[lit-ideas] Re: What's wrong with the world

  • From: Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 05:26:55 -0800 (PST)

I do appreciate your comments.  First a correction though.  The article 
reprinted in SOTT is from Psychology Today, December 2011.  Historically, 
however, childrearing has been abysmal, and worse.  Chomsky says we're getting 
more civilized, and if we are, it's because we're getting something of a clue 
that if you mess up children, you mess up the adult that that child becomes.  
The generalizations in this article from a historical perspective are far 
fetched in that they whitewash child rearing, making it seem that the only 
deficits are in allowing babies to cry, as bad as that in itself is.  Most 
people assume that that's what babies do, they cry.  
Children historically have been not only neglected but severely abused.  As 
recently as the end of the 19th century in the U.S. the women who crusaded for 
Prohibition changed the age of sexual consent from 12 to 15.  It's estimated 
that three quarters of all children in India are sexually abused.  A child 
trafficking ring was recently broken up in Ohio I think, or some Midwestern 
state.  And actually it's even far worse than that.  William Blake wrote about 
chimney sweeps (ages 4 to 7) and Charles Dickens wrote about the schools.  This 
is in civilized merry old England. 
There are always exceptions to rules, and some individuals, probably a growing 
number, do treat their children well, but as a species we treat our offspring 
just horrifically.  Historically wife beating was routine and accepted.  Wife 
beating is now considered domestic violence in the U.S., but spanking is 
perfectly legal, as long as no bruises are left, yadda yadda.  Well why not hit 
a wife as long as no bruises are left?  If parents had a clue, gave their 
offspring what evolution deemed they need, the world could be turned around in 
a generation, two generations maybe.  And that's a fact.  War, btw, makes 
things far worse, and we're now talking about invading Iran after what we did 
in Iraq and Vietnam, so we're not exactly going out of our way to improve 
Here is a link.  It's called Horrible Histories because of form, not content.

From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2012 9:53 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: What's wrong with the world

How quickly they forget. From their infancy to their first words and steps, we 
brought up our children according to the commonsense advice of Benjamin Spock. 
And so did everyone else we knew. 

'Generations of children around the world have been reared on Spock's fatherly 
advice, dispensed in a simple, straightforward and reassuring style. Indeed, 
Spock's book became the modern bible of baby care, and he himself enjoyed near 
universal acclaim as America's favorite doctor."

His Baby and Child Care was first published in 1946, and the eighth edition is 
still in print. I'd bet a fair sum that far more children have been brought up 
according to Spock's theories than according to those of B. F. Skinner and his 

The sott. net article strikes me as bad history 'supported' by and in turn 
putting forward far-fetched generalizations. Any 'survey' of Western child 
rearing practices that fails to mention Spock is a monument to the ignorance 
Andy routinely deplores.

Robert Paul

> And this is before all the spankings and brainwashing and who knows 
> what all. 

> http://www.sott.net/articles/show/239869-The-Dangers-of-Crying-It-Out-

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