In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace.They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.
– Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations
Let’s face it, your child’s mind is fertile ground for oligarchs, corrupt politicians and any other thieving member of the so-called “ruling elite” who aim to enslave the masses both mentally and monetarily. Unfortunately, the propaganda that comes from the government and our largest corporations is perceived as being absolute truth by most people. If you’re like me, at one point in time you had to wake up to it all and accept that you had been completely brainwashed for the first few decades for your life.
On a parental level, defending my child’s mind against blatant lies and deceit from the media, military industrial complex and corporatism is really not that difficult. But what about their grandparents, cousins or the kids next door?
I truly believe that most Americans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological phenomenon where the victim identifies with the attacker to the point they will even defend their captor and even treat certain forms of abuse as a form of compassion.
We see this everywhere; especially around election time, where the voters defend all kinds of atrocities and criminal actions by our elected officials.
The mobs, of course, love the abuse and crimes against humanity. They probably even feel patriotic if the guy committing the crimes is of the same political affiliation they identify with.
When I am home with the kids, observing this type of behavior is easy to discuss – right and wrong is sort of natural for the kids. It’s the adults in their lives who inject a lot of bad philosophy into their lives and unfortunately for most of us reading this blog, the adults have some influence in our children’s lives.
I feel like I have to tread carefully. I mean I am talking about people I love very much: grandparents, neighbors, cousins, uncles…pretty much everyone in our lives. You would think that a non-violent philosophy focused on respecting other people and not forcing your will against others would be universally accepted, but in reality it’s not.
There’s a certain program that pretty much everyone follows. We nearly all accept the lie that every American soldier’s death was to defend our freedoms; that drugs, prostitution and other consensual acts are bad and should be outlawed. That Muslims are violent, that war is good for the economy and America has a free market system. Our society idolizes some of our biggest criminals. In fact, the bigger the crime, the more you are treated as a legend in many circles.
I often get frowns from my friends and family when I openly teach my children about the immoral aspects of government, or how we should be kind to others, even Iranians!
Sometimes the philosophy of respect can make you the oddball, and as a parent the last thing I want to do is make my kids feel weird or be treated like outcasts.
Ultimately, my children will have to make their own choices. I can’t expect them to go against the crowd like I have, but in the meantime I will defend their minds. Not by shutting out the people we love or the millions of Americans who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. Rather, as a father I will give them real choices: the choice between violence and volunteerism, and the choice between discriminating against other people because of imaginary boarders and superficial differences and respecting others.
– The Dissident Dad
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