Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Core Values

This is a bit of a follow-up to my previous post, Debating and Discussing.

Many people feel that, because of my age, mainly, my "radical" ideas will likely change (after all, all anarchists are young, right?? *Snorts*). I find this view rather offensive, but I'm not going to go into it now. Many changes happen over time, and I can't know what I'll look like or think like or who I'll be in the future. But I can know that some things are far more integral and essential to me, and have, since I was much younger, been essential to my Being, and those things I think are FAR less likely to change than anything else.

I have a few unshakable values, things that can’t be affected by others opinions, by arguments, by new findings. Things that aren’t up for questioning in my mind, and that I don’t think *can* be “objectively proved”. Things that are rooted firmly in the core of my being, and which without their existence, I would be an entirely different person.

One is the absolute belief that ALL life has inherent value, not just human life, and that the status of “person” does not belong solely to humans (or even solely to other animals). This is what everything else I believe in, support, and live is based on. That the Earth is Alive, that all it’s inhabitants are People, and that the Earth should be respected and revered.

Secondly, I believe humans to be capable of living as free beings (and to deserve the right to live as such): I do not believe that humans “need” to be controlled by others. I believe each human has the inherent ability to lead their own lives and make their own decisions.

All my other opinions and views are just window dressings, really.  They have changed, will quite likely change, and are in a perpetual state of changing, as I think on things and talk to people and read new books and have new experiences…  All my other views are simply those that, with my current experience, most closely line up with my core values.

And those core values, well, I’m pretty damn sure those are here to stay.



  1. I have become more radical as I got older, not less!

  2. Idzie, do you believe that the earth and animals have consciousness? That is the defining point for me. The government defines a corporation as a "person," but to me that is morally wrong because a corporation lacks consciousness and therefore knows not or cares not what it does. A human being is the only being capable of knowing and caring what it does -- and also of choosing not to know or care. Neither the earth, nor animals, possess that moral choice.

    Other than that, I agree that freedom is absolutely a most essential need of a human being if he or she is to be as happy and healthy as possible. In other words, even though we have the capacity for choice, no one should be forced by anyone else to make "correct" choices. Without the freedom to make mistakes, there is no freedom to obtain wisdom.

  3. @Cheryl: Animals? Of course! The earth? In a different way, but still yes. I totally disagree that humans are the only ones who "know or care" what they do, and find that statement to be a pretty arrogant one (not trying to diss you. People say stuff like that all the time. I just disagree! Anthropocentrism really bothers me...). I think that "morality" as is commonly thought and talked of in this black and white, objectively good or evil way is a construct of this society, not innately human. Free choice, which is what we have, exists for everyone, not just humans. Anyway, just my opinions. I'm not trying to argue AT ALL here, just elaborating on my views! :-) I'm an animist, and that's how I see the world...

  4. "I do not believe that humans “need” to be controlled by others. I believe each human has the inherent ability to lead their own lives and make their own decisions."

    Amen sister. True Freedom is #1 for me.

  5. Idzie, I wasn't trying to argue, either. Just trying to understand a viewpoint one doesn't hear very often. I'm always curious about your viewpoints and they make me think more deeply about my own.

  6. @lifeonplanetearth: :-)

    @Cheryl: Oh, I know you weren't! Did I come across as hostile at all? I hope I didn't, because that totally wasn't my intention. :-( I'm very glad to hear that! I try and keep myself open to other views, though I know I fail at that more often than I'd like. It's something to work on... :-)

  7. I like your views on being young and radical. I think that you are right, you are who you are and other people are right, you will change. How you will change is yet to be determined. Often, I believe, people displace their own process on you. They abandoned radical views, became normalised or more average, accepted what is the status quo. So they assume, or even hope you will. If you don't that challenges the choice that they made. Makes them feel that abandonment of belief isn't inevitable and was perhaps a mistake. I feel that most of the time when an individual tells you what will happen to you it comes from their own fear or sadness.
    Like you I believe the Earth (Gaia) and all beings are a knitted together consciousness. Just because we are not able to specifically name or recognise a thought or feeling doesn't mean it does not exist. Like James Lovelock I believe we are Gaia's consciousness, I don't know the role that each element plays but I am sure there is one.
    Honestly I am becoming more radical now that I have children. My views on Feminism and the environment are becoming stronger. I have a confidence and sense of purpose I used to lack. My boys are my driving force now, I think this is what happens for a lot of women. As a society we only value what has money worth so the work of women in birthing children, in raising children and families is negated. Until we live in a society that places moral worth at its centre rather than a token system of money this will continue. I think it is vital that women engage in the birthing process and in every phase of their children's development (for me homeschooling is going to be a part of that) actively challenging the status quo.
    I don't want my children to be 'normal', I want them the be the extraordinary individuals I know they are. To be hindered by nothing, certainly not their own perceptions of what is possible.

    Honestly I think the further I stray from the status quo, the more likely it is I am getting things right ; ) What a pleasure it is to see a young person such as yourself with such zest for life, such a passion for the world. It gratifies me and gives me hope for my own children.

  8. Hi Idzie,

    I came across your blog recently through some other unschooling blogs and am reading through the archives presently. I consider myself to be an Anarchist and that was the first set I chose to read through. :)

    You said:
    "I do not believe that humans “need” to be controlled by others. I believe each human has the inherent ability to lead their own lives and make their own decisions."

    This jumped out at me a bit because I have found that during holidays like Independence Day, where I go out and mingle a bit with the general public (rather than groups of my own selection like other Unschooling families which tend to share like-minded ways of thinking), I am exposed to stupidity in massive proportions. By this I mean people who live their lives in willful ignorance, living with low aspirations, blindly following religion and government, who *eschew* making decisions that aren't in lockstep with Joe Average. They may be inherently capable of making their own choices but they choose blissful ignorance instead.

    I hear non-unschoolers say to me all the time that the only reason any child is raised "successfully" via unschooling is because they have parents that are well-educated or very thoughtful, intelligent people. I agree to the extent that it certainly reflects my own experience with other unschoolers.

    With Anarchism, as well...I don't see it working with much of the sort of people the American populace seems highly composed of. What are your thoughts on this? Does it take "smart" people to make radical ideas work?