It’s all a matter of belief. We strive for truth, or, at least, we tell ourselves that truth is our highest aspiration. But truth among people is the subject of much argument, if not battle. Our beliefs tell our internal selves what is “true” and what is “false.” Likewise, we have internal judgments about who is trustworthy and who is not. Over thousands of years we have created deep belief structures that “work,” in a sense, to organize societies and to increase, however fitfully, general prosperity and defensive strength. Religion is often a significant basis for progress, but has just as often been a limiter, even to this day.
Prudence suggests that the Judeo-Christian ethical platform has been, ultimately, the most successful of historic belief structures, yet it is assaulted daily as “unscientific” since it accepts “truths” that cannot be proven or tested in a laboratory. When are unshakable beliefs imparted? How is it that some kids prefer gang membership while others become Eagle Scouts? Do we think it happens from a conversation with a 5-year old? From Sesame Street? Pre-school?
Speak to a pre-school teacher and she can describe the wide range of attitudes among 3-year olds, some quite destructive. Where did they form those personalities? Well, at home, obviously, but when? At age two and a half? Age two… or earlier? Somehow very young kids are “empatterned” such that anti-social actions, even pathological actions, are the automatic reactions to stimuli. When are those patterns implanted?
Our suspicion is that the process commences in the womb. Ask an expectant mother about the reactions of her pre-born baby and she can describe how her moods and feelings coincide with movements. When she is stressed and when she is calm and happy there are noticeable differences in the baby’s kicks and turns. Do we think the baby is completely inured to its environment until the moment of birth?
Imagine a baby in the last couple of months of gestation in a home where revenge is the common reaction of the parents – and others – to every slight or act of disrespect. Every source of irritation between husband and wife yields a reaction that the offended party must “get even” with, or get the better of, the offending party. The baby, innocently, will mature with a comfortable reaction toward opposition or disrespect that virtually requires that he or she obtain revenge against the offender. It is what he or she “believes.”
What a different path of human interaction that child will be on; what a different interpretation of what love and hate may be. Think about the “differently socialized” children you’ve known. By the time they enter kindergarten such children are already “marked” for special handling. By the time they are teenagers, some of these revenge-comfortable kids are gang members, either organized or in a company of local “bullies.”
Now, place these boys in a position to enthrall girls who grew up without rational father figures, never knowing how a man should treat a woman, respect her and care for her, along with their children. Such an, in effect, fatherless girl would perceive the feral sexual attentions of just as possibly fatherless boys, as true compassion. Now there are two ill-socialized children having their own children, who gestate and begin post-natal life amidst discord, resentment, poverty and, almost inevitably, vengefulness.
Is urban destruction like Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland at all surprising amidst populations that our own social policies have generated in far less than ideal pre-natal and post-natal family conditions? By foregoing social mores related to marriage and family and child-rearing, have we commenced a process of social disintegration? Most likely. Given this, where do we expect our dishonest politics to lead us?
Because individual power and status is the most vital of purposes for elected “representatives,” the misfortunes and dysfunctions of populations have become sources of political, personal, power. We could not have tolerated, and funded beyond reason, via hundreds of overlapping social-service agencies, social dysfunction for literal decades, unless those expenses served the purposes of Congress and others made powerful thereby. It is not possible to consider our history since the 1960’s and conclude that the trillions of dollars expended on basically failed welfare theories, resulted in failure and explosive government expansion, accidentally!
We are destroying the most successful form of social organization the world has seen, insofar as its basis is individual opportunity, freedom and growth without tyranny. Worse, we have brought ourselves to a political point where we are arguing and fighting about how FAST the Judeo-Christian heritage may be dissolved.
We are maintaining the propagation of new citizens who will not have the opportunity to grow in personal character and integrity. They will not enjoy two-parent, loving nuclear families, nor the reinforcing institutions of church and morality-based education.
We are racing not to the Brave New World, but the Craven.