I have had more pushback regarding these two blogs of mine (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/693930/; https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/mother-or-father-as-guardian-of-the-baby-mother/) than from any other topic I have ever addressed on this blog. I am grateful to those who have written me on this matter. Most were well-considered arguments. I will not respond to all of them (hey, I’ve gotta do my other writing), but here are my responses to two of them:
First of all, my initial essay on this topic was merely an attempt to apply black letter libertarian homesteading theory (see below) to which I think all libertarians agree, to an arena to which it has not often been applied. I noted that from the time of intercourse, to the birth of the baby, the mother necessarily puts in far more “mixing of her labor” with the fetus than does the father, abstracting from financial considerations (I also ignore the fact that Arnold Schwartenegger was once pregnant). Therefore, at the time of birth, not at any other time, the mother has a far better case for ownership of the guardianship rights of the infant than the fater. Probably, I should have been far more clear about this beforehand. I’m trying my best to clarify, now. With this in mind, let me respond first to H, by interspersing my responses within his important queries.
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2018 8:11 AM
Subject: Lew Rockwell: Mother custody
I plan to respond to your favoring the mother for custody in a divorce scenario, but first a couple questions:
Does the father have any obligation to support the child in the future?
<<No. None. Unless he contractually obligates himself to do so. There are no positive obligations in libertarian theory. Only negative ones. Does the father have any obligation to support the mother in the future? <<No. Ditto. Is there a transfer of his past earnings to the mother in the divorce? << No. Ditto. For the same reasons. Does the father have any rights to the child at all? << Yes, certainly. His rights are second, only, to the mother’s. If she dies, and he is willing to care for the child, his guardianship rights are better than those of anyone else. With keen interest, H To B: I have children of my own, a son and a daughter, so I can perhaps emphasize with you. My heart goes out to you in your plight. I wish you every success
in your endeavors. However, your son is now 14. My essay was focused, only, on newborns. At that time, if there were a divorce between you and your wife, or the mother of your child, all I am saying is that her guardianship rights were then stronger than yours. Most courts look at these matters from the “best interests of the child” and I have no quarrel with that. In baseball if there is a tie at first base, the call goes to the runner. That’s arbitrary. In a dispute between the mother and father as to guardianship rights in terms of the “best interests of the child”, at the time of birth of the baby, my view is that the tie should go to the mother, based upon libertarian homesteading theory. I am an avid reader of your contributions to LRC. Even if I were not, I would still wish you the best. Certainly, I agree with you that when a boy reaches 14, the influence of a loving father is very, very important.
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2018 8:13 AM
Subject: Re: Child custody
When speaking of child custody, women are better suited to handle the 24-hour challenges posed by infants. Their nurturing/cuddling hormone, oxytocin, qualifies them for the job. But that same hormone-driven nurturing smothers kids as they grow up. Eventually something else enters the picture. The single mother wants a son to grow up and support her. She pulls on the child’s heartstrings and cries. A son never gets an opportunity to start his own life, career, marriage, etc.
Some time back a teacher took 17 disadvantaged kids in Los Angeles and taught them one subject: reading, nothing else. As they advanced through middle and high school they excelled and had excellent SAT scores. All of them received full scholarship offers from high-ranking schools. How many of them went on to higher education? None. Their mothers pressured the children to get a job and support them. This is why mothers are not best suited for the job of raising kids beyond their nurturing years.
