In October 1991, my husband and I took our two children, ages 6 and 8, out of government school and began our homeschooling adventure. After making this decision, I spent a lot of time searching for education experts who might be able to offer just the right input and advice.
I wasted a lot of time before I finally found the experts I could trust – the experts who really had education and learning figured out.
I clearly remember the day it happened…
I was deep into one of the many books I’ve read about education when my son tugged on my shirt and asked, “Mom, are nuts also seeds?”
“Yes,” I answered quickly, trying to get back to my book.
“Well, where do walnuts come from?”
“From a walnut tree of course,” I replied, not lifting my eyes from the page.
“Oh, so I could grow another tree if I planted them.”
I looked up, annoyed. “Did you finish your workbook pages yet?” I wanted to (more…)
OF SOCIAL EVOLUTION
Negotiating the Last Rapids, Perhaps
Spencer Heath MacCallum
The Independent Review
A Journal of Political Economy
Vol. II No. 2 (Fall 1997) (Revised by the author 2011)
The Quickening of Social Evolution
Spencer Heath MacCallum
Years ago I read a translation, supposedly true, of an early Egyptian sequence of hieroglyphs that said in effect that the world was going to the dogs. After listing a number of lamentations, including the disobedience of young people and how they no longer respected their elders, it ended with the observation that “everybody’s trying to write a book.” (more…)
The Law of the Somalis, by Michael van Notten, is a landmark book. See a review of it: (www.amazon.com/Law-Somalis-Foundation-Economic-Development/product-reviews/156902250X/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 It is a pioneering study of one of the world’s half-dozen great legal systems. The author, a Dutch legal scholar (and voluntaryist), married into Somalia’s fifth largest clan, the Samaron, and lived the last dozen years of his life with his adoptive kinsmen, taking full advantage of that unique opportunity to study Somali politics and customary law. The book is the first study of (more…)
THE MIRACLE OF MATA ORTIZ
Here are some YouTube pictures of my involvement, 1976-present, with the village of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico. They were put together for the occasion of the University of Juárez recognizing my promotion of tourism in the region. But the story has to do with the village itself, which in 1976 was desperately poor and fast becoming a ghost town. At best, the villagers raised some beans and corn, and grazed some animals on unfenced mountain range. It was remote, without even a graded road to it and, because of this, (more…)
The Enterprise of Community
Here is one of my most important papers, originally published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies (Vol. 17 No. 4 / Fall 2003). Inspired by the work of Spencer Heath, it explains the close relationship between land and environmental concerns. But it addresses a further question: whether common, community needs might not be handled entrepreneurially just as our private and individual needs are today.
This idea that communities as such might be operated entrepreneurially is uncomfortable for many libertarians, and I was long puzzled as to why. (more…)
I’m reminded of the Titanic as I see our “ship of state” approaching the iceberg of national bankruptcy. There are only two choices for the person steering the ship with the iceberg already too close to avoid. One is to accept the reality of the iceberg and hold steady to meet it head on, trusting the design of the ship (the “design” of human nature) to withstand the disaster. The other is to react intuitively by trying to turn the ship to avoid the iceberg when it is already clearly too late.
The Titanic chose the second option and sank, killing the majority of the people on board. The Titanic was considered “unsinkable” because it had been designed to withstand a head on collision without sinking. What the designer didn’t anticipate was (more…)
When I was a youth, my sister and I saw our perfect opportunity. It was a sunny summer day in San Francisco (an anomaly right there) and our quiet little neighborhood inconveniently placed on top of a hill was abuzz with the sounds of hammers and saws as there was construction going on right down the block. These two factors seemed to be the perfect alignment for entrepreneurial activity. We had been biding our time and finally found the right moment for our very own lemonade stand. Before that, the closest we had gotten (more…)
I am very fortunate to be rehearsing what will be a great production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. My director is extremely insightful, talented, and experienced. My cast is some of the best and brightest that our town has to offer. The script is a taut, well-written poetic fantasy (per the NY Times). I love it! Except for my perception of the message the playwright wishes to get across.
Much as I try to find balance of viewpoints in the script, it seems to me that it constantly comes down against technology and against organ sales. Gordon, the dead man, (more…)
“Of all the arts, for us the most important is cinema.” —Lenin, 1922
A year ago I was very distressed to learn that the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS, of which I am a HUGE fan and beneficiary) had shut down all of their Film and Fiction programs. I had went to an IHS summer seminar on Liberty, Art, and Culture six years ago and it was a major influence on my life in many ways, one of which was to show me that I can marry both the creative and intellectual sides of my career. While I can understand that they felt this was not one of their core competencies, it made me think of the deep (more…)
Last week Todd Hollenbeck asked an insightful question of Matt Damon: would he support government run movie theaters? This is based on Matt’s response and support of government schools and teacher’s unions. After all, (more…)
Needing a laugh this past weekend, I picked up a copy of “The Groucho Letters,” thinking that nothing could entertain me more than the wit of Julius Henry. I got no farther than the second entry when I discovered (more…)
Estonian Freedom Fighter celebrates 81st birthday!
As a teenager, she and a friend blew up a so-called Liberators’ Monument, during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. This was in retaliation for destruction by Soviets of their statuary.
Read more about here, here.
Like her on facebook, here.
Robert Anthony Peters will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
The idea of society without government can give people a sense of vertigo. We often think of government as a framework or structure that holds society in place and keeps it orderly; remove it, and everything becomes chaotic!
But there’s something odd about this way of thinking. Because government isn’t some kind of external constraint on society, separate from it and free from its limitations. It’s just a particular way (a fairly nasty way, unfortunately) that people interact.
By contrast, imagine a government run by Superman. Now there’s a ruler who really could enforce his will on millions of people by his own personal might. He could hear your whispers of dissent with his super-hearing, zip over in an instant with his super-speed, incinerate you with his heat vision or level your building with a blow of his fist – and be back home within a minute.
But we’re not ruled by Superman. No ruler has the ability to impose his or her will without the support of lots of government employees – and those employees, being vastly outnumbered by those they rule, cannot impose their will without the acquiescence of the populace. All that maintains the powerful in power is a generalised habit of deference.
We libertarians sometimes say that government is maintained by violence. That’s partly true and partly false – partly insightful and partly misleading.
It’s true that those who disobey the government’s edicts, (more…)
We’ve chosen to call our first offering on this blogsite “Voluntaria,” inspired by Princess Nirvana Goes to Voluntaria, the most recent in the “Princess Nirvana” book series by James L. Payne. An excerpt from the book will appear in Carl Watner’s [www.voluntaryist.com] forthcoming anthology, Taxation: Essays in Opposition (Apple Valley, CA: Cobden Press [www.fr33.com]). With permission from Carl and Jim, the excerpt appears here as our first-ever blog. Though written for adults, children stand to benefit from this exercise as well. Princess Nirvana goes to Voluntaria would seem (more…)
Technology can make it easy for others to invade our privacy. So much data is mined and made available about us that it is hard to keep information out of the hands of business competitors, identity thieves, hackers, oppressive governments and nosy neighbors.
Encryption Technology Protects Privacy
But technology also provides some great solutions to help exclude unwanted others from certain information. Encryption is one of the best bangs for your buck to protect privacy for the least amount of time, (more…)
There is so much personal information in so many places, it makes a goldfish in a bowl seem more private than we are. Although there are many threats to privacy from governments, quasi-private entities and new technologies, many new technologies are actually protecting privacy better, and are available to more people, than ever before.
Governments, Corporations and Social Norms Eliminate Privacy
Governments have been creating laws, rules and regulations which force (more…)