Kids

From the “Story of the Family”:

This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilisations which disregard it. Most modern reformers are merely bottomless sceptics, and have no basis on which to rebuild; and it is well that such reformers should realise that there is something they cannot reform. You can put down the mighty from their seat; you can turn the world upside down, and there is much to be said for the view that it may then be the right way up. But you cannot create a world in which the baby carries the mother. You cannot create a world in which the mother has not authority over the baby. You can waste your time in trying, by giving votes to babies or proclaiming a republic of infants in arms. You can say, as an educationist said the other day, that small children should “criticise, question authority and suspend their judgment.” I do not know why he did not go on to say that they should earn their own living, pay income tax to the state, and die in battle for the fatherland; for the proposal evidently is that children shall have no childhood. But you can, if you find entertainment in such games, organise “representative government” among little boys and girls, and tell them to take their legal and constitutional responsibilities as seriously as possible. In short, you can be crazy; but you cannot be consistent. You cannot really carry your own principle back to the aboriginal group, and really apply it to the mother and the baby. You will not act on your own theory in the simplest and most practical of all possible cases. You are not quite so mad as that.

Um….who’s not so mad as that?

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One thought on “Kids

  1. I was listening to NPR during the first few weeks of that show (Kid Nation) and heard interviews with several of the kids…. Interesting idea; sure enough: someone IS as mad as that! …wonder how long it will last, and if anything more than a curious social experiment will come of it.

    If Mr. Chesterton is to be believed, not much will come of it!

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