Friday, September 25, 2009

Common sense on relations between adults and children

It's from Jenni Russell and - amazingly - it's in the Guardian:

This removal of general authority from adults, and its gradual replacement by state-sanctioned interventions, is utterly corrosive. It infantilises grown-ups, who lose one of the roles that societies have always expected them to fulfil. It makes them timid, and demeans them in the eyes of their children, who see that they are powerless in the face of injustice. And by suggesting that adults may not approach, discuss or reprimand a child, it completely undermines the notion of a community, and the importance of social pressure and shame.

Exchanging these traditional bonds and constraints for sanctions imposed by schools, courts and police is not only wrong-headed, it is doomed to failure. The state can't enforce order everywhere and at all times; nor should we want it to.

I have said remarkably similar things in the past myself on this blog and in two essays in the Liberator Passports to Liberty series: Defending Families and Cohesive Communities (written with David Boyle).

The latter was passed by the Federal Policy Committee but never published by the party. Sometimes it is hard to have an influence.

Later. I have written too many pamphlets. In fact my most substantial contribution on this subject was a chapter in Liberalism - Something to Shout About.

No comments: