Sunday, September 6, 2009

Parental duties in a libertarian society

Since libertarianism is based on voluntary actions, it follows that no duties exist, right? Does this mean that parents have no obligations to their children? Can they leave them to die in the forest if they want to? Or should the state force them to bring them up and take care of them until the children reach a certain age?

And since libertarianism is based on liberty, if follows that no person can own another person, right? Does this mean parents have no right to force their children to do something they don't agree on? Does it also mean that parents have no right to stop their children if they want to move to another family?

-from the Mises forums


  1. ...parents have no obligations... Can they leave them... should the state... parents have no right...

    What do you mean by "obligation," "can," "should," and "right"?

  2. I do understand one meaning of "can," and by that meaning, parents certainly can abandon their children, even under the current regime, though there could be consequences. The question is: What would the consequences or other disincentives be in a free market?

  3. I always thought of Libertarianism to be the politics of childless people.

  4. What a nonsensical comment. I have three children (as if it's even slightly relevant).


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