What can result is a son being a mamma’s boy. The mother interferes with any approaching young female who may befriend her son. The fatherless boy has an unconscious desire for a father. The gays and other Catholic priests target these fatherless boys, knowing their weakness. The boy’s life may continue to revolve around his mother, as pointed out in a recent article I wrote at LewRockwell.com
I’m living this challenge. My son is 14 and his mother has contrived stories to persuade the family court to remove all custody from me, the father. My son is devastated. I appealed and got an attorney appointed by the court to represent my son’s interests. That attorney (called minor’s counsel) has already arranged for me to take my son on a business trip to Japan over the mother’s objections. And my son’s voice on who he wants to spend time with (mom or dad) is now being heard. About 40% of divorced mothers use tricks to block their children from having contact with their fathers, to the detriment of the child. B
Libertarian homesteading theory:
Block, 1990, 2002A, 2002B; Block and Edelstein, 2012; Block and Yeatts, 1999-2000; Block vs Epstein, 2005; Bylund, 2005, 2012; Grotius, 1625; Hoppe, 1993, 2011; Kinsella, 2003, 2006, 2009; Locke, 1948 (pp. 17-19), 1955 (chapter 5); Paul, 1987; Pufendorf, 1673; Rothbard, 1973, 32; Rozeff, 2005; Watner, 1982
Block, Walter E. 1990. “Earning Happiness Through Homesteading Unowned Land: a comment on ‘Buying Misery with Federal Land’ by Richard Stroup,” Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, Summer, pp. 237-253.
Block, Walter E. 2002A. “Homesteading City Streets; An Exercise in Managerial Theory,” Planning and Markets, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 18-23; September, http://www-pam.usc.edu/volume5/v5i1a2s1.html; http://www-pam.usc.edu/
Block, Walter E. 2002B. “On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 3, No. 4, July-September, pp. 53-73
Block, Walter E. and Michael R. Edelstein. 2012. “Popsicle sticks and homesteading land for nature preserves.” Romanian Economic and Business Review. Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring, pp. 7-13;
Block, Walter and Guillermo Yeatts. 1999-2000. “The Economics and Ethics of Land Reform: A Critique of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s ‘Toward a Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrarian Reform,’” Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 37-69
Block, Walter v. Richard Epstein. 2005. “Debate on Eminent Domain.” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1144-1169
Bylund, Per. 2005. “Man and Matter: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Justification of Ownership in Land from the Basis of Self-Ownership.” Master thesis, Lund University, spring semester (June); http://www.uppsatser.se/uppsats/a7eb17de8f/; http://perbylund.com/academics_polsci_msc.pdf; http://www.essays.se/essay/a7eb17de8f/; http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24965&postid=1330482
Bylund, Per. 2012. “Man and matter: how the former gains ownership of the latter.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 4, No. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2012/lp-4-1-5.pdf
Grotius, Hugo. 1625. Law of War and Peace (De Jure Belli ac Pacis), 3 volumes; translated by A.C. Campbell, London, 1814
Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1993. The Economics and Ethics of Private Property: Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, Boston: Kluwer
Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “Of Private, Common, and Public Property and the Rationale for Total Privatization,” Libertarian Papers Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-13. http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/1-hoppe-private-common-and-public-property/
Kinsella, Stephan N. 2003. “A libertarian theory of contract: title transfer, binding promises, and inalienability” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 11–37; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/17_2/17_2_2.pdf
Kinsella, Stephan N. 2009. “What Libertarianism Is.” August 21;
Kinsella, Stephan N. 2006. “How we come to own ourselves” September 7;
Kinsella, Stephan N. 2009. “Homesteading, Abandonment, and Unowned Land in the Civil Law.” May 22; http://blog.mises.org/10004/homesteading-abandonment-and-unowned-land-in-the-civil-law/
Locke, John. 1948. An Essay Concerning the True Origin, Extent and End of Civil Government, in E. Barker, ed., Social Contract, New York: Oxford University Press,
Locke, John. 1955. Second Treatise of Civil Government, Chicago: Henry Regnery
Paul, Ellen Frankel. 1987. Property Rights and Eminent Domain. Livingston, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers
Pufendorf, Samuel. 1673. Natural law and the law of nations (De officio hominis et civis prout ipsi praescribuntur lege naturali)
Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp
Rozeff, Michael S. 2005. “Original Appropriation and Its Critics.” September 1.
Watner, Carl. 1982. “The Proprietary Theory of Justice in the Libertarian Tradition.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Vol. 6, No. 3-4, Summer/Fall, pp. 289-316; http://mises.org/journals/jls/6_3/6_3_6.pdf
6:45 pm on November 1, 2018 Email Walter E. Block