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I’m pretty sure Holt still believed that “child” was a useful distinction for a person with a protected status. He just didn’t think it should be based on age. If people want to stay children after 18, protected from having to work but also having no right to vote, perhaps they should be able to. And if a young person wants to accept adult responsibilities and rights earlier than others would, what right do others have to prevent them? I’m confident there’s a way we can protect the innocent and empower the bold and responsible regardless of age.

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I find this view interesting, but can't find any reference to it in his work. Source?

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Jul 22, 2023Liked by Brendon Marotta

In “Escape From Childhood” Holt says he resists using the word “liberation” because he doesn’t believe all children want freedom. If children prefer their captivity, let them have it, he says. However, if a child wants to escape, they should be allowed to. Furthermore, if after having escaped, they want to go back to captivity, they should be allowed to return. He doesn’t give any age cutoff for this. There is an interview he did alongside Farson where he extrapolates on that idea at the beginning and it’s up on YT. (https://youtu.be/i64OJ7w8B2c) They both seem to agree.

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Interesting. I'm more sympathetic to that view.

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Jul 19, 2023·edited Jul 19, 2023

Apparently this puts me in disagreement with awful people on, I imagine, the internet, but I don't think "other people not being punished for having sex with you" even approaches being a right, especially with how few under-18 demographics actually want this at all, whereas it's no projection to say that many minors of different ages want to escape difficult living situations or to make choices like reading a valueless book at 1 AM, for instance. Laws against having sex with children punish adults, not children. Drugs are typically illegal. Driving is also more a privilege than a right. However, I want to see more long-distance bike/walking trails. These already exist, and to grow up near one is to grow up with the hope and leverage of awareness of ineradicable recourse. Social media is killer on young people's mental health, but who can blame them for using it, when they're not offered anything that matters or any source of agency other than the very equal-opportunity act of yelling at people on Twitter? Long-distance trails reward physical competence with agency. They create a relationship between the self and the world that is mediated by no one else. On the other hand, social media offers very real power, if you think of the right moves. In the real world today, teenagers do run away, and get kicked out, and take refuge in queer communes, which are easy to find online, and some of them do get exploited. To have "real" power to avoid exploitation would be to have better options. To have better options seems like a major anti-capitalist-exploitation project. Child labor laws are to clean up a mess that capitalism made, and they also add endless problems for young people's agency or power in a capitalism-dominated society, for which solutions are antithetical to the structure of capitalism. Unfortunately, I'm not the most optimistic that we can have a leftist utopia anytime soon and without damage to something else. Something short-term in the vein of women's shelters or youth hostels would be a good step. The other route that seems viable is that the same institutions that supposedly prevent abuse from running rampant in the home (homes being tiny dictatorships and all) could be directed towards alternatives chosen by young people. I think forcibly returning a kid to an unwanted home or institution is an injustice that, at best, is the result of a rough world. We can't necessarily cure cancer, but we can say that it's unfair and undesirable.

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