitter joke to those who’ve lived under such despotism – there is an old Soviet joke, which goes something like this: “A man who arrives at work early is yelled at, because he makes the other workers look bad – the man who arrives at work late is yelled at, because he is being lazy – the man who arrives at work on time is sent to a Gulag, because he must own a foreign watch.”

The only cure for low-quality is voluntarism.

If you’re not forced to pay for the restaurant, then the restaurant has to earn your money by providing good food, good service and good prices.

The transition from force to choice is the transition from exploitation to service.

To take a brutal example, a man trailing a woman in the dark with the intention of raping her does not have to bring flowers and chocolates, and try to woo her with his charm and good humour.

No, he is going to force his evil will upon her, and therefore he does not have to bring any qualities of character or seduction to the scene of his crime.

Government-protected unions are notoriously inefficient. State-protected monopolies tend not to fire inefficient employees, or strive to reduce costs, or work hard to ensure that customers are satisfied.

Monopoly and exploitation go hand-in-hand.

Coercion and abuse are two sides of the same bloody coin.

How do we fix this with regards to parenting?

Well, imagine that you are a government worker, and have become lazy and inefficient over the years.

One morning, you find out that your entire industry is going to be privatized in six months.

What are you going to do?

Some hard-eyed capitalist entrepreneur is going to take over your department, look for any waste and inefficiency, and ruthlessly cut it.

Also, if you get fired, you get zero severance pay – and lose your entire pension!

In a few short months, no one is going to be forced to pay you, or forced to accept your indifferent “service” – and since it is your whole industry that is moving to the free market, you can’t even jump ship to another cushy government job.

What will you do?

Assuming that early retirement is not on the table – and rioting and striking will not help you – you have only one choice.

You will start coming to work early, doing your job with blinding efficiency, stay late, and keep close tabs on any and all metrics that will prove to your incoming employer how incredibly valuable – indeed, irreplaceable – you are.

You will improve, stop being lazy, work hard and do better.

The difference will be night and day.

I’m sure you see the parallel.

Why do parents so often fail to improve?

Parents provide services to their children – but nature puts parents in a monopoly position.

Children are not consumers, who can choose from different parents in the same way that they can choose which games to play at an arcade, or which videos to watch online.

Parents fail to improve for the same reason that the communist restaurant workers fail to improve.

The communist restaurant workers fail to improve because they get the all benefits of improvement – job security, salaries, pensions – without the effort required to actually improve.

It’s the same with parents.

Parents fail to improve because they get all the benefits of parenthood, without the effort required to actually improve.

What are the benefits of parenthood?

The lifelong devotion of their children.

In the realm of relationships, practically, legally and morally, children inevitably move from a coercive monopoly to the voluntary free-market.

When they are young, children have to go home – and stay home.

Children have to interact with their parents, have to obey their parents, have to submit to their parents, have to agree with their parents, have to eat the food their parents provide, and submit to any abuse and violence that may be inflicted.

When children reach adulthood, they don’t have to do any of that!

The coercive monopoly inevitably gets privatized.

Communism turns into capitalism.

Fascism turns into the free-market.

Violence becomes voluntarism.

And voluntarism is quality.

That which is coerced is always the opposite of quality – because if it was quality, it would not need to be coerced.

If somebody wants to sell you a brand-new Lamborghini for twenty dollars, they don’t have to threaten, bully or manipulate you to make the purchase.

A convenience store owner who sells a winning lottery ticket does not have to lock the door, pull out his gun and force the winner to cash it in.

A beautiful woman comes up to a young single man and asks him to go out for coffee, she does not need to chloroform him, put a bag over his head and drag him into her windowless van in order to get him to the coffee shop.

Parenthood starts with monopoly – and ends with voluntarism.

In the example above, the lazy government employee starts working as if her job was immediately subject to strict free-market reviews – because it very soon will be.

Good parents look at their children every single day and say: “I am going to parent as if you could choose from any parents in the world – even in your own imagination – or have no parents at all.”

Parenthood starts with power, and ends with pleading.

You are everything when your children are young – they don’t have to call you when they get older.

Imagine the thoughts of a man whose wife was forced to marry him – but the laws are changing, so that she can divorce him at will in the very near future.

Will he change his behaviour at all?

Of course he will – he will become more thoughtful, more loving, more attentive – a better husband overall.

Both the government worker and the entitled husband might in fact be far happier working harder and doing better.

They might look back at this transition in their lives and thank their lucky stars that they were dragged out of their quicksand of laziness, hostility and entitlement – and moved into the quicksilver light of actual love and productivity.

Most parents parent as if their children will never have a choice about spending time with them.

So many parents start off with aggression, and end up with guilt trips, continued verbal abuse and play-the-victim manipulations.

But the simple fact of the matter is that adult children do not have to see their abusive parents.

If adult children continue to see and provide resources to relentlessly abusive parents, they are rewarding their parents for deeply immoral behaviour.

They are ensuring the continuation of abuse in this darkening world – in the same way that the new owner of the government industry who never fired any unproductive employees would continue to support and reward laziness.

The Most Hidden Secrets

There are a number of secrets in the world that are kept amazingly well-hidden.

The propaganda – across much of the world – has been that it is right and good and proper and virtuous and noble and admirable to get out of an abusive relationship that you voluntarily chose – but that it is ungrateful and evil and wrong and cruel and selfish to escape an abusive relationship that you never ever chose!

Who runs the world?

The people who make up and propagate these contradictory tangles of moral horrors.

Parents abuse their children because they never expect to suffer any negative consequences for their abuse.

Politicians start useless wars because they never expect to suffer any negative consequences for their evils.

We can’t do much about the military-industrial complex, but we damn well can do something about our own parents – and our own parenting.

There are truly grand souls in this world who do the right thing no matter what. Even if it costs them everything, they will stand up for what is right and good and true and noble.

We cannot build society on these wild exceptions to the general rule.

Most people respond to incentives.

They do not do what is right, they do what benefits them.

If abusive parents never suffer any negative consequences for their abuse, then their abuse remains a net positive to them.

How do we know what people want to do?

We look at what they actually do – particularly when no one forces them to do it.

A man who has an affair cannot reasonably claim that he never wanted to have that affair – because he had it. The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes.

A man who goes to the beach instead of writing an exam cannot reasonably claim that all he wanted to do was write the exam!

Abusers prefer to abuse – how do we know this?

Because they choose to abuse.

Contrary to popular belief, child abusers do not have a gun to their heads, forcing them to abuse their children.

There are in fact no laws compelling people to abuse their children.

You don’t go to jail for not hitting your children – you don’t get fined for failing to verbally abuse them – you don’t receive twenty lashes for refusing to confine them to their rooms or jam them down on the stairs.

Not abusing children is perfectly legal – at least in the West.

You don’t even go to jail for failing to genitally mutilate your sons.

If a woman is not compelled to do something, but chooses to do that thing, then clearly she prefers to do that thing.

She may have regrets, but that is a different matter.

A man who smokes for forty years obviously prefers smoking to not smoking – when he gets sick, he may bitterly regret smoking, but he can’t say that he never wanted to smoke in the past.

A sober woman who voluntarily sleeps with a man may regret it the next day, but it makes little moral sense to say that she never wanted to sleep with him at all.

We know she wanted to sleep with him because she did in fact sleep with him!

We know that abusive parents want to abuse their children, because they do in fact abuse their children.

If someone wants to do X – and will never experience any negative repercussions from doing X – and continually does X – then we know for a certain fact that that the person prefers doing X – and will probably never stop doing X.

If parents who abuse their children can convince their adult children to continue to see them, provide for them, give them time, energy, money and resources – and comfort in their old age, and endless visits when they get sick – then why on earth would parents who prefer to abuse their children ever refrain from abusing their children?

You can’t stop evil without consequences.

You can’t reform coercion without voluntarism.

You can’t reform parenting without choice.

Parents will never do better until they face consequences for doing worse.

If you have relentlessly abusive parents, and as an adult you continue to provide them time, energy, money, resources, “respect,” and “love,” then you have zero cause to complain about the terrible state of the world.

You are providing massive positive incentives to evildoers – and thus have no cause to complain about the evils that surround you.

You’re like a woman paying $100,000 a year to a conman, who then complains about the existence of conmen.

Whatever you subsidize, you get more of.

If you subsidize evil, you get more evil.

Lotteries would collapse overnight if they stopped paying out winnings – you keep paying your abusive parents, and then complain that the world is full of corrupt people who abuse power.

Human beings are always corrupted by power.

As a parent, you resist this corruption by remembering the voluntary nature of parent/adult child relationships.

Parents have power while their children are young – if they continue to retain all that power, and all those benefits, when their children grow up, then yet another log is thrown on the bonfire that burns down the world.

Now, if you were abused as a child, as an adult I think it’s worth talking to your parents, explaining the wrongs they did, and telling them your own thoughts, experiences and feelings.

You can ask for acknowledgement, apologies and restitution.

The best-case scenario is that they admit fault, take responsibility, go to therapy, make restitution – and who knows, that might be enough to convince you to continue the relationship.

There is no worst-case scenario.

If they escalate and abuse and attack and gaslight – then you know for a fact that the abuse will never end, and you have just saved yourself decades of continued horror.

If your parents double down on their abusive habits, then you know for certain that they will abuse your own children – either directly, or indirectly, by undermining and abusing you.

It’s painful, of course – but so what?

Pain is often the price of progress.

This kind of conversation is painful for your abusive parents – but that’s all right, you can just tell them this:

“I’m sorry that it’s so painful for you, but if there’s one thing you taught me by hitting me, it’s that it’s essential to experience negative consequences for your bad deeds.”

I mean, if they hit you for talking back when you were five, surely they accept that bad behaviour can only be solved by negative consequences – and so you holding them to account as adults falls entirely in line with their entire moral philosophy!

Either they accept their “punishment” – or they rail against you, thus proving that they were utterly wrong and immoral to hit you, or call you names, since bad behaviour should apparently never be punished!

Also, I’m sure that you were punished as a child for lying – now, as an adult, when you tell the truth about your experiences as a child, your parents punish you for telling the truth!

The punishment is the constant – the abuse is the goal. The “morals” are just the gas-lighting excuse, which is as vile a set of justifications as can possibly be imagined.

Parenting will improve when parents understand that they have no guarantees that their adult children will never confront them, tell the truth, and hold them to account.

Knowing that parenting is going to get privatized is the only chance that parenting will improve.

The Rules of Peaceful Parenting

Peaceful Parenting is based on the simple but radical notion that your highest moral standards should be applied to your children.

If you would never dream of hitting an adult, don’t hit your children.

If you would never dream of insulting your boss, don’t insult your children.

If you would never dream of screaming at a policeman, don’t scream at your children.

If you could never be persuaded to punish a waiter for getting your order wrong, don’t punish your children for making mistakes.

If you would find it unbearably humiliating if your boss forced you to sit on a set of stairs in public for making a mistake at work, don’t give your children “timeouts.”

If you want your children to tell the truth – first, tell the truth yourself, then never punish them for telling the truth.

If you want your children to respect other people’s property, you must first respect your children’s property.

If you want your children to use their words rather than their fists, you must first use your words rather than your fists with your children.

If you want your children to treat you and others well, first treat your children well.

If you want your children to respect you, you must first act in a manner worthy of respect – and of course, if you look in your heart, you will clearly see that you would never respect someone who lost her temper, yelled at, insulted or hit helpless and defenseless little children.

If you want your children to listen to you, you must first listen to them.

If you don’t like the idea of your children becoming bullies, don’t bully your children.

When you find yourself upset at your children’s behaviour, first look in the mirror and ask yourself: what did I do to create this in my children?

I mean, if you were solely responsible for teaching your children language, who would be to blame if they used the wrong words?

Complaining about your children is like ridiculing a mirror – they are accurate reflections of your behaviour, just as a mirror is an accurate reflection of your face.

If you want your children to resist peer pressure, you must first model resisting peer pressure yourself.

If you want your children to avoid bad company, you must first avoid bad company yourself – even if that bad company is your own parents or siblings.

If you want your children to develop self-discipline, you must first develop self-discipline yourself – in particular, eating well, exercising, and being in control of your temper.

If you want your children to spend less time using electronics, you must become more entertaining and interesting to them than tablets.

If your children are playing a lot of video games, either join in with their play, or create activities that engage them more.

In general, if you want your children to behave in a certain manner, you must consistently behave in that manner for months or years ahead of time.

No one would expect a toddler to learn English if his parents did not already speak it.

You must be fluent in the language you want to teach your child.

Morality is just another kind of language.

If you want your children to be good, first be good yourself.

If you want your children to have integrity, you must consistently model integrity for years beforehand.

If you want your children to take responsibility for their actions, you must take full responsibility for your own actions for years beforehand.

If you want your children to apologize when they are in the wrong, you must first model apologizing to them when you are in the wrong – as happens with every parent from time to time.

If you want your children to stand up to bullies, you first must stand up to bullies – even if those bullies are within your own family of origin.

If you want your children to develop good habits, you must model those habits for years ahead of time.

Whatever you wish to create in your children, you must first manifest in your own behaviour.

You cannot teach a language to a child that you are only starting to learn yourself. Preparing for parenthood requires the learning and practice of the highest ethical standards for years before welcoming a child into your life.

It is still possible to be a Peaceful Parent if you have failed to prepare in this way, but you must acknowledge this deficiency, and apologize to your children for your inevitable lapses in the morality you failed to consistently practice before they came along.

If you have abusive parents, either they must apologize, reform and make restitution – or you must accept the inevitable results of having abusers around your children.

If you expose your children to abusive people, you are telling them very clearly that you would rather appease bad people than actually protect your offspring.

Your children will then clearly see the hierarchy of life, which is that people pretend to be virtuous, while constantly giving way to and appeasing wrongdoers.

They will clearly understand that abusers run the world, and have the most power, and only have to snap their fingers to have all of the supposed “moral” people bend to their will.

If you expose your children to abusive people, those children will understand at a deep and visceral level that “virtue” is a mere gobbledygook of self-serving syllables – while wrongdoers always get their way, and run the world.

“Virtue” is thus revealed to your children as a fundamental hypocrisy – a smug camouflage covering up a very real enslavement.

Since “virtue” equals hypocrisy and enslavement, when you tell your children to be good, all they hear is that you really, really want them to be hypocritical and enslaved.

What do they truly understand from your words and deeds?

Simply this:

“Moral” people defer to evildoers and call themselves “good.”

Then they want their children to be “good” – which means: lying about virtue and serving evildoers until the day they die.

And then these parents wonder why their children roll their eyes when receiving moral lectures.

You must be different.

You must show your children that virtue equals strength – this means having strength over your own negative impulses, and showing them that virtue is stronger than evil, by keeping evil at a distance, and never giving it direct power over you or your children.

Children – especially boys – have no love for weakness, and every time you defer to and appease evildoers – while calling yourself noble and virtuous – you provoke them in to feel contempt and disgust at the pretense of virtue.

If you trained your children in martial arts, then sent them into combat with their arms and legs bound, how receptive would they be to your future instructions?

They would roll their eyes and scorn you if you ever tried to train them again.

If your children see you get bullied – by parents, relatives, siblings – then they will lose respect for you, and gain respect for the bullies.

You have nothing to complain about when this happens – because you only get bullied because you have lost respect for yourself, and retained your respect for the bullies.

Peaceful Parenting and Moral Mistakes

Children make mistakes – and adults make mistakes.

Children are born error-free – babies can’t be considered to “make mistakes.”

Thus, in the parent-child relationship, it is the adults who make mistakes first.

Naturally, we want our children to own up to their mistakes, tell the truth, apologize and make restitution where necessary and possible.

Since we as parents make mistakes first, we must clearly model our moral responses to our mistakes in front of our children.

It is a strange fact of life that most people believe that taking responsibility for one’s mistakes – and apologizing and making restitution – somehow destroys the respect that other people have for them.

It is true that in many dysfunctional families, apologizing and admitting fault is used as a weapon against people for years or decades to come – but everyone understands that this is destructive.

If you have ever been in the fortunate position of being on the receiving end of a heartfelt apology, appropriate restitution and a solemn promise to avoid repetition of the wrong – you know that your admiration and respect for that person goes through the roof!

If a man genuinely apologizes to a woman, and she snarls and sneers and holds it over him in the future, then she is a dysfunctional person, and unworthy to be the custodian of his heart or the mother of his children.

When we see a parent screaming at and/or hitting a child, it is clear to us that the parent has completely lost control – and is in grave danger of doing great harm.

We have no respect for such a raging parent.

Raging parents very often abuse their children on the grounds that their children have lacked self-control in some area. Their children have done something “bad” such as sneaking candy, hiding something broken, hitting a sibling and so on – because those children lacked self-control and the willingness to defer gratification.

However, a parent who indulges her own vicious temper is displaying a thousand-fold the exact vice she is attacking her children for!

Don’t imagine for a moment that her children do not deeply understand this.

A little boy loses control of his temper and hits his sister – his mother then loses control of her temper and hits her boy.

Who is more in the wrong?

The little boy, or the fully-grown adult?

Also, how did the little boy learn that it was okay to lose control and hit someone?

Because he has doubtless seen his mother do it a hundred times.

A thousand times perhaps…

A little girl calls her brother “stupid” – her father yells at her that she is “bad” for using such a word.

So, it’s wrong for a child to call another child a bad word – but it’s good for an adult to call a child a bad word.

A mother snaps in irritation at her daughter for “not listening” – but that very morning, the daughter struggled to tell her mother about her dream, while her mother was checking her phone.

Parents get angry at a child for taking something, then use the magical word “confiscation” to cover up their own taking of the child’s property.

If a brother locks his sister in a room, the parents get enraged, and punish the brother by locking him in his room.

Now, of course, parents respond to these “contradictions” by saying that they are only acting in reaction to the actions of their children.

“We are punishing the child by locking him in his room, so that he understands how bad it is for him to lock his sister in her room!”

But that is a central question – the chicken and the egg, so to speak.

Where did the child learn the behaviour?

If the parent has never modelled bad behaviour, then the bad behaviour must be innate to the child in some manner – a form of Original Sin.

However, if the bad behaviour is innate to the child, then it really can’t be considered “bad.”

We don’t blame, denigrate or punish children for going through puberty – because the process of puberty is innate to the body of the child.

We don’t punish boys for getting taller, or girls for developing hips.

We don’t punish children for having the wrong eye colour, or a single nose, or a genetic defect such as a harelip or hearing problems.

Punishing a child for something he has no control over is abusive – by definition.

Even abusive people recognize this.

If the parents have been perfect, but the child is “bad,” then the “badness” of the child does not come from the environment, but rather is innate to his nature.

In other words, he has no control over his tendencies to “badness.”

“Ah,” say his parents, “but children are born bad, and have to be punished and controlled into becoming good.”

Interesting.

This means that any “bad” behaviours which continue must be blamed on the parents.

For instance, cats do not naturally do their business in a litterbox, but have to be trained to do so.

If a cat fails to poop in a litterbox, we don’t blame the cat, but rather the owner.

Do you understand?

No matter which way you look at it – there is no rational basis for punishing children.

How many parents get angry at their teenagers for choosing peers over their parents – when those same parents chose careers – peers – over their children in years past?

If you have modelled bad behaviour, such as not paying attention, hitting, yelling, name-calling, losing your temper, blaming the child for something that is in fact your fault – then the “bad” child is simply mirroring what you have done, and the fault lies with yourself, not your offspring.

If you have never modelled any bad behaviour – if such actual angels truly walk among us – then the child’s bad behaviour is either coming from somebody else’s bad behaviour – a dysfunctional uncle, say – or it is innate to the nature of the child.

If the child’s bad behaviour has come from someone other than you, then it is still entirely your fault and responsibility as the parent – for the simple and obvious reason that you are in complete control of who your children are exposed to.

If you have an uncle who behaves badly, and you allow this uncle around your children, then your children will accept that you must – at least to some degree – approve of this behaviour.

If your uncle is responsible for your children’s bad behaviour, then it is your uncle who must be punished, not your children.

If you choose a tutor who teaches your children rude words, who is to blame? The tutor, of course – but also you for hiring him – and certainly not your children.

If the equation is that children must be “punished out” of their bad behaviour, and your uncle still manifests bad behaviour, then the blame lies not with your child for mirroring that behaviour, but with your uncle’s parents, for failing to train him out of his bad behaviour!

If your child exhibits bad behaviour, but everyone around him has been a perfect angel since before he was born – an impossibility, of course, but let’s run with it – then this “bad” behaviour is innate to your child, which means that he should not be punished for it.

(I don’t believe that – absent significant brain injury – “bad” behaviour can arise from good modelling – any more than I believe that speaking Japanese can spontaneously arise from children never exposed to Japanese. If your child broke his arm, and you took him to the doctor, and the doctor asked how he broke his arm, and you replied: “Nothing – nothing happened, it just broke on its own, with no outside force or impact” – well, your doctor would not believe you – or if he did, he would be very alarmed. If no outside force broke your son’s arm, then his bones are just dissolving for some terrible medical reason.)

Naturally, most children – especially boys – exhibit significant levels of aggression in infancy and toddlerhood – but that has no more moral significance than the fact that they wake up crying and disturb their parents. These are just instincts, beyond the conscious control of infants and toddlers, and therefore cannot be judged morally.

If your roommate wakes you up by screaming several times a night, that is thoughtless, rude and abusive.

He has a choice.

Your baby does not.

It is immoral and abusive to punish children for unchosen, innate characteristics and actions.

I mean – we would never dream of punishing a child for having epilepsy, or asthma – because children have no control over these ailments.

If your theory is that children are just innately bad – that they never mirror any bad actions of others – and that the “cure” for this badness is punishment until the badness disappears – then why do you not apply this rule to any of the bad people in your adult life?

If your uncle gets drunk and yells at people, then surely he should be punished, until this bad behaviour disappears?

However, your children see you continually inviting your uncle to family gatherings – and then, perhaps complaining about him afterwards – but the invitations continue to stand.

If your own parents insult or demean you in front of your children, but you continue to invite them over, then your kids clearly understand that in no way do you believe that “bad” behaviours must be punished until they disappear – in fact, they see you rewarding all sorts of bad behaviours with continual invitations to drinks, dinner and a wide variety of engaging and enjoyable social events.

In other words, they know that being punished for “bad” behaviour is just a characteristic of being a child – adults get away with whatever they want!

Emulating Adults

Now, if you can find a child who never wants to emulate adults, or grow into and achieve the power of adulthood, then congratulations – you have found a child from an alien species!

Since adults are almost never punished for their bad behaviour – and only children are – then children fully and deeply understand that such “punishments” are merely acts of power, not of morality.

How did they know this?

It’s simple – adults who misbehave are not punished, but rather rewarded.

Adults clearly have greater moral responsibility than children do – therefore those who have the least excuse for their bad behaviour get rewarded the most – while those who have the best excuse for their “bad” behaviour get punished the most.

Therefore, the equation is not “punishment for bad behaviour” – but rather “punishment for weakness.”

The child is not punished because he is “bad” – because bad adults are rewarded – the child is punished because he is weak, while adults are rewarded because they have power.

Adults can sometimes have a hard time remembering this, but children live in a world of vastly different sizes – a five-year-old can be five times smaller than a fifteen-year-old.

If a fifteen-year-old and a five-year-old got into a fight, and an adult broke them apart, crying out, “Pick on someone your own size!” – and then proceeded to punish the five-year-old, this would be incomprehensible, right?

