The Politics of Parenting

The Politics of Parenting

The Politics of Parenting

The Politics of Parenting

Synopsis

Should the state license parents? This book is challenging: the Brave New World of eugenics and State regulation of procreation, parenting and the family. This is a highly reasoned and provocative book about a huge taboo in modern society. It will raise the ire of both the traditionalists and the.politically correct.. It will be attacked in the press. But, ultimately the book is in defense of children and addresses the role of government in ensuring that parents practice a.stewardship. model, rather than an.ownership. model, of childrearing. It should be required reading by any student of populations studies and sociology of the family.

Excerpt

This book is in a sense a companion volume to my Doing Right by Children: Reflections on the Nature of Childhood and the Obligations of Parenthood. in that book, I was concerned with the ethical issues involved in parenting. I asked questions like, What's the proper goal of parenting? and, What do parents owe their children? I deliberately sidestepped the political issues involved in parenting: the government remained in the background throughout my discussions. My intent was to use moral suasion to convince readers that they ought to take the responsibilities of parenthood far more seriously than many people do, that they ought to put the interests of their children ahead of their own interests, and that if they cannot do this, they have no business becoming parents in the first place.

In the present book, moral suasion falls by the wayside. in its place I introduce the iron fist of government and inquire into what role, if any, government has in forcing people to do right by their children. in some cases this might mean not allowing people to have children in the first place; in other cases it might mean allowing people to give birth to children but forcing them to turn their babies over to other, more-qualified parents; and in yet other cases it might mean allowing people to have and raise children but carefully monitoring and regulating the behavior of these parents.

The reader should not infer from these remarks that I am a friend of big government or a fan of governmental coercion. Quite the contrary. My politics are best described as libertarian. As such, I am sympathetic to almost any proposal to shrink the size and power of government. I think that most of the things the government attempts to do, it does poorly, and that the government has almost no business interfering with people's lifestyle choices as long as those . . .

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