Children are the most cherished, but most defenseless humans on earth. They are little people, people still developing, growing, and changing. To take advantage of these innocent little people is deplorable beyond comprehension. It takes a special kind of scum to harm a child; and unfortunately, it seems the world is rife with scum. From alleged pedophile rings in Washington to Hollywood, and now within the anarchist communities, their numbers appear larger than expected. It seems these nasty people are everywhere, lurking around the corner, hunting for the next victim. This means we should do everything to stamp these monsters out, regardless of their numbers.
I already condemn the culturally acceptable practice of spanking. I have condemned any kind of physical violence against children with great zeal. My mindset regarding pedophilia is similar, except my hatred of pedophiles is stronger. I condemn pedophilia and the sexual exploitation of children with all my heart.
I already believe those who hit children are morally culpable for causing harm. So it follows that those who sexually abuse children are also culpable. Touching a child sexually is one of the most heinous and barbaric acts. Those who commit such indecencies should be held accountable for their actions. Further, they should face dire consequences. These consequences can be whatever the local communities decide so that the victims can find justice and be made whole.
To me, this commentary goes without saying, but recent events have necessitated the use of my pen. I also have never discussed this topic in depth, so I intend to delve into the finer points.
Can Children Consent to Adult Sexual Advances?
Some people — including some “anarchists” — believe children possess the ability to consent to sex. I don’t believe in the myth that a child can consent to the sexual advances of an adult; children lack the cognitive ability to consent to sexual advancement. By definition, a child is a human without the capacity to make sound decisions. Studies on the psychology of predators have already borne this out; there is a such a thing as grooming. Sexual predators groom their victims to “consent” to their sexual advancement. This occurs because a child does not have the mental acuity to understand what’s happening. The brain is still in a formative stage, and thus children generally follow the adults lead, even if the adult leads them to unwanted sexual contact.
This behavior is worse in the case of parents who sexually abuse their children. Parent and child typically develop a bond, and the child comes to trust the parent — even if the parent physically, mentally, or sexually abuses the child. This is well documented in psychological studies. It’s a kind of biological paradox. Even though the parent abuses the child, the child still has an attachment bond with that parent, creating confusion, fear, and other emotional disturbances.
It’s this biological paradox that also allows parents to take advantage of their children and abuse them for long periods of time without anyone knowing. It’s what causes near-irreparable harm to a developing brain. This is what makes child sexual abuse particularly unimaginable and loathsome and cruel.
When does A Child Become an Adult?
There is certainly a debate surrounding the idea of when a child can consent; or in other words, when a child becomes an adult. There is no clear science or delineating factor that determines when a child becomes an adult, therefore it is open to subjective interpretation. It is at the discretion of communities, parents, and societies to determine when a child becomes an adult. In the modern day, governments have generally decided the age of consent, and in the United States, these ages vary by locality.
If all human societies went strictly by neurobiology, everyone would need to be 25 years old to be considered an adult. The brain continues to form and grow until humans are about 25 years old. However, most people would be upset if they could not consent to sexual contact prior to 25 years of age, and this would likely create a bunch of “evil doers” and “law breakers.”
On the other side of the coin, if human societies judged consent strictly by sexual maturation, then some people would “be able” to consent at the age of 11 or 12, especially girls who hit puberty earlier than boys. However, most people also agree that 11 or 12 years old is nowhere near old enough for people to consent to sexual activity. 11 and 12 year old’s are still children. Besides lacking in brain development, they have barely entered into puberty and began the process of full sexual maturation.
What’s the Solution to Age of Consent?
There is no easy or clear cut answer to this issue, but it’s always important to err on the side of caution. It’s imperative that communities and localities discuss the aforesaid issue at great length so that pedophile societies aren’t accidentally created and maintained. The solution is to have constant discussions on the social and community level. Groups of people, especially parents, have to come to a consensus on the age of consent. They have to have talks with each other on what constitutes sexual maturity. It is through this process of discussion, that a culture-based decision on the age of consent is determined and upheld.
One thing is for certain, such a delicate and important matter should not be left in the hands of government. These agencies of violence oftentimes make matters worse; and in some ways, they create sexual predators. It’s my belief that new methods for maintaining a healthy sexual status quo will emerge in an environment of freedom, because there is a strong incentive in society to protect the children. This desire to protect does not evaporate because government vanishes. I believe it becomes stronger, because free people have more incentive to protect their children. Governments, on the other hand, harm children regularly through CPS and public schooling. Plus, under the current regime, people erroneously believe governments are protecting their children. In this sense, they hand over any sense of responsibility and their children become irrevocably damaged at the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.
Freedom is the solution to helping curb all violence against children, although there is likely not a perfect solution.
Pedophilia in the Anarchist Community
Most anarchists reading this post know what spawned it. They know why I am commenting on this issue, thus I would be remiss not to address it directly and provide some clarity.
Over the last few years, at least two self-proclaimed anarchists have been outed as sexual predators. They admitted they sexually abused their children, or others in the community exposed them as abusers. In the most recent case, Sean Windingland, was outed as a child sexual abuser. A disturbing video surfaced showing him “getting consent” from his daughter to touch his penis. It also came to light that this predator previously made sexual contact with his daughter. It was difficult to watch the video, as emotions of disgust and helplessness erupted like a fire inside of me.
I want to get this out of the way first: all communities, harboring any kind of philosophy, goal, value, or mindset are susceptible to being a refuge for evil humans. It doesn’t matter what values those communities espouse. None of those communities are going to be models of perfection, and none of them will attract all good people. This is just a fact of existence.
Humans by their nature can be good or bad, and the bad ones will do what they can to infiltrate otherwise good societies and warp the values therein to justify their own dastardly motives. For instance, voluntaryists espouse the nonaggression principle. Therefore, some evil people will find a way to twist the nonaggression principle to imply they can touch children. This a bastardization of values, but also an unfortunate consequence of community growth.
Anarchist Community Standards: Take the Trash Out
I will not mince words here. The goal of any community, especially the anarchist enclaves, should be to out these predators immediately. Full stop. They have no place in a free society as they try to sexually assault and harm the most helpless individuals. Currently, the best method for handling them is to get the police involved. As with most anarchists, I hate this idea. The police are also a predator class, but until a free society exists, this is the only option (sort of like driving on the roads is the only option). If an anarchist tries to take the trash out or deliver justice, they will also be punished. Vigilante justice is currently a nonstarter.
With that said, I strongly believe we need to start using the marketplace to build private institutions or decentralized autonomous organizations specifically for the purpose of pinpointing sickos and placing them in a database. A blockchain could be used for proof of pedophilia, just like blockchains are used for proof of existence. However, we also have to make sure these institutions are just and based on the accumulation of evidence.
Anarchist’s should not enter into a torches-and-pitchforks emotional frenzy. We must simply create privatized entities specifically for the purpose of outing predators and erecting a platform for justice. This institution or entity, however, should be based on customer service and community satisfaction. The moment it becomes a hub of power, then it becomes the predator. Nonetheless, there are ways to create such a platform with the proper algorithmic safeguards. Perhaps this article will spur a visionary or entrepreneur into action. Thinking along the lines of a decentralized anti-pedophile or pro-children system is start in the right direction.
A Call to Action: Protect the Children
No matter what, we must all decide on what constitutes the age of consent, and we must do it together. There can be no leeway for sexual predators, and these people must know they are vilified. They must know what will happen if they harm the most innocent people in society. There can be no quarter; no acceptance of these perverted, demented souls. Children should be protected, and they should be protected well.
In modern society, government has done all the protecting…but governments have failed. They are conduits of child exploitation, and agencies like the CPS often ship children into sexually exploitative homes. As anarchists, we have a job..no a duty to protect children. It’s time to demonstrate the power of the market and begin creating a foundation for the defense of children. Under the current system, pedophiles seem to be flourishing. Regardless if this is true, and regardless of the numbers — even if it is just one child — we must mount a defense. We must protect our future, and love our offspring from the bottom of our hearts. Humanity and freedom depend on it.