When bigger teenagers bully much smaller children, children clearly understand that the bullying is an expression of power, not morality.

The bully is larger, his victim is smaller – and that is that.

If you punish children for their “bad” behaviours, but reward adults for their bad behaviours, you’re just another bully! You are larger, and stronger, so you “punish” those who are smaller and weaker.

You’re even worse than the obvious bully – at least the bully doesn’t pretend to be inflicting “moral” lessons – he just wants the smaller kid’s subjugation or lunch money!

Children cannot fight back – just as the little girl cannot fight back against the teenage bully – and so children are aggressed against.

The mean uncle can fight back, so he is rewarded with further invitations, not aggressed against!

There is no principle in the world called “punish people for their bad behaviours.”

There is only: “Punish the weak and innocent, while rewarding the strong and guilty.”

“Punish children for their bad behaviours” equals “Aggress against the weak for behaviours beyond their control.”

Reward the guilty, punish the innocent…

Punish those with no control, reward those with great control.

Punish victims for the actions of the bully – reward the bully no matter what.

And we wonder where power-lust comes from?

It comes from the desire to escape punishment, and it is modelled by parents who only punish the helpless, while rewarding the powerful.

We’ve all been there, let’s be honest.

Peaceful Parenting is simply the refusal to be a bottomless moral hypocrite.

We all have to teach our children virtue – let’s at least strive to do it in an honest and consistent manner, rather than destroying virtue through bullying and hypocritical manipulations.

The Ethics of Peaceful Parenting

Morality is a funny business – the moment that you say something is wrong, everyone immediately asks you what they have to do instead.

Whenever you successfully define immorality – what people must not do – they will immediately demand to know what they must do.

It’s very strange when you think about it…

If I convince a man that he should not become a thief, because stealing is wrong – is it rational for him then to demand that I tell him exactly what he should do with his life instead?

If you convince me that it’s a bad idea to travel to a certain neighbourhood in Detroit, is it reasonable for me to then demand that you tell me exactly where I should travel and live, in great detail, for the rest of my life?

We all accept that rape is immoral and evil – does that mean that whoever convinces us that rape is evil must then tell us exactly how to woo women, and who to marry?

Was it incumbent upon those opposing the historical practice of slavery to tell everyone exactly what they had to do after the end of slavery?

Would that not be an extension of slavery?

If I convince you not to assault people, am I then responsible for choosing your circle of friends in exact detail?

It’s very strange…

Defining something as immoral means that it’s wrong to do that thing – if not doing that thing means you have to do some other specific thing, what has happened to your freedom? What has happened to your free will? What has happened to your choice?

Saying “don’t murder” does not give you a specific blueprint on how to live your life – any more than saying “You can’t live in my house” tells you exactly where you have to live for the rest of your life.

It is a strange indication of how much people thirst to be ordered around that when something gets banned, they immediately hunger for another order, another commandment, even more constrictions on their freedoms!

“If slavery is immoral, how am I to live?”

This is the ultimate demand of the endless slave: “Order me what to do after the end of being ordered what to do.”

How Should You Parent Your Children?

I don’t know!

I don’t know exactly how you should parent your children – you are not a robot to be programmed, and no moral choice is worth a damn if it is any kind of order or commandment!

If your doctor tells you to stop smoking, he’s saying you can do just about anything other than smoke. Interpreting his suggestion to stop smoking as a commandment to become a marathon runner or a heroin addict is taking entirely too much out of the conversation.

He’s just telling you what not to do – he’s not commanding you to do anything positive or specific.

If I tell you: “Don’t beat your wife!” – I’m not telling you who to marry, or when to marry – or whether to marry at all.

If I’m telling you: “Don’t aggress against your children” – I’m not telling you what to do with them – I’m just telling you what not to do with them!

It says a lot about our addiction to aggression against children that we feel utterly lost if we accept that we should never do it.

How long do you have to be a slave before even the possibility of freedom fills you with hopelessness, inertia and despair – and a bottomless desire to be endlessly commanded?

How long do you have to be a criminal before even the idea of living a lawful life becomes incomprehensible and alien to you?

Come on…

I ask this with great love and deep sympathy…

How long have you been bullied?

Long enough that me telling you not to bully others prompts you to demand that I bully you?

When the British Navy largely ended the worldwide practice of slavery, we got the modern world and all its miracles, because labour-saving devices and approaches are only economically valuable when labourers are paid, not owned.

Slavery is deeply evil – both in the violence it requires, and the progress it denies.

Enslavement robs the present – and murders the future.

Opposing slavery means liberating people from basic human ownership – leaving them free to move and pursue whatever careers and lives they choose.

I don’t know how you should parent your children.

I don’t know how you should earn your living.

I know you shouldn’t be a slave.

I know that you should not be aggressive towards your children.

I know that you should not threaten them, hit them, yell at them, terrorize them, confine them, insult them or bully them.

And you know it too, deep down – especially after I have made the case.

When slavery ended, massive creativity and economic progress erupted across the world.

When we reject aggression against our children – love, devotion, happiness and tenderness will erupt across the world – reshaping the world in wonderful ways that even the end of slavery could not achieve.

What does the world look like when children are finally reasoned with, rather than beaten and abused?

The rational among us – and you are now among our number, like it or not – constantly mourn the absence and murder of reason in the world.

We weep over the prevalence of mental illness, exploitation, destruction, violence, and abuse.

We rail against the cold-hearted, the manipulative, the liars and cheaters – the addicts, destroyers and hurt people who hurt others – the broken people who break others – who grow and rage and fester and dominate across the world.

We rage against war, debt and the stealthy theft of inflation. We shudder in the faces of those who mutilate their own bodies and souls in the mad pursuit of being loved for who they are, rather than what they provide.

We hang our heads in sorrow in the face of souls so shattered that they can only find scant comfort in pet ownership, rather than friendship, love, marriage and children.

We shudder in the presence of those who break bloody lips endlessly blowing the trumpets of their own imaginary virtues – virtues that must forever be paid for by the subjugation and enslavement of others, through taxes and debt and money printing.

We recoil from the fantastic array of fantasy flesh paraded by women to extract money from men desperate for sexual contact.

We falter in the face of those who blame others for their own bad decisions, and run to any and all sophists willing to lift the mantle of responsibility from them.

We get teary-eyed at those who follow the Pied Pipers of eternal adolescence off the cliffs of immobility – rejecting natural and healthy adult responsibilities for the sake of self-pity, distraction and blame.

We fear the criminals who steal from us because their own childhoods were stolen from them.

We flee the violent and abusive who were taught the bloody language of exploitation and destruction by the endless aggression of their implacable parents.

We fear those who attack us because we failed to protect them as children.

I don’t know how you should be a parent – but I damn well know what you should never ever do.

I don’t know who you should marry – but I damn well know you should never beat your lover.

I don’t know who or what you should get angry at – but I know you shouldn’t assault people, or murder them.

I don’t know how you should earn your daily bread, but I know you should not steal it.

It is a mark of how much we have been brutalized that when someone says to us: Stop brutalizing children – we genuinely have no idea what to do.

To pierce this fog, let us examine a few possibilities.

What If My Children Lie to Me?

Spoiler…

Your children will lie to you – just as you will lie to them, to others – and to yourself.

One of the challenges of religious morality is that it contains commandments that you must follow irrespective of your relationships.

In other words, your primary moral relationship is with God, not others, or virtue itself.

This is where the concept of, for instance, Christian forgiveness comes from – forgiveness is often viewed as a commandment from God, not a blessing to be earned by contrition and reparations from those who have wronged you.

I don’t subscribe to this point of view. (For more on my approach to ethics, please review my free book Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics, available at www.freedomain.com)

In the extreme pacifist view, violence is morally unacceptable even in an extremity of self-defense.

In the common-law tradition, defensive violence becomes acceptable once you are violently aggressed against.

You are not allowed to shoot someone – unless that someone has pulled a gun on you.

The commitment to nonviolence is not an absolute, but a relationship.

If you order a cell phone online, and agree to pay $500 for it – you are not obligated to pay the money if you never receive the phone.

The obligation to send the $500 is contingent upon the seller fulfilling his end of the bargain, which is to send you the phone.

Your obligation is not an absolute – send $500 no matter what – but a relationship.

If someone steals your bicycle, it is morally acceptable to take it back.

If someone cheats you out of $100, it is morally acceptable to lie to that person to get your money back.

Many moral scenarios are put forward in defiance of this basic reality.

“If a man demands to know where your wife is, so that he can murder her, are you obligated to tell him the truth about her whereabouts?”

No sane person says ‘yes’ – Immanuel Kant excepted – and so, since you support lying, telling the truth cannot be an absolute!

The idea that you owe a moral obligation called “telling the truth” to a man threatening murder is like saying that you owe marriage to a stalker, or compliance to a kidnapper.

Skipping over the immorality of threatening to murder someone – and focusing on whether you should tell the truth about where your wife is – is the same as skipping over the abuse of a parent, and focusing only on the behaviour of the child. (In fact, it comes from the same psychological source.)

Understanding that morality is a relationship is essential to parenting.

When your child lies, you can say the following:

“So, you didn’t tell me the truth, which I understand – it’s a natural reaction to try and get out of trouble, or achieve something good. It’s a temptation – and we all give into it from time to time, but it’s not a good thing in general – and I’ll tell you why. Do you remember when I said on the weekend that we were going to go to the playcenter, and you got very excited and happy? Yeah, we had a great time, I’m really glad we went! However, if I told you that we were going to the playcenter, but then I never took you to the playcenter, how happy would you be? If I told you that once you brushed your teeth, we could play a video game – how would you feel if I then said we weren’t going to play the video game – and that I never even promised you that we would!

“Well, you’d find it pretty hard to trust anything I said, if I kept lying to you, right? You wouldn’t have any way of planning what was going to happen in the future, or relying on my promises. I’m sure that you feel happier knowing that you can rely on my promises – well, it’s the same for me. I like knowing that I can rely on what you say, because then I can trust you, and plan my day, and know that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do.

“If you lie – which again, I understand, we’re all tempted to – then is it fair to expect me to tell the truth to you? If you go into the candy store with five dollars, is it reasonable to give that five dollars to the man behind the counter, if he doesn’t give you any candy? Is it fair to pay ten dollars to see a movie, and then not be allowed into the movie theatre?

“When we go around to the houses on Halloween, would it be fair for people to charge you for the candy you take? No, of course not, because everyone understands that Halloween candy is free for the children.

“Most good things in society rely on people being trustworthy. Stores don’t keep everything in a big safe – they just assume that most people won’t steal. We don’t have to pay for our dinners at restaurants ahead of time – they just assume that we will pay at the end.

“And of course there will be times when you just can’t keep your word – remember when we had to go to the dentist, and there was that terrible traffic accident, and we just couldn’t get there on time? That happens – we just had to call and tell them what was going on. Those really should be the exceptions – if we showed up half an hour late to every dentist appointment, that would be a big problem, right?

“It would be kind of unfair to benefit from everyone else telling the truth, while giving yourself permission to lie. Again, it’s tempting, I understand that – but it’s not really fair, right?

“What happens when you lie is that other people don’t have to tell you the truth anymore – if you break your promises, other people don’t have to keep their promises, right? You do want to be able to trust me, right? That if I say we are going somewhere fun, that we actually do go there? Of course you do – that’s a grown up thing to do, it keeps the relationship fun, gives you things to look forward to.

“So, do we have a deal – you tell the truth, and I tell the truth, as well?”

Children can understand this from a very early age. Even toddlers know a good trade when they see it.

Of course, if you keep your word, but your child continues to lie – unlikely, but possible – then as a parent, you need to stop keeping your word!

You can promise to take your child to an arcade – and then break your promise.

Your child will be upset, and complain that you broke your word – and then you can respond with all the recent examples of your child breaking his or her word.

“Remember, I said that I didn’t have to keep my word if you don’t keep your word! You buy my honesty with your honesty! I’m happy to start keeping my word, but you have to start keeping your word as well! I mean, if you have an employee, but he doesn’t do any work, you don’t have to pay him, right?”

It’s the same thing with the endless battles that aggressive parents wage against their children about food.

You can say:

“My job as a parent is to deliver you to adulthood with a healthy mind and body. Like it or not – I hope you like it, but you don’t have to – I am responsible for what you eat, how much you exercise, and how healthy you are.

“That comes with some real benefits to you – you don’t have to work, or pay taxes, or pay rent. I am responsible for your education, health and well-being. Now, would you be happy if you got to adulthood, with really bad, painful and rotting teeth?

“Of course not! You’d face a lifetime of very expensive agony if I never told you to brush your teeth, or eat less sugar, or visit the dentist.

“Also, I know it’s not important to you right now, but you will want someone to kiss you at some point in your life, and that’s not going to happen if you have stinky teeth!

“I make decisions based on whether or not you will thank me later, as an adult – not whether you like me in the moment, right now.

“This isn’t just for you – I make decisions for myself like that as well. Sometimes – a lot of the times – I just want to sit on the couch and eat cheesecake. But nooo, I make a salad and then go exercise. I want to live a long and healthy life, so I need to deliver a healthy body to my future self.

“Sometimes, we see really fat people struggling to get out of a car, or get up from a couch. Do they look very happy? Of course not! But you can bet that they were happy, in the past, when they were sitting on the couch and eating cheesecake! Really, they don’t have a lot of love for their future selves if they’re willing to sacrifice their health and well-being for the sake of something that tastes good for about a minute.

“If you weigh 300 pounds at the age of eighteen, and you can’t get a date, and you are short of breath climbing the stairs, and you have trouble getting out of a car – will you thank me? Will you say: I’m really happy and grateful that you let me eat all of those candies as a kid – I look back on those memories with great fondness, and I think it’s perfectly great that I ended up weighing 300 pounds!

“Not likely, right?

“So – I have to plan for what you’re going to say to me when I deliver you to adulthood. I understand that right now you want candy all the time – if it’s any consolation, I love candy as well, everyone does! But you and I both know that you will blame me – and be very angry with me – if I let you eat candy all the time, and you end up weighing 300 pounds. Right now, your life is largely under my control – and I know that gets frustrating – trust me, I had the same feeling at your age – but I am responsible for what you eat, and how much you exercise. And I know that you want to make your own decisions – I admire that, I want to encourage that as much as possible – but I am ultimately responsible for the decisions that you make. When you start making better decisions, I will stop controlling the outcomes. And there’s nothing wrong with you making bad decisions – they’re not bad really, because you’re just a kid – and even adults – even I – sometimes make bad decisions in the moment.

“But, I do have to have good answers for you in the future, when you look back on my parenting, and judge how I did. Of course you won’t want to be 300 pounds – you will want to be reasonably fit and healthy and slender. I think of myself in ten years, and I don’t want to be 300 pounds either, so I have to have some compassion and responsibility for my own future self – and your future self as well.

“A big part of growing up is learning how to say ‘no’ to what feels good in the moment, but costs you a lot later on. With food, it’s kind of a battle between your belly and your tongue. Your tongue wants things that are sweet and fatty and salty – your belly wants things that are healthy and nutritious. If you only please your tongue, you get fat and wreck your health. The food passes right past your tongue – it’s your belly that has to do the real work. It’s ‘once past the lips, forever on the hips.’

“Every kid has that experience of eating so much candy that they get sick – that’s an example of your tongue winning, and your belly losing.

“On the other hand, good-tasting food is a great pleasure in life, so it’s important to please your tongue as well, and not just your belly – you have to find a balance, which is a fun and complicated part of adulthood.

“It’s the same with exercise. You want to do enough exercise to stay healthy, but not so much that you injure yourself or have no life outside of the gym.

“If I don’t encourage you to do any exercise, that’s bad for your body – particularly your bones, which get kind of soft and easy to break, which is seriously no fun – and I can’t deliver you to adulthood with the body strength of your average tadpole. On the other hand, too much exercise can stress your bones and injure your joints and tendons – and I don’t want you to become an adult full of aches and pains, and get mad at me for pushing you too hard.

“It’s the same with education – it’s important to know things, but not spend your whole childhood reading and studying, which means that you’re not doing any exercise or having a social life.

“Having a social life is really important for your happiness and health and well-being – people who live alone go kind of crazy, as you know from your Aunt Ethel – but if you spend your whole time socializing, you never end up learning or doing much.

“Life is kind of like that guy we saw at the fun-fair with all the spinning plates on sticks – you have to keep a lot of things in balance, it can get kind of complicated – and priorities can change over time. Before I met your mother, I was really keen on dating – now, of course, not so much. Education is really important early on in life – in your last few years, not quite so much.

“It also depends what you want to do with your life – if you want to be an athlete, exercise is essential. If you want to be a musician, you have to practice – but you can’t exercise while you’re practicing, and you can’t practice while you’re exercising, so you’re going to have to choose to focus more on one or the other.

“Look – the whole point is – you can’t just do what feels good in the moment forever. A lot of times, I don’t want to go to work, I don’t want to exercise, I don’t want to eat super healthy, I don’t want to sit down and do my taxes – but we have all of these great things in life – you have all these great things as well – because a lot of times, I do what I don’t feel like.

“But of course, you can’t spend your whole life doing things you don’t want to. What kind of life would that be? You would be a kind of slave!

“When you were learning your words, you kind of had to trust that I was telling you the truth about what was what. I didn’t tell you that the word for ‘tree’ was ‘poop,’ did I?

“I guess I’m asking for that same trust now – and for you to really think about what you want in the future. You don’t want to be one of those people with soft bones, green teeth and a giant belly, right?

“I’m no athlete, but I’m reasonably healthy and fit – you see me saying ‘no’ to bad food, and exercising regularly. I mean, it wouldn’t be much fun for you if I weighed 300 pounds, and couldn’t come to playcenters or run in the park or go swimming and rock-climbing.

“So you benefit from me eating well and exercising – and you understand that you will also benefit in the future from eating well and exercising, and it’s my job to see that you do – but the last thing I want to do is force you, which is why I’m telling you about all of these things, so that you can trust me, and start making these good decisions yourself!”

Now, these above speeches can be adapted to a wide variety of situations – but they all carry a common theme, which is:

  1. Appeal to the child’s self-interest.
  2. Refer to the behaviour that you have consistently modelled.
  3. Remind the child that good behaviour is a relationship, not an absolute.
  4. Assert your authority through responsibility.

With regards to honesty, you appeal to the child’s self-interest by reminding her that she benefits when you tell the truth.

You then can refer to your own honesty, which you have consistently modelled.

You can then remind her that if she doesn’t tell the truth, you don’t have to either.

Finally, you have to remind the child that you are responsible for her behaviour until she becomes an adult.

These four principles are easy to implement once you get used to them.

The toughest for most parents is number two – the consistent modelling of the behaviour you want to reproduce in your child.

If you want your child to keep her word, but you have broken your promises, then you need to fix yourself before lecturing her.

Having higher standards for children than you have for yourself will undermine and destroy your credibility, and lead to endless conflicts, because your child will instinctively grasp your rank hypocrisy.

You also need to model good behaviour in all your interactions – with your spouse, your relatives, your siblings – your child’s siblings – and even the random strangers we all encounter in our journey through the day.

A child can’t learn a language if the words keep changing – and the child can’t learn morality without the ethical consistency that only parental integrity can achieve.

Credibility Is the Opposite of Vanity

Many of us have parents who wanted us to achieve in order to serve their own egos.

This is about as demotivating an incentive as can be imagined.

Your parents wanting you to do well so that they can brag to others often drives us to near-manic levels of self-sabotage.

If you want your child to obey you so that you feel better, your child will resist you.

We’ve all been in the situation where some salesman is pressuring us to buy something so that he can make money – not because we will benefit from the sale.

Imagine going to buy a car, and the salesman immediately pressures you to buy the most expensive vehicle on the lot – without even asking you whether you have any kids, or what you’re looking for, or what your budget is.

Would you be eager to buy from him?

Of course not – you would completely understand that the transaction would be solely for his benefit, and against your own interests.

It’s the same with parenting.

If a rug salesman in Morocco plied you with tea and sweet cakes, and then got angry at you for failing to buy an expensive carpet, because he had treated you with such benevolent hospitality – would you apologize and pay thousands of dollars for something you did not need?

I hope not!

If you expect your son to obey you because you are his parent, then you are taking refuge in a category, not gaining credibility through your own integrity.

I hope you would not expect your wife to obey you, just because you fell in the category of ‘husband.’

You should never try to teach your child ‘obedience.’

‘Obedience’ means surrendering your will to the authority of another without the requirement of self-interest or credibility.

We all know how disastrous it is for society when people surrender their own moral conscience and rational self-interest to those in ‘authority.’

This is just self-erasure in the face of bullying.

How likely would you be to work hard for a boss, knowing ahead of time that he will take all the credit and bonuses, and loudly proclaim that you never contributed anything?!?

It wouldn’t happen, right?

You really don’t want your children to just obey you – you want them to emulate your good behaviour, you want to inspire them with your examples – and you want to appeal to their self-interest. If you demand that obey you, then you are delivering them bound and gagged into the claws of manipulators, bullies and exploiters.

Teaching obedience is inflicting slavery.

Moral human beings obey virtue, not others.

Obeying others is enslavement – obeying virtue is liberty.

Your conscience records every action, and compares it to your stated ideals.

Expecting obedience requires inculcating fear and making threats.

Think of the people you obey without good reason – there is always danger at the root of these ‘relationships.’

‘Obedience’ is squarely in the predatory realm of negative economics.

‘Negative economics’ is when you act to avoid a negative, rather than pursue and achieve a positive.

You hand over your money to a mugger to avoid being shot or stabbed – this is negative economics.

You comply with a nagging wife to stop her nagging – this is negative economics.

You obey people to avoid negative consequences – which means obedience comes bundled together with resentment and rebellion.

Obeying people is like holding a balloon underwater – it’s going to pop up eventually.

If you drive your children into the underworld of negative economics, they will rebel as surely as Lucifer did.

If you call your mother due to a shameful sense of guilt and obligation – that is negative economics.

If your children obey you because you will bully, shame or threaten them otherwise – that is negative economics.

If you work a job you hate at a family business, because your father needs you, and says he can’t survive without you, that is negative economics.

Negative economics is always unsustainable.

Countries that start out as havens of freedom always turn into empires of enslavement – they turn from the positive economics of seeking liberty to the negative economics of avoiding jail – and inevitably end up collapsing.

Some negative economics are inevitable in life – but we should strive as much is possible for self-interested, positive outcomes and relationships, rather than the grim death march of avoiding unjust criticisms, shaming or abuse.

Those who inflict negative economics on others are openly confessing that they have nothing positive to offer, no value to bring to the table, no chance of bringing happiness to others.

Compliance and Resentment

Those we truly hate, we most comply with.

Complying with bullying traps the bully by giving her what she wants.

It is the ultimate form of passive aggression – destruction through obedience.

We destroy the bully by bribing his worst instincts with our own compliance.

Don’t trap your children in that cycle.

Your goal as a parent is to deliver your children from evil, not to it, bound and gagged.

PART 2: PRACTICE

Parenting and General Integrity

One essential aspect of Peaceful Parenting is: If you model, you don’t have to punish.

Children want to emulate their parents – this is an essential cultural and practical survival skill that evolved over countless eons.

The central question is: If children are acting badly, where are they getting it from?

Such “bad” behaviour is either innate, or it comes from the environment.

