Learning From Children
The Recess Analogy (Excerpt from Are You Free?)
When I was an after school daycare helper (when I was in high school), we used to take the kids to the playground every day to play, this experience is the experience where this analogy was drawn from.
When children are in elementary school, the children are young and immature, so the adults set up general rules to keep them from playing unfair and harming one another. In the main area of the playground, where the slides and swings are, the children are playing games like tag. These are games that kids either made up or are playing on an imaginative level. Children play and run around based on simple rules and competitive nature.
Unless the children get upset and lose control, the children play happily with one another. The adults are merely there to supervise and mediate between the children, and only intervene when it is necessary. Otherwise, the children have their own system of play that develops between them. Each day they come out to play on the playground and as young humans grow and mature together. The strong win in a context where strength is best suited and the smart children win where smarts are most needed. Children who lack strength and intelligence struggle to win amidst their weakness.
This analogy shows a functioning libertarian society. The teachers do not tell the children the rules of their games. They are not dictating which games are economically or morally incorrect. They are not trying to enforce any manufactured equalizer. The children are regulating themselves by creating their own rules for the games and co-playing in the little society that they have created for themselves. This ecosystem is daily, although it is for a short period of time, it is steady and consistently held meeting time so that they can establish their own norms. This ecosystem is able to thrive because schools implement "the free society principle", Tom Palmer describes this rule like this, "the rules of free societies are not crafted to benefit this or that person or group; they respect the rights of every human being, regardless of gender, color, religion, language, family, or other accidental feature.” Which explains why children of all shapes and sizes, skin tones, and abilities are able to coexist and play along with each other even with their advantages and disadvantages. The children accept one another how they are and are able to get along because of their tolerance and acceptance of one another's scenario that they find themselves in, physically and emotionally.
You might argue that this analogy is using too simple of an example. I would argue that you are correct, that children do not have a currency based system or strong moral convictions having to be acted out in their childish games, but what they do have is tolerance. The children desire to get along because they are one another's means of social interaction, competition, and entertainment.
Most of the country has people in public areas interacting with each other in an agreeable manner. We see someone who is Muslim praying towards Mecca or a homosexual couple holding hands and most people accept that it is their belief and life choice, even if they personally don’t agree. Why do we need the government to pass legislation that condemns certain people that hold different views?
I was an Atheist until the age of 16. As a Christian, I do not wish for the government to pass legislation discriminating against Atheists. If I had not come to believe in the Christian message by God's grace, I would surely still be an Atheist today. We all must come to realize that we are shaped by our experiences. One person might have grown up in a Buddhist family, and so naturally, they are going to be inclined to Buddhism until otherwise convinced.
It seems contradictory to raise children to tolerate other children's beliefs, but then when they become adults to allow them to pass legislation that's going to attack the same beliefs that they were told to tolerate. Schools, in general, are built on the libertarian mindset of freedom of beliefs, you have all kinds of different children in schools with different beliefs but the administration doesn't come to those students and tell them that they have to believe X thing that they have established as the general morality for that school. (Private schools are the exception, but the school is built on the idea of exclusivity so that parents can have their children in an environment that affirms their beliefs instead of contradicting them) The only exception would be the two principles that libertarianism believes are core, don't hit other kids and don't steal their property. Why have we complicated things once we become adults, why can we not keep it as simple as elementary school rules?
This has been a chapter from my book Are You Free?
Tim Bankes II
Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, "About God for Kids", where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has written a book on freedom called “Are You Free” (If you are into listening to books I have it in audio also, Are You Free Audiobook )and he has written multiple children’s books about God. Be Sure to check out the podcast version of the blog, Labor for Truth Podcast. And check out “The Truth About” Youtube Channel. You can find his works at his amazon author page, https://amazon.com/author/timbankes. He even has a free digital ebook on how God is the creator. Get your free copy today at, Greater Creator .Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish
Some of my other favorite books on these subjects that are great for beginners to the liberty movement are:
Faith Seeking Freedom by Norman Horn, Doug Stuart , Kerry Baldwin, Dick Clark (Christian Perspective)
The Libertarian Theology of Freedom by Edmund Opitz (Christian Perspective)