Kiwi Polemicist

February 12, 2009

• How to deal with child abuse: Part 2

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

Click here for Part 1

In Part 1 I showed that an abusive parent commits a crime against a child and this is no business of the state’s, yet the state interferes in this matter because both Left and Right believe that only the state can resolve conflict in society. Now for my four part plan for dealing with child abuse:

1) End all state interference in child abuse

As I said, conflict between individuals is no business of the state’s. Furthermore, state interference in child abuse almost always brings evil, and the state will adjust its definition of “child abuse” to whatever will allow it to steal children (for examples click here and here. For an egregious example of state theft of children click here).

Consider this: if the state cannot run a business successfully why would we trust it to care for children? A tiny minority of children are better off in state care rather than parental care, but they would almost certainly do better in private care. Going to a public hospital may save your life, but you’ll always be better off in an equivalent private hospital.

2) End the welfare system that leads to child abuse

It is not universally true but it is largely true that child abuse is committed by welfare recipients. Why is this? Our welfare system – the DPB/Domestic Purposes Benefit in particular – pays people to have children. Economists have a saying: don’t subsidise something unless you want more of it. There are multiple problems with subsidising babies:

  • the sort of people who could do everyone a favour by never having children find the idea of bearing children for reward attractive
  • universal welfare encourages a selfish sense of entitlement, and a person with a selfish sense of entitlement is more likely to take what they desire – be that sexual pleasure or anything else – by force without consideration for the harm that this does to other people
  • children become disposable commodities (i.e. meal tickets {they attract welfare benefits} and housing tickets {they attract state housing}) which do not cost their owners anything. If your ticket dies you can just pop out another one
  • the welfare system encourages lazy, shiftless people to have children. Lazy, shiftless people resent children because children are hard work, and they sometimes vent their resentment against those children
  • the welfare system pays people to sit around and take alcohol and other drugs all day: common sense indicates that more abuse occurs when an adult is under the influence of chemicals
  • history clearly shows that the DPB encourages teenage girls to get pregnant, and a good number of those teenage girls then get boyfriends who abuse children

3) Allow individuals and private charities to deal with child abuse

To go back to the example I used in Part 1, if I punch you on the nose I have committed a crime against you. Furthermore, if a passerby sees me punch you he has the right to defend you. Likewise, if I see a child being assaulted I have the right to defend that child. The right to defend those who are under assault is the broad basis of my proposal for dealing with child abuse*.

How might charities help? Kiwiblog recently mentioned a 14 year old who was four months pregnant and driving with a blood alcohol level five times the limit. The mother is almost certainly a smoker, fetal alcohol syndrome is likely, and the baby probably doesn’t have a great future. If there was no welfare and no taxpayer-funded abortions that kid would probably have some serious problems ahead. But a charity could step in and offer accommodation until birth and adoption of the child, conditional upon sobriety (for the good of the baby). This would solve the girl’s problems and bring a better life for the baby.

Remember that a genuinely free society would bring checks and balances to such a system, i.e. if an abuser believed that I wrongfully intervened when I protected his children then he could take me to court over it. This is difficult to imagine for people who have never known true freedom from state interference, but the free market has a marvellous way of solving problems. Everyone acts out of self-interest and conflict in society inhibits the attainment of the desires of self-interest, so it is in the interests of everyone to resolve conflict. In other words capitalistic self-interest brings conflict resolution.

Classical liberalists do not propose an unobtainable utopia of altruism (we leave that to the Marxists), nor do we propose a conflict-free society. We simply believe that a society without state interference works better than a society with state interference. If you’ve spent time in a state hospital or you’ve had contact with CYF** you’ll know what I mean.

I do not pretend to have all the answers as regards how allowing individuals and private charities to deal with child abuse will work in practice, and I’m interested in hearing your ideas.

4) Remember that life isn’t fair

Lightning strikes people, people get thorns in their feet, and children get abused. Not every case of child abuse will be detected and/or fixed by any system. Too many people think that no one should ever suffer, and therefore state surveillance and control of parents is justified because it attempts to remove suffering from the lives of children. Suffering is bad but inevitable, and there will always be some children who are abused. Life is like a baby: sooner or later it produces some brown sticky stuff.

Read this before you get out the tar and feathers

  • I am not proposing that welfare be stopped overnight. Universal welfare has so grossly altered and weakened our society that any means of dealing with it has to be gradual. The Libertarianz have some ideas worthy of consideration.
  • I don’t want comments of the “You don’t care about abused children” variety, so I will make this perfectly clear: I do care about abused children, and I am simply proposing a different method of caring for them
  • I know that children have previously been cruelly treated in private care, e.g. work houses and orphanages, however (1) that treatment may have been acceptable at the time and (2) usually the state was in a position to alter the care given but did not do so.

What do you think of the points that I have made here?

Do you have any practical ideas to add regarding how individuals and private charities might deal with child abuse?

Click here for Part 1

Some would say that making a kid wear a hat like this is child abuse

Some would say that making a kid wear a hat like this is child abuse

**********

* The state uses the same justification for defending children, but does so from a position of imposed authority and you do not have effective recourse against the state in the event of unjust actions by the state. If I defend a child that you are abusing I do so from a position of equality and you have means of effective recourse against me. It’s much like the difference between Mum sorting out a conflict between siblings and a sibling sorting out a conflict between siblings.

** Child, Youth and Family/Cruelty to Youth and Family/state social “service”

~~~~~~~~~~

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1 Comment »

  1. […] February 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm How to deal with child abuse: Part 2 « Kiwi Polemicist […]

    Pingback by How to deal with child abuse: Part 1 « Kiwi Polemicist — February 12, 2009 @ 10:57 pm


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