It’s hard to think of another circumstance in which we punish people for their innate characteristics. Punishing someone for the colour of his skin is racist – punishing a woman for being a woman is sexist – punishing people for their limited brain functions is morally reprehensible!

Punishing children – who by their nature have limited brain functions – for innate characteristics such as being “bad” is wildly anti-rational, hypocritical and immoral.

Innate characteristics by their very definition are not chosen – I did not choose to have blue eyes; you did not choose your natural hair colour. “Badness” that is innate is not chosen, and therefore the child is not responsible for his or her “bad” behaviour.

Babies are unable to walk at birth – they gain the ability to do it at about one year of age. Imagine chatting with a mother at the park, with her baby sitting on her lap, and listening to her tell you how “damn lazy” her newborn was for not getting out of his crib and getting his own toys!

We would view this as monstrous, right?

In the development of infancy, babies strive and struggle to roll over, sit up, crawl and then walk.

It is a natural development – based upon innate desires, and observing their parents walking around.

It happens naturally if you let it – and if you show it!

It’s the same with moral development.

Babies are born concerned only with their own preferences and desires. They don’t think about the burden they place on their mothers by crying for breast milk three or more times a night.

It doesn’t take more than a few months for babies to start empathizing with their parents – trying to feed them back during meal-times, for example.[21]

There is a phase of language development for toddlers that is truly mind-blowing – they seem to learn a dozen words a day, and it’s hard to figure out where they are getting it all from![22]

Children want to emulate their parents – if their parents are moral and empathetic, those children will follow that path.

If their parents are aggressive and punitive – well, sadly, same.

Since you cannot morally punish a child for his or her innate characteristics – since we don’t do this anywhere else in society – if you believe that children are born “selfish,” you cannot punish them for their “selfishness.”

If bad behaviours are not innate – which they cannot be, since innate behaviours cannot be judged morally – then they must be coming from the environment.

It’s nature/nurture – usually a combination of the two, but those are the only two choices.

If you can’t punish children for innate behaviours – what can you punish them for?

Remember – children get their behaviours either from their nature, or from the environment.

Now – parents to a large degree choose the nature of their children, because they are in control of the most central variable that affects their children.

Do you know what it is?

Do you know what choice you make that has the most effect on the nature of your child?

Of course you do!

Your choice of who to make a baby with!

There seems to be no aspect of personality that is not affected by genetics – and you choose half of the genetics that builds your babies.

Let’s say that you have a predilection for nervous women – well, you are more likely to have a nervous baby.

Let’s say that you have a predilection for aggressive men – you are more likely to have an aggressive baby.

80% of IQ is genetic by late teens – if you have chosen an unintelligent mother for your babies, you are more likely to have less intelligent babies.

If a mother is obese during pregnancy, her children are more likely to gain excess weight.[23]

Adult obesity is a choice – punishing babies for being overweight, when both the mother and the father chose obesity during pregnancy – the father because he did not work as hard as possible to ensure the mother was not obese, or chose an obese woman – is monstrous.

Imagine a mother who chose a very tall father for her children, and then punishes her sons for being tall.

In other words, you and your partner have chosen many of your baby’s innate characteristics – your baby didn’t.

Punishing a baby for the innate characteristics that you have chosen is beyond contemptible.

And – if the “bad” behaviours are not innate or genetic, then they must be environmental.

I guess I’m just a little bit curious – who do you think controls the environment of your baby and toddler?

Did they choose your household themselves?

Did they choose your family, their mother and father, the neighbourhood, the house you live in?

Did they choose your income, their sex and race, whether they were breast-fed or not, how attentive you are, how empathetic you are, how moral you are?

Did they choose whether you put them in daycare or stayed home with them?

Did they choose whether or not you are stressed and distracted?

Did they choose any medical issues?

Did they choose whether they get hit, or yelled at, or neglected?

Did they choose whether you loved them unconditionally?

Come on!

All babies would choose the best environment if they could – but all babies have to find a way to survive the environment they happen to land in.

You are entirely responsible for 100% of your children’s genetics – and 100% of their environment.

You start with being responsible for 50% of their environment and genetics, because you are half of the parental team – but the other parent is only on your team because you chose him or her.

If you get to choose who is on a team, you are 100% responsible for the composition of that team.

Both you and your spouse are 100% responsible for your children’s environment.

“Ah,” you say, “but the father of my child abandoned me when he found out I was pregnant!”

Right.

You are 100% responsible for your child growing up without a father.

The father is also 100% responsible for his child growing up without a father.

Full Responsibility

It is absolutely essential that you never fail to take less than 100% responsibility for your choices.

Everyone who says, “Well, it’s 50-50” is lying through their teeth.

Everyone claims things are 50-50 – and then throws all the responsibility on the other person’s half.

Even people who claim that they are 99% responsible for something always end up blaming the other person more.

Whatever percentage you claw back from 100% responsibility will be where you end up dumping all your responsibility.

Just take 100% – it’s the only way to be responsible!

Everything else is a cope and a dodge.

Once you accept 100% responsibility for your children’s environment, you are ready to accept 100% responsibility for your children’s behaviour.

Remember – you are completely responsible for 100% of your child’s genetics, and 100% of his environment.

Babies and toddlers are entirely run by genetics and environment.

Therefore you are completely responsible for your children’s behaviour when they are young.

I’m sure you’ve had a situation at work when your boss blames you for something he or she did.

Remember how frustrating and enraging that was?

Welcome to the childhood of parents who blame children for their own parental decisions!

I’m sure you’ve read about cops who plant evidence on innocent people in order to frame them and throw them in jail.

Monstrous, right?

Exactly.

It’s not your children who are bad – it’s you who are bad.

Projection 101.

It’s a lot easier to punish your children for behaviours you dislike in yourself than it is to improve your own choices.

Single mothers often blame the eldest son for the anger they have against the absent father – is that fair?

Of course not.

Fathers angry with mothers often take it out on daughters – is that fair?

Teachers frustrated with bored students will literally drug them with methamphetamines rather than admit their own failures as teachers.

Is that fair?

It’s monstrous!

You and your spouse control 100% of your children’s genetics – fifty plus fifty.

You and your spouse control 100% of your children’s environment.

And you dare to blame and punish your children?           

Parenting and Moral Instruction

You cannot teach anyone anything that you do not know yourself.

I can’t teach you how to tie a knot if I don’t know how to tie it – I can’t teach you Japanese if I don’t know how to speak or read it – I can’t teach you piano if I only know guitar.

You want to teach your children how to be good?

Excellent, that is the essential mission!

So – do you know what goodness is?

Is goodness obeying people in authority?

Good heavens, I hope you don’t believe that!

Is goodness going through life without upsetting or offending anyone?

Absolutely not! That’s just setting your kids up for a life of zombie conformity and subjugation to peer pressure.

Is it good to never push back against something you don’t agree with?

Is “backtalk” always bad?

Is it good to give “respect” to those who have not earned respect?

If you think it’s good for your children to pretend to respect you when they do not in fact respect you, then you are rewarding them for lying, and punishing them for telling the truth!

So – is it good to lie, or good to tell the truth?

You can’t order them to tell the truth while also demanding that they lie to you.

I mean, technically you can do it, but it’s kind of insane.

Is it good to hold those in authority to the same moral standards they inflict on everyone else?

Is it good to have integrity, or better to be hypocritical?

Is it hypocritical to impose strict moral standards on the weak, while constantly excusing the strong?

Is it good or bad to use aggression to get what you want?

Is it good or bad to use violence to get what you want?

Is it possible to love someone that you are afraid of?

Is fear the same as respect?

These are all essential questions, which very few parents even bother to ask – let alone answer.

What We All Agree On

You’d be very surprised at how much everyone agrees on the answers – as long as the questions are clear.

No one believes that it is truly virtuous to just do what you’re told.

No one believes that powerful people should be excluded from the moral rules they impose on everyone else.

No one believes that it is good to use force or aggression to get what you want.

No one thinks that hypocrisy is good.

No one thinks that lying is good.

Everyone is a peaceful parent in theory – it’s only in practice that they so often lose control.

If you want to be a personal fitness trainer, the first person you need to train is yourself.

If you want to be a piano teacher, the first person who needs to learn piano is you.

If you want to teach medicine, you have to learn medicine first.

If you want to teach your children to be good, you must first become good yourself.

That way, you can model best practices, rather than hypocritically punish “badness.”

Fat Fitness Trainers

If you had a chain-smoking, obese personal fitness trainer, would you take what he had to say very seriously?

If he was desperate to make you fit, but had no credibility with you, what would he do?

Let’s say that someone was going to pay him a million dollars if you lost weight and gained muscle mass – and he had to do it right away – and he also had to keep on smoking and overeating!

How would he approach this task?

Well, he would have to be manipulative and aggressive and bullying – and perhaps even violent – to get you to do what he needs you to do to get the million dollars.

Because he is not fit, he has no credibility – and because he has no credibility, you have no respect for him, and don’t want to do what he says.

But – ah, that sweet million dollars, he needs it so badly!

This analogy is imperfect – as all analogies are – because you can openly say to a fat fitness trainer that he has no credibility with you, because he is so unhealthy.

Imagine an abused child saying to his raging parent: “I won’t learn goodness from you, because you are a very bad person!”

Yeah…

That kid probably wouldn’t make it.

It’s certainly not worth taking the chance.

Instead of focusing on how good your children are, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself: How good am I?

If you try to teach your children how to be good, but they don’t believe that you are good, you enter into an endless desperate pitched battle, where they try to escape your hypocritical rules, and you chase after them, pleading, threatening and bullying.

You cannot teach what you do not model.

You cannot model what you do not know.

If you don’t know what goodness is – and you don’t manifest it daily – then expecting your children to obey you or be inspired by you is beyond ridiculous – it’s pathetic, really.

Physician, heal thyself!

Peaceful Parenting and Ego

There is a very strange phenomenon in the modern world – people say that becoming a parent robs them of their identity, and they just end up doing everything for their children, and have nothing left over for themselves!

I find this bizarre on many levels.

I have never sacrificed anything by becoming a parent.

It’s true that for about ten years, I didn’t write any books – before that, I wrote one or two books a year – but so what?

I have been very happily married for over twenty years – it’s true that, after I got married, I haven’t dated anyone else – but so what?

Have I sacrificed anything by studying philosophy, and striving to live morally?

Sure, of course – on occasion.

The world is not overly friendly to truly moral men and women.

But overall, it has been an enormous positive!

I have also pursued a rigorous exercise regime for forty years – tens of thousands of hours spent sweating and grunting and panting.

Has that been a tragic sacrifice?

Compared to what?

Compared to being overweight, short of breath, low on energy, sleeping poorly, being unattractive to my wife and myself, losing 10 to 20 years of life?

Please!

If you only ever do what you want to do – and view your chosen obligations as unwelcome intrusions on your glorious and infantile narcissism – then you are living lower than an animal.

As parents, birds are constantly flying off to get food for their babies.

Mother whales breast-feed their calves underwater.

Lions bring meat to their children.

Gorillas carry water in their mouth for miles in order to satisfy their baby’s thirst.

And – as a person, you are only alive because your parents endlessly deferred their own immediate gratifications in order to serve you and your needs – even if just your physical needs!

Since you only live due to the “sacrifices” of your parents, living only for your own immediate pleasure is a straight-up theft of life.

It is vampiric, predatory, exploitive.

It’s like enjoying the success you gained because your parents invested in your education, then turning around and refusing to invest in your own children’s education, because you want to buy a boat.[24]

It’s like being truly grateful that your parents left you some money, then burning up all that wealth on useless purchases, and leaving your own offspring with nothing at all!

The great chain of life that stretches back over 4 billion years has led to you, to your life, your capacity for love and thought and excitement and fear and achievement!

It is an incalculable sequence of struggles and survival – all culminating in your existence!

When you think of how many countless creatures had to fight and hide and reproduce and die – just to give you the incredible gift of life – then never wanting to sacrifice for anything or anyone else is taking all the sacrifices that came before you, and consuming them for your own selfish pleasure!

Your ancestors struggled to bring you life, so that you could continue their continuity.

Parents have children so that those children will also have children – how many parents would bother having children, if they knew in advance that they would never experience the joys of becoming grandparents, and watching the bloodline continue?

You are alive – you possess the great glory of existence – on the grounds that you pay it forward, and bring life to others – just as life was brought to you.

Human life is the greatest gift in existence, because we alone have the power of abstract thought and morality.

Every other life form can only be – but we can be good!

Every other life form has only virility – we also have virtue!

We carry within us the divine whispers of conscience – other creatures are merely programmed by lust and hunger and hormones, to eat and sleep and reproduce.

We are angels – other creatures are mere machines of consumption and reproduction.

We can create glories of art, philosophy, humour and inspiration – other animals can only blindly create more of themselves.

You don’t have to reproduce, of course – 10% of married couples struggle with fertility, and that is a great tragedy.

But…

We only exist as the result of millions of generations of death and struggle, going back billions of years and you can, of course, be the only creature to break the chain, and swallow whole the sacrifices of entire eons of pain and reproduction, but it is petty and ignoble to a degree that would leave your ancestors dumbfounded.

Your ancestors survived plagues, famines, wars, ice ages, endless predation, death in childbirth – death from tiny cuts – to bring you – trembling and-bloody handed – the greatest gift of a life and a mind!

I guarantee you that they would not have bothered to make those sacrifices if they knew that you would selfishly throw it all away, for the sake of a little travel, some useless video games, some naked pixels on a screen – for nothing!

If you enjoy your life, but don’t give it your all to pay it forward, you are staggeringly selfish!

If you don’t enjoy your life, that is most likely because you are too selfish to have children.

Your life is not just for you, because you did not create your life!

Your life exists for the continuance of life.

Your life only exists because prior life continued – you are like a runner in a baton race – you take the baton in order to pass it forward, to pay life forward!

Your “ego” only exists because your ancestors subsumed their egos to a larger purpose – the purpose of having and raising all those brave souls who led to you!

The penultimate selfishness is consuming other people’s sacrifices for the sake of your own vanity.

Perhaps you have very pretty eyes – do you know the billions of years of evolution, of survival and brutal natural selection – that it took for you to possess eyes at all?

Perhaps you are very smart – do you understand how many less intelligent people had to perish in order for your brilliant genes to flourish?

Perhaps you have great reflexes, and are good at sports – do you grasp how many slower, less coordinated people got violently dumped out of the gene pool, for your physical excellence to triumph?

If a hundred older people sacrificed their lives so that you could survive some disaster – how would they feel, if they could see you wasting the existence they died to provide you?

What about a thousand people?

A million?

A billion generations?

It is incomprehensible to me that people waste their lives.

And there is no bigger waste than avoiding parenting.

You are not sacrificing your ego by becoming a parent – you are fulfilling your potential!

It cannot be possible that – by creating a million egos in the future – your ego somehow loses out.

If I took a dollar from you, and gave you back a million dollars in the future – would you feel ripped off?

Would you rail against my “theft”?

That would be madness!

The joy of creating, nurturing and raising life is beyond compare!

Taking a child from squalling infancy to rational adulthood is like raising a dead city from the desert and filling it with brilliant people.

We can never be truly happy by selfishly exploiting the endless sacrifices of millions of people.

Taking an infinity of hard-won gifts, and then squandering them on our own selfish pleasures – what a shallow, ridiculous, petty and predatory existence!

You don’t have sexual desires for the sake of satisfying your ego – such desires are for the sake of bringing brilliant new life into the world!

For women – your youthful beauty has great value so that one man will be happy to fund the creation and survival of an entire family! It is not for you to bounce from one place to another, having sex with strangers in return for a travel budget!

Your beauty is not for you to get free dinners, free money, free tickets, subsidized apartments – the value of your youthful beauty is a down payment on motherhood, not a condo!

And please, please remember this: everything you think is free will have to be paid for, one way or another!

Men – if you give money to women who will never mother your children, you are corrupting both yourself and them.

Women – if you take money from men that you would never consider having children with, you are mere prostitutes of opportunity, greedy exploiters of hormones designed for families – vampires of reproduction, taking money without giving life.

And as you know – your youthful beauty will fade like the blue of the sky at sunset, and at the age of forty, men of means will inevitably turn to younger women, and you will face half a century of isolation, bitterness and exclusion. There will be no turning back, there are no do-overs for female fertility – you will be abandoned, alone, facing an eternity of regret for choices you cannot fix. The special torture that awaits isolated women in particular will never let up, will never diminish – and will only end when you do.

You see, nature is generally fair – men have lower sexual market value when they are younger – but men have many more decades to choose to have children later.

Men can fix youthful foolishness – and have children even into their seventies – not recommended, but possible.

The door closes for women halfway through their life, and never reopens.

Sex is for making children, for pair-bonding, for families – not for vanity, lazy cash and provoking envy.

Women – you’re supposed to gain resources for your children, not for another bikini and a trip to Bali.

Hijacking the purpose of nature for the sake of satisfying your vanity will only and forever lead to misery!

Everything you think is free has to be paid for – and the more you take, the more of your soul you lose.

It is not a sacrifice to tame your ego in pursuit of a moral goal – any more than it is a sacrifice to tame your appetite in pursuit of good health.

Gorging yourself on unhealthy food is the real sacrifice – and pleasing your ego at the expense of your happiness is the worst sacrifice of all!

You don’t give up your pleasures by having children – children are one of the greatest pleasures in life!

Life becomes both simple and pleasurable when you operate by easy, universal principles!

When you get married, you become one flesh!

You don’t have separate desires or preferences or goals – you are a team, like horses pulling a carriage.

Imagine driving a car, and one of the wheels suddenly decides to go off in a different direction.

You just wobble and crash, right?

I understand that a husband and wife are two different people, and preferences don’t always coincide – but the idea that one of you can win at the expense of the other is madness!

Can you imagine an exercise regime that strengthens your left arm, but destroys your right?

Can you imagine a diet that causes your left leg to lose weight, but your right leg to gain weight?

Of course not!

You don’t sacrifice anything by merging with the team that serves everyone’s common goal!

And – what are the alternatives?

You can live as less than an animal, on the hedonism and pleasure of the moment – but everyone knows about the hedonic treadmill, that pleasures diminish over time – and often quite rapidly![25]

Think of how exciting it was to get your first paycheck – and then think how exciting it was to get your most recent paycheck!

Quite a difference, right?

Physical pleasures diminish over time – swinging to the negative if those passing pleasures have cost you meaning and virtue, slowly lowering you into the infinite hell of eternal regret.

Chasing pleasure alone kills your capacity to defer gratification – necessary for physical health and spiritual love.

If you can’t defer gratification, you can’t control your own emotions – if you can’t control your own emotions, you cannot be loved, because you are too random to bring anyone trust and security.

You chase hedonism, and pleasure slowly diminishes into pain – but by then, you have often lost the capacity for virtue, integrity, love, trust – and meaning.

Those, like me, who try to counsel you out of pursuing hedonism are actually desperately trying to increase your happiness – like a dietitian trying to get you to eat better, so you don’t get diabetes and lose your eyesight. When you’re blind and hobbling about on one foot, you will think back on your candy and cheesecakes with rage and bitterness.

All that was pleasurable in the moment has turned to the agony of regret.

And all this happens when you still have decades to go in life!

It is not a sacrifice to act sensibly in order to secure your own future happiness.

If you get married, you dedicate yourself to the happiness of your partner – which means being happy yourself, negotiating for the sake of mutual benefit – living with integrity, being moral, staying healthy and attractive – all these good things!

When you have children, you dedicate yourself to the happiness of your children – because that ensures your own future happiness as well!

You are not sacrificing happiness by serving your children, any more than you sacrifice health by serving the needs of exercise and a good diet.

If you dump your kids in daycare so you can run off to some job – you might make some money, but that money will diminish to nothing through inflation over time – and it will cost you the love of your children, since they clearly see that you chose money over them.

Later, when you get old and sick and lonely – you will ask your children to choose you over their money, by coming to visit you, and taking care of you, and helping you with the myriad challenges of getting old.

They will choose their money, guaranteed – and you will be left alone.

Maybe you will end up alone at the age of seventy-five, and live to eighty-five…[26]

That is a long ten years.

A long, lonely decade – and it could be a lot longer than that!

When you are eighty, and ill, and alone, what will you think of the paychecks you abandoned your children for fifty years ago?

You can’t buy love, or companionship, or family – you can’t purchase people’s desire to come and spend time with you.

One day, you will be cleaning out your attic – because you have to do something, right? – and you will come across your old paystubs, or some spreadsheet you printed out, or some newsletter you wrote, staying late that night in the office and missing your daughter’s first appearance in a school play.

I guarantee you that absolutely everyone will have forgotten about that spreadsheet, that newsletter, that diversity report – but your daughter will never have forgotten that you missed her school play.

You dumped your children in daycare in order to please your boss – when you are eighty, and you find your old paystubs, your boss has been dead for decades – but your children are still alive, and still remember…

Your long-dead boss can’t give you any praise or company – but your children can still condemn you, and probably do…

The devil of temptation only reveals his price when it is too late to turn back.

The costs of vanity only show up when restitution has become impossible.

The symptoms of the worst illness only occur when death has become inevitable.

Do you think you are getting away with anything?

Everything is recorded – if you are religious, that is God – if you are secular, that is your unconscious, your conscience.

Live for your children – which means having a life yourself, having independence and integrity – and you will never die.

Live for yourself alone – and you live and die alone.

Peaceful Parenting and the Voluntary Family

If you are born into a crime family, do you have to stay a criminal?

In the classic movie “The Godfather,” the main character – who has largely left the family – gets slowly drawn back into a life of crime, based on family ties and loyalties – and ends up as a murderous master criminal.

Our lives are largely defined by our empirical answer to the following question:

Am I loyal to virtue, or to others?

As the old song goes, you have to serve somebody – something, someone, some value or passion has to organize your day, your mind, your life.

The days of animals are organized by the constant search for food, shelter and reproduction.

How do you choose what to do with your day?

Your week, month – decade – your life?

You and I were both born into families – the members of those families had specific moral or immoral qualities, and gave us consistent – and often ferocious – moral commandments.

The modern pattern of family history generally goes thus:

A baby is born to busy parents. The mother cares for him in a hurried and harried manner, while still fielding calls and emails from work, for a couple of weeks or months, and then leaves him with someone else – sometimes a grandmother, often a daycare worker – and goes back to work.

The baby exists in a state of low-grade existential panic, since his biological and evolutionary needs – his desperate emotional needs – are largely ignored and rejected. He is often raised by people with different accents, different cultures, and no family or blood bond.

Is it moral to give birth to a baby, and then hand him over for others to raise?

No.

Is it moral to get married, and then have endless affairs?

No.

A husband who has affairs is cheating on his wife.

A mother who goes to work is cheating on her baby.

We get upset at the former, but applaud the latter.

This is entirely corrupt.

Cheating on your baby is infinitely worse than cheating on your husband.

The difference is that the husband gets to choose his wife – a baby never gets to choose his mother.

A husband can choose to leave his wife – a baby never gets to choose to leave his mother.

A husband is an adult, with a fully-formed personality, and a near-infinity of other options.

The baby’s personality is in the process of being formed, and he has absolutely no other options.

A husband has full legal rights, and an independent income – babies can exercise no rights, and have no alternatives.

A baby and his mother are one biological unit – very similar to when he was in her womb. The mother’s breast milk is deeply attuned to her baby’s needs, and by far the healthiest nutrition he can get.[27]

A mother has a biological monopoly on what is best for her child – no one and nothing else can substitute for her.

Cheating on your baby is infinitely worse than cheating on your husband.

And – what lesson does it teach your baby?

That family matters less than money.

That serving economic strangers is infinitely better than deeply parenting your own baby.

That instincts mean nothing, that strangers, ambition and money mean everything – and that the weak must suffer so that the selfish can feel valuable.

Why do new mothers go back to work so quickly?

If they stay home even for a year or two – that is just a stronger bond to break, when the toddler is left with strangers.

A child’s personality is largely formed by the sixth year of life.

Babies left in daycare for twenty hours a week show the same levels of psychological trauma as babies completely abandoned by their mothers.

In “adult time,” it’s only 8 to 10 hours a day – in “baby time,” it is an eternity.

Working mothers with little children experience the highest levels of stress hormones in the world.[28]

A baby whose needs are denied experiences the environment as extremely dangerous – because, evolutionarily speaking, it has to be war, plague or famine that is keeping his mother from him.

Why do new mothers go back to work so quickly?

Because of peer pressure.

Because of propaganda.

Because they have been told that being a mother is boring and unimportant – but that having a boring and unimportant job is essential!

Because they are told that they are completely replaceable to their baby – but irreplaceable to their boss, to the economy, to their clients and customers!

Because they are bribed with the spare change of their leftover salaries – after childcare expenses, extra transportation and clothing costs, endless taxes and deductions.

Because they do what they are told – not what is right and good.

They have placed the arguments and opinions of others infinitely higher than what is good and right and best for their babies.

That is their choice: they are loyal to others, not their babies – not virtue.

But – a fascinating switch occurs later in life – a highly instructive reversal.

When these mothers are young, and ambitious, and in control, and want money, approval and prestige – then, loyalty to others entirely trumps loyalty to family, to their babies.

However, when these mothers age – and the fathers too, of course – suddenly family becomes everything, and their adult children owe them loyalty, love, time, attention, resources – and grandchildren as well!

When their children are young, these parents choose loyalty to others over loyalty to virtue – the virtue of connected and peaceful parenting – but when their children grow up, now suddenly these parents demand loyalty to family over loyalty to others.

“While it might be true that when you were a baby, I chose loyalty to others over loyalty to you – now that I am old, you must choose loyalty to me over loyalty to others!”

This is a truly wild reversal – and the amount of propaganda piled up to cover this massive switch is truly astounding!

Of course, this is scarcely an original observation – the famous Harry Chapin song “The Cat’s in the Cradle” traces this emotional journey – but he is a songwriter, not a philosopher, and so cannot exhume the moral principles at the root of this betrayal.

Loyalty to Virtue?

So – are we loyal to others, or to virtue?

Is the word “family” a reasonable substitute for virtue?

Is the word “family” a description of a mere genetic relationship, or does it describe a blood loyalty that has manifested in actual reality?

Does the word “parent” refer to a biological relationship, or does it describe the act of parenting?

Are you a parent if you do not parent?

Are you a family if no one is loyal to kin?

Does “father” mean “sperm donor,” or does it refer to the multi-decade time, emotional and moral investment required to be a father to your children?

Are you a mother if you don’t breast-feed your baby, and leave him for most of the day with strangers?

Are you a parent if daycare workers and teachers mostly raise your children?

Well duh!

Is an open marriage a monogamous marriage?

Of course not.

Women often complain about the double and triple standards they are subjected to – but they would never be enslaved to these contradictory perspectives if they just put their children first.

I remember one television sitcom where a mother at work memorably complained that: “When I am home, I want to be at the office – when I am at the office, I want to be with my baby!”

This was portrayed as some tragic existential crisis, because of the “women are wonderful” psychological phenomenon of refusing to criticize the fairer sex.

Can you imagine a philandering husband complaining to his mistress: “When I am with my wife, I want to be with you, here – when I’m here with you, though, I want to be with my wife!”

Can we imagine wringing our hands and nodding along with his tragic life and contradictory expectations?

Blank Slate

I want you to think of something – it’s very important.

I want you to imagine that you do not know your mother.

I want you to imagine that you go to a dinner party, and someone has invited the woman you know as your mother, and she ends up sitting next to you.

Over the course of the meal, you engage in conversation, listen to her ideas and thoughts, hear her describe her life, get to know her…

Does she ask you questions in return, or does she mostly talk about herself?

Does she complain about her life, or is she inspiring?

Do you admire her, or inwardly roll your eyes, and wish you were seated somewhere else?

At the end of the evening, would you look forward to seeing her again?

Would you take her contact information, and tell her it would be lovely to meet up again?

Without your shared history, would your mother be a valuable addition to your life?

What about your father?

Pretend, just for a moment, that you have no history with him.

Imagine you were going on a hike with a couple of friends, but one person dropped out, and the man you know as your father was invited along.

You spend a couple of hours on the hike in conversation with him.

What does he talk about?

Is he funny, engaging, curious?

Does he ask about you, or just talk about himself?

Is he warm and authentic, or does he brag and status-signal?

What does he say about his life?

Is he noble, virtuous, inspiring?

After the hike, would you exchange phone numbers, and hope to meet again?

What would you think of your father if you had no history?

Would he be in your life if he did not raise you?

Does he provide active value in the present, or did you just spend unchosen time together in the past?

It’s a funny thing that adults think that there is ever a time that they can stop providing value, and just - coast on historical momentum.

It seems kind of inevitable that parents who don’t actually do much parenting – or who are violent and aggressive – claim that the category called “parent” is deserving of unending love, loyalty and devotion.

If their adult children resist their will, those parents say: “But – I’m your mother!

Fair enough.

Did you mother?

“But – I’m your parent!

Okay – did you actually parent?

Or did you wander off to make a few dollars, then hit your children, yell at them, ignore them, call them names?

Did you dump them in terrible schools, and let them be indoctrinated and bullied?

Did you tell them to resist peer pressure, while giving into peer pressure yourself?

When they were teenagers, did you help them find good boyfriends/girlfriends?

Did you monitor their social circles, to ensure that no creeps and criminals got through?

Did you spend thousands of hours teaching them the skills necessary to virtuously succeed as adults?

Did you teach them how to live morally, or just kind of – live with them, under the same roof?

Were you a parent, or a landlord?

Or a roommate?

Where did your loyalties lie?

With strangers, with propaganda, with manipulated social expectations?

With money, with ambition, with your career?

Did you ensure that your children were surrounded by good, safe, moral people – or did you let dysfunctional relatives surround them and interfere with their moral development?

If your daughter told your son to do something wrong, did you say that being good was more important than obeying blood relatives?

Did you loftily instruct your children to serve virtue, not others – while then avoiding parenting by serving others, not virtue?

You owe your children everything – that is the inevitable contract of reproduction.

You owe your children everything – your children only owe you justice.

Justice is paying what you honourably owe – if you borrow a thousand dollars, it is right and just to pay it back.

If you honourably invested in your children, they will enjoy spending time with you as you age.

You won’t have to force them, bully them, manipulate them, gaslight them, abuse them – they will enjoy your company as a plant enjoys sunlight – naturally, easily, inevitably.

Those who never gave always end up bullying others when they want to take.

Those who failed to invest in their children always end up bullying them when they want their adult children to invest in them.

In fact, one of the main reasons that parents don’t really parent is because they fully expect time, love and resources from their adult children no matter what.

A thief does not bother getting a job, because he knows he is going to steal.

If you and your parents had no history, would they be in your life?

Remember – we serve either virtue, or others.

In moral relationships, serving virtue and serving others is the same thing. Those around us will never counsel us to do evil, and always encourage us to be good!

Those we have corrupt relationships with constantly counsel us to do evil, under the pretense of doing good.

“Yeah, you go, girl – go to work, leave your kids in daycare – it teaches them social skills, and also shows your daughters what a strong independent career woman looks like!”

In life, the best strategy is: Treat people the best you can the first time you meet them – after that, treat them as they treat you.

Babies, toddlers and children don’t have the first option – but they sure as heck have the second option, when they become adults.

We cannot reasonably complain about the immorality of the world if we constantly reward immoral people.

Once you make a genuine commitment to virtue, your life becomes enormously simplified.

Preferences and Identity

So many people believe that denying their immediate preferences makes them less themselves.

How can this be false?

If you are defined by your preferences, then how can denying your preferences not equal denying yourself?

Sacrificing yourself means having less of yourself, right?

This is all a grisly product of modern secularism.

The religious approach to life defines your essence as a soul, not a body.

Secularism denies the soul, and so reduces us to mere flesh.

Are you your body, your brain – or your mind?

If you are your body, there is little point deferring gratification – the body works on a very short time-frame. Work to satisfy your flesh moment to moment, your flesh is content.

If you are your brain – well, that works on a longer timeframe, because the brain can process the long-term effects of choices – but the brain remains mortal, composed of flesh, and will die with the body.

The body wants to satisfy the moment – the brain plans for the mortal lifespan.

What about the mind?

If you are reading this in fifty years, I am long dead.

But the products of my mind live on.

I live in your mind, in your inner voice that reads this.

My brain is dust, my words are very much alive.

Do you see?

Your body is for now – your brain is for your life – but your mind is for eternity!

The hunger, pain and lusts of your body demand immediate satisfaction.

Your brain will deny your body – ‘don’t eat that,’ ‘go exercise’ – for the sake of future happiness in your lifetime.

Your mind will deny your body and your brain for the sake of universal, eternal truth and happiness.

So I ask you again: are you your body, your brain, or your mind?

What makes you specifically human?

What makes you human must be something that differentiates you from the animals – something that no other creature or thing can achieve.

All animals live for the body – and many plan for the future, using their brains.

Squirrels hide nuts for the winter; beavers build dams for their young; birds do mating dances for future reproduction.

All this uses the brain to defer the gratification of the body.

We share all this with the animals – but we have one defining characteristic they do not possess.

The capacity for abstract, universal thought.

The equation that two and two make four is as true now as it was a thousand years ago – or five thousand years ago.

Universal concepts unite us in eternity.

The definition of a lizard remains true for all time.

Extracting universal concepts from immediate sense data is the fundamental machinery of the human mind.

A dog can catch a ball you throw, but the dog can never mathematically calculate its path.

Equations, scientific principles, universal moral truths – these are the essence of us all, what makes us most specifically human.

If you are secular, you can understand that the concept of “God” is the abstraction for the immaterial mind that makes us most human.

“God” is immortal – truth lives forever.

“God” is all-knowing – the truth defines reality with absolute and eternal accuracy.

“God” is all-ethical – universal moral truths define perfect virtue.

What is called the soul is an abstraction for the definition of what makes us human.

What makes us all-knowing, immortal – and virtuous.

What makes us different from the animals.

If you remove from us our capacity for eternity, for infinity, for omniscience – then we can only live for ourselves, for our bodies and brains.

We cannot outlive ourselves, so we only live for ourselves.

Our self is all we are, so sacrificing ourselves is always a net loss.

We have nothing to live for other than the pleasures of our own lifespan.

We do not partake of eternity.

We are never larger than our own short lives.

There is an old story about a primitive chieftan responding to Christian missionaries, when they first told him about the immortal soul. He said, “We only think of life like a bird flying through a room, in one window, and out the other. We never think of where it came from, we never think about where it goes – but you have told us what lies outside the windows…”

This is the evolution from cunning ape to divine human.

If who you are is only mortal, sacrificing yourself for something beyond yourself makes no sense at all.

It’s like denying yourself cheesecake on the day of your execution, because you want to watch your weight.

There are three ways that human beings can work with universals.

The first is to create them – to identify new ideas, truths, and concepts.

The second is to manifest them – to embody virtue and truth by living morally and honestly.

The third is to reproduce them – to re-create concepts in others.

Very few of us are granted the privilege of creating universals – just as very few of us make movies or songs.

We can all manifest universals, by accepting and living the truth, both material and moral.

A few of us can reproduce universals, by explaining them to others and inspiring the pursuit of truth and virtue.

But the vast majority of us can only participate in universals by having and raising children.

Think of nutrition.

Very few of us can make radical advances in the science of nutrition.

Very few of us have the skill and charisma to inspire others to eat well.

But every parent feeds their children, and can teach them about nutrition.

Think of exercise.

How many people can truly advance the science of exercise?

How many people can be effective personal trainers?

How many parents can play a sport with their children?

If you take away children, you take away the essence of humanity for most of humanity.

By encouraging the having and raising of children, you are encouraging what is greatest and deepest in the human mind.

Most people will never write poems or stories or songs that will last the test of time.

Everyone can write – there is only one Shakespeare.

Shakespeare is immortal – most other writers are forgotten.

Our bodies die – and when our bodies die, our brain dies.

The contents of our minds – what we teach others and our children – make us immortal.

This is one reason why it is such a betrayal to fail to have children, if you can.

You are destroying the ultimate art of your ancestors – yourself, and your eternal offspring.

You are shattering the great chain of life and the mind that stretches back to foggy prehistory – for as long as there have been people.

Here is another brutal fact.

Can you have a relationship without any communication?

Of course not.

How do we communicate?

Through language.

What is language?

Codified concepts.

Universal, eternal concepts that we use to communicate facts, truth and reality to each other…

Can you have a relationship with someone if you disagree on the definition of every word you speak?

Of course not.

Most conflicts occur because of such disagreements on definitions.

If you ask me, “How was your day?” – and I respond as if you have stated: “Your liver is blue!” can we have a conversation?

Nope.

Concepts make us human – and humans are the only animals with conceptual language – and we cannot have relationships without language – therefore if we deny concepts, we cannot relate to anyone.

Can we develop a complex and universal language over the span of a few decades?

Of course not.

You only have the words you use to interact with others – to have relationships – because language has evolved over tens of thousands of years.

If no one had any children, you would not be able to talk to anyone.

You are strip-mining the sacrifices of others in order to have relationships in the present.

You are a vampire of eternal history.

Taking and taking – and giving nothing in return.

Are you reading this on an electronic device?

Do you think that human beings can go through the entire development of reason, epistemology, metaphysics, science and technology in just a few decades?

Of course not.

You only get to read this – my words, on a tablet – or even a book – because people have had enough children that knowledge can be passed down for tens of thousands of years.

Again, with no kids, you are a vampire.

You are taking all the benefits of everyone else having children, without contributing any children of your own.

Monstrous.

Absolutely monstrous.

How dare you?

How dare you take the sacrifices of everyone else, and use them for your own petty selfish pleasures?

If you were having a potluck dinner, where everyone was expected to bring a dish, and half the people showed up empty-handed and hungry, what would you think?

Tell me something else – when you get old, do you want healthcare?

How are there going to be any doctors to take care of you, if no one has any children?

Do you want running water, heat in the winter and cooling in the summer?

How is any of that infrastructure going to be maintained if no one has any children?

Here’s another one – do you expect to get your old age pension?

You know there is no money to pay you, right – it’s all been spent, decades ago.

How are you going to get your pension?

If no one has any children, there’s no one for you to steal from to get your pension.

Do you see how contemptible your behaviour is?

How greedy, how selfish – how monstrous?

You are relying on everyone else’s sacrifice to get everything you want and need.

If everyone lived as you do, your life would turn into hell itself.

You want to consume the pleasures that other people’s sacrifices have built and maintained.

I’m not saying that it’s evil or immoral to avoid having children – it’s a well-known fact that many of our greatest conceptual thinkers avoided having kids – but that is because they are partaking of eternity and universals through their mental labours, not their physical child-raising.

I could forgive Shakespeare for not having any children – he lives on in other ways.

But you?

Come on.

Everything you value – everything that makes your life pleasant – everything that makes your existence possible – has come into being because other people had – and have - children.

If you don’t want to have children – fine.

Just don’t make a virtue of it.

Don’t scorn and attack the mothers and fathers whose offspring give you life, health and comfort as you age.

Don’t refer to mothers as “broodmares,” and claim that you are so deep and virtuous and enlightened by not having children.

Don’t ramble on about how you are saving the environment, and making sure that the atmosphere is not overburdened with plant food.

Be selfish.

Own it.

Don’t excuse it.

If you show up to a potluck dinner empty-handed and eat everyone else’s food – don’t sneer at them for cooking what you eat.

Don’t talk through your full, chewing mouth about how virtuous you are for not bringing any food.

Don’t lecture the people who feed you that preparing food is dull, stupid, worthless work that only idiots would pretend to enjoy.

It’s beyond vile.

If you don’t want to contribute to the great and universal human story – but only stay alive because others make sacrifices – just be honest about it.

Just say: “I’m too petty and selfish to make any sacrifices myself – but I really appreciate you guys having kids, because someone has to take care of me as I age!”

I suppose it is asking entirely too much for such selfish people to show any gratitude at all – but a man can dream, right?

That is the stick – here is the carrot.

Benefits of Having Children

Most misery in the world is both petty and self-inflicted.

When you have children, niggling, self-destructive thoughts mostly evaporate in your mind.

You have so much fun with your children – and take such pleasure in their development – that paltry, vain thoughts about idiotic deficiencies – vanish.

Try worrying about some conflict at work when you are playing a hilarious boardgame with your children.

Try taking life too seriously when you are hunting your kids with a water gun.

Try being stressed when your toddler falls asleep in the crook of your arm as you are reading a story.

Parenting is an endless series of little joys that erase pettiness with true perspective.

Without children – without any sacrifice for universals – death is also far more frightening.

Which do you fear more – death, or being put under for an operation?

Death, of course.

Death is forever.

You do not wake from death.

As a parent, your body will die – your brain will die – but your body and mind will live on in your children.

Your genes and thoughts will be passed on forever.

Of course, they will be diluted over time – but nothing in the future will ever be the same, because you had and raised children.

We live on in our communicated thoughts, our ideas, our arguments, our universal exhortations to virtue – and in our children, who manifest our thoughts on a daily basis.

You are not yourself alone – you are a vehicle for eternity.

You exist because your parents had children.

Your genes and cells exist and function because life has existed and functioned for billions of years.

Physical matter has existed for tens of billions of years – perhaps even longer, the physics is always extending.

The complexity of your atoms only exists because stars have burned, compressed and exploded for tens of billions of years.

You are literally composed of the far-flung flesh of dying stars.

Your heart only pumps because it was once a flame in the nuclear reactor of a distant sun.

You are universal.

Every atom you are made of has existed for all time – it is universal, eternal.

All the physical forces you are subjected to have existed for all time – they are universal, eternal.

Life is fleeting – human thoughts are eternal.

Our brain is mortal – our minds are gods.

God created life – as can we.

It is no accident that, as the birth rate has declined, depression, anxiety and mental illness have all skyrocketed.

We think that we can find happiness by avoiding responsibility – but our capacity for happiness only exists because our ancestors did not avoid responsibility!

Frauds, thieves and pickpockets are not happy.

Those who pillage from the general good are miserable.

Those who scorn more responsible souls for the very responsibility that keeps everyone alive can never be happy.

Those who scorn the fertile for the children they rely on for their own survival are soulless, miserable creatures.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Just be honest.

You are not really contemptuous of parents.

You are just – scared that no good soul wants to have a baby with you.

Scorn is a mask for insecurity.

You scorn families because no one wants to make a family with you.

You scorn parenthood because you fear a child will never love you.

You scorn eternity because the devil in your heart has tricked you into living only for the moment – into abandoning the very definition of your humanity.

Change – turn back.

Rejoin us.

You can be loved.

But you must first stop hating.

Discipline without Violence

There is a near-infinite difference between Peaceful Parenting and Unparenting.

Unparenting is based on the lazy assumption that children do not need to be raised, trained, or guided in any way.

Unparents let children stay up as late as they want, eat whatever they want, watch whatever they want – do whatever they please, without any guidance at all.

In other words, Unparents treat their children as if they were brain-damaged adults.

If children generally make reasonable decisions, and don’t need any authority – then they are already functioning adults!

For Unparents, children are tiny adults with mysteriously undeveloped brains, living in someone else’s house, with few responsibilities, no jobs, tax obligations, nutrition or exercise requirements – they exist in a kind of lazy socialist paradise, where everything is paid for by their parents, without any requirement for ethics, growth or responsibility!

The goal of parenting is to prepare children for successful adulthood – successful morally, which often translates into material success – but not always, of course.

It is better for your soul to be good and poor, rather than wealthy and corrupt.

Wealth is fine, but it is morally neutral.

Wealth is like sex – it’s fine, as long as you get it voluntarily, and not through force, fraud or corruption.

Morality helps with success. Moral people are excellent to do business with, because they’re not constantly looking for ways to cheat you, or find loopholes in contracts – work with them long enough, you don’t need any contracts – because they are innately trustworthy – and all the lawyers can go home.

A moral person is inexpensive to do business with – and when you do business with a good man, you also gain access to his entire business circle, stuffed to the gills with equally trustworthy people.

Why is Unparenting so bad?

Adult life is full of obligations and restrictions and laws and rules and regulations – and temptations!

As an adult, no one forces you to do anything specifically, but there are enormous consequences for failure as a whole.

The government doesn’t force you to be a doctor, or lawyer – or a panhandler. As an adult, what you do with your life is largely up to you – but the consequences of your choices are immeasurable.

Raising children without rules or feedback or consequences is not at all preparing them for adulthood.

As an adult, people don’t just pay your bills and let you do whatever you want. You don’t have a live-in maid and cook – your laundry is not done and folded for you, the fridge doesn’t magically fill up by itself – you actually have to be concerned about income and expenses.

The number of young adults lacking basic life skills is truly alarming these days. Cooking is a largely forgotten art – cleaning is sporadic and inefficient – no one seems to do household budgets anymore, and impulse buying seems to be a constant compulsion.

If you do everything for your children, without expecting anything in return, you are just raising bottomlessly selfish and entitled narcissists. You are in fact crippling them as adults.

Of course, we do everything for babies and toddlers – they don’t have to provide value in return, because they are busy learning how to crawl, walk and talk, not engaging in complex negotiations of value transfer.

However, as children sail past the ages of two or so, it’s time to start setting expectations.

If they take out their toys, they should put them away.

Why?

Well, because that’s what happens when you are an adult.

When I was a bachelor, and I made a mess in my apartment, no magical elves tidied up my room as I slept.

The purpose of parenting is to transfer adult skills to children, so the children can become skilled adults.

Parents who did not teach their children language would not be transferring their own language skills to their children, and would end up crippling them as adults.

A parent who teaches her child how to read is transferring her own skills to her child, so that the child will not be crippled as an adult.

Transferring cultural and moral values is the essence of human parenting – philosophical values, really.

Your ancestors suffered and bled and fought and died for tens of thousands of years to deliver unto you particular cultural and moral values – in particular, in the West, the values of the free market, free speech, political liberties, the value of debate and critical thinking.

You probably wouldn’t be overly thrilled if you gave birth to a child with the brain of a monkey.

Failing to transfer your cultural and moral values to your children is not only a spit in the face of your ancestors, but it leaves your children without the higher values and callings that differentiate us from the apes.

Every living thing other than human beings is programmed by nature, and lacks the capacity to compare proposed actions to ideal standards.

A monkey may cuff her baby for being annoying, but she does not lecture him about his failure to achieve her lofty moral standards.

Moral standards are what make us human – they are what differentiate us from mere animals.

Animals don’t possess any abstract concept called “honesty” – and could not conceive of punishing a fellow animal for the moral crime of lying.

In fact, “falsehood” is an essential survival strategy for countless species, which continually lie and cheat and steal.

