Bhagwad Jal has been unable to understand the simple concept of liberty. The latest is a "deduction" he makes that I'm happy to give parents the freedom to RUIN their children. That's an absurd claim. I have made it clear enough that parents have no rights to violence against their children (minor actions to discipline the child being not being violence in this sense), but he insists that should a parent choose not to send a child to school, the parent is RUINING the child. And so, parents must be COERCED to send their children to school.
That I don't agree with at all The point is this: even if a parent were ruining the future of the child (in this way), that isn't cause enough for the state to step in. But let's elaborate a bit. My response to Bhagwad was this:
re: “how you can give parents the freedom to ruin the lives of their children by not giving them basic education”, I’m afraid despite my repeated requests, you’ve not read BFN. Now you are alleging that I’m advocating freedom to RUIN childrens’ lives. Of course not. That’s a total distortion of what I’m saying.
What you are unable to fathom (CLEARLY you are not a parent, yet) is that THERE IS NO ONE IN THE WORLD WITH GREATER CONCERN FOR A CHILD THAN THE PARENT. Extremely exceptional cases notwithstanding, I’ve not yet come across A SINGLE (normal) CASE where parents aren’t determined to get the best possible future for their children.
The fact that in some cases they choose NOT to send their children to [often non-existent] school ["run" by the government] is the BEST outcome for their child under those circumstances.
For you, who have no child (I’m unlikely to be wrong on this deduction, but if I’m wrong, my apologies), to SECOND GUESS the decisions of parents is the most absurd extremist form of paternalism one can imagine. A paternal parent who has no child!
And now for the extracts from BFN that clarify the situation:
[Re: School vouchers] This method will also ensure that the choices made by parents are honoured. Honouring parents’ choices can only be a good thing. No one could be a greater well-wisher of a child than his or her own parents. A government should never interfere with a parent’s choices without very good reason – only if both parents have a conclusive record of neglecting their children can a government make better decisions on behalf of the child.
[In relation to a diagram] The diagram below summarizes the reasons and shows how freedom keeps the population size low and motivates parents to send their children to school.
And finally, the full argument, from the Online Notes to BFN:
We cannot expect a child to grow up into an adult capable of making informed choices without having acquired at least a decent education. Capitalism requires the society to develop the knowledge and skills of its children. Semi-capitalist societies like USA, Japan, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands and UK had all achieved very high literacy rates by the end of the nineteenth century; some of them had achieved similar high rates of literacy even earlier prior to the ideas of freedom becoming more widely understood. Initial growth in literacy was grounded in compulsion.
But is compulsion really necessary? As the father of my children I am responsible for them; so I must have the freedom to educate them, or to not educate them. My having such discretion really doesn’t bother anyone, because you are certain that I will to educate my children. Indeed, we clamour for good schools for our children, and spend hours with them at home on their studies. Making education compulsory would be merely a needless encroachment on our freedom.
But the existence of child labour would seem to indicate that at least some parents are not as rational as us. But these parents are not really irrational. First of all, child labour is not a new thing; it was a normal part of feudal society. India’s socialist policies didn’t help change this. These policies led to continued poverty and (hence) to rapid population growth. These policies also made education quite meaningless: the low-quality ‘education’ delivered by village and small town schools was worthless. Therefore, parents in remote villages rationally chose to provide their children with vocational and life-sustaining skills instead. You and I would have likely done the same in their place. As India becomes free and the quality of education improves parents will be able to can see the direct relationship between good-quality school education and the future income of their children. At that point parents even in the remotest villages will voluntarily send their children to school instead of making them work. We already see this happening with private English medium schools sprouting in villages across India. Parents are not fools. They recognise value when they see it. So let us respect their decisions.
A free society automatically creates incentives for parents to educate their children. In a free society it is not necessary to legislate mandatory education.