Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Child Liberation Farce

The recent debate about farm animal welfare has opened my eyes to another atrocity emanating from the the human hand. Our human children suffer, terribly, under our control. Their liberation is a must.

Consider a day in the life of an ordinary child, and the manner in which our rules and institutions interfere with children's ability to express their natural behaviors. It is the natural desire of children to stay up late at night and sleep in late, yet parents force children to wake up hours before their biological clock dictates. These innocent young children are then shipped off to school in cramped, cruel school buses which are akin to traveling prison yards. The school bus scene is not pleasant. Some do not have air conditioning, forcing children to scramble over each other for seats beside windows. Moreover, children have a natural pecking order displayed by who sits in the front and who sits in the back. Meek children stuck in the middle are often tormented by those in the back with taunts and wedgies, and unaided by the adult in the front.

Then they reach the school, where the suffering persists. Within any one classroom, it is difficult for all children to stretch their arms without touching another child. Yet they will not stretch their arms, because they are forced to sit quietly and still in their desk for the vast majority of the school day. Remaining sedentary upon hard desks is contrary to children's natural tendency to fidget, run, and play. The many hours spent in school performing acts which a child would never voluntarily elect to perform is, by definition, cruel, and must be stopped.

There are, of course, breaks from the mundane classroom lessons. These breaks are given the euphemism "recess", which take place on dirt lots where large groups of children are allowed to exert physical and mental injury upon one another. The cruelty of children is universally understood. Boys fight other boys, girls spread vulgar rumors about other girls. They all scramble for popularity, but since only a few can be the most popular, the remainder fight to no reward. The impact of this cruelty should not be underestimated. Ask any child psychologist about rates of childhood depression. Ask any newspaper reader whether children commit suicide.

The diet and health care of children is embarrassing. Obesity and depression rates among children are higher than ever, and continue to climb. Whatever statistic you observe (e.g., rates of diabetes) children do not receive the care any sentient being should receive. They are sick, they are fat, and they are sad. Even worse, many children suffer both physical, mental, and sexual abuse of horrific proportion by their family. If undercover investigations could be held in peoples' homes as they are in factory farms, you would see worse atrocities than any PETA video on

What is all of this schooling for? For what purpose are children fed diets largely of corn syrup and processed carbohydrates? If you consider the speeches of our political leaders, it is solely for the purpose of becoming a "productive" citizen who can work in tomorrow's occupations. We need them to produce the goods and services that we will require in our elderly years. So frequently, we refer to the education of young boys and girls, as an "investment"--as it should receive the same pecuniary terminology as a purchase of stocks or bonds. Send you children to school, and you will quickly learn that the Board of Education cares little for whether your child is inspired by Gandhi or touched by a Shakespeare play. What the Board of Education cares about is math and science, the topics necessary for children to become tomorrow's engineers. We need our buildings, our roads, and our computers, so we construct our schools to act as de facto apprenticeships. Children are raised, children are educated, for profit.

Don't worry about those without the skills of an engineer. They can be the engineers' machine. Education is a long-term investment, so until young boys and girls can labor in our factories, they can entertain us in the sports arena. High school football is played in the same spirit as gladiators battled in the Roman arena. Thus, it is not surprising that they are both, essentially, slaves.

If you are touched by this narrative, you must be asking: what can we do? There is only one answer. The answer is not to change the manner in which we raise our children, as a society that raises children for its own selfish purposes engages in exploitation, no matter how "humane" the children may be treated. Moreover, it is doubtful society could ever care for children in a humane fashion when its ultimate purpose is designing its future workers. The motives of parents and educators creates an insurmountable obstacle to providing kind child care. Ingrid Newkirk, the President of PETA, was on to something when she sterilized herself, saying, "I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity."

Sexual abuse, child abuse, high rates of depression, high rates of obesity, all are symptoms of a disease that knows only one cure. Children must be liberated. Abolition is the only solution to child exploitation. If there is one thing I have learned from the animal rights movement it is this: whenever one can construct a list ways in which a sentient being suffers at the hands of another, the bond between the sufferer and the inflicter of suffering must be severed. Any list of bad behaviours should be considered sufficient evidence for bold activism, and does not need to be placed into perspective. Likewise, children deserve to liberated this moment. If that requires the extinction of the human race, so be it.

This narrative is a farce, not a statement of opinion or belief. The content should be used as fodder for dialogue, but any debate as to whether the content is "true" or "false" could be nothing more than a farce itself.