[lit-ideas] Re: Hitler/Stalin

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 14:29:26 -0700 (PDT)

--- On Thu, 13/8/09, Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Not all children grow up to be monsters if they are
> tortured, that's true, probably most don't, at least
> not on a grand scale, but it's because we don't know
> how the stars will line up that we need to prevent all
> abuse.  

Preventing _all_ abuse is all very well as a long-term goal, but in the 
meantime we should perhaps be alert to stop abused children of the Hitler, 
Stalin type ever getting into positions of power, where they can organise the 
murder and torture of others. Minimising violence may be said to be still the 
central problem of human civilisation.

It would seem to me that our US/UK culture is developing in two contradictory 
ways (as cultures often do): there is (overall) increased awareness of a 
child-centred approach to child-rearing compared to fifty or sixty years ago 
and comparatively less social tolerance of many punishments and other 
'treatments' that used to be meted out; at the same time, many children are 
raised in a culture where development of their conscience is put at risk by the 
values of materialism, consumerism, cynicism and an excessive sense of 
entitlement - and their vulnerability is increased when their parents and peers 
subscribe to these values.

Btw, in case this seems reasonable, my partner has just asked me to write 
(having been provoked by news of America's response to Obama's health care 
plans) that Americans come across as a bunch of "thick nutters". And I have 
just said, "Funny you should say that, because most of them don't believe in 
Darwinian evolution either."


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