L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 285, August 22, 2004
Maybe we should have simply started speaking Mandarin?
Or Not Growing Up At All
Exclusive to TLE
In my two previous essays, "Guns Are Good For You" (see http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2004/tle282-20040801-02.html) and "Growing Up Without Guns" (see http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2004/tle284-20040815-04.html), I looked at the differences I observe in people who grew up either with or without the maturing influence of firearms as a normal, accepted part of their lives. The latter group tends to be less self-reliant, more prone to hasty judgment and less willing to accept the consequences of those decisions that go wrong.
Teaching your child how to safely handle firearms, before, during and after actually shooting at something (whether a target or when hunting) is a great way to instill many of the lessons any responsible parent wants to teach his or her children. Certainly, this can be done without firearms; but what else gets the sobering point across as sharply as holding a tool that can, if misused or used in a careless manner, harm or kill someone? Hammering lessons into young skulls can be difficult (YMMV, and different kids have skulls of varying thickness and density), and this picture is well worth a thousand words.
So what else is new, you ask? Well, unless you're well-off enough to have your offspring in private school, or dedicated enough (and my hat is off to you folks who do) to home school the little darlings, your children are learning very different lessons in state-run schools.
I and many others (many of whom write far better than I) have pounded away at this topic before. But I want to build on the essay I wrote almost 18 months ago (see http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2003/libe215-20030317-04.html). The state schools are designed to undermine all the efforts of parents who want to rear their children to grow into mentally healthy adults.
State schools teach that guns are inherently bad, like black magic or an evil talisman or totem. This teaches that individuals cannot control their own decisions and destiny, that "forces beyond their control" shape their lives. This teaches that there is no such thing as individual responsibility, unless the child transgresses against some P.C. sacred cow. They are being taught that the only protection from the forces of evil is to appeal to a higher authoritythe government. The government, according to the government schools, is more benign and caring than any religion, any family setting, or any competing ideology. (The right wing of the Boot On Your Neck Party wants the kids to be taught that God works through the government, if they are running things; the left wing of the BOYNs wants them to believe that the government is the only God they need. Now there's a difference worth fighting about.)
State schools teach that you should go to the government when you have a problem, a gripe, a pet peeve, the heartbreak of psoriasis ... They do not want the children to even consider an individualist solution to a problem. It takes a village, don't you know! Going out on you own is anti-social. (Both villains and heroes are anti-social; you don't get significant results by following the herd. Think Darth Vader and Han Solo.) The government schools want complacent, compliant, cooperative citizens that have difficulty in linear, logical thinking, that are easily bored and not too curious, and believe that, "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you!"
So, if all those children are mush-headed cattle, who will run the show? Well, how many of the ruling class send their young to state schools? The vast majority of politicians at the federal level, and significant percentages of those at the state and local levels (and an awful lot of the teachers) send their little ones to private schools. And many of the most loud-mouthed proponents of gun control are gun owners themselves! Of course, they don't see themselves as hypocrites, since their superiority is inherent and obvious; they can handle guns, they can make their own decisions, and so on.
I don't think this all amounts to a sinister plot. Partly because it's not well organized, and partly because it's often contradictory. I do believe that it is the working paradigm of the elites. They honestly (well, sort of honestly) believe that they are superior to the unwashed masses, and have a "duty" to lead us around in order to keep us from either walking off a cliff or sitting around on our butts not keeping the economy going. The elites believe they must herd us like cattle, feeding us only what is good for us, medicating us as they see fit, and definitely not letting us cattle have guns. (For a good laugh, see the flash animation "Cows With Guns" at the following address: http://www.idefag.no/idefag/nyheter/filer/cowswithguns.swf. This was working when I wrote this, but traffic may swamp it. Look it up if this URL is dead.)
What this all means is that we are supposed to be in Neverland. The elites scare us every so often with a new Captain Hook to keep us in line. They have the monopoly on pixie dust, only they can rescue us when we're in danger (because we will screw it up and be captured by the pirates if we try anything ourselves), and we certainly wouldn't want to grow up and have to leave this paradise. And don't think about the alternatives: that grass isn't greener (it's illegal), pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, nanny state knows best. Anything that would offer a red pill (The Matrixsee the following http://proliberty.com/observer/20021209.htm or http://www.arrod.co.uk/essays/matrix.php among many) must be demonized. So guns are evil. Independent thought is hate speech, anti-social. Even fidgeting must be eradicated by Ritalin. (Those really are the Lost Boys.) You must take these drugs; you must not take those drugs. Just do as we say and you'll be taken care of. Step over here and remove your shoes. Fill out this incredibly intrusive and personal form; we promise we won't share your information with other government agencies, even though we've done it before. That's not your land, that's our land, because some endangered species or some standing water is on it. You want to protest? Step over here into our "free speech zone" (http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,64349,00.html?tw=wn_7polihead or http://nyc.indymedia.org/feature/display/98452/index.php). Arbeit Macht Frei.
You would think that with all the dystopian literature over the last several decades, people would be more wary of the "helping hand" of government.
You'd be wrong.