Childhood’s End

Posted on 18. Feb, 2013 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics, Social/Cultural, Uncategorized

In 1953, Arthur C. Clarke published a science fiction novel titled Childhood’s End.  In this work, Clark gave us a Teilhard de Chardinian vision of humanity’s future.  In Clarke’s work, the consciousness of certain advanced humans merged to form a new superconsciousness that departed earth in a spectacular pulse of energy, presumably for an eternal pilgrimage through the infinite cosmos.  The departure of this spirit leaves the earth a dead husk.

Under the Progressive vision for the future, childhood ends in a different way.  Progressives regularly urge an earlier and earlier start for government run educational programs.  As a result, we now speak of “‘cradle-to-career’ education” in our public discourse on national policies.  This would entail starting (mandatory?) public education when a child reaches four years of age.

Although research indicates that all advantages to an early start in school are washed out by the time a child reaches the third grade, progressives would increase this program from its current level that includes only 25% of children to 90%.  This would greatly increase the cost of public education for what may be virtually no improvement in educational achievement.

But there could be another, perhaps more troubling, aspect of the idea of an earlier start to the public educational process.  It removes children from the influence of their families at an earlier age and places them under the control and influence of government-run educational programs.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World constitutes a chilling look at where all of this could lead, especially when “cradle-to-career” education is combined with the collapse of the family and advances in the science of in vitro fertilization.

In Huxley’s dystopia, the idea of natural birth has become anathema.  Sex is free as long as one does not develop a preference for a particular partner.  Not only does the union of sperm and egg take place in vitro, but the resulting fetus also develops in vitro.  The development of fetuses is controlled to produce people of various intelligence levels to provide workers and managers for the various tasks required by the economy and society.

One of the most chilling aspects of Huxley’s book is his description of the conditioning of young children who are raised in government facilities.  For one thing, they are taken into hospitals to view those who are dying as part of the program to inure them to the process of dying.

Having been raised in a loving, extended family, I can scarcely view the prospects for the future of childhood as anything other than bleak.  Moreover, the prospects for humanity’s future dims with the demise of a traditional childhood, if we are to believe psychologist Carl Jung, who warned us that as we move farther and farther from our natural roots we become increasingly disoriented.

Soon, we shall have reached a point in this process in which we can no longer return to a saner, safer culture, for we have become like the Nietzchean superman who not only burns his bridges, but destroys the land behind him as he sets sail on a dark, unknown sea.

This article was submitted by Don Baucom





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