Search This Blog

Monday, February 05, 2007

Indecent Exposure

A seldom discussed fact is that thousands upon thousands of American children are daily exposed to sex acts, violence, and an environment where dogs eat dog and anything else they can find. Moreover, these children are subject to dangerous and overbearing child labor practices that involve the unsupervised use of heavy machinery, and long and uncompensated hours in harsh environmental conditions. For the modern generation, we tend to think that such a life style would produce a coarsened generation who would eschew Disneyfied values for a brutish Darwinian life, but for our immediate ancestors, this was just the environment to nurture Jeffersonian democrats. That's the family farm for you, a hell hole or a forge of virtue, depending upon your point of view.

The world is a bloody minded and tough place, and for the countless generations which preceded the modern age, you had to live with it, and became a better person because of and not in spite of it. You had in other words, to learn to fend and think for yourself. Ultimately, it wasn't the hardship or the horror, but the freedom that comes with responsibility.

Which brings us of course to the latest flap about children accessing the wrong type of knowledge from text to pictures on the internet. The fact is, it is not bad experience but bad ideas that coarsen us, and a free society must assume that people will have as much resilience as they have brains, and in time will sort it all out. Indeed, a nanny state that denies the experiences that are part of being alive also denies the ability to learn from them. Our ancestors certainly did this in spite of the everyday brutality of life, and we can too.

No comments: