Both Betsy and Pajamas Media are linking to Tony Woodlief‘s WSJ article, Don’t Suffer the Little Children
A father of four explains the realist approach to parenting
Another school year has sprung itself upon us, which is always an occasion for my wife, a former Detroit public-school teacher, and me to remind ourselves why we home-school. Part of the reason, in addition to my wife’s expertise in this area, can be found in Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions,” published 20 years ago. Mr. Sowell contrasted the “unconstrained vision” of utopians, who want to radically improve humankind, with the “constrained vision” of realists, who begin with the proposition that man is inherently self-interested, and not moldable into whatever form the high-minded types have in store for us once they get their itchy fingers on the levers of power. Mr. Sowell’s book has been influential among conservatives for its compelling explanation of the divide between people who want to reshape us–often via large intrusions on liberty–and those who believe that the purpose of government is to protect institutions (like markets and families) that channel our inherent selfishness into productive behavior. It is also a handy guide for parenting.
I am sure my podcast listeners will remember Tony, who wrote the excellent pamphlet Raising Wild Boys Into Men: A Modern Dad’s Survival Guide.
Dr. Sowell’s excellent book, A Conflict of Visions, is still in print and can be ordered from Amazon.