Over at Foseti’s place, there’s a little discussion going on in the comments which is more abstract and very tangential to his specific subject of Mandela and Progressive Chaos. So I thought it would be best to move it over here in a post of its own.
The general question is how should neoreactionary dissidents raise their children? Is this the same question as to how to raise a child to be faithful to a minority religion and pass on the tradition to their children in the midst of the zealous, evangelizing majority?
Should we even try to do anything out of the ordinary at all? Should we indoctrinate in our understanding of reality, or let our children come to their own conclusions, or try to merely inoculate them against progressive meme contagion? What about the boys vs. the girls? These questions – of how best to raise the first generation of neoreactionaries-by-birth – strike me as important but rarely discussed. What are examples of success of people raising children to maximize the chances they’ll be religious or maintain a conservative temperament? Is the track record strong enough to warrant imitation?
I’ll admit I’m not really sure. I’ll explore my thoughts more in the comments as we bounce some ideas off each other. I know many neoreactionaries have young children, and so I’d be interested to hear their thoughts especially. I’d also like to hear from those of you with knowledge of family dynamics and strategies in regimes, such as the old USSR or PRC, in which it was extremely risky and dangerous to express personal opinions contrary to the assertions of the State.
That danger is something asdf brings up in his position against direct intervention. Here’s a sample from Eugene Volokh, “On a Bus in Kiev“, which, alas, he is making in the context of comparing it to events in the US.
But one memory I have is being on a bus with one of my parents, and asking something about a conversation we had had at home, in which Stalin and possibly Lenin were mentioned as examples of dictators. My parent took me off the bus at the next stop, even though it wasn’t the place we were originally going.
… What’s more, this is so even though most people, including most Communists, knew that Stalin was of course a dictator. The government itself had acknowledged as much. Even Lenin was widely understood to have been a dictator in the sense of someone who didn’t govern through democratic means.
But it’s not the sort of thing that you’d want to say in public, or even to your friends in private. Sssh! — people might hear! Those who hear might draw deeper inferences about what else you might believe. This might get back to the place you work. You might be fired, or blacklisted. By the 1970s, you probably didn’t have to worry much about being shot, or being sent to Siberia; these were not the 1930s. But lost jobs, ruined careers — sure. And a forced public apology: well, of course, that might help a bit.
Now I hasten to say that the controversy at Harvard is only a pale echo of Soviet Communism. …
Yet the public revelation of a private conversation; the public condemnation by management; the obvious danger of serious career ramifications; the apology, which I take it came out of a fear of those ramifications — all for daring to say to friends something that simply represents a basic scientific principle (the need to be open to the possibility that there are racial differences in intelligence, as one is open to other possibilities on other scientific questions) — that just sounded a little too familiar to me.
It’s a pale echo, but of something so bad that we should be wary even of pale echoes. Say, comrade, didn’t I see you reading The Bell Curve and the articles criticizing it? Would you say that this means you “do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent”? Tsk, tsk, comrade, I wonder what the Dean will say. But don’t worry! Perhaps if you publicly apologize, all will be forgiven.
Maybe the first thing to teach is how to be worried and careful and the art of Kitman. Asdf is worried about destroying integrity and instilling unethical and dishonest mental habits, which I think is a valid concern.
Personally, I send my children to a nice American public school in a fairly progressive suburb. My attitude has been to lightly monitor the curriculum through evening conversation and issue occasional gentle age-and-maturity-appropriate corrections or stimulative Socratic questions. One day, perhaps, I can even let the kids know about this blog, and our little, fledgling community.