Let The Fires Burn And The Darkness Fades: Unschooling as the most viable means by which end the state.

in unschooling •  last year  (edited)

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We can fight all we want, but until the individual minds comprising the prevailing culture change, there can be no real societal change.

The state is violent. This we can all agree upon as Voluntaryists. Taxation is theft. War is murder. The initiation of force is unacceptable.

As my child continues to grow, and I struggle for this or that change to be effected in my immediate surroundings via my "rantings and ravings" (really nothing more than the exasperated protest of a man trying to tell his peers that murder does not beget life and peace, and theft does not engender prosperity), I come to realize more and more every day that this is, in many ways, a futile effort. People believe what they want to believe. I have changed a few minds over the course of the last three or four years. And that is wonderful. I am sure I have planted many seeds, and have even seen the fruit of some of them. However, what strikes me now more than ever is how important my son is to this "fight." The little guy I sometimes view as a "distraction" when I am in the middle of a heated Facebook debate--or am scraping for some income via whatever the current hustle may be--is in and of himself, the question, the answer, and the reason. Right there in front of me.

He is the question: What is human life? The answer: look at me. And the reason: happiness, joy, and self-discovery. All of the things I wish to do to be a "good dad," I am now realizing are the exact same measures needed in order to eventually bring this murderous thing called "the state" to an end. Bloody revolutions have never worked. Not over the course of time, at least. Change exists and there is respite for but a moment, only to be followed by the next bloody regime now drunk on the power they've achieved and secured. Trying to teach our zombified friends, relatives, and neighbors--both online and off--is a critical battle, the importance of which cannot be overestimated. However. One cannot teach a pig to sing. There are many who simply will not receive our message, as common sensical, logical, ethical and objectively irrefutable as it may be. What I can do, however, is raise my son. I can refuse to brainwash him into the same nationalistic, statist cultism I was brought up in. I can give him a golden ticket that I never had. One that says: IT'S OKAY TO THINK FOR YOURSELF.

Just today, Isaiah--my son--was blowing me away at lunch with the math problems and solutions he was proudly proclaiming to me. Daddy! Do you know what three minus five is? MINUS TWO! Two minus two equals....ZERO!

He's five. I couldn't help thinking of the public school curriculums, and how many of them don't introduce integers until the 6th grade. With all the mistakes I've made as a parent, one thing I feel I have done well is to allow my son to be curious and interested, and to do my best to engage him when he is. He likes numbers. I didn't try to force that on him. He likes to read. I didn't force that on him, either. He likes puns, gags, booby traps, and jokes. He likes to learn about space and asteroids. He's interested in people's feelings. He's happy. Just in and of himself. Children all have this original spirit going on that craves meaning and making sense of the world for themselves.

I couldn't help thinking what a bum deal so many of us got. Having to face shaming indoctrination day in and day out from our schools, parents, religious leaders, and teachers. Day in and day out, day out and day in, until that little treasured fire of vibrant and vigorous curiosity and happiness, was something of a secret "enemy" we had to keep inside and try to convince ourselves was evil or "bad." Some of us protected that little fire, though, and got out alive. Now many of us are rebuilding that conflagration of excitement, passion, and joie de vivre, and realizing that those "teachers" and "leaders" were the ones full of shit--were the truly bad ones--and not us.

Imagine what would happen if parents all over the world began something new. No longer teaching their children that sometimes the mass murder of entire groups of people is necessary. What if there were no more mandatory indoctrination centers called "schools" forcing children to say a prayer to a flag? Teaching them that some individuals have greater rights than others because they have a badge, a title, or a favored "nationality." Teaching them that they cannot even exercise basic bodily autonomy in using the restroom without permission from some arbitrary authority figure. A stranger who is not their mother or father, or even someone from their neighborhood, who now rules every minute detail of their lives. Imagine parents all over teaching that stealing via a euphemism called "taxation" is as wrong as any other kind of stealing. Well, you should imagine this--it will make you feel good--but the good news it that it is already happening.

Even if your children go to public school, you can still set them free. Be that light. Let them know the fucking truth.

In doing so, you will give them a foundation of logic, love, hope, and happiness--and most importantly, courage--that will stay will them for all of their lives, regardless of the situations they may face. Imagine this. Because it is coming. It is already here. Markedly more than the generations before us, do individuals across the globe now question and reject violence and authoritarianism. A lot of this is thanks to the internet. Just think of things 10 years ago. How many "Voluntaryists" did you know? Chances are, you weren't even one, at that time. Our children will only break the chains further. And their children even further. In the same way the grandson of the high ranking Nazi officer is as far removed from his grandfather's ideology as east is from west, so can our children look back upon the barbaric practices of extortion, mass murder, and the vile propagandizing of children across the globe, prevalent at this time, in bemused wonder, revulsion, and perhaps even....humor at the pure idiocy of it all.

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My little man, who is teaching me more than I could ever possibly teach him.

The current society at large teaches children that hitting is wrong. That stealing is wrong. And then tells them to forget all that in the name of violence.

