So you wish the State would interfere less?
(If not, better go to the home page and choose a different option.)
We agree. It is part of our Creed. But before you explore the site, here are some preliminary thoughts.
Most of those who want independence for men want the same for women.
This site disagrees. Instead we uphold male dominance. Here are some reasons for this.
If you think that "humanity is a result of mere chance", you are reading the wrong page. We suggest you go to the Home Page (via the link near the top of this page) and choose that option.
Here, we assume (the only other logical possibility) that humanity was intended. And that being so, although it is true that "nature is not destiny", it is also true that nature probably gives clues about what is good for us. Here is one such clue.
If one man differs from another as regards some tendency or aptitude, in a sense it is accidental. But the differences between the sexes are not accidents but essential features, and clues for understanding our humanity. Among these are qualities such as strength, speed and assertiveness, that is, the qualities that enable dominance, which contrast with ....
"... certain female realities, such as your beauty, and its softness, and its subjectability to male domination."
John Norman, Savages of Gor Chapter 13
This suggests that some kind of domination may be a proper feature of the human condition, and that suppressing natural personal domination by men may lead to an unnatural impersonal domination like that of "the State".
Libertarianism and Female Independence
The problems of female independence on Libertarian assumptions can be seen in connection with children. Take this passage.
"[A babe's mother is] the only certain and visible parent, [so she alone has any creator's right there may be over it. And there is such a right.] The [creator] of the baby [becomes] its [owner]. A newborn baby cannot be an existent self-owner in any sense. Therefore [the mother] may be [its] owner. ... But surely [not absolute ownership], because that would imply the bizarre state of affairs that [adults] would be subject to [their mothers]. So [it] must be limited in time. [And] it must be limited in kind, for it surely would be grotesque [to permit infanticide. So] the parental ownership is ... of a trustee or guardianship kind. ... Every [newborn] possesses the right of self-ownership by virtue of being a separate entity and a potential adult. ... The parent therefore may not murder ... his child [but is entitled] not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die."
Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (1982), Chapter 14.
There are several problems with this.
Problem 1. Rothbard dismisses options he dislikes because they are "bizarre" or "grotesque" yet sees nothing bizarre or grotesque in permitting slow starvation but not swift infanticide.
Problem 2. With genetic testing there are now two equally "certain" parents, so there would need to be some kind of partnership, with defined rights for each partner. Maybe this could be done, but the result may seem less plausible than Rothbard's simple-seeming matriarchy.
Paternity has always been known "certainly enough" (that is, beyond serious doubt) in many cases, so this is not really a new point.
Presumably Rothbard never meant visibility as a separate criterion, only (at best) as evidence for certainty or (at worst) obfuscation. If he means that it is only nurture in the womb that creates the child, and that the genes are irrelevant, he has a strange way of saying it.
As if sensing the weakness of his declared Maternalism, Rothbard keeps mentioning "the parents", always skating around the difficulty by treating them as united.
Problem 3 concerns parental rights as such. Rothbard reasons as follows:
[a] A newborn "possesses the right of self-ownership".
[b] A newborn "cannot be an existent self-owner".
[c] A newborn "may" be owned.
[d] A newborn is owned.
To have the right to own something without actually owning it is logically impossible, so he must mean that, like a sleeper, the babe [a] self-owns but [b] currently make no choices.
But if the child self-owns, [c] is untenable. Self-owners cannot be owned, and Rothbard gives no reason to exempt babes. And if nobody owns the child, any claim to exclude others from its nurture must be based on some other principle. For instance, suppose we base it on "the babe's benefit". (Not very free-market, but alternatives amount to much the same.) Then if maternal nurture is most beneficial, others must yield, but it is far from obvious how often this would be the case. If adoption by some other party is more beneficial, it is the mother who must yield.
Rothbard, usually so logical, was so keen to find an Individualist basis for the family that he accepted an illogical one. This illustrates the strength of the intuition of family, which is a separate principle, and cannot be based on mere Individualism. Once we admit this, we begin to free ourselves from the idea of female independence.
The Illusion of Female Independence
Treating both sexes the same, even in its modest "votes for women" form, has never prevailed except in a Welfare State, or a trend towards it. That is, women have never really been independent: if they were not subject to men, they were subject to The State. This suggests that female independence is impossible.
In a Welfare State the matter is simple. The paternal State, the all-providing father, in its nationwide harem-and-nursery, permits conjugal visits but tolerates no human rival. But we who love freedom and uphold the enforcement of property rights face a question: if not the State, who is to use force within family life?
The kind of defense league we free-market Libertarians favour enables a large group of the weak to withstand a few of the strong (*1). It can only work if the majority are willing to defend each other's property (*2). If this means defending other families, it is perfectly plausible, however remote it seems at present, and something like it has been practised in the past. But if it means "defending" a woman against her husband, I regard this as implausible. Of course it happens all the time at present, but that is part of Statism. It is not defending wives' independence, it is asserting the State's power over both man and wife. It is not part of a culture of liberty, it is part of a culture of dependence.
(*1) Such a league may be organised in various ways. Whether it has "members", "clients" or "customers" makes little difference.
(*2) At present the majority in practice do not defend one another's property, but vote for Statist politicians.
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