Tag Archives: Nanny State

Doug Smith: Nanny state has crippled a generation

19 Oct

 

 

doug and mark 1

Doug Smith is an author, historian and Associate editor of Free State Patriot

October 19, 2018


 

Throughout the history of civilizations, across various cultures and peoples, there have been rites of passage to adulthood. In hunter gatherer societies, a young man was required to show off his ability to provide food. Later, he might demonstrate his skill with a weapon, such as a sword or battle ax, or how to handle a boat. Among the Jews, a young man goes through his Bar Mitzvah, showing his mastery of the tenets of his faith and culture. For millennia, young men and women have taken their place alongside the adults, in the fields, in the home, on the battlefield, in the shops and forges, on ships at sea. Even Paul wrote nearly 2000 years ago, of putting aside childish things when he became a man. Adolescence; that state of not quite a child but not quite an adult, is a fairly recent development. You were either a child, dependent on others, or an adult, caring for yourself and others.

As I grew up, there were less well defined, but still evident lines of demarcation between childhood and adulthood. One of my friends went to dinner with his Dad, at which he was given $ 300, a suitcase with his clothes, and an invitation to come to dinner sometime. My own passage was a bit less brutal and personal: it began at 5 in the morning with the kicking of a 30-gallon aluminum garbage can and the loud voice of a First Class Bosun’s Mate. Welcome to the Navy. I might not be good at “adulating” yet, but adulting had found me: no one was going to pick up my socks or gently wake me up for breakfast. I was expected to listen and learn new things, strange things. Take the unfamiliar, come to terms with it, and move on and do what had to be done. Whether you like it or not, folding that T shirt and putting it in your locker is a responsibility and an important part of shipboard life. Suddenly, you ARE going to use Geometry, after all. A year ago, you may have been in marching band, but today, you are adulting in blue.

But a curious and sad phenomenon has taken place. Our cradle to grave nanny state, anxious to preserve its own usefulness, has created an entire class of crippled child-men and child-women. Oh, their bodies have grown to adult size, but their minds are still in the nursery with nanny.

‘’ Don t say such things around the children, it will upset them.”  This is a fine, and perhaps wise admonition when dealing with a 3-year-old, but not an adult. Words and ideas are out there. You are going to hear them. You are going to have to decide if the Nihilist ideas of Hegel and Nietche and their practical applications in 1930s Germany are good and wise, or if the ideals of liberty put forth by Burke and natural rights by Locke, which midwifed America, are ideals for which to strive. A functioning adult IS going to hear, and must evaluate, ideas and principles that are fine and worthy of emulation, and despicable and to be eschewed. I can appreciate my own country, but so much more if I understand her history, and why she followed the English rather than French common law. I must, at some point, read of the horrors of WW2, and understand what it is we fought against. I must read, and shudder, about police states, to understand why they are a thing to avoid. In short, adulting.

I must pay my bills, care for my loved ones, keep my promises, do my best at my work, expect to work for what I get, and learn how to live with people, whether I agree with them or not, whether I like them or not. I must learn to be polite and considerate of others, and deal with them as I would like them to deal with me. (Hey that is good. Someone should write it down. Why, its golden.) I should act with manners toward other people and expect them to return the gift.

But the large children populating our campuses and streets have never learned these truths. And so, they have never become adults. They shriek with horror at the thought that someone might say something with which they disagree or state an idea they have never heard. They think it is fine and laudable to rudely interrupt people at their meals to express their feelings. They act, in short, in ways that would, during any sane period of our history, have earned that proverbial 3-year-old a stinging swat on the behind and immediate correction.  Yet, even the supposed adults have proven unwilling to take a firm hand with these large children. Mayors permit them to have the freedom to destroy and obstruct. Afraid to offend, or to be seen as harsh. Adults understand that you can either gulp and take a hard line with bad behavior of the 3-year-old or raise a monster. Children are not born knowing good behavior, they must be taught.

Left to their own devices, they will become and remain selfish little tyrants.

One does not have to look very far to see groups of selfish, full sized, tyrants, who never learned the lessons that produce adult, yet inhabiting adult bodies, and demanding, demanding mind you, the protections of children and the privileges of adults.

Robert Heinlein writes in Starship Troopers, through the voice of a teacher, about a proposed method of training a puppy. You let him make messes wherever he wants, you clean up after him, and you never correct him. One day, noticing that he is a full-grown dog and still doing his business on the carpet, you promptly shoot him. Comment? His students agree that is the stupidest way of raising a dog they ever heard. You must teach him right away, and rub his nose in it, and make sure he knows what to do and how to behave.

Heinlein’s students had it right: it is the stupidest thing in the world.

How will it end with our current crop of large children? Badly, I am certain. But I suspect that unpleasant steps will eventually be required to restore maturity, and that even San Francisco will, at some point before they are buried in feces, needles, and a handful of wealthy enclaves, be forced by realities to take those steps that are orders of magnitude harder with large children than with small. If not, then reality, Mother Nature, red of tooth and claw, will enforce common sense and punish dam foolery, as she always has.

Just because a city is famous and has buildings and art centers does not repeal gravity.

Nor does it give immunity from typhus or cholera. The large children who deny facts and realities or were never forced to learn them in the time-honored ways of millennia, will come to grips with them at some point. Carthage, London, Sparta, all came face to face with realities. In the arrogant assurance of the child mob they are certain they will never face the inevitable consequences of their choices.

It has been said, often, and with wisdom, that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. One might also say, those who do not learn history, are going to be shocked when they repeat it, and think it a new thing. But the clues were there all along, and they are still.

Perhaps the child mobs can still read of Robespierre and consider a different path.

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