Euphemisms like "war," "taxation," "education," and "politics" exist to "smooth" all this over, and make death and destruction more palatable and less uncomfortable to accept. The compulsory schools are such a huge part of this cult indoctrination. This is why I push unschooling. However, unschooling is bigger than that. It's not just "not going to school." Unschooling is unlearning (what so many of us adults are now doing, trying to repair the damage done via the recalcitrant programming of our childhoods, by erasing the lies and reclaiming our stolen minds). Unschooling is a way of life which looks critically outward, curious and inquisitive, and accepts nothing solely on the "authority" of others, but finds the individual--alone and uncompromised--testing, weighing, loving, laughing, and thinking, to the end of self-discovery and to the end of pursuing whatever meaning, purpose, and course this individual deems worthy and important. In this way, each child brings their best to the world. Their original talents, proclivities, and genius. To cut this off--as society does now--and to amputate these little ones from themselves, is a crime so vile I sometimes imagine that a hell existing somewhere would be a good thing. For what else can be done with the rotting filth and refuse of this sort of assault on genius, love, innocence, and wonder?

It doesn't even take force. Just love, and living our principles openly, in front of our children.

Our kids are already light years beyond us. Hopefully in a couple generations, their children or grandkids will be saying: Did you know that people used to think taxes were NORMAL!?!?!? And that killing strangers for peace was "necessary"!? Yeah, and they used to go to a building every day and had to sit still and not move and repeat things. They thought THAT was learning!!!! That's crazy!

~KafkA

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Graham Smith is a Voluntaryist activist, creator, and peaceful parent residing in Niigata City, Japan. Graham runs the "Voluntary Japan" online initiative with a presence here on Steem, as well as DLive and Twitter. (Hit me up so I can stop talking about myself in the third person!)

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Couldn't agree with you more! It took me a lot to deprogram my brain and walk away from the beaten path. My eldest had to suffer through eight years of school until I understood the world won't end if she drops out, but at least my youngest was saved and is busy educating himself. I don't know what the future holds for them or what they make of it, but we can only hope they will see the day when people will understand that it is not normal to take away precious years of someone's life and lock them behind some walls where the only thing they're actually taught is to be good little robots.

we can only hope they will see the day when people will understand that it is not normal to take away precious years of someone's life and lock them behind some walls where the only thing they're actually taught is to be good little robots.

Amen.

I agree with you 100%
The State is the problem, but it is not the only problem. Schools can zombify, but parental guidance can stop that. I have had that struggle for years. People in general undervalue the power they have and the counterbalance they can offer to resist state controls, especially when it comes to education.
I do a lot of fixing on a daily basis. But especially a lot of teaching my example. It is very easy to show our kids how to research multiple sources to have a better idea of facts, events, ideas, public figures, etc.
It is also fun to guide them into self-discovery and self-inquiry.

I do a lot of fixing on a daily basis. But especially a lot of teaching my example. It is very easy to show our kids how to research multiple sources to have a better idea of facts, events, ideas, public figures, etc.
It is also fun to guide them into self-discovery and self-inquiry.

Thanks for this wonderful comment. Yes. So very true. Glad individuals like you are out there man! I want to encourage everyone, including folks who don't have the option to take their kids out of public school. Having solid parents can keep kids safe and guarded and sharp, ready to stay true to themselves even when the state piles on the shaming and propaganda.

Bless you, man.

Thanks, blessings for you too. For me it is a matter of common sense, but, in general, that one seems to be the least used of all our senses.

The government schools have really messed with my middle son a lot. He's a natural leader, and they have been pounding that strength out of him for years now.

It sickens me to think about what they are doing, but I have a hamster wheel I have to run on during the day. Home schooling at night was tried with my oldest son, and it just didn't work. One reason I hope to have more cash flow in the future is to pay for tutors or at worst private schools.

I feel like I'm in a losing battle though. The state has more focused time with my child than I do. How am I supposed to win that battle as a working parent who's gone 10 hours a day? I plan to spend more time with my children in ways that allow us to talk to each other and work through voluntaryist concepts, but is there anything specific I should be doing? Any recommendations?

I don't think you're losing the battle, man. Do you talk to your middle son about this kind of stuff?

I do, yes. I'm trying to insulate him from the madness and lies as much as possible.

So, so good. My wife and I opted to home school our kids before we even had any. She didn't even attempt college because she fully expected to be a stay-at-home mom. Fortunately, we were able to do it. Yeah, it gets tough at times, budgets can be kind of tight and we might not get to do all the things we want when we want, but the trade off for not letting them be indoctrinated is so worth it. Knowing my kids never learned the pledge of allegiance is such an awesome feeling. As you said, the future generations WILL be better than ours. I believe borders will break down and people will learn "killing strangers for peace" was one of the biggest lies ever told in the course of human history.

yes to all of this Graham, our children are so alive and clued on and aware, they really feel and experience everything and they are not afraid to be who they are, because they have always been allowed to. We are raising children who are confident and wild and wise, and yes they have so much to teach us, because we are the ones being unschooled and they are reminding us what it is like to actually think for ourselves. I still catch myself falling back into that trap of self doubt, that we learnt in school.
It really is such a joy and such a privilege to watch them grow up to be the person they want to be, who they are meant to be. x

because we are the ones being unschooled and they are reminding us what it is like to actually think for ourselves.

Yes!!!

Yah let them know and let them free to explore.

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Unschooling is good. But not for everyone. For me personally, the school was not useless - I missed all the propaganda, but at the same time I was able to socialize at least to some extent. If I was sitting at home, then most likely, my tendency to autism would have resulted in a full-fledged disease.

Unschooling is not about sitting at home.

;)

I know, but if I didn’t have to go to school without fail, I wouldn’t go anywhere voluntarily — and would spend all my time reading books. Actually, this is exactly what I was doing all vacation))).

That sounds fucking great! What's the complaint?

This is not a complaint, just an awareness of the fact that enforcement of socialization was to my advantage. But this is my particular case, someone else, on the contrary, hasn't need for such extreme mode.