The below article laments that in many ways the children have become the authority figures and the adults have become the children.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR a clear marker of cultural decline, something that represents an inescapable cul-de-sac in the American ideal of forward progress, just ponder the all-too-familiar image of the kindergarten-aged child whose parents have outfitted him (it’s usually a him) with a Mohawk haircut. A friend of mine who teaches young children is forever complaining that the Mohawked boys have chronic self-discipline issues. “They are always the ones who have the behavioral problems,” she says. When I ask her why that is, she explains that “they are being raised by adult-aged children”—in other words, people who are too immature to know better.
I think the line, the one between childhood and adulthood, of which the author of the article laments the loss of, vanished as our society began to do everything “for the children”. We have created a culture where children have the power, and children are always the focus, and children are to be eggs wrapped in bubble wrap and cotton padding never to be broken and never to be jostled about. Children are far more perceptive than adults give them credit for. This is on a rudimentary, biological level if you will, which is what makes them so astute. Imagine a chimp baby, or if you want to go back in time imagine the child of early man. They may not know much but they know they are hungry, they know where the food comes from, and they know they must obtain it without being killed because where it comes from is that really large fellow who just killed it with a spear. Oh yes, he could kill you too. So children become extremely adept at determining that behavior which gets them the food and which behavior gets them danger. Through simple reinforcement they learn.
Then a time came where they no longer had to that. The expectations became much more clear. If you want food, you hunt with us. If you want food, you fish with us. If you want food you farm with us. If you want food you do your chores. If you want food you get good grades in school. If you want food you don’t stay out all night. If you want food you show up at dinner time. This progressed until we have reached a cultural tipping point where the child simply has to be a child in order to get the food.
This happened as children became the most precious and important resource of our society.
How many times have you heard a politician talk about the children? Or not just that, how about pop stars and actors?
“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.”
I don’t know how deeply I want to get into the connection of this idea but suffice it to say that it stems from a modern misinterpretation of the Christian dogma concerning how Jesus felt about children. He used them as examples. He meant of course that the kindness, innocence, and willingness of children should be emulated by adults. He did not mean this to say that children should be elevated to positions of authority. Which stems from an even older verse about a little child leading them. Again, this was not meant literally.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” – Isaiah 11:6
I submit to you that until we see the lion eating grass next to the lamb that the day we can be lead by a child hasn’t come yet. While it may be that people really do feel this way about the children and their place in our society, it’s also likely this is a ploy. It’s similar to the abusive boyfriend. “If you cared for me you would sleep with me.” One of the oldest tricks in the book. There’s really no substantive difference between that and “If you cared about the children you would stop global warming!”
Is it any wonder we see memes about “adulting” and see parents trying to cling to childhood?
Though I certainly don’t believe being an adult requires one to give up the occasional pillow fight, or wearing of costumes (think costume ball and you realize it’s never meant that) I do think the author has a point. Adulthood is important and our society has no clear demarcation. however, I think perhaps the author is just seeing the trappings of adulthood rather than the real defining characteristic of an adult.
An appeal to the bible also gives us a clue about growing up as well.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
Though the author of the article might key in on the word “things” and feel he’s on the right track, I think it’s important to mention that Paul was talking about: speaking, understanding, and thinking in childish ways as the things that must be put away. The road to being an adult does not mean putting away costume parties, dancing, having fun, acting silly, or feeling the freedom of a good giggle. It means that you understand the world around you the way an adult does, you think about life in a serious and complete way, and when you speak you do so with maturity and reason. To be an adult you must think like one, speak like one, and understand the world around you like one. To put it in terms Isaiah would understand, to be an adult means you understand that the wolf and the lion want to eat the lamb. It is alright to dream of a day when that might happen but to be an adult is to realize that we don’t live in that world yet.
The author says, “The kiddie-hawk represents the ultimate erosion of the modern era.” I disagree. Not with how ridiculous kids look with Mohawks, but with that as a symbol of ultimate erosion.
I think the desire to abdicate responsibility and freedom to a government that promises to take care of you is the ultimate erosion. It too is a symbol of those who refuse to grow up and refuse to take on adult responsibility. This is partly why they are so keen to rely on a parental figure to lead. This can be an individual, like Marx, or Bernie Sanders, or a mother figure like Hillary or Elizabeth Warren. After her husband got elected as president Hillary famously said, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies…” and ironically, perhaps if she showed up to a few rallies with a dozen or so she probably would have won. For those looking to be taken care of the father must be strong and the mother loving.
There is nothing more childish than socialism.
Those people who have bought into the mantra of “it’s all for the children” want to be children. Children, after all, must hold all the cards and have all the power since everything is done for their sake and on their behalf.
Socialism is the desire to remain in the nest, be coddled and fed, and to throw a temper tantrum when you don’t get your way. It is to be jealous of what others have and to cry “unfair”. Socialism is the ultimate example of people who don’t want to be adults and face the realities and responsibilities of the real world.
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” – Winston Churchill
The author of the article hits upon something with a clear relationship to liberty. Liberty and responsibility go hand in hand with maturity.
The dream of escaping the tyranny of childhood—of no longer having my body, dress, and studies regulated by an assortment of indistinguishably bland authority figures—intoxicated me.
With today’s children, where is the tyranny of their childhood? They get to dress how they want, talk how they want, do what they want and no one tells them “no”. Is it any wonder such as that grow up to be afraid of adulthood? For them being an adult is not the freedom they seek but this frightening future thing that has rules, work, and hardship. These things are foreign things to them and they are ill-equipped to deal with the.
Faced with impending adulthood they turn to a system of government that promises to keep them in the womb. Socialism is the ultimate failure to launch and the ultimate acquiescence of one’s self to tyranny.
The kiddie-hawk represents the ultimate erosion of the modern era