If you came across a blog post entitled “Očajne škole za ceo svet,” and like me you don’t speak or read Serbian, it might not look relevant to Invisible Order in specific or to libertarian writing in general. But if you scroll down all the way to the bottom, you’ll see my smiling face.
Indeed, this blog post turns out to be the recent Serbian translation of my 2012 article in the Free Market, “Horrible Schools for the Whole World.” In it, I explained the horrors and absurdities of the UN “Education for All” program.
The president of the Serbian libertarian youth organization Libertarijanska Asocijacija, reached out to me last week to ask if his organization could translate and repost the article. Of course, I was honored to consent. Click here to see the article in English on the Mises Daily, and click here to see the website of Libertarijanska Asocijacija.
What happens when the state tries to control culture and education — whether by isolating a “primitive” tribe from the dangers of modern civilization or by ripping children away from their tribal cultures to protect them from their parents’ traditions?
See our own Mike Reid’s article “Culture in a Cage” at the Freeman for an anthropologist’s analysis of government’s war on culture.
I (Mike) will be on the Stateless Man radio show on the Overseas Radio Network Monday at 1:30 pm EST to talk about Idle No More, the huge indigenous protest movement here in Canada, from a libertarian point of view.
If you haven’t checked out the Stateless Man with Fergus Hodgson yet, I suggest you give it a try. Fergus is a libertarian writer and adventurer with fascinating guests every week — including, this week, an Icelandic girl whose name was outlawed by her own government. You can listen in tomorrow via the Overseas Radio Network’s online player.
Right now in Canada, thousands of indigenous people and their supporters are rising in protest against a long train of government abuses. The latest insult is a new federal law that many see as being designed to help crony capitalists rob the indigenous people of their remaining land.
The protest movement is called Idle No More, and it reflects longstanding aboriginal traditions of limiting centralized authority, and relying instead on voluntaryism and polycentrism as organizing principles.
A young woman came to my door the other day and told me she was raising money to teach farmers in the Philippines about “sustainable agriculture.”
“Wow,” I replied, “You must be a major expert for Filipinos to reach out halfway across the world and ask you to come teach them.”
“Oh,” she said, “well, we haven't talked to the Filipinos yet. This is just the money we need to get our organization to the Philippines. Then we'll teach them all about sustainable agriculture.”
This 20-year-old, wearing her paisley bandanna and her hemp necklace, fabulously rich by global standards, is only one of the many idealistic people the West now exports to manage the lives of the global poor.
“Nothing is more natural than humans innovating to make life safer or more comfortable. Not even having a baby without painkillers.”
IO’s very own Mike Reid reflects on what is and isn’t “natural,” while his baby daughter comes into the world.
This article will be in the next print edition of the Freeman
, but you can read it now on FEE.org
The great antifascist scholar Ludwig von Mises warned that government schools are an inevitable source of ethnic conflict, because dominant nationalities can use them to indoctrinate children from other cultures, pulling them away from their parents and communities. In Canada, this was explicitly the aim of the Indian residential schools, which sought to “kill the Indian in the child.”
The Canadian government began the schooling of aboriginal children in earnest by setting up the residential-school program in 1883. The goal was to take kids away from their disobedient, barbarian parents and make them into submissive, civilized British subjects.
Environmentalists and mining companies are fighting over the fate of the remote Klappan Valley in northern British Columbia. The different sides struggle for government approval of their particular plans, but almost no one fully acknowledges the property rights of the first owners of the valley, the indigenous Tahltan people.
The Tahltan have lived in and around the Klappan Valley since before there were any states at all in North America. They defended this rich territory against rival tribes, as Tahltan leaders put it, “from time immemorial, at the cost of our own blood,” long before European contact. They defended it against the mercantilist Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1800s. And now they are defending it against the corporate cronies of the central government.
The state is at its most arrogant when it tries to protect us from ourselves. And there is perhaps no group of people subjected to a more absurd policy of state "protection" than the Jarawa tribe of India. They are confined to a reserve and forbidden to interact with outsiders, ostensibly for their own good.
Anticapitalists like to use examples of supposedly selfless gift exchanges in “primitive” societies to contrast with the greedy behavior of modern markets. But a closer look at one famous exotic gift exchange, the Trobriand Islanders’ Kula, actually reinforces libertarians’ claims about the universal power of the profit motive.
In the elaborate Kula trade among the islands off the eastern tip of New Guinea, men sailed for many miles to receive ceremonial gifts of shell jewelry, apparently for the sole purpose of giving those gifts away again within a year or two.