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The Lockean Project

Parents’ Rights: Stop the Ownership of Children by the State

Parents’ Rights: Stop the Ownership of Children by the State

By L.K. Samuels

Nobody owns children. Parents or the legal guardians of a child do not own their children either. Instead, the parent’s role is one of guardian who takes care of children until they reach the age of adulthood. Parents have a duty to raise their children to be as healthy and functional as possible, treating them with a balance of privileges and responsibilities, and not beholden to slavery.  This is part of the self-ownership axiom that John Locke touched upon in his Second Treatise of Government (1689), writing, “Every Man has Property in his own Person.” Considered the “father of liberalism,” Locke’s concept of personal sovereignty, anti-slavery, and strong property rights heavily influenced the American Revolutionaries.


Simply, parents’ rights are an extension of John Locke’s natural laws where governments are instituted to secure people’s rights to “life, liberty, and property.” In other words, the state cannot own children, adults, parents, or, in fact, anyone. But most governments oppose individual self-ownership and self-governance. They always seek to control society. They believe they own all citizens—lock, stock, and barrel—and will take every advantage to slap on the chains of slavery and oppression.

And where did this concept of government schooling originate? It came from one of the largest and most oppressive slave states in human history—the militaristic Greek state of Sparta (650 BC–192 BC), where its government not only owned its citizens but also captured foreigners to increase their stock of slaves. Sparta had seven times as many slaves as citizens.

All Spartan children were forced into a state-operated educational system, where most males trained for war for most of their lives. Under Sparta’s rules, all education was the duty of the state. Female children were shipped to community schools for both academic and less rigorous athletic training. For both sexes, the training was usually more indoctrination than education. Private schooling, which was common in Athens and other Greek states, was not allowed in Sparta.

American schooling is now mostly based on the Sparta/Prussian model, and not by the Founder’s version of a private, independent, and decentralized educational system—known at the time as non-government “public schools”. These classical liberal schools taught students how to think, not what to think. In contrast, many American politicians enlist the government to take over American schools. They pushed their authoritarian agenda by imposing property taxes to fund and control schools, which first started in the state of Massachusetts during the 1840s.

The socialization and nationalization of America’s schooling system continue to mimic the policies of the National Socialists of Germany. The Nazis believed that children belong to the state, and said so plainly. In 1933, Adolf Hitler rebuked an upset parent, arguing, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to me already. A people lives forever. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants however now stand in the new camp. In a short time, they will know nothing else but this new community.’” On May 1, 1937, The Führer declared with a more odious message, “The new Reich will give its youth to no one but will itself take over youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.” Not only had the National Socialist of Germany taken over the schools, but had accomplished it with the help of the National Socialist Teachers League (labor union), who spearheaded the drive to socialize and racialize teachers, parents, and school children.

We must push back against our increasingly fascist-socialist-designed educational system in America. We must stop the indoctrination, dumbing-down (idiocracy), and manipulation of America’s children. If we don’t, we will simply duplicate Sparta’s dystopic society of slavery, blind obedience, and dependency.

L.K. Samuels is the author of Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum (2019) and four other books.  Killing History:

Published by Libertarian Party of Monterey County, P.O. Box 22231, Carmel, CA 93923