By Jack Perry
How on Earth did humanity ever raise children without the American State telling them how? The entire concept of allowing children to simply play has become so alien these days (thanks to the scare-mongering of the State) that a normal thing now has a new phrase to describe it. They call it “free-range parenting”. That is, allowing your children to play by themselves without State-mandated mollycoddling and surveillance. You think I’m making this up? I wish I was. See this article.
Now, look at how the State has threatened these parents simply because they let their 6 year-old and 10 year-old children go to a park about a mile from their home and play by themselves. Evidently, some “concerned citizen” (i.e. a State informant) called the cops and the kids were carted off to Child Protective Services. You’d almost think these kids were discovered with pick-and-shovel working in a dilapidated coal mine or something. No, they were just playing, but the parents weren’t there. It happens to be against the law there for kids to be walking around unsupervised by parents or a sibling 13 years of age or older. I would imagine the State could remove those kids and place them in foster homes for the crime of being taught that the world is not the scary place the State says it is. Excuse me, but what the heck has happened to this country?! I feel like I fell asleep and woke up in a police state. Oh, wait, that’s right. I did.
Hey, I was walking a mile to school every day at age 6, rain or shine. My parents worked; they didn’t have time to drive me to school. They showed me the way to walk to school one time and then I walked by myself from then on. So did nearly all the kids in the neighbourhood. No one saw anything wrong with this. It would have been embarrassing to be driven to school, as if you couldn’t walk to school yourself or were a “crybaby”. And we could all walk to the park and play if we wanted to. That’s what the park was for! Or walk to the school and use the playground. Hey, how many of you have heard this phrase: “Go outside and play! You’re not going to sit in front of the TV all day, either. It isn’t healthy. Go down to the playground and play with other kids. Your dad and I are busy.” I suppose that time-honoured slice of Americana is now a crime according to the State. Yeah, the SAME State that whines about childhood obesity and kids sitting too long in front of video games and television.
By age 10, I was deeply fascinated by trains, as were a lot of boys. I used to walk down to the train tracks myself to watch the freight trains of the Southern Pacific Railroad go down their mainline through town. I’d sit and identify the different railroad cars and see what types of locomotives they used. By myself. My parents were doing adult stuff. I was just told, “You stay a safe distance away from the tracks, because if I catch you not doing what I tell you, I won’t let you go watch the trains anymore.” But, just like the Southern Pacific Railroad is all but a memory now, so is common sense in this country.
Back on the American Frontier, a 10 year-old was expected to know how to load and fire accurately a flintlock rifle, which is a multi-step process anyone who’s fired this weapon can attest to. These kids were expected to know this and help defend the homestead against attack by hostiles. There was no calling the cops back then and the government was hundreds of miles away and not overly concerned with inserting themselves into every aspect of peoples’ lives. Kids were expected to go out with that flintlock rifle and hunt for the family table, because dad was plowing and mom was sewing their clothes, or making soap to bathe with, or baking bread. If you want supper, you better go shoot it, son. That 10 year old might go beyond a mile from the homestead. Gee, how did this country ever make it? And a kid with a—shudder, shudder—GUN!! Oh, no! Yeah, and nowadays, let a 10 year old draw a gun on a piece of paper in class and the school calls the cops and child psychologists and the kid gets expelled for “gun violence”.
The origins of school summer vacation were never about the kids, they were about the parents. Not all of these breaks were exactly in summer, but closer to the harvest when the parents needed those kids to help on the farm with the harvest. Yeah, handling farm tools like sharp scythes and sickles and, later, reaping machines. See, the message the parents sent was clear to the State: The State could mandate that those kids went to school, but the parents retained ultimate control over them. Because the parents basically told the State they’d just pull them out of school anyway if they needed their help on the farm. So the State couldn’t gainsay the parents. And “Spring Break” was not created as an excuse for teens to get into drunken debaucheries in Florida. It was created for kids to be released from school to help with the spring planting. The reason summer and spring breaks were carried over into college is because many college students had to return to the farms to help their parents.
Even President Obama knew that when he said: “We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day. That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy. That is why I’m calling for us not only to expand effective after-school programs, but to rethink the school day to incorporate more time – whether during the summer or through expanded-day programs for children who need it.”
