Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The War on Childhood

Hollywood would call Daniel Greenfield’s piece, high concept. It is clear, direct and intelligible. It exposes a horror that is defining America’s cultural politics, the left’s war against childhood. It is an impressive piece of analysis, so we will give it some space. (via Maggie’s Farm)

Greenfield also notes the other side of the war on childhood. That is the failure of parents to be parents, the failure of parents to protect children. Among the primary moral responsibilities parents should bear is the one that tells them to protect children, to provide them with safe spaces where they need not engage with the political arena, the marketplace of ideas, the battlefield or the public square.

Apparently, leftist parents no longer care to protect children. They belong to the generation that is whining for safe spaces in colleges and universities, that is complaining about how much they are triggered by hearing opinions that do not echo theirs.

So, what Greenfield calls the war on childhood makes manifest a major moral failure, on the part of America’s adults, especially the millennial generation, the children of the Boomers.

In any event, the war on childhood is based on the notion that a private space, one that is protected from adult behavior and adult responsibility, should not exist. In a strangely ironic way, left has been militating against a right to privacy for young children. So, according to the new left, everything is political. To their minds, we must enlist children in the revolutionary vanguard, and we must do it as soon as we can.

At the heart of the exchange of political buzzwords of the culture war is a simple question about whether childhood should exist. 

Leftists believe that no one may evade political commitments, and that therefore the idea that childhood should be a space apart from adult causes and concerns is a privilege that it is the job of teachers and popular culture to shatter into pieces.

And that is the war on childhood that we see all around us waged from Disney to kindergarten.

He continues:

What this is really about is the leftist conviction that children cannot be allowed to be children, occupying a separate world of imagination and wonder, but must be indoctrinated into the fight as soon as possible with The Anti-Racist Baby Book and Baby Loves Green Energy. The only way to save the world is by politicizing childhood and turning children into little adults worrying about microaggressions, experimenting with sexuality, and fearing that the world will end.

Utopia, the fantasy land of progressive adults who act like children, has no room for children.

Since progressive adults cannot act like adults, they cannot protect children. Since they cannot protect children, cannot provide a space where children can learn for themselves, they have gone to war against childhood. They do not want to take the risk that their children will grow up to disagree with them.

It is the job of adults to save the planet, assuming it needs saving, to debate political causes, to explore whatever sexuality needs exploring, and to build or wreck their lives how they please.

And it is their primary job to protect children from living in that threatening adult world.

Modern life has been defined by the notion that adults should protect children from, for example, factory labor and even farm labor:

From the Victorian era onward, civilized societies worked to create safe spaces for children to grow and learn before that became a term for whiny adults. Reformers and muckrakers took children out of factories. Growing prosperity enabled the rise of a children’s culture in which a multitude of toys and books meant for children filled shops.

Adults protected children, preserving their innocence while they developed into unique people.

We can cast blame on the Baby Boomers and their millennial children for producing this aberration. They broke up the American family, to the point where precious few children grow up in a household comprised of two married parents. But, now that we no longer believe in families, and where we certainly no longer believe in paternal protection, we have gotten to the point where we, as a culture, no longer believe in childhood.

Baby Boomers, a generation whose name is of an era of progeny, may have enjoyed the last golden childhood in American history. And many never grew up. The generations that followed came of age during the breaking of the American family and now the very idea of family. The indirect damage done to children is now being eclipsed by the direct assault on childhood.

So, children are not being placed in factories, but they are being enlisted as the vanguard of radical causes. They are being indoctrinated and brainwashed, traumatized by visions of a dystopian futures, persuaded that their parents cannot protect them:

The radical leftists who demand safe spaces for themselves are taking them away from children. Children are being put to work again, not in factories, which would be kinder by comparison, but in radical causes, they are being told that they are on the verge of death, that their country is evil, and the world is about to be destroyed if they don’t do something at once.

That’s where the traumatized children screaming angrily at rallies come from.

A child’s mind is far more malleable. Children believe what they are told, by teachers and by parental authorities. When it comes to brainwashing, they are completely vulnerable.

Children, especially young children, implicitly trust adults and their parents. If they’re told that the world is about to end, that they’re racists, or have to experiment with gender, they believe it.

The adults who deprive them of their innocence and their childhood are the monsters.

Instead of growing up feeling safe and protected, leftist children are traumatized at an early age by being forced to think of the world as a dangerous and evil place their parents can’t protect them from, but that they must take on the responsibility to change or else everyone will die.

Greenfield continues:

Adults who acted like children insisted that children had to become adults. And these days the precocious children and the immature adults are all around us. They’re also two halves of the same tarnished coin.

And again, working his basic concept, he notes:

Adults who lacked a safe childhood assert the privileges of childhood as soon as they’re economically secure enough to supply themselves with one. They surround themselves with toys, exclusively pursue the most direct pleasures, and clamor for safe spaces and trigger warnings, for the emotional security they lacked as children. But they deny that emotional security to actual children and selfishly traumatize them for their own actualization.

Of  course, one important symptom of this breakdown is the effort to teach kindergarten and elementary school about anti-racism and sexual politics:

The aggressive push to embed sexual politics into elementary schools is how dysfunctional adults, including some teachers, prioritize their own sexual identity over the welfare of children.

It’s also on a par with pushing politics in general on children at the youngest possible age.

As I have noted on occasion, the transgender movement is a form of human sacrifice, one that redefines barbarism and savagery:

The transgender war on children is only the latest in a series of assaults on childhood by politicising everything. When African warlords enlist 8-year-olds to fight for their causes, we think that’s monstrous, but when leftists turn Greta Thunberg, an unstable teenage girl, into a heroine and encourage even preschoolers to protest over global warming, that’s activism.

The sexual identity political movement expects children to have their minds damaged and their bodies mutilated, taking away their ability to have their own children, as a political commitment.

Even African warlords would find that unfathomably barbaric.

And also:

The ancients sacrificed children to the fires of Moloch while progressives sacrifice them to their passion for wokeness. Either one is a symbolic assertion that the obsessions of the adult are more important than the safety of the child. Civilized adults don’t act this way. Barbarians, which is another way of saying children who inhabit the bodies of adults without the disciplined ethics of adulthood, do things like this because they live in a Lord of the Flies world of emotional turmoil, fearful insecurity, and angry selfishness. They see every encounter as a threat to their fragile identities, their insecurities surround them with humiliating microaggressions, and they retreat from their conviction that the world is a threatening place by escaping into fantasies.

And adults sacrifice children to utopian ideologies that promise that a better world is just around the corner.

All it will take is destroying childhood and then children.

Now, tell me why you feel optimistic about our future.

Kudos to Greenfield for an excellent analysis of a cultural horror.


Anonymous said...

Is Stuart Japanese? Shame culture and emojis.

Gibson Block said...

I don't understand this. Children have always been schooled in the causes that their parents hold dear. The parents might not go to marches and demonstrations but the kids know that their religion is their cause and, if the parents have a political commitment, that too.You are too old to fall for the naive idea that these days are radically different from what has gone before.

Anonymous said...

The Biblical age of consent is? A Latino, Lina Medina gave birth at 5yo. Whites have sub-replacement fertility.

Anonymous said...

Trans dad pregnancy.


SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I remember, from my deputy days, making traffic stops at 0400, and finding it to be a car load of kids. Since they were out five hours past curfew, I would take them back to the Sheriff's Office, and call the parents, who didn't seem to care that the kids were out and about at that hour.

The parents did not care that sharks feed at night, and there are sharks on land, too. I felt like saying to the kids, " I am so sorry that your parents don't love you ".

markedup2 said...

I'm of two minds on this. As a counter-example: Grimm Fairy Tales.

If you live near a forest, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel are rather terrifying. "Stranger danger" is not a new thing.