Denying children abstract standards is denying them their humanity – their soul, if you like.

Also, if you don’t tell your children about right and wrong, good and evil, actions and consequences – other – infinitely more malevolent – people will.

Either you teach your children about the truth, or strangers will train them to lie.

You need to teach your children to love virtue.

If you punish your children for their moral failings, you are teaching them to fear virtue.

You are forcing them – programming them – to associate moral judgements with physical and emotional agony.

Virtue thus equals torture – not a great recipe for encouraging children to be good.

Now, the relationship between morality and consequences can be quite complex.

We cannot judge the morality of a proposition by its consequences, because that would be like trying to prove that two and two do not equal four by pulling out a Ouija board or a horoscope.

If you prove to someone that the world is a sphere, and they reply that it is not, because they had a dream that it was banana-shaped, you would not consider that a valid rebuttal to your logical and empirical argument, right?

The reason that we cannot judge morality by its consequences is that consequences lie in the foggy realm of mysticism and imagination, while moral arguments lie in the solid realm of reason and evidence.

Judging a moral argument by its consequences is like judging an argument against a religious commandment as “evil heresy!”

Imagining that we can know the future is a form of fantastical, tyrannical mysticism. It is the modern version of screaming “blasphemy,” and gathering outraged mouth-breathing villagers to chase and burn independent thinkers.

The more important and central the moral argument, the less we can predict its consequences.

Many of the people who opposed the end of slavery did so because they said that without slaves, it would be impossible to produce enough food and clothing. They had zero ability to peer deep into the future and predict the massive proliferation of labour-saving devices that would emerge from humanity’s brilliance after the end of slavery.

People always oppose moral arguments by summoning the demonic voodoo-specters of imaginary consequences.

They take their own anxieties, project them into a fantastical ether, and then try to manifest them back into the minds of others as woeful tales of infinite suffering.

“Oh, if you want to privatize government-run healthcare, then I guess you’re totally fine with sick people dying in the streets!

It’s all very predictable, very boring – and rigidly anti-human.

Animals make decisions on predicted consequences – the lion says: “I guess I will chase this zebra, because otherwise I’ll get too hungry!”

Humans make decisions on moral principles – imagining that we have the power to predict consequences is picturing ourselves as omniscient gods – it is a stomach-turning vanity that even the most bottomless narcissist would flinch from.

Of course, if someone rejects a moral argument because he knows exactly how it will play out, across the world, for the next few years or decades – then he is claiming an incredible ability to divine the future that by its definition will be entirely different from the present!

If you advocate for ending slavery, then clearly the future will be entirely different from the past and the present, since everything in the present is founded on the institution of slavery.

If you advocate for “no-fault divorce,” then you have zero ability to know exactly how this will play out in society, because one of the central pillars of family law will have fundamentally changed.

Of course, someone can say: “I have the ability to know exactly how the world plays out in the future, based upon incomplete information in the present!”

While I think that is epistemologically impossible – the future is unknowable, because of the infinite creativity of free will – as an empiricist myself, I would be very happy to test out that hypothesis.

“Oh wow, you have the ability to know the future – that is incredible! Let’s start off small – can you tell me how much your stock portfolio is worth?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if you have the ability to know the future, then you know which stocks will go up and down – so you must have used your predictive ability to make an absolute fortune in the stock market!”

Of course, he will claim that it doesn’t work that way, or that he doesn’t want to use his powers for mere material gain, or other such arrant nonsense.

Naturally, people who claim to reject moral arguments because they know society-wide outcomes will never ever prove their claimed ability to predict the future, even in the most inconsequential or localized ways.

They will never be able to tell you what you are about to say next, or whether the price of gold will be higher or lower over the next five minutes, or what the unemployment rate will be next month – they will never be able to show you their incredible ability to predict the future in any empirical or testable fashion whatsoever.

That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Since you are all very clever readers, you will be replying to me in your mind something along the lines of this: “Ah, you say, Mr. Philosopher, that no one can accurately predict the future, but you also state that hitting children has negative outcomes!”

That is certainly true – both that I make that claim, and that hitting children does have generally negative outcomes.

However, we do not judge the morality of hitting children based upon positive or negative outcomes.

For instance, we know that state control of the economy leads to massive inefficiencies – but we don’t judge the morality of state control of the economy by its outcomes. Clearly some people prefer to have state control over the economy – otherwise it wouldn’t happen at all. The people who gain control over the economy benefit in terms of power and prestige – so the outcome is beneficial to them – it is just negative for many other people, over the long run.

No, the question of state control of the economy is a moral question, not a consequentialist question.

If every human being possesses the right to property, then using force to control the property of others is immoral.

The consequences of forcefully controlling the property of others is negative for many, positive for some – and destructive in the long run for all.

As I said, it’s a complex question.

The question of hitting children cannot be resolved by appealing to consequences – because hitting children is massively beneficial to most people in society!

If no one benefited from hitting children, then children would never be hit.

Billions of parents across the world massively prefer to hit their children – they benefit from hitting their children, they want to hit their children – and the consequences of not hitting their children would be extraordinarily negative for those parents!

Saying that “hitting children leads to bad outcomes” is empirically testable, and can be clearly shown – as we will do in subsequent sections of this book.[29]

However, “bad outcomes” is not some magical other-worldly phrase that answers deep moral questions with empirical certainty.

Some people benefited from the end of slavery – other people were greatly harmed, emotionally, morally and economically.

It certainly is true that children and society will benefit both now and in the future – respectively – if children are raised peacefully – but that doesn’t answer the central question of: If it is beneficial to not hit your children, then why do people hit their children?

Because they want to, and because they can.

Addiction has negative consequences – but not for everyone, not all the time – otherwise there would be no such thing as addiction in the first place.

The consequences of not hitting children will be extraordinarily negative for billions of people around the world.

When people say that the consequence of a moral argument will be negative – they are lying.

If you prefer hitting your children – as most parents do – then stopping that because it is immoral will be very negative for you.

If you haven’t taken care of your health, and you need thousands of dollars of medical interventions every month just to stay alive, then privatizing government-run healthcare will be negative for you.

When people say: The outcome of this moral argument will be disastrous! – they are lying, because what they are really saying – the truth of the matter is – The outcome of this moral argument will be disastrous for me!

You see how this goes?

When people argued that the end of slavery would be disastrous for society, they were trying to cover-up the degree to which they themselves benefited from slavery. Maybe they had invested in slaves, maybe they profited from slavery – maybe they just liked beating helpless victims – who knows? It doesn’t really matter – what matters is that when people claim that the effect of a moral argument will be negative – they are just saying that they oppose a moral argument that defines them as evil.

Well, of course they do!

No one who does evil wants to be revealed!

People who tell themselves that they are good for hitting their children don’t want to be convinced that it’s evil to hit children!

Expecting otherwise would be madness!

Do you really think that the Coca-Cola Company would pour all of its resources into making sure that Coca-Cola was banned worldwide?

Would you expect an ambitious politician to donate all of his time, resources and energy to his opponent?

People respond to incentives – and the incentive they most respond to is morality.

Moral arguments shape the world more than any other force.

Changing moral definitions changes the world more than anything else.

Most people like the world just as it is, thank you very much.

Most parents prefer to hit their children, and will strenuously oppose any thought, idea, argument or law that will stop them doing what they so obviously really like to do.

In other news, apparently drug addicts get quite unhappy when their drug is unavailable.

Shocking!

Evildoers will always try to distort morality to justify their immorality – to turn vice into virtue!

This is nothing new.

Evildoers will always tell you that the consequences of moral clarity and ethical advancements will be disastrous for the world as a whole!

They will try to get you to fear consequences, so that you do not respect morality.

Evildoers will ally with those who profit from evil to castigate those illuminating the world with moral clarity.

It doesn’t matter what happens to the world when we do good.

We cannot judge the morality of hitting children by imaginary consequences – because then those imaginary consequences will be inflated and turned demonic in order to scare us away from judging the morality of hitting children.

If evildoers can scare you away from virtue by waving the imaginary bogeyman of “consequences,” then you have merely joined their ranks, surrendered your soul, and will turn the world into hell over time.

Primarily, I’m not asking you to be good.

I’m just asking you to be honest.

If you don’t want to stop hitting your children, stop making up fantasy tales of universal disaster – just admit to yourself that you don’t want to stop hitting your children – that you prefer hitting your children, because you can, and you can get away with it, and it gives you pleasure, or relieves some negative emotion.

A soldier once admitted that he just liked killing people – “I can’t believe I get paid to do this – if I wasn’t wearing this uniform, I’d be put to death!”

You can’t be moral without first being honest.

I’m just asking you to be honest – I hope that leads to moral clarity, but I’m certainly not going to ask you to be moral first, without going through the stage of honesty.

Honesty is necessary – but not sufficient – for morality.

Asking someone to be moral without first being honest is like asking him to have big muscles without lifting weights. Lifting weights might not give him big muscles – but he will never get big muscles without lifting weights.

If you don’t want to teach your children any moral rules, reasonable standards – or let them experience any negative consequences for their choices – then don’t hide behind some abstract nonsense called “Unparenting.”

Just say that you don’t want to confront your children, you don’t want any conflict that might come from imposing or inspiring standards – that you don’t really care how their lives turn out, you just want to indulge the hedonism of the present by avoiding any semblance of conflict or discontent with regards to your children.

Perhaps you don’t know how to productively inspire and negotiate with your children – perhaps you were over-controlled as a child, and you are swinging to the opposite extreme – perhaps you find other activities more interesting or stimulating than spending time with your children – all these problems can be solved, but they first have to be admitted.

It is very cruel to your children to shield them from standards and consequences when they are young – because when they grow into adulthood, standards and consequences will be imposed by other people, and reality itself.

If your child needs to pass an essential test, surely you will help your child study for it?

You wouldn’t just let your child do whatever she wanted, let her fail, and never achieve what she wanted in life?

That would be indifference to the point of absolute cruelty.

Life, health, employment, finances – mortality itself – all impose absolute external standards, requirements and consequences on our lives, every day, as adults, forever.

Failing to prepare your children for absolute external standards is only preparing them to fail as adults.

But – how do you impose such standards without being aggressive?

Imposing Standards

If you lie, honest people don’t want to spend time with you.

If you lie, you can’t reasonably expect everyone else to be bound by honesty.

Aggressive parents punish children for lying.

Peaceful parenting re-creates adult situations in a peaceful and manageable way.

If your son lies to you, tell him that you don’t like that behaviour.

If your son repeatedly cheats at a board game, stop playing that game with him.

That’s what happens in the real world.

If you cheat at tennis, people don’t want to play with you.

Remind your son that, if he keeps lying to you, you won’t want to have conversations with him, and you will feel no requirement to tell the truth to him in the future.

That’s what happens in the real world.

If good people think you’re a liar, they won’t have conversations with you.

If bad people see that you are a liar, they will surround you with falsehoods that benefit them.

You see the pattern?

Childhood is a dress rehearsal for adulthood.

In a dress rehearsal for a play, you can mess up the lines or be in the wrong place, and it’s not a disaster – it’s just preparation.

As a peaceful parent, you are preparing your child for adulthood.

In adulthood, bad behaviour drives good people away, and draws bad people closer.

If your child lies, cheats, steals – and all children will always experiment with all of these habits and behaviours, it’s guaranteed, don’t get too upset, it’s perfectly natural, it’s perfectly healthy – then your job as a parent is to reproduce in a microcosm how these behaviours will affect your child as an adult.

If your daughter promises not to eat candy, then sneaks candy – that’s natural, inevitable – healthy even – aggressive parents will punish her.

Peaceful parents will ask her if they are now able to steal her candy or belongings.

“That candy was ours – we paid for it – and you stole it. You took something that we owned without our permission, and against our wishes – and against what you promised. This doesn’t make you a bad person – we’ve all seen those videos where monkeys steal something from a tourist – you’re just experimenting with how to get what you want, and I respect that, I have no problem with that. But – if I take something of yours, is that wrong? If I take your candy, or your toys, or your favourite T-shirt – should I do that?”

“No!”

“I agree – I totally agree. I shouldn’t take your stuff without your permission, right? I mean, you wouldn’t be happy if you came home from playing at a friend’s house and found that we were selling all of your stuff on the front lawn, right? I’m not saying we would ever do that in a million years, but you wouldn’t like it at all, right?”

“No, I would hate it!”

“Right – you need to know that no one’s gonna take your stuff without your permission. Well, we are the same that way – I need to know that no one’s gonna take my stuff without permission. You don’t want to have one rule for yourself, and the total opposite rule for everyone else – no one is that special, right? I mean, you wouldn’t like playing a board game where one kid had the opposite rules from everyone else?”

“No, I wouldn’t.”

“So you tried something, which is stealing – and I get it, every kid does it, I did it too – but you know that it’s upsetting to me – just as me stealing from you would be upsetting to you – and I know that you care about me, that you love me – and you wouldn’t want to upset me for the sake of a few pieces of candy – and you wouldn’t want me to stop trusting you for the sake of a few pieces of candy – just as I wouldn’t want you to stop trusting me by stealing your stuff. Plus, you’ll feel pretty good following the rules that you want other people to follow, because it just makes everyone the same, it connects us with people. Does that make sense?”

Of course it does!

Moral rules are universal rules, which is why we get to impose them on others.

If you come down “too heavy” on your child for stealing, then you are saying that she has no self-interest in virtue, she has to be “good” only because other people will make her feel terrible if she is “bad.”

If you try to train your child into being virtuous by making her feel awful for being bad, you are saying that there is no positive benefit to virtue.

We should pursue goodness because reason leads to virtue, which leads to happiness.

Fearing negative consequences never leads to sustainable behaviour.

We should exercise not out of a fear of obesity or unattractiveness – but because we enjoy being strong, we enjoy the endorphins, and we accept the fact that the mind and the body are one, and we cannot have a strong mind in a weak body.

We should exercise so that we don’t live in fear, and can think for ourselves. Very few people actually know what their political opinions are – they merely “have beliefs” as an effect of physical strength or weakness. People who exercise tend to be more pro-free market – people who don’t tend to be more pro-socialist.

We exercise so that we can think clearly, and not be mentally dominated by physical weakness and vulnerability.

Trying to change people’s behaviour by inflicting negative consequences clearly communicates the message that the preferred behaviour has no positive consequences.

If you stop eating junk food, you end up enjoying healthy food even more than you loved the junk food.

If you start exercising, you will end up enjoying exercise more than being a couch potato.

If you are virtuous, you end up enjoying virtue far more than you enjoyed vice.

Punishing people for non-virtuous actions compels them to avoid badness, rather than pursue virtue.

A poor person can get your money by appealing to your charity, or robbing you with a gun.

If he robs you with a gun, he is explicitly stating that he is undeserving of charity – that you would never choose to give him your money, based upon his virtuous need.

If you hit and punish children for being “bad,” then you are expressly telling them that they have no good reasons to choose virtue.

Also, they will never internalize rules that are painfully inflicted by you, from the outside.

We cannot be loved without being virtuous – and love is the greatest thing in life.

Love is our involuntary response to virtue, if we are virtuous.

Not only can we never be loved without being virtuous – we can never fall in love either!

Falling in love, and being in love – are these not the greatest things in the universe?

And they’re only achievable through virtue.

Of course, you can disapprove of your children if they act badly – the important thing is to be honest with your children, and not fake positive emotions that you don’t feel – but loving them – and being loved by them – is the greatest glory in life.

Who would trade all that for a few pieces of candy?

Peaceful Parenting and Timeouts

It certainly was an improvement when people got thrown in jail, rather than families and clans taking endless, multigenerational violent retribution on each other for assaults and murders.

Defamation laws are an improvement over duels – wrangling in court beats pistols at dawn.

We should, however, never imagine that we are at the end of our improvements.

Think about this in your life.

Are you ever perfectly and permanently satisfied?

Do you ever think that you have enough money?

Time?

Love?

Prestige?

What about technology – did you ever upgrade your very first cell phone or computer?

Do you like having a car with newer features?

We are never done in terms of improvements.

Horses are better than walking – cars are better than horses – airplanes are better than cars – and whatever comes next will be better than airplanes.

In a hot climate, a breeze is better than still air – fanning yourself is even better – being fanned by someone else even better – an electric fan is even better – and air conditioning is even better still.

It’s better to have a dishwasher than wash dishes by hand – I’m sure it will be even better to have a robot who cleans all your dishes without you having to lift a finger.

It is a sad fact of humanity that moral improvements are unsteady, bitterly fought – and very hard won – but the moment the achievement is entrenched, hardly anyone thinks of further moral improvements.

Serfdom was better than slavery – income tax is better than both – but then we just kind of stop, and imagine that no further moral improvements can be made, and we have reached the ultimate apex of our ethical glories.

So, I grant you – timeouts are better than beatings – but so what?

The iPhone 6 was better than the iPhone 5 – does that mean that no one ever upgrades beyond the iPhone 6?

Continuous improvement, baby – that’s the name of the game called humanity!

What is a timeout?

A timeout is a form of parental discipline that generally involves giving one or two warnings to a child, then picking up the child, and sitting him in a corner, or on some stairs, generally for one minute for each of his years of age.

How does it work in practice?

Well, if a child disobeys you, or does something harmful or dangerous, you give the child a warning or two – if the child continues his behaviour, you pick up the child, and place him on a naughty chair, or naughty stair.

The child then has to stay on that stair for each year of his age – a three-year-old stays for three minutes, a six-year-old for six minutes, and so on.

If the child tries to leave before his time is up, the parent picks him up, and returns him to the stair – without looking at or interacting with the child – until his time is up.

After the time is up, the parent gives the child a hug, explains the timeout, asks for an apology, and then the day continues as before – as long as the child apologizes.

This technique avoids striking the child – or insulting the child – and so it is certainly a step forward – but so what?

We keep going until we achieve perfect consistency with principles – and then, we keep aiming at perfect consistency with principles, since the goal is impossible.

The fundamental moral axiom of peaceful parenting is the nonaggression principle – you must never initiate the use of force against others.

Property rights are embedded in the nonaggression principle – we own ourselves, and should not be violently aggressed against – which means that property should never be aggressed against, whether it is our own bodies, or our external property.

It is pretty hard for parents to claim a self-defense principle with regards to their children – especially when they are very young – but of course theoretically, if a parent is being attacked by an angry teenager, violence in self-defense is morally acceptable – with the caveat that the violent teenager was raised by the parent being attacked, and therefore the parent holds infinitely more responsibility for the crisis than a stranger would.

When it comes to parenting, morality requires that we compare our proposed actions to the ideal standard of the nonaggression principle and a respect for property rights.

Striking a child is a violation of the nonaggression principle – we can understand this without much explanation.

Exercising coercive will over another human being is a violation of the nonaggression principle.

If you get into a taxicab, and the cab driver somehow locks the doors so you cannot get out, and drives off in some unknown direction, that is called kidnapping.

He is exercising coercive control over your body, in that he is driving you someplace you do not want to go, and to which you have not agreed.

If you are on a date, and the girl wants to leave your apartment, and you bar her from exiting, you are unlawfully confining her, and that is immoral. You are exercising coercive control over her mind and body, in that you are keeping her in a place that she does not want to stay.

This is all pretty elementary, right?

Verbal abusers are invading and taking over parts of their child’s brain against the child’s will – when they cannot leave or escape – by inflicting negative language that harms the child’s self-interest.

We have laws against defamation – false negative language that harms someone else’s self-interest – because it is a form of theft.

If you falsely claim that a restaurant served you a live rat, and that restaurant then loses a million dollars, then you have stolen a million dollars from the restaurant owners.

If a brilliant graduate student asks a professor to write a letter of recommendation, and the professor falsely claims that the student is stupid and lazy, and the student then loses out on a career opportunity, the student can sue the professor for lost income.

Do you see the connection?

It is not verbal abuse to tell your child she is a bad singer, if your child is in fact a bad singer.

Truth is the ultimate defense against defamation.

However, if you tell your child that she is mean, selfish, vicious, greedy, ungrateful and so on – then you are harming your child, when your child has no choice but to submit to your defamation of her character.

Also, if I hire a chef, give that chef ingredients, and tell that chef what to cook – and she cooks well – can I then sue my chef if my restaurant fails?

Of course not – I am in control, so I am responsible for what my chef does.

Does verbal abuse harm your child’s future economic interests?

Of course it does!

Children who are verbally abused often end up on average earning far less – for the simple reason that they are too frightened and broken to stand up for themselves, and negotiate for what they are actually worth.

Even adult workplace bullying costs its victims money – abusive employers are regularly sued to recoup these costs.[30]

The defamation inflicted by verbally abusive parents costs their children hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over the lifetimes of the children.

Children who are verbally abused also have a much tougher time falling in love – or receiving love – which means that they lose out on the social, emotional, health and economic benefits of a stable pair-bond with another quality person.

This loneliness or lack of connection has worse health effects than smoking.

Again – measurable harm based on defamation.

Verbally abusive parents steal their children’s self-respect, crippling them socially, emotionally and economically – often for life.

It is a violation of the nonaggression principle.

Okay.

So.

Timeouts.

When you put your child in a timeout, are you exercising coercive control over that child’s body?

Of course you are.

You are physically picking up the child, placing the child in a place he does not want to be, and then returning him to that place when he tries to escape.

You are overriding your child’s self-ownership with coercive control.

One central test of whether an action conforms to peaceful parenting is: Would this be acceptable or legal to do to adults?

If you are a boss, and an employee is not listening to you, or is doing something against your wishes, can you physically pick up that employee and sit her in a corner of the cafeteria, in a naughty chair?

If she gets up, can you then manhandle her back down into a sitting position?

Of course not.

That would be physical aggression punishable by prison time.

I mean – in the modern workplace, even off-colour jokes and harsh words can create what is legally called a “toxic work environment,” and people can sue bosses who say inappropriate things for millions of dollars.

Does verbally abusing children also create a “toxic environment”?

Of course it does!

Except the children cannot quit and sue.

Not convinced?

All right – imagine trying this with your wife!

Imagine that you are telling your wife what to do, but she disagrees with you, argues back and keeps on doing whatever she is doing.

Can you pick her up and force her down into a chair in her naughty corner?

Don’t even try!

If you tell your wife to be careful driving, but she dings the car, can you force her to sit in the backseat and think about what she has done for, say, forty-five minutes, if she is forty-five years old?

If she tries to get out of the car, can you force her back in?

What if you only let her back into the house after she apologizes – not only for dinging the car, but for being disobedient, and not agreeing with everything you said?

You’ve got to be kidding!

You would never do this to a spouse, or a boss, or a policeman, or a teacher or a priest or an employee or a retail worker or a parking attendant – or any other adult for that matter!

Why not?

Why wouldn’t you manhandle someone and force her into a seated position for half an hour, if she did something you thought was wrong?

We all know why.

Not only because it is illegal – but because it would be weird and wrong and aggressive and coercive!

You do realize that if you are in public, and try to wrestle someone down into some kind of sitting position, she could be justified in using significant force to defend herself?

She could punch you, pepper spray you, taser you perhaps – I’m no lawyer, of course, but I’m pretty sure that if you grab someone by the shoulders and try to force her down into a submissive position, that she could get pretty aggressive pushing back against you!

So – why do we allow this aggression against children, while forbidding it against adults?

It can’t be because children don’t respond to reason – because then we would change the laws to say that you could physically manhandle anyone who wasn’t responding to reason, right?

No – we are not allowed to manhandle others whether or not they “listen to reason.”

Also, if someone is incapable of listening to reason, does that mean that we can use physical aggression against him?

If someone is having an anxiety attack, do we get to wrestle her to the ground, and confine her?

Nope!

It is impossible to reason with someone who does not speak our language – can we then force him into a sitting position, if he doesn’t do what we want?

If your child is old enough to listen to instructions, he is old enough to reason with.

What are you allowed to do to adults, if they disagree with you?

Well, you are allowed to disapprove of them.

If someone makes an argument that is offensive to you, you can’t just go and beat him up – at least technically, or legally – but what are you allowed to do?

You are allowed to walk away.

You are allowed to express your upset and disapproval.

You are allowed to be angry at him.

You are allowed to tell others that you are angry – and you are also allowed to make counter arguments.

You see?

It’s pretty universal.

You are allowed to use your words, but not your fists!

Sibling Aggression

If your daughter is building something with blocks, and your son knocks it over – does he deserve a timeout?

Nope.

It is profoundly anti-rational to create an imaginary answer to a very real question.

We look at primitive tribes who say that a volcano erupts because the Fire God is angry with some bemusement, and possibly contempt, at their superstitious approach to natural events.

Your son knocks over your daughter’s blocks.

The essential question is: why?

Why does he knock over what she has built?

Peaceful parents ask that question – because they are honest, and don’t make up pretend answers when they don’t know something.

That’s not what aggressive parents do.

Aggressive parents create an imaginary devil called “badness” in the heart and mind of the child, and then try to drive out that devil with physical or emotional violence.

This is the same as believing that others act badly because they are demonically possessed – so we need a witch doctor to come in, shake some juju magic, and drive out the demon!

It’s utter madness, really!

Pretending that children who act negatively are possessed by an invisible entity called “badness” – and that entity has to be driven out by a superstitious ritual called “punishment” – that is primitive savagery of the lowest kind!

The worst tragedy – the tragedy that kept our species in a primitive state for hundreds of thousands of years – is that when you imagine that you have an answer, you immediately stop asking questions!

In fact – it’s even worse than that!

If you believe that a volcano erupts because the Fire God is angry – well, not only do you never develop the science of geology – but you end up with an entire priestly class and social structure dedicated to worshiping and placating the Fire God!

False answers lead to violent cults – anyone who questions the existence of the Fire God, or the reasons to obey him – well, that person is a heretic, who threatens the entire sociopolitical structure of the tribe, and generally comes to a very short, bloody and brutish end!

False answers stagnate the mind, heart and soul – and not only kill moral progress, but make any movements towards moral progress virtually suicidal!

So – why does your son knock over what your daughter built?

What happens if you don’t have access to this magical demon called “badness”?

Well, the moment you stop believing in the non-existent Fire God, you can actually start to figure out why the volcano erupts!

If you continue to believe in the Fire God, you perform all kinds of ridiculous rituals to appease this imaginary entity – which means that you can’t actually move your tribe away and be safe, because your rituals give the illusion that you can control the uncontrollable.

If you believe that weird dances can produce rains, you don’t invest in tangible irrigation – and so half the population regularly starves to death.

If you openly state that you don’t think that the weird face-painted witchdoctor can actually produce rain by dancing, then you are interfering with his cushy life of jumping around and pretending to provide value.

What happens to you then?

Well – we all know this one, right?

What happens is that the next time that the rains do not come, the witch doctor points at you, and says that the entire tribe is being punished because you are an unbeliever, a sceptic, a blasphemer, a heretic!

You get tortured, ostracized or killed – and then everyone goes happily back to giving resources to the witch doctor, and pretending that he can control the rain.

You understand that expressing any skepticism towards the imaginary devils of the tribe is an extremely dangerous business, right?

You understand that if you doubt the existence of this mythical “badness” that was used to justify endless violent punishments against you as a child, that you are trying to overthrow an aggressive, antirational mysticism – a cult that feeds on violence against children – and you will be called a heretic, an unbeliever, an evildoer – and those who do genuine evil against children will summon up the mob – and this could just be your own local family structure – to attack you, right?

As always, the only tangible demon is the belief in the demon.

The actual badness is punishing children for their imaginary “badness.”

If you take away the devils, the pretend exorcists are simply revealed as evil abusers.

They invented the devils in order to mortify the flesh – to attack and punish the children.

They are the real devils – revealed by questions, by skepticism.

So – with this knowledge in hand – why does your son knock over what your daughter has built?

The answer is simple.

I mean – you value honesty, right?

You know the answer.

It has nothing to do with his mythical “badness.”

Why did he knock something over?

Be honest.

Tell the truth.

Tell me!

Why did he do it?

The simple answer is: you don’t know.

That’s the truth, right?

You don’t know why he knocked over his sister’s blocks!

He may not know either.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names.

Why did the volcano erupt?

“Arrr, the Fire God is angry!” is not an answer – it is fantasy, a lie, a manipulation.

Why did the volcano erupt?

The only honest answer is: we don’t know.

That is the beginning of knowledge, the beginning of wisdom – the humility of accepting ignorance as the foundation for building knowledge.

You don’t know why your son knocked over what your daughter had built.

And if you punish him – you will never know.

Do you understand?

Do you see it now?

You are sealing both of you up – everyone in the family – in an underground tomb of made-up answers.

By pretending to know what you do not know, you are preventing everyone from ever knowing the truth.

It is common knowledge that governments punish citizens for the effects of government crimes.

Julian Assange for instance.

You punish your son because you don’t want to know the truth – because the truth is unflattering to you.

Why did your son knock over what your daughter had built?

The honest answer is that it is really your fault.

You get angry at him, so you punish him by hurting him – verbally or physically.

Your son is angry at your daughter, so he punishes her by knocking over her blocks.

That is why you don’t want to know the truth about why your son did what he did.

Your son is just like you.

You punish him to avoid knowing that.

There could be any number of other reasons why your son knocked over his sister’s blocks.

Perhaps she is a relatively new addition to the family, and he is upset because he gets so little attention.

Should he be punished for that?

If you get upset at a waiter who brings your food late, and never checks on you, should you be punished for that?

Perhaps your son has seen other children acting aggressively, and he is repeating that behaviour.

That is still entirely your responsibility – your fault.

You are in complete control over who your children spend time with.

If you have repeatedly put your son in situations where aggression is modelled, that is entirely on you – and your spouse.

Perhaps your son knocked over your daughter’s tower because earlier, she tore a page out of his favourite book.

Perhaps she is the aggressor, and he is just responding.

Perhaps he is in some kind of chronic discomfort – a headache, or a gassy stomach – and is in a bad mood because he doesn’t know how to verbalize that?

Perhaps he misses his mother, or his father, who have been less available for some reason.

Perhaps he has just learned about death, or that the sun will burn out after a few billion years – and he is going through an existential crisis of some kind.

Perhaps he spent time with a family member – an uncle or grandfather perhaps – who is secretly aggressive with him, and he is trying to communicate that in his own way.

Perhaps his teacher is aggressive – to him or other children – and he is learning it there.

Do you see the problem?

If you conjure up a devil, pretend it lives within him – and then further pretend that you can drive it out through punishment – you will never learn the truth about what is happening!

And – the reason you don’t want to learn the truth about what is happening, is because you are responsible for everything that is happening.

You don’t want to take responsibility for having complete control over your children’s environment.

You don’t want to take responsibility for any negative behaviours you might have modelled over the months or years.

You don’t want to have to confront other aggressive people – either adults or children – in your son’s environment.

You don’t want to homeschool him, or find a different church, or confront your own father, if you find out that he has been aggressive with your son, either directly or indirectly.

You don’t want to take responsibility.

You don’t want to risk unpleasant confrontations.

You don’t want to look in the mirror.

You just want to blame and attack him.

And – I understand.

I sympathize.

We all have these impulses – I know I certainly do.

Because – it’s way easier, right?

It’s way easier to bury the bodies of your own bad behaviour by creating and punishing an imaginary demon called “badness” in your children.

Because it’s one or the other.

You understand?

Either he is bad, or you are bad.

But hey, you’re bigger, right?

You can manhandle him – he can’t manhandle you!

You can force him to sit in a chair – he can’t force you to sit in the chair, am I right?

If you punish him, what then?

Well, then you don’t have to take him out of daycare, or find better childcare providers, or stay home from work, or homeschool him, or confront aggressive family members, right?

And here is the most terrible, awful, horrible and ironic thing.

You punish him for failing virtue – but your very punishment is you failing virtue!

You punish him for being irresponsible – but you punish him to avoid your own irresponsibility.

You claim that he is the source of the wrongdoing – but you are the real wrongdoer!

And you know this.

Everybody knows this.

Everybody knows what organized crime does to witnesses.

You know that you are punishing him, rather than asking questions, because you already know the answers to those questions – and they don’t look at all good on you.

You know this.

And – let’s be honest, right?

Your son knows this, too.

If you take a spiral jump deep, down into your history – your prehistory – you will exactly remember your own anger, rage and frustration, because you were constantly being punished by people who never asked you questions, never wanted to know, never listened, never gave you a chance.

You were forever told to use your words, not force – but you were never given a chance to explain yourself, you were just forcefully punished, and never allowed to speak!

We punish our children so that they will not speak.

Our children know exactly how messed up our societies are – our schools are – our families are – and how messed up their own parents are.

A man who criticizes a dictator is punished because the dictator cannot handle criticism.

The man is precisely punished for his own strength – and the dictator’s weakness.

Your son pushes over some blocks – he is desperately trying to tell you something, to communicate something, to reveal something – to save himself, you, your spouse, your family – and, in the long run, your entire society!

Out of the mouth of babes, right?

Your son opens up an incredible communication – a potentially life-changing and world changing conversation – but you hate and fear what he has to say – what it reveals about you and those around you – but you can’t punish him without justification, because that would make you a very bad person, right?

You need to punish him for revealing dysfunction – but you can’t be honest about that – so you have to pretend that he is just bad – and that badness has to be punished – and you are just – helping him – and saving him – and improving him!

And so the cycle continues, and so the world continues its path into hell itself.

Compliance and the Teenage Years

Most modern parents go through four distinct phases with their children.

The first is infancy, where parents submit to the needs of their newborns, not expecting compliance, and surrendering their wills to what the baby needs.

Then, there is toddlerhood – the “terrible twos” – where a grim battle of egos ensues between the parents and the child.

The parents begin imposing “discipline,” having “expectations,” and working ferociously to begin the process of controlling the child’s rebellious spirit. The toddler has learned the word “no,” and regularly defies his parents wishes, his lower lip thrust out, his tiny fists clenched in anger.

Babies are never “bad” – toddlers often are.

Babies are needy, not defiant – toddlers are defiant, disobedient, rebellious – and their budding wills need to be bent and broken, to conform to rigid parental expectations.

Babies don’t embarrass their parents – but toddlers often do.

Babies are not expected to share – toddlers are shamed and disciplined for refusing to share.

Toddlers are often perceived to be the devilish enemies of parental, moral and social standards.

The general idea is that babies are born selfish – but you can’t blame them – and then turn into toddlers who are wild and oppositional, and have to be tamed like wild animals into faltering approximations of civilized human beings.

This process of “domestication” often goes on for 2 to 3 years, with much wailing and crying and yelling and fighting and spanking and punishing – until the latency period, from the ages of 5 to 11 or 12 – from the end of toddlerhood to the onset of puberty.

During this phase, whatever muscles that remain in the child’s willpower are atrophied and destroyed by raise-your-hand-to-go-to-the-bathroom-and-confine-yourself-to-your-desk modern school systems.

The will of the child goes underground during this period, like Gollum – waiting and biding its time for reinforcements – the inevitable hormonal armies of puberty.

Parents believe that they have won the battle against the sinful, savage nature of their toddlers, and “civilized” them into fairly reasonable and polite little girls and boys.

This is false, but seductive.

When puberty hits, the subterranean rage and rebellion of the toddler years comes roaring back with a vengeance!

Sarcasm, skepticism, anger, disobedience, acting out, drinking, drugs, sexual activity – these all come barreling into the formally-placid household like charging Cossacks.

Save for killing them outright, you can’t break the will of other people. You can compel compliance through overwhelming force – but for parents, that force always diminishes, while compliance always erodes as the children grow stronger.

In the teenage years, the requirements for reproduction cause the child’s focus to shift from adult authority – teachers, priests, parents – to peers. The teenager knows that she will find her future mate among her peers, not among her elders.

Successful reproduction requires that you please another teenager, not those in authority.

This is of course why teenagers want to endlessly hang out with each other, and not with their parents.

There is nothing wrong with this – this is exactly why we are all here in the first place!

However, because most parents resolutely avoided reasoning with their children – or used “reasoning” with the constant threat of punishment behind it, which is just another way of avoiding reasoning – children have never learned what virtue is, they have only learned to comply with threats, aggression, abuse, violence and bullying.

When you conform to an external threat, you do not internalize moral standards.

If you give your money to a mugger, you have not learned the virtue of charity.

Internalizing moral standards is in the realm of positive economics – threats and punishment are in the realm of negative economics.

Children do their homework because they will be punished if they do not – this only teaches them to take the path of least resistance, it does not instill in them a deep joy of learning.

It’s truly bizarre to understand that parents put massive pressure on their children for years – as do teachers and priests – and then complain that their teenagers are weirdly susceptible to “peer pressure.”

Society screams at its children: “Conform to me – or else!” – and then rails against those very same children when they conform to peer pressure.

“You need to stand up against outside threats, and truly think for yourself, and not bow down to social pressures!” sneer parents at the exact same children that they have threatened and pressured and bullied into abandoning their own reason and complying with the aggressive whims of others.

Children are mirrors of ourselves.

Parents who scorn their children are scorning themselves.

If you break a horse through violence and starvation, you can give that broken horse to someone else, who can ride it easily.

If you break your children through threats and aggression, you have no reason to complain when they succumb to peer pressure.

The peers are fitting a key into a lock that you built.

Blindly, parents of teenagers try applying the same levels of aggression and punishment that they used when their children were toddlers – but it doesn’t work, of course, for the simple fact that the children are no longer toddlers.

Parents who send their children to school – even a terrible school – because “well, that’s what everyone does” – are displaying the basest form of conformity to “peer pressure” that can be imagined!

Parents who hit their children because, “Well, that’s just how you raise kids!” are blindly complying to social norms at the expense of their children – how can they then complain when their children blindly comply to social norms at the expense of their parents?

Did you circumcise your son?

Why? It’s not medically necessary, produces massive trauma in the baby, and robs both him and his partner of an entire lifetime of enhanced sexual pleasure.

“Well, we did it because – that’s just what you do!”

Peer pressure.

Imprinted on your son in the form of direct bodily mutilation of his most sensitive organ.

And you dare to complain that he succumbs to peer pressure?

Please!

When you bully your children, you are saying very explicitly: “You must surrender to and obey those who have the most power over you.”

Well, when your children become teenagers, it is their peers who have the most power over them.

We as a species evolved to mate in our teenage years, which required peer acceptance.

Our genes care about the future, not the past.

Evolutionarily speaking, teenagers don’t mate with their parents, they mate with each other.

Since prehistory, teenagers have pair-bonded with each other, being taken off the dating market with great rapidity.

You had to pick quickly, or you wouldn’t get to pick at all.

Your entire genetic future relies upon peer acceptance and approval.

If you please your parents, but not your peers, you have no genetic future.

Or, to put it another way, those teenagers who resisted peer pressure did not reproduce, and those genes vanished.

Aggressive parents teach their children one thing, and one thing only: “Obey whoever has the most power over you.”

Parents when they are little, peers when they are teenagers.

Aggression against toddlers drives teenagers into the arms of their peers.

Peaceful parents teach their children to submit to reason, and to empathy.

Power is superstition; reason is science.

Superstition is when you give blind external forces power over your own beliefs – reason is when you study those forces, learn their nature and properties, and then command nature with your knowledge.

Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed.

Commanding the self requires obeying reason.

Inflicting punishment replaces reason and empathy with rebellion to authority and conformity to peers.

Children don’t want to be yelled at, hit, punished, confined – parents say “I know morality” – but it turns out that morality is just what makes you feel bad, what gets you punished.

Children don’t learn justice, just fear.

They don’t learn empathy or reciprocity, just pain and obedience.

They associate morality with punishment – and then we somehow expect them to love morality, without becoming masochists!

Can you love someone or something that hurts you?

It’s unhealthy to love pain – we try to teach morality through pain, and then somehow expect our children to love morality.

It’s completely insane – and you don’t even have to think about it for more than a few moments to realize that!

If you punish your children, their peers will punish you right back!

If you use fear to teach your children morality, they will grow up to fear morality.

If you teach them to bow down to bullies, they will end up perpetually enslaved by the aggressive – or becoming bullies themselves.

Why do we do this to our children?

It’s blindingly obvious, right?

I mean, it’s not just me, right?

When I explain everything that we all know so deeply so clearly, isn’t it embarrassing that this never been said before?

What on earth have philosophers been doing for the past 3,000 years, if not talking about this?

Society is stuffed to the gills with moralists, lecturing us all about tolerance and empathy and diversity and racism and sensitivity and openness – why haven’t these millions of moralists ever talked about childhood in this clear and obvious manner?

Why do we have endless moral philosophers whining about the trolley problem, rather than unpacking the basics in order to protect the children?

Well, because our current society only survives on the abuse of children.

Change childhood, and you change everything.

And the people currently in charge of everything really don’t want that.

Well.

Too bad.

The people who ran the slave trade didn’t like that ending either.

The people who subjugated women didn’t like their liberation either.

The bastards who ran concentration camps hated seeing their prisoners freed.

Progress means pissing off evil people.

Our only alternative is to stay evil.

Peaceful Parenting: Clean Your Room!

One of the most common questions asked by parents who wish to take the peaceful approach is – how do I get my kids to clean their room?

It’s a fine question, and I for one am not a fan of big messes, so – what is the answer?

Peaceful parenting takes the following approach to all parent/child conflicts:

Why Is It Important?

Kind of an important question, don’t you think?

Why do you want your child’s room to be clean?

A lot of times, parents set up a rule, and then demand that their children obey it – and the stage is set for grueling, multi-year grinding battles – and for what?

Of course, I understand that parents need to teach their children responsibility and self-care and tidiness and all other sorts of nice and wonderful things – that is exactly why it is so important to ask how essential is the rule?

Let’s take a typical example.

Mom wants her son’s room to be clean.

Initially, mom goes in and cleans up her son’s room.

As her son gets older, he wants privacy, so he begins to make demands that his mother not enter his room.

His mother agrees in principle – but says that he needs to keep his room clean, otherwise she will have to go in and tidy everything up.

Her son does not keep his room very tidy, his mother marches in, tidies and cleans, and then he can’t find anything, and he feels violated, and then his mother again reiterates her demand that he keep his room clean, otherwise she’ll be forced to come in and tidy again, because he lives in a shared space, and she doesn’t want to think that there is food or other items that might attract bugs and mice somewhere in his room – and it smells, and she can’t find anything if she needs something, and how on earth can someone live like that – and so on.

Neither person is getting what they want – both people are escalating and hardening their positions – and the stage is set for endless useless pointless conflict.

The mother feels that she is going to lose her position, good sense and any authority if she gives up her demand for a clean room – her son fights back against what he perceives as maternal bullying, and both parties very quickly find themselves utterly unable to give up their positions or demands.

Sound familiar?

It is a common pattern in a wide variety of scenarios.

What is the solution?

The mother wants a clean room – the son doesn’t want to be ordered around – and also wants his privacy.

Here is the most essential message: Don’t lie to your children!

In most of these cases, the mother is lying to her son about why she wants a clean room.

She wants him to clean his room because she feels anxious and unhappy if his room is messy.

She wants him to clean his room because she likes exercising power over him, under the pretense of keeping things in good order.

She has unresolved conflicts or hostilities with her son, and uses the “clean room” pretext as an excuse to act aggressively against him.

She is afraid of others coming into the house and judging her by the messiness of her son’s room.

She is frustrated at her life in general, feels powerless and out of control, and so seeks to wield control over her son in order to counteract her feelings of chaos and submission.

This list can go on and on, but in general it is not about the room, or the tidiness, or the privacy, or the intrusion – or anything like that!

What is really going on?

If the mother feels anxious, helpless, frustrated and angry if her son’s room is messy – then what does it mean to tell her son the truth?

Well, it means that she has to tell her son that his messy room makes her feel anxious, helpless, frustrated and angry!

But – she doesn’t do that, right?

Why not?

Well, for two main reasons.

The first reason is that she prefers to be aggressive towards him, rather than ask for a favour from a state of vulnerability.

Asking someone for a favour does not allow you to bully him – and that person can always say no, which might reveal how little they care about your negative emotional states.

The second reason is that it is an utterly indefensible position to ask your son to clean up his room because you feel bad when he doesn’t.

Why?

Because we are untrained in philosophy, that’s why!

Let us extract the simple principle from the mother’s demand that the son clean his room to make her feel better – what do we get?

Well, we get the principle that we should change our behaviour to make other people feel better.

It’s a universal principle, remember.

Since it is a universal principle, it doesn’t just apply from the mother to the son – it also applies in reverse!

If the mother says: “I really need you to keep your room clean, because I feel really bad when you don’t!” – well, the son can equally reply: “I really need you to stop asking me to keep my room clean, because I feel really bad when you do that!”

Do you see?

You see how hard it is to ask someone to change his behaviour in order to help you feel better?

No, it’s far easier – at least in the short run – to make up some moral nonsense about respecting the shared environment, having some respect for yourself, some sense of self-care, honouring your mother, doing the right thing – it’s far easier to bring out the moral club and in a sense beat your child’s will into groveling submission, rather than ask for a favour that can easily be reversed.

Children are incredibly good at sensing hypocrisy – particularly in their parents.

If the mother inflicts a moral narrative on her son about keeping his room tidy – rather than be honest about her own emotional anxieties – then her son will fight very hard to avoid submitting to her.

She doesn’t have any credibility, because she is not being honest about her demand.

If she demands that her son manage her emotions by obeying her commands, then he will lose all respect for her – in particular, because he is a male, and that’s not how males work at all!

It will also be difficult when she commands her daughter, but her daughter will more likely mirror her mother’s habits in her own relationships with others, thus reproducing the demand that everyone else change their behaviours in order to manage the daughter’s – and then the mother’s – emotions.

If the son has to change his behaviour to manage his mother’s emotions – but she lies about that, and claims some sort of moral high ground – then he is setting himself up for a life of enslavement to women if he submits to his mother.

In general, women aren’t very attracted to doormats, enablers and submissive males – so his mother’s demand that he subjugate himself to her emotional immaturity inflicts potentially irreversible harm to his future romantic prospects.

Would you rather your son tidy his room, or get married and have children?

I’m not kidding about this – I’m sure there are countless mothers out there reading this and shaking their heads, but I promise you this is all true – and if you ask your sons honestly, they will agree with me, I am sure.

A boy who submits to his mother’s emotional manipulations is no fit husband or father to be.

A woman who absorbs and reproduces her mother’s emotional manipulations is no fit wife or mother to be.

If, say, a teenage boy submits to his mother for no good reason – or because she is lying, which is to say the same thing – then he substantially lowers the quality of women he can attract in the future. He becomes ground down, submissive – an appeaser and groveller – which is a real turnoff to strong confident women later on.

A mother who demands that her son submit to her emotional and moral bullying is undermining and destroying his chances of attracting and keeping a quality mate down the road.

By fighting his mother, the son is fighting for his own future happiness and genetic survival.

To put it another way, sons who gave up the ghost and submitted to their mothers either didn’t reproduce, or reproduced with very dominant, low-quality women – either of which is a disaster.

So – that’s why the son fights so hard.

What about the mother?

Why does she fight so hard to control her son?

Well, that one should be obvious I’m sure!

A woman who gets to middle age – or later – who still retains the habit of bullying others to appease her own negative emotions – well, that woman doesn’t just confine that habit to her own son, now does she?

Oh no!

If she is still married, then for sure she has a husband who has bowed down before her emotional manipulations and bullying.

What happens to her relationship with her husband if her son mounts a successful resistance and defense against her bullying?

I would assume that by the time a woman hits forty or fifty, her retained emotional habits are the foundation of all of her relationships – with the possible exception of her own parents.

In other words, all her relationships are based on the premise that other people are responsible for managing her own negative emotions – and thus if she gets upset, other people have failed her, and can be aggressed against, for their betrayal of love and loyalty and responsibility and morality and so on.

If she feels bad, other people must be bad!

If she feels bad, and asks for another person to make her feel better, and that other person refuses – gasp – then that other person is mean and thoughtless and callous and just doesn’t care about her – and is a very bad and selfish person – and she has to punish that person, in order to lead him away from the darkness, and back towards the soft light of eternal compliance to her emotional demands.

If a mother is like this, and her son successfully resists her bullying – well, that successful resistance might very well spread to her other children, her husband – who knows?

(Probably her friends are just like she is, but what if her son’s successful rebellion spreads to her friends husbands and children as well?)

Well!

It ain’t so much fun when the rabbit gets a gun, is it?

The son is desperate to avoid submitting – especially to a woman – for fear of ending up alone, or in a terrible marriage – at the same time, the mother is desperate for him to submit, for fear that any successful rebellion against her dominance could spread to other people in her life, which would reveal her weakness and aggression.

Furthermore – imagine if the son successfully resists the will of his mother – what happens then?

Well, over time, he ends up dating and marrying a very healthy, assertive and moral woman – and how will she react to his hypocritical and manipulative mother?

Ouch!

How does peaceful parenting resolve this?

As Socrates said, know thyself.

As a mother, it is your job to know – deeply, authentically – why you want your son to keep his room clean.

Is it even fair or just or right for you to make this demand?

Far too often, we as parents assume that our demands are automatically legitimate, and any resistance or rebellion by our children is illegitimate.

Well – how do you know?

How do you know that your demand that your son keep his room clean is legitimate – while his resistance to your demand is illegitimate?

How do you know that you are in the right?

The question of what is good and noble and just and moral and right is very deep, very complicated, and has been struggled with by philosophers for thousands of years!

We all treasure the idea that people accused of wrongdoing are innocent until proven guilty – this is a foundational principle of justice.

If your child disagrees with you, assume that he or she is right and moral and just and good to do so!

In this way, you can ask him why he disagrees with you, and really, genuinely and deeply listen to his answer.

Maybe he has a really good point.

If you listen without prejudice, without tension, without anger or frustration – well, what a gift that is to your child – to anyone, for that matter!

Children should be listened to – we all should be!

Don’t assume that you are in the right – have the humility to accept that you might be wrong – for two reasons – the first is that you might actually be wrong – and the second is that you want to model humility to your children, so that they can also question if they are in the right.

Don’t expect your children to be humble if all you do is model arrogance!

Which brings me to…

Have I Modelled the Behaviour I Want in My Children?

This can be a very tough one!

Decades ago, a friend of mine lived with a woman who constantly nagged him to keep the place spotless.

After they broke up, he had to drop by to get some paperwork he had left behind, and he was truly stunned – such was his naïveté – to see that she had let the place decay into a complete pigsty!

He was stunned because he realized that she never had any goal or value in keeping the place tidy, but she liked to boss him around with that value as a pretext or excuse.

If you want your children’s environment to be organized, is your environment organized?

If you want your son’s room to be tidy, is your car tidy?

If you want your son to listen to you, do you listen to your son?

If you want your son to manage your own emotions, do you also manage your son’s emotions, and change your behaviour to suit his preferences?

If you say that your son has to obey you because you are his mother, then has your son ever seen you disobeying or disrespecting your own mother?

Has he ever seen you rolling your eyes when she calls, or lying to her in order to avoid a social engagement, or getting short and snippy with her?

Do you model the behaviour you want in your children?

It’s not enough to just be okay at it – you have to be very near perfect.

I mean, you wouldn’t take diet and fitness advice from a guy who was only, say, 40 pounds overweight, and only smoked half a pack of cigarettes every day, right?

No – you want diet and fitness advice from a super healthy fellow, right?

Of course you do!

If you say that it is more efficient for your son to keep his room tidy, can you easily find things in your own environment?

Can you answer the inevitable objection that your son will have that he would rather spend fifteen minutes looking for something, then spend two hours a week tidying up his room?

If your son has rational objections to your commandments – are you flexible, do you listen, do you accept that he might have a very good point?

If not, then your son will very clearly and deeply understand that all of your supposed “reasons” for your commandments are hypocritical nonsense.

If you say that he will be happier in a tidy room – and he says that he likes it untidy – what are you going to say?

If you brush past his objection, then he knows with absolute teenage certainty that you are just making up reasons why he has to obey you – and not telling him the real reason for your commandment at all.

He knows for sure that you are lying to him.

Why should he obey someone who lies to him?

If you have a well-organized environment that is neat and tidy – and he appreciates that – and you remind him over the years how easy it is to find things – and you involve him in keeping the environment neat and tidy – and you accept that he may have different feelings about it from time to time – and you tell him the truth about how important it is for you – and you ask for his participation as a favour, rather than yelling hypocritical moral commandments at him – then you have satisfied the criteria as a peaceful parent.

If you demand that your son obey you without reason, you are only training him to be a slave.

You want your children to follow good reasoning, good morals, their own conscience – not hypocritical harpies who bully them because they feel bad about something.

Don’t break your children – nothing is worth that!

Don’t force your son to submit to your will over anything – you are breaking his spirit, crippling his free will, destroying his capacity for integrity and virtue – and undermining his future attractiveness to quality women.

You should thank him for fighting you!

Remember when your baby fought you because you tried to put him down for a nap when his diaper was wet – weren’t you relieved, and silently thanked him, when you helped him avoid a painful rash?

Perhaps you were annoyed at your baby, and exhausted, and really wanted him to go to sleep, but then you realized that he was in the right, and good to fight you, because getting a rash is far worse than having a comfortable and safe nap ten minutes later.

So often, your children are fighting to help you, rather than blindly oppose you.

I mean – as a mother, surely you want your son to attract a high quality woman, and have a happy and well-balanced marriage, right?

Of course you do!

And – you understand that if you break his will, and force him to submit to you as a woman, then you are shattering his ability to be a strong man in his future relationships, right?

Be honest – you are not particularly attracted to weaker, broken men, right?

Don’t you find them kind of – gross, contemptible?

Of course you do.

I’m sure you prefer a man who can stand with his own integrity, even against the subtle erosion of female manipulation.

I mean, it might be annoying in the moment, but it’s much better in the long run – can we agree on that?

I’m sure we can!

So – don’t make your son unappealing by doing everything in your power to break his will in two!

Keep him strong, so he can have a happy marriage with an equally strong woman – and give you a good daughter-in-law, and wonderful grandchildren, and deep and right support into your old age.

Surely all that is worth infinitely more than a slightly tidy room when he is thirteen.

Am I right?

Peaceful Parenting and Peer Pressure

Now that you are getting the hang of Peaceful Parenting, I’m sure that you can easily answer the following question:

How do you ensure that your children will not be bullied?

That’s right – first of all, you don’t bully them – and second of all, you don’t allow yourself to be bullied, particularly in front of them.

The antidote to bullying is open communication – bullies pick on children who are psychologically and emotionally separated from their parents. Children without parental protection are always weak and vulnerable, easy pickings for the predators who roam the outskirts of human society.

Bullies fear humiliation above all else, which is why they inflict it so much on others. A bully will not pick on a protected child – and the only protection that children have is open communication with resolute and courageous parents.

If your children aren’t comfortable coming to you with problems, their problems will inevitably escalate.

There are generally two ways that parents communicate to their children not to come to them with any problems – the first is anger, the second is panic.

Dysfunctional fathers tend to get angry if their children “bother” them with problems – weak mothers tend to feel “overwhelmed” and dissolve into mild hysteria or shallow self-pity.

Larger children pick on smaller children – the only counterweight to this size disparity is resolute parents willing to protect their own smaller children.

Unfortunately, society has so configured itself that bullies have a pretty easy time of it these days. Schoolteachers don’t really want to deal with bullying, because that means confronting unruly teenagers, and their aggressive parents. If Bobby is being bullied by Joe, and complains to his teacher, the teacher will almost always tell Bobby to just try and avoid Joe, and keep his head down.

Confronting Joe is a difficult and volatile situation, and Joe could easily complain to his parents, who could then launch attacks and complaints against the teacher.

No, I’m afraid that Bobby is pretty much on his own, if he is not protected by his parents.

This bitter lesson – that “authority” is only for punishing children, never actually protecting them – has been deeply corrosive to the civic ethics of our societies. The only credibility that authority has is its ability to serve and protect the needs of children. If teachers and principals – and parents – are helpless in the face of bullying, then they have no moral strength, no backbone, no capacity to protect. They can only punish and shame, and so have no credibility whatsoever – either with the bullies or their victims.

Government schools, in particular, are set up to facilitate bullying, because no one wants to confront the bullies or their parents, and it has become practically impossible to get bullies expelled.

Since parents are taxed to pay for government schools, they rarely have the funds to pay for private options – but private schools are subject to many of the same moral weaknesses and vulnerabilities with regards to tackling bullying.

Homeschooling is the most viable option, if it is legal.

However, homeschooling requires that one parent – usually the mother – stays home.

Mothers who have worked since their children are very young don’t have as strong a bond with their offspring, and so somewhat recoil at the idea of staying home to teach them.

That’s fine, in a way – as long as parents are willing to accept the inevitable consequences.

If a child is lonely, under-stimulated, bored, bullied and/or alienated by school, and mommy would rather work than stay home and teach him – than that boy knows that mommy’s work is more important to her than his own safety, security and happiness.

Women who drop their kids in daycare usually end up making only a couple of dollars an hour after childcare expenses and other employment costs – when children grow up and get some basic math skills, they can very easily figure out that mommy preferred to make about three dollars an hour rather than spend time with them.[31]

Again, that is fine, in a way – as long as parents are willing to accept the inevitable consequences.

The inevitable consequences of putting your children in daycare are the following:

  1. Your children are empirically less important to you than a boring commute, an often-difficult job, and a few dollars an hour.
  2. You are happy to have under-qualified strangers raise and train your children.
  3. You chose to have children, but you don’t really want to raise them yourself.
  4. Endless stress-waves crash into the family, as parents struggle through traffic to pick up their children on time, drive home, unpack the car, prepare dinner, clean up, wrestle children through bath time and teeth-brushing, and then try to settle their children into sleep.
  5. Weekends are often equally stressful, since household chores, groceries, bill-paying, taxes and a wide variety of social events all need to be completed by working parents.
  6. Mornings are rushed and stressful as well, since children need to be woken up, quickly fed and rushed out the door by exhausted parents, in order to get to daycare – and then to work – on time.
  7. The children’s feelings and preferences are irrelevant, because no child wants to go to daycare instead of staying home with a fun and happy mother.
  8. The children do what the parents impose on them – and the parents do what they do for no particular economic benefit or pleasure.
  9. Children have no particular need to bond, or trust their caregivers, since daycare workers come and go all the time.
  10. If children complain, or want something different, they are ignored, lectured, scolded and sent back to daycare anyway.

It’s a very bizarre thing to imagine that a stranger – usually from a foreign country, often with an uncertain grasp of English – is equal to a flesh-and-blood birthmother in raising a child.

You can grasp this very easily – imagine that it is your tenth wedding anniversary, and you have promised your wife a beautiful meal at a five-star restaurant, followed by a night out of dancing.

Your wife spends all day getting ready, then shows up at the restaurant, expecting you to meet her after work.

Instead, you call her and say: “Hey honey, great news – I have to work late, but no worries, I called a temp agency, and they’re sending over a guy named Manuel, who speaks some English I guess – I know he’s hungry for sure – and he’s going to spend the evening with you instead. I think he might be lactose intolerant, but I’m not sure – please check with him. I don’t think he can dance, but it’s fine if you teach him! He has a gardening job during the day, and I don’t think he’s had a chance to shower and change, but I’m sure that’s fine!”

What do you think your wife would say?

She would be outraged, right?

“What do you mean, you’re sending some stranger over to have our wedding anniversary dinner and dance night with me? I want my husband, not some stranger named Manuel!”

“What? You’re kidding! You sent our kids off to daycare, saying that strangers were just as good as family – I’m busy, don’t be selfish, have a great evening with Manuel!”

Your wife would never submit to substituting a marginally-literate stranger for your company on your wedding anniversary.

But – why not?

She substituted a stranger for herself, by dropping her kids off at daycare.

Oh, or is it only bad for her, but just fine for her children?

So – strangers are just as good as family, unless and until it interferes with her preferences!

It’s utterly incomprehensible really.

Children with working mothers also see their moms endlessly submitting to (usually male) bosses, but often fighting with their husbands.

The mother can be yelling and snarling at her husband – then her phone rings, and the boss requests something, and the mother sighs, agrees, hangs up, and slinks off to do her work.

Even if she finds a way out of it, she still speaks to her boss with far greater respect, submission and deference than she does to her own husband.

She is pleasant and agreeable to the stranger, but difficult and obstructive to her own husband.

If her husband asks her to submit to male authority, she will be outraged and rebellious – until her (usually male) boss tells her to do something, at which point she submits without fighting him.

Ah, think the children, those outside the family have all the power – the man in the family has no power at all!

Good luck getting your sons to look forward to marriage after seeing that for a couple of years!

Good luck getting your daughters to respect their boyfriends and husbands in the future!

If you sacrifice your children’s health, needs and happiness when they are young – on the altar of your own selfish habits and ego – again, that’s fine, in a way – as long as you are prepared to live with the consequences of your choices.

It has been my experience in life that good people respond to sacrifices with reciprocity. If you lend money to a good friend when you are wealthy and he is poor, he will absolutely lend you money, should the situation reverse.

If you do favours for others, they will do favours for you in return.

If your children know that they come first in all of your calculations, they will respect you, love you – and admire your integrity, since almost all parents tell their children that their children come first.

“We would do anything for our children!” cry parents, barely slowing down at the daycare to drop their sobbing kids off into the indifferent arms of total strangers.

“We would do anything for our children!” cry parents, resolutely rejecting or ignoring what their children actually say they want and need.

“We would do anything for our children!” cry parents, sacrificing the bond with and happiness of their children for the sake of chasing a few dollars and social conformity, ego gratification and pathetic material greed.

“Don’t you dare succumb to peer pressure!” cry mothers – who dumped their children with strangers because other people might think that being a stay-at-home mom was kind of lame and – well, just icky!

Fathers will tell their children to make sacrifices for the family, and respect parental authority – when they supported ignoring their children’s emotional and psychological needs, because they wanted to brag to their friends that their wife worked as a professional, don’t you know…

If you want your children not to be bullied, don’t be bullied yourself – particularly at their expense.

Family and Bullying

Parents desperately want to be respected by their children, because respect is efficiency, and the most essential foundation for productive negotiations.

It is impossible to negotiate productively with someone you just don’t respect.

What’s the point of negotiating a payback schedule for your deadbeat brother-in-law when you know for a fact that he will never pay you back?

If you know that your doctor is just a drug dealer, paid by pharmaceutical companies to push their wares, does he have any credibility with you?

Would you bother negotiating a payment schedule for a doctor you never want to visit?

What’s the point of negotiating an exchange of value, if the other person doesn’t have anything you value?

You don’t bother, as a matter of fact.

If you let yourself be bullied – particularly in front of your children – it is a virtual certainty that they will either end up as victims, or bullies themselves.

If, as a father, your mother-in-law snaps at you, telling you what to do, putting you down and laughing at you – and your children see that, you will lose all credibility with them.

How are you going to tell them to have any integrity or pride in themselves, if you allow yourself to be pushed around and bullied?

Children are so sensitive to the moods of their parents – an essential survival strategy – that even if you take a draining phone call with a difficult parent in another room, they know the difference when you come back.

You are drained, peevish, irritable, sad – all your old childhood aches and pains have been reactivated, and it can take you quite some time to settle back into yourself, so to speak.

If you let difficult people into your life, your life becomes difficult.

If you defer to difficult people, your children will lose respect for you.

One of the main reasons parents hit their children is that the parents have acted in such a ridiculously hypocritical manner, that the children do not respect them, because the parents have lost all credibility.

It’s bad and boring comedy to imagine a fat man promoting his own diet book, or a chain-smoker running a seminar on how to quit smoking.

Of course, logically, we could say that the fat man might have the best diet book in the world – but we know for certain that he either has a bad diet book, or a good diet that he himself has no interest in following.

If the chain smoker says that it is super-important to stop smoking – and he knows exactly how to do it – this would be laughable, right?

Would he have even the slightest bit of credibility with you?

Would you pay $1,000 to take his seminar?

How much would you pay for the fat man’s diet book?

This isn’t complicated, folks.

If you want to sell something, you have to manifest it first.

If you want to sell exercise, you have to be fit.

If you want to sell financial success, you can’t be broke.

Parenting is the only place where people completely ignore the basic fact that you have to manifest the values you preach, if you want to have any credibility whatsoever.

That’s because children aren’t there by choice, and cannot leave.

Socialist leaders own and control the economy, and trap their citizens within the country, so they can be as hypocritical as they want, and no one can do a damn thing about it.

In fact, one definition of power is the ability to be openly hypocritical without repercussions.

Political power – and most parenting, in a nutshell.

Monopoly government agencies have endless mission statements about satisfying customers and providing the best possible service – but that’s all nonsense!

They don’t have to be efficient, because you don’t have a choice.

As a parent, you don’t have to have integrity – you can basically be as hypocritical as you want – and your kids can’t go anywhere, they don’t have a choice.

Ah, but they will!

Society pours an enormous amount of indoctrination into children, telling them that, when they grow into adulthood, they owe endless obligations to their parents, no matter how their parents treated them.

Why does society need all of this indoctrination?

Why, because so many parents are hypocritical bullies.

People don’t need endless propaganda about how they should love sugar, or a million dollars, or attractive sexual partners, or resting when they are tired!

Society says to wives – mothers of children even – that they can – and even should – leave the relationship with the husband they voluntarily chose, if they just become somewhat bored and dissatisfied.

However – lie to, ignore and abuse your children for twenty years, apparently those kids just owe you everything, no matter what, for the rest of your natural life.

Why?

Hey, I’m fine if society wants to be consistent. If you have to love and support people you never chose to have power over you – and who abused you – okay, then let’s make divorce illegal, and forbid anyone from quitting a job they chose.

Oh no, we can’t do that – what if the husband is an abuser, or the company is corrupt?

Oh, so people can un-choose what they chose – but can never un-choose what they never chose?

It’s kind of funny, because the world is very positive towards immigration.

People don’t choose the countries they are born in – but it’s fine and good to leave the country you never chose, and move to the country of your choice.

Oh, but it’s really wrong and bad to escape an abusive family you were born into, and choose to create your own peaceful family.

It is all such repellent nonsense!

It’s just another example of how we don’t have virtue in society – we never had, really – we only have power.

We don’t have consistency, we only have exploitation.

We don’t have moral rules, we only have shifting justifications that we use to defend the powerful, and abuse the weak.

We defend parents, and attack children.

No more.

No more.

If you want to have credibility with your children, you have to have integrity as an adult.

If you don’t want your children to succumb to peer pressure, don’t succumb to peer pressure yourself.

If you want your children to make good choices in life, you have to make good choices in life.

If you want your children to take care of you when you age, you need to take care of them when they are young.

If you want your children to respect your wishes, you have to respect their emotional and psychological requirements.

If you want your children to look up to you, don’t rent them out to strangers for a few dollars an hour.

If you want your children to reason and negotiate instead of using manipulation, threats and force – then you need to reason and negotiate with them, instead of using manipulation, threats and force.

It’s really not that complicated.

I’m not trying to teach you any new values at all!

This is not some radical new philosophy that tells you up is down, black is white, subjectivity is objectivity, war is peace, freedom is slavery…

I’m telling you just to live your values consistently – the values you loudly proclaim, the values you inflict on your children, the values you want written in stone above your grave.

Because, sure as sunrise, your children will absorb your hypocrisy – no matter what you do.

They will learn – and very deeply too – that words never have to match actions – that integrity is a manipulative lie – that the purpose of morality is to punish others while excusing yourself – and that parents only live to hear the sounds of their own words, never see the empiricism of their actions.

“Virtue is what you proclaim in order to punish – evil is any demand for integrity.”

“You should never allow yourself to be bullied – excuse me, my boss/mother/father-in-law is angry, I have drop everything and submit!”

Life is infinitely simpler when we just live our values consistently.

Einstein’s simple equation that E=MC2 gave us virtually unlimited power over the universe.

When we understood that gravity is a constant, and everything in the universe “falls,” we finally understood the true physical structure of our universal environment.

Consistency is not just virtue – it is safety.

Imagine if we had to learn that fire was dangerously hot every time we encountered a new flame.

Imagine if we were open to the possibility that every lion we encountered in the wild was a friendly vegetarian.

Imagine if we truly believed that our next tattooed, pink-haired communist girlfriend would be a sane and wonderful addition to our lives!

Imagine if we believed that our hunger would just resolve on its own, like a headache.

We would never survive.

Just live your values consistently – I’m not asking you to change them, just stop randomly reversing them for the sake of convenience and appeasement in the moment.

As a moral philosopher, I do have some truly radical arguments.

Peaceful Parenting is not one of them.

We all know that reasoning with children is better than hitting them.

We all know that you can’t teach a child a language that you do not speak.

We all know that children learn empirically, not just verbally.

We all know that we have to model the virtues we want our children to embody.

We all know that leaving abusive relationships is a good idea.

We all know that we reap what we sow.

We all know that peace is superior to force.

We all know that hitting weak and defenseless little people is cowardly and pathetic.

We all say that we want the best for our children, that we will sacrifice anything for our children, that our children are our world – and then we live the exact opposite way.

I’m just saying that – maybe, maybe not.

Not anymore.

What if you got up in the morning tomorrow, apologized to your children for treating them badly, made restitution where possible, and committed to never hurt them again?

I mean, it would be great to do that in all of your relationships – but your children are the only people in your life who have no choice but to be there.

Surely you should apologize first to the people you have hurt the most, and who have the least choice.

Siblings

Siblings are each other’s greatest allies, or greatest enemies – there is very little in between.

Evolutionarily speaking, siblings compete for parental time, attention and resources. In situations of scarcity, they must view each other as rivals – enemies even – since there is not enough to go around for everyone.

On the other hand, siblings who ally with each other are virtually unbeatable in the adult arena.

A hunting or war party composed of loyal brothers can scarcely lose.

Affectionate sisters raising children in close proximity create great safety and security for their offspring.

Unfortunately, since the powers that rule us always want us to be loyal to them, rather than to each other, siblings are usually turned against each other from day one.

Brothers

The way that modern society turns brothers against each other is to rigidly age-segregate children in schools, which promotes peer-bonding, rather than family bonding.

The older brother thus gains his status from hanging out with his peers, rather than his younger brother.

This leads to the dismal spectacle of the “tagalong.” The younger brother desperately wants to spend time with his older brother – and gain the status of having older friends – while the older brother’s peer group asserts their dominance by constantly calling the younger brother a “tagalong.”(This also happens with sisters of course.)

In this way, the older brother is compelled to reject his own flesh and blood – the sibling, with whom he shares 50% of his genes – in return for the social approval of his unrelated peers.

Tragically, the older brother ends up losing both the bond of his younger brother – and the approval of his peers. His younger brother resents having been rejected for the sake of transitory classmates – while the classmates who shredded the bond grow up and move on to other lives.

The older brother ends up feeling lonely, and tries to reconnect with his younger brother – but because of the prior power dynamics, the older brother refuses to submit to the “humiliation” of an honest apology. The resentment of the younger brother triggers a status blowback – since the younger brother has learned that having higher status means rejecting a brother, when his older brother reveals a need for him – thus giving him higher status – he rejects his older brother, just as his older brother rejected him, when he had higher status.

“Bound together in discontent” is the tagline for most modern relationships – brothers included.

Sisters

Sisterhood works in a similar manner. Parents who claim authority based on being older create massive power imbalances among siblings – the older sibling, identifying with the parents, asserts authority based on age, just like they do.

This creates an artificial sense of superiority among the older siblings – and an equally artificial sense of inferiority among the younger siblings.

The older siblings become addicted to feeling superior, which creates unstable egos dependent on the imaginary “inferiority” of those around them.

The younger siblings eventually realize that, if they want to have any power at all in life, they have to detach from the older siblings, who constantly need to cast them in an inferior role.

You either reject your older siblings, or you end up with very little in life – other than propping up their vainglorious and imaginary “superiority.”

When the younger sibling detaches – out of a need for survival – the older sibling often explodes in hostility, either directly or indirectly.

Placing your entire “value” on the accidental – that you are superior for something you never earned – is the root of most violence and tyranny, the world over.

The older sibling is addicted to his accidental “superiority” – the subjugation of the younger sibling is the drug; the deference of the younger sibling is how the drug is delivered.

And we all know what happens to addicts when their drug is withdrawn against their will.

Unstable escalation, tyranny – and eventually, we hope, healing, as the withdrawal slowly dissipates, and new and more authentic sources of happiness are generated in the personality.

These dynamics are only exacerbated if the older sibling happens to be taller, or more physically attractive, or more intelligent – the accidental “superiority” of the birth order is then supplemented by other preferred physical or mental characteristics, and the chance to break out of the addiction becomes virtually zero.

Among sisters, the well-known verbal viciousness of female conflict often manifests in the older sister implanting cruel insults into the mind of the younger sister, which ends up with her feeling inferior and unlovable.

The high of verbal abuse often implants a kind of dangerous charisma into the personality of the older sister, which can make her more attractive to men. She has a swaggering kind of confidence – that is vampirically leeched from the younger sister – which makes her seem very appealing.

The constant rejection and humiliation of her younger sister hollows out the older sister’s personality, leaving her prone to ideology. Ideology is the attempt to substitute the drug of pretend virtue after the withdrawal of the drug of pretend superiority through accidental characteristics.

The older sister thus often gains a lot of romantic attention, but can never settle down with any one man, because of the hollowness at the center of her personality. She failed to develop genuine value, because she was provided artificial value in the form of birth order.

She gets a lot of dates, but never experiences love, and so is never able to settle down.

Those who exploit others are often charming, but can never be loved.

The frustration of constantly drawing male attention, while never winning male commitment, causes escalating aggression in the older sister.

She cannot blame herself for her hollowness – she cannot take responsibility for her exploitation – and so she turns her anger and frustration outward, to society, blaming “the patriarchy” or “the system” or “capitalism” or other such nonsense.

Empathy – the ability to put herself in another’s shoes – has been sacrificed on the altar of vanity, as it so often is.

All that is required for older siblings to save themselves is to imagine what it would be like to be a younger sibling.

The humility of recognizing that so much of your “value” is accidental is essential to the development of empathy, and thus the capacity to love and be loved.

You cannot pair-bond without trust, and you cannot trust without consistently positive behaviour – and you cannot achieve consistently positive behaviour if you are addicted to subjugating others – because you both need and despise your victims, and so will eternally swing between emotional extremes.

A man who inherits his fortune is not an entrepreneur, and did not earn it himself.

A woman who is born beautiful, or with a great figure, did not create her own value.

A sibling who happens to be born earlier is not made more valuable through the accidents of time.

Intelligence is largely genetic – it is an accidental gift of nature – and thus should never be used to feed the vanity of the ego.

Of course, we generally prefer to gain rewards without effort – there’s nothing wrong with that, it is the root of our industrial efficiency. It’s why we don’t have to get up off the couch to change the channel on the television.

However, it is essential for us to recognize that we can never take as valuable, that which we did not earn.

Let’s say you are a guy with a great head of hair – it’s very tempting to look in the mirror, toss your locks, and feel superior to balding or mangy-headed men.

It’s just an accident, though.

If you’re a tall man, it’s easy to feel superior to shorter men – that’s just an accident, too – we all understand that, but we so often get addicted anyway.

Some men get really big muscles when they lift weights – most men don’t.

Some women are naturally lean, and have a tough time gaining weight, even if they want to.

Some people who garden have what is called a “green thumb” – they just have a natural instinct for growing things, and out-produce other gardeners 10 or 20 to 1.

Some people are naturally gifted at singing – others sound terrible, even if they take lessons.

Some people have perfect pitch, others can’t tell the difference between two similar notes.

Some people can get by on only a few hours of sleep a night – other people are tired if they get less than nine hours.

This is all genetic variance – and a delightful variety in the species – but the recipients of unearned gifts must strive to avoid feeling superior for being in accidental possession of great value.

The devil, so to speak, tempts older brothers and sisters with the offer of existential value for an accidental characteristic – being older.

The only value we can possess is the virtue that we earn.

It is a whole lot easier to imagine that we have value for something we never earned than it is to manifest and spread virtue in a dangerously immoral world.

Evildoers silently applaud you for pretending to have value for that which you did not earn – that is the surest path to joining their ranks!

To actually manifest and spread virtue in the world, though – well, that is the most extreme sport known to man and God.

If you’re not facing resistance, you’re not building muscle.

If you’re not being opposed, you’re not doing good.

Sibling Potential

Siblings who overcome vanity and become allies are the most powerful force for good in the world.

Siblings are the only people in your life who can go through the entire journey with you.

When your parents die, only your siblings really remember your life as a child.

Your siblings remain the only witnesses to the forces that shaped you.

Your siblings have enormous, detailed, exquisite and deep knowledge about you – how they use it often determines your future.

True bonding – true love – is when you trust someone enough to reveal your deepest thoughts and fears, knowing that you are placing great power over you in their hands.

As an adult, you can choose whether or not to reveal yourself to people – as a child, to your siblings, you are exposed no matter what.

Imagine, as an adult, if you found out that your most secret thoughts and actions were actually recorded and published.

Siblings see everything, like it or not.

As an adult, you have expectations of privacy.

As a sibling, you have little to no privacy.

Siblings hold enormous power over each other – this power is not earned, it is innate to witnessing childhood.

Do parents train siblings to use their power over each other for good, or ill?

Well, it all depends on how the parents use their own power over their children – for good, or ill?

The opinions of anonymous strangers about you probably don’t hold much weight in your world – the opinions of your spouse and best friends hopefully do.

If you have complicated finances, a highly skilled accountant can either help you stay solvent, or rob you blind.

People who know everything about you hold great power over you – siblings don’t earn this power, and rarely seem to use it wisely.

If parents model the principle that “larger and older equals dominant and aggressive,” then older siblings will inflict that model on younger siblings.

In other words, siblings always end up speaking the same language – the language that is taught to them by their parents.

Aggressive parenting destroys sibling bonds.

For abusive parents, having more than one child is basically worse than useless. All the abuse does is turn the siblings against each other, shattering the family unit over time.

Abusive parents don’t just create distant siblings – they often produce mortal enemies.

I have seen this play out countless times over the course of my life – and I’ve seen a few exceptions to this trend, as well – and I have given this speech to a large number of battling siblings:

You have to treat each other well, for so many reasons. First of all, your parents are going to get old and die, and then the only witnesses to your childhood will be each other. Your sibling is the only person who can go through the whole journey of life with you, from start to end, with every stop along the way. They saw you learn how to walk, watched you grow, go through puberty, learn how to date, get educated, get a job, get married, have children – deal with aging… You all have so much knowledge about each other, you can do incredible things to help each other – things that no one else can do! You are like expert mechanics – you can fix anything – and break everything, too! Siblings are bound together so closely that it is like living with someone who’s lips are right up against your ear – but who screams instead of whispering! Of course you want to get away from someone who knows so much about you, but doesn’t want the best for you – because they can do so much damage, because of everything they know! It’s like a doctor who knows everything about the human body – he can either heal you like crazy, or torture you half to death.

You will never meet anyone else in the future who knows you as well as your sibling does – I don’t care if you’re married for fifty years, and tell your spouse everything – he or she just wasn’t there for your entire childhood, and hasn’t seen you grow all the way up. As siblings, you are all are so close – that’s not an option, that’s just a historical fact – and you can use that closeness – that knowledge of each other – to raise each other to the very skies – or cast each other to the very bottom, into hell really.

If you turn on each other – if you use your deep unearned knowledge to harm and undermine each other – you will never stop paying the price for that choice. You will never be able to trust anyone else – not fully – because you can’t trust yourself, because you handled your power over another human soul so badly. You will in fact be reproducing all the things your parents did that you hate so much.

If you harm each other, you will be falling into the ultimate trap – those who suffered alongside you, when you were children – they should be your natural allies. If you allow yourself to be turned against them, you are unnecessarily following an entirely evil plan. Divide and conquer, divide and conquer – that’s all the bad people need to achieve to continue to conquer us all, whether in the family, in society, our country, or the world as a whole.

You, the older sibling – you are not better because you happened to be born first – that’s a really pathetic thing to base your value on – you didn’t earn it, right? And all those “best friends” that you threw your sibling aside for – where are they now, pray tell? Are they here? Will they follow you from start to end? Will they help you watch your kids, nurse you when you are sick, talk you out of bad decisions? Will these “best buddies” that you kicked your siblings to the curb for help you out when your parents get sick, and need years of care and attention? Will you be able to call them up and ask them to help with the costs of aging parents?

Of course not – you probably don’t even know where they ended up – and if you did call them, wouldn’t they just kind of laugh at you?

This is who you gave your blood kin up for. Strangers with their own lives who live for their own needs.

Isn’t that pathetic?

How can you ever trust your judgement when you made such a stupid decision, for many years, against nature, against history, against your family – against your own blood?

And now, you want to go to your younger siblings as if you have any kind of authority, and tell them how to live, and ask them for favours, and still try to be in charge! ‘Go talk to your precious friends,’ they want to say, ‘you know – your besties that you spent years kicking me to the curb for!’

You know that you’re going to end up alone, if you don’t apologize and make this right!

And you – yes you, the younger siblings addicted to playing the victim – do you honestly believe that, if you have been the older sibling, that you wouldn’t have done pretty much the same thing?

You are angry with your older siblings because they did not empathize with you – they did not put themselves in your shoes, and realize how sad and alone you were – but have you ever tried putting yourself in your older siblings shoes? Taking the full brunt of parental misdeeds, programmed by society to prefer peers over kin – and with a whole gaggle of younger siblings to wield power over.

If you’ve not held that kind of power, it’s very easy to judge those who misuse it.

You are tempted to be angry at your older sibling – that is an essential part of the plan of abusive parents. ‘You all fight amongst each other, while we skate free of all judgement!’

You claim that the negativity of your older siblings has had a great effect on you – how much more effect did your parents have on them?

You attack each other – and thereby excuse your parents.

That is exactly what they want!

They are still running the show – that is the saddest thing!

You squabble with each other and blame each other and curse each other – and your parents laugh, because they are let off the hook for now and all time.

You are all victims, all forced to play your part in a play orchestrated by your parents.

You all made mistakes – forgive each other as children, and put the blame where it squarely belongs – on the adults!

Your parents are part of your past – they no longer parent you – but your siblings are not only your present, but your future as well!

Sacrificing the functional future for the sake of the dysfunctional past is a terrible idea – one that will cost you all for the rest of your lives if you do not change!

Extended Family and Peaceful Parenting

If we accept – as every moral person does – that rape is evil, would it make any sense to punish women for defending themselves against rape?

Would we argue that murder is evil – but that defending yourself against being murdered is more evil?

Would we argue that theft is morally wrong – but it is also evil to take any steps to prevent theft, or punish thieves?

Of course not.

If we define an action as evil, we cannot also define as evil any steps taken to prevent or punish that action.

In fact, one of the inevitable consequences of defining an action as evil is to praise and defend those who oppose that action.

Is it evil to hit children?

It is one of the greatest evils – for two main reasons.

The first is that the children are helpless, defenseless – and bound to their abusers, and trapped in their homes, for many years to come.

The second is that hitting children is the source of many adult evils. Hitting children legitimizes the use of violence, teaches them that it is good for the strong to terrorize the weak – and destroys their capacity for empathy and pair-bonding.

Hitting children is breeding criminals.[32]

Is it evil to verbally abuse children?

It can be an even greater evil than hitting them.

The personality and self-image of the child is formed by the language of his or her parents and instructors.

We start as soft concrete, moldable by those around us – we harden over time, and it takes great effort to change our shape in adulthood.

Is it evil to neglect children?

It can be an even greater evil than verbally abusing or hitting them.

Children experience neglect as an existential death threat.

Neglect produces adults with significant social anxiety, and few if any relationship skills.

But that is not the worst aspect.

There is more.

There is the criminal – and there is the accessory to the crime.

There is the bank robber – and there is the getaway driver.

Robbing a bank is illegal – driving is not, unless helping the robber drive away is the only reason the bank was robbed in the first place.

If your facilitation of a crime is the only reason the crime occurs – then you are equally a criminal.

If you allow child abusers to harm your children, you are equal to a child abuser.

There is no fundamental moral difference.

If you are a parent, and someone abuses your child, you are fully responsible for that abuse.

There is no escape from your culpability.

In the law, family relationships have little to no standing.

If you rob a bank, and your father is the getaway driver – he is charged regardless.

If your brother murders a woman, and you help cover up the crime – you are not excused because of your blood relationship.

This is for two reasons – the first is that morality is more important than family – and the second is that, if blood relations were excused from criminal activity, then criminals would just work with family members, and most people could never be charged!

Do you see where I am going with this?

Of course you do, brilliant reader!

Pickpockets often work in pairs – Bob bumps into you, and Sally takes your wallet.

Bumping into people is not illegal – stealing their wallet is.

Both Bob and Sally are charged with the crime, since the crime only occurs because both participate.

It doesn’t matter if they are husband and wife, brother and sister, father and daughter.

The moral law serves morality, not family.

If you were abused as a child, how much responsibility does your extended family have?

I'm talking aunts, uncles, grandparents – perhaps cousins and nieces, if they are older.

There were probably dozens of extended family members around when you were a child.

Were they responsible for your abuse?

Let us ask this question another way.

If your extended family had acted strongly against your abuse – if they had confronted your parents, demanded that your family get the help it needed in order to stop the abuse, would your parents have been able to continue to abuse you?

Of course not.

If your grandparents had demanded that your parents stop abusing you, either the abuse would have stopped, or your grandparents would have taken you out of harm’s way.

In other words, people are 100% responsible for on-going abuse if their actions could have prevented the abuse from continuing.

Of course, extended family members inevitably claim that they had no knowledge of any abuse that was occurring.

Very well.

Although we will never have any proof, let us take them at their word.

What are they really saying?

They are saying that they had no idea that a family member they had known for decades – that they saw growing up from a child to adult – had any capacity for cruelty or viciousness whatsoever.

Grandparents in particular raised abusive parents - are they really going to claim that they had not even the slightest suspicion that the children they raised might have any capacity for cruelty whatsoever?

This is utterly unbelievable.

Imagine if they had given a violent dog to their children – a dog that they had raised for a full decade. When the dog inevitably bit one of the children, would anyone believe the grandparents when they said that they had absolutely no idea that the dog was capable of any aggression whatsoever?

A child who is experiencing abuse displays particular characteristics – depression, anxiety, introversion, avoidance – the symptoms are virtually endless.

Is the entirety of the extended family going to claim that they had absolutely no idea that the child – or children – being abused was undergoing any personality effects whatsoever.

Imagine you had a girlfriend, and she went to some party, and was brutally raped – do you not think that you would detect some of the effects of this hideous violence on her personality the next day?

If that example is too harsh, what if she had just been beaten up, or robbed?

Do you think that she would be exactly the same the next day, and would show no difference in her personality or interactions whatsoever?

Can you imagine the boyfriend of some woman who had experienced a violent crime claiming that he had no idea that she had been attacked at all – how could he possibly know?

If you were abused, and your extended family claims to have no idea that anything negative had ever occurred, then they cannot also claim to be close to you, or love you, or care about you – because they are claiming to have no clue about your personality, your history, your experiences – or how you were parented.

What is even worse is that every single adult on this planet knows that child abuse is a significant risk in the world – and thus needs to inquire of every child in their vicinity – especially within their own families – whether or not abuse is occurring.

People who claim not to know things that every moral person has an obligation to know do not get excused – they are even further condemned.

Even in the legal system, ignorance of the law is no excuse – even when the laws are staggeringly complicated and sometimes contradictory.

Also, as a child, were you forgiven if you forgot that there was a test on some particular day, and ended up failing that test?

Of course not.

It was your job to know when there was a test, and to prepare for it.

Well, it is the job of your extended family to keep you safe, and make sure that you are not being harmed in any way.

In fact, extended family members who fail to intervene in situations of child abuse are doing so because they fully expect that their claims of ignorance will be accepted down the road, in the years and decades to come.

Every extended family member who refused to ask you if you were harmed as a child is explicitly avoiding knowledge – and thus cannot claim a lack of knowledge as an excuse.

If you know you have an exam coming up, and you fail to study for it, you are responsible for your failing grade because you specifically and explicitly avoided gaining the knowledge you needed to pass the exam.

It is a sick and twisted aspect of society that we punish children for avoiding required knowledge – but we hand out endless forgiveness to adults who avoided infinitely more important knowledge – whether the children in their family were being harmed or abused in any way.

Grandparents who raised abusive parents do not want to look in the mirror and see the harm that they have done, and how that harm is continuing – so of course they mindlessly chatter on about unimportant topics, avoiding the reality of child abuse in the family they created.

They may even enjoy watching the abuse get re-inflicted on the next generation – sometimes immoral people are not just avoidant, but actively sadistic.

As a parent, you are entirely responsible for ensuring that your children are not abused.

If a stranger verbally attacks them in public, you must charge to the rescue.

If a crazy person pushes them to the ground, you must defend them.

If they are bullied by another child, you must get them to safety, and ensure their continued security.

If a man on a bus grabs your daughter, and tells her that she is going to die soon – that everyone is going to die soon – you have to protect her – not from just being grabbed, but from the verbal threat of imminent and universal death.

If your children are told at school that they are evil on the grounds of sex, race or socioeconomic status – you must protect them from this verbal abuse.

If their teachers tell them that the world is going to end soon, because plants might conceivably have a bit too much food, then you need to reason with that teacher – and if the teacher does not listen to reason, you need to get your children out of this teacher’s classroom.

It’s not optional.

You simply cannot allow people to verbally and physically abuse your children.

As I said before, life becomes a whole lot simpler if you accept and act on universal, simple principles.

What is more universal than: Protect your children!?

If your child is bored at school, you need to protect her enthusiasm for learning by fixing or changing her environment.

If your child is threatened with being drugged because he is bored or restless, you need to protect your child.

If your child is born into mind-crushing economic slavery due to national debts and unfunded liabilities, you need to protect your child by relentlessly advocating for a more sane and sustainable political and economic system.

If your children will be harmed by a divorce – as almost all children are – then you need to find a way to work it out with your spouse, and stay together, to keep them safe.

Imagine a world that honestly operated on the simple, universal principle it claims to live by: Protect our children!

We wouldn’t force our children into terrible schools.

We wouldn’t sell their future to bribe voters in the present.

We wouldn’t fill their precious heads with doomsday scenarios of the world ending by weather.

We wouldn’t let sophists, propagandists and ideologues loose on their innocent minds, to program them to bow before political power.

The world could be paradise, but we need to be good.


[1] These conversations are all available on my website https://www.freedomain.com.

[2] Does society love its children? Pg X.

[3] We will get to all the studies and data that support these arguments shortly.

[4] Is spanking disastrous for children? Pg X

[5] Reference, Pg X.

[6] Children can perform moral reasoning at 15 months , Pg X

[7] The Hitting Comes First, Pg X

[8] Reference, Pg X.

[9] Just to put aside the inevitable nitpicking, of course people who can’t or don’t want to have children can date and marry – so what? That doesn’t change what dating and marriage are for. Bicyclists can use roads – that doesn’t mean that the roads were created only for cyclists.

[10] Early Parent Child Bond and Stress

[11] Reference, Pg X.

[12] The Importance of a Stay-At-Home-Mother

[13] Again, there are edge-situations where it is either only possible or most desirable for the father to stay home, and the mother to work. But the vast majority of stay-at-home parents are mothers, and this book aims to do the greatest good, and so speaks to the majority.

[14]Cost of Daycare, Pg X.

[15] Occasionally, aggression was suggested – such as when Andy Griffith suggested taking a violent child who wanted to put his father in jail to get his bike back out to the ‘woodshed’ – but it was never shown on screen, and it was always in the most extreme situations.

[16] Promiscuity

[17] Father Absence and Earlier Menstruation

[18] “The study also found that parents tend to strike their children out of anger and quite quickly after the children misbehaved — in other words, not as last resort.”

[19] Sisterhen LL, Wy PAW. Temper Tantrums. [Updated 2023 Feb 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544286/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001922.htm
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/temper-tantrums

[20] https://www.statista.com/topics/5910/child-abuse-in-the-united-states/#topicOverview

https://www.newsweek.com/number-us-soldiers-who-died-afghanistan-war-1619685

[21] https://parentingscience.com/do-babies-feel-empathy/

https://www.washington.edu/news/2018/01/16/a-touching-sight-how-babies-brains-process-touch-builds-foundations-for-learning/

[22] Toddler ‘Word Spurt’

[23] Obesity During Pregnancy

[24] Forgetting the old adage that boat owners are only happy twice – the day they buy the boat, and the day they sell it.

[25] The Hedonic Treadmill

[26] Particularly women, who significantly outlive men, because – patriarchy?

[27] Mothers Milk

[28] https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/308404/jewish/Abandoned-Baby-Syndrome.htm

[29] The Detrimental Effects of Physical Abuse

[30] https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0712/financial-impacts-of-workplace-bullying.aspx

[31] https://www.americanprogress.org/article/understanding-true-cost-child-care-infants-toddlers/

[32] Reference 2

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