However, what President Obama was proposing there was more State control over peoples’ kids and more State indoctrination and brainwashing. More time spent with the State and less time spent with parents and family. The less time the parents have to teach their children morals and values and more time the State has to teach its corrupt “morals” and false values. What the State wants is the kids coming home right at dinner time, eating, doing a ton of homework to take away even more family time, then going to bed right after that. And the homework? More State propaganda, like the State’s version of “history” and so forth. From sun-up to bedtime, the State, the State, the State. There was a time that “after-school programs” meant Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or church youth groups that taught kids valuable life skills outside the classroom. But what Obama was proposing was certainly his version of the Soviet Young Pioneers.
How is it that the State has the right to tell parents how to raise their kids when there is no abuse or REAL “neglect” going on? What could be more innocent than kids going to the park to play? My word, that was normal in the “good old days” everyone wonders what happened to. Kids need to learn self-reliance and creativity and—AHA! That is exactly what the State does not want them to learn. They want to inculcate into kids reliance upon the State for safety, security, and what measures of freedom the State will grudgingly allow. The State wants to demonstrate that safety and security does not come from your parents, it comes from the State. See here, the State took you to Child Protective Services to protect you because your parents didn’t do so by allowing you to play. Say goodbye to Big Brother and say hello to Great Father and Big Mama.
I don’t understand this. I think back to all the places I walked around by myself or with friends when we were under the State-mandated 13 years old. We went and hiked in the hills, we went and played in the arroyo and looked for fossils, we went to the park, and so on. I’ve still got those fossils I found back then. I’ve still got the ID tag necklace and bracelet my mom made sure I was wearing when I went away from the house. It had my name, address, and phone number on it. Back then, schools offered those for sale through a private company for just that purpose. So if you became lost, someone could call your parents to come get you. See the simple, free market solution to that? Kids need to play, but what if they get lost? Here’s an ID tag. Not, “Keep them cloistered indoors like prisoners.” Yeah, the State has these ID tags, too, but they’re called dogtags. That’s how they identify the body when the State sends your kids off to die in some senseless war. I’ve still got those, too. Yeah, the State isn’t so concerned about your children’s safety and welfare when they’re shipping them off to die for some stupid political objective no one is told the truth about. The State seems to be concerned with kids’ safety until they turn 18. Then that concern flies out the door—or flies off on a military troop transport aircraft.
The State has, unintentionally, demonstrated it’s supreme hypocrisy. On the one hand, it tries to say only the State can truly protect children. But on the other hand, the State is saying it has created a society where it is not safe for children to play outside without guards. Yet, even the State’s own schoolteachers have been caught victimizing children, so guess what? They’re not safe there, either. In the very place the State holds up as safe with lockdowns and terror attack drills that have replaced the fire drills of the “good old days”. Why is that? Because the State has failed. And yet we are told, and our children are taught, to rely upon this failure-prone edifice of corruption and moral degenerates for safety and security.
We can only imagine what the future holds. Perhaps at some point the State will decide that children ought to be raised by the State to make sure they get “healthy school lunches” and armed guards in play areas. Indeed, look at the parents who got notes from school officials scolding them for allegedly “unhealthy” lunches the parents packed for the kids. The State wants to decide what your kids eat, where they play, and when they play. The State has a problem with older people that remember what it was like before this all started. So they need to indoctrinate the kids into obedience to the State. The State doesn’t care what they do otherwise, so long as they obey the State. That’s the bottom line. The whole “healthy school lunch” issue isn’t concern for health, it’s the State being the one to say “Eat your vegetables!” instead of the parents where there admonition rightly comes from. And if the school-provided lunches were not healthy in the first place, whose fault was that? The State’s! The ones who said they knew best! The State causes the problems, so how can they possibly create solutions?
There was once a time when kids could be kids and the “government” was just some vague, boring thing parents talked about. But now the State wants to be involved in the raising of children and, at some point, will more than likely want to be the ones raising them. There was a time when the only government people you saw in the classroom were firefighters handing out coloring books about fire safety and talking about what to do in case of a fire. You’d go out and see the fire truck, they’d crank up the siren, and all the kids were happy. Now we’ve got federal government politicians coming around almost daily to schools to glorify the virtues of the State to the kids. I suppose next we’ll see the military bringing tanks and helicopter gunships to grade schools to awe the kiddies about the power of the State. That may already be happening for all I know. But that’s the future.