Stefan Molyneux, of Freedomain Radio, has recently had a very interesting series of interviews on “libertarian parenting”. The three guests (so far?) were me, my fellow TLS blogger Gil Guillory, and just today, David Friedman. The MP3s for the first two, and the YouTube videos for all three, are below. All three had different perspectives but were all very practical and had tons of great tips and ideas. Gil Guillory’s mentioned several books and other resources he’s found useful in the instruction of his children. There was a critique of my discussion by one “Aaron,” an “unschooling” advocate, which was debated further on the FDR boards, and discussed subsequently by Molyneux on the FDR1698 Sunday Call In Show July 18 2010.
Though liberals are normally (and accurately) described as “big government freaks,” it is difficult to imagine any way to more intractably install big government than to simply make it all secret. This is where those in favor of both small government and “a strong national defense” are simply out of touch with reality. There simply is no way to have both small government and high levels of secrecy about what that government is doing. This is a point Dan Carlin makes in his podcast. Vietnam-era documents which are only now being declassified appear to have only been classified in the first place to avoid embarrassing the people covered in the documents, not for anything we would normally call “national security.” As Carlin points out, these things were intended to be buried until the Congressmen quoted in them were all dead.
Allowing the state to keep secrets is a sure path to expansion of that state. The government regards the leaking of information which undermines people’s confidence in the actions of government employees to be “a threat to national security.” If even pointing out that a course of action is a bad idea is itself considered a bad idea, what hope can there possibly be of learning and improvement? And since the national security advocates all seem to believe that the government should have the right to keep secrets, how can they honestly also believe that it is possible to effectively limit a largely secret government?
Patents are voicing an idea and then telling everyone else they can’t use that idea without licensing it. For example, I might find a better way to fish and then prevent anyone who saw me use that new technique from employing it themselves. The fact that I had a new idea doesn’t give me the right to prevent others from arranging their property in the configuration they desire.