Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to horrify your children

Dear Hannah,

When Time Magazine asked Americans which of our practices would horrify our children, I don't think Cindy Crawford (and possibly even Time Magazine) understood the question.  Her answer was that our children would be horrified by our "otherness" -- or our inability to recognize that we're all exactly the same.  Our children's answer will much more likely be that we failed to recognize which portions of humanity are incompatibly different.

To be fair to Mrs. Crawford (for whose bikini photos I maintain the deepest of respect), I don't believe most parents understand the question, which is the same reason we repeatedly horrify our children.  For when we ask which of our practices are most likely to horrify our children, we aren't really asking what we've done wrong to horrify them.  We're asking which things we mistakenly thought we were doing right.

The things that annoy our children are usually the things we take too radically.  The things we're sure they'll go crazy about are the things they're most likely to throw away -- because they have already seen us go wild for them.  Our sins, contrary to the popular opinion, are not acts of evil committed for evil's sake.  They are acts of evil and stupidity committed in the pursuit of happiness and morality.   Our children are often smart enough to realize when we've made them unhappy.  They will tell us how we did it when they're old enough to know why we shouldn't have done it.

What our children will not criticize are the acts too unpopular for us to commit.  They will criticize the things we successfully champion in our popular magazines.  They'll criticize the imbalanced doctrines of our colleges and governments and pastors and presidents.  What Mrs. Crawford and the American majority have forgotten isn't only that their morality is deeply entrenched in the worlds of law and business, but that is is supreme and unchallenged in almost all matters of popular culture.  And because every choice that we make is an exclusion of something else, a radical decision is a radical exclusion.  The things our children miss will be the things our children want; and the things our children want will topple the imbalanced world we've built for them.  We may pass many things on to our children, but our radicalism on pet issues is not often one of them.

We believe that by handing our children a world free of judgment we are excluding exclusion; but what we are really doing is giving them a world where they are afraid to express their preferences.  It's a world in which our children are told not to prefer better men over the worse, and wisdom over stupidity, and prettier girls over the ugly; a world in which we're told to ignore obvious dangers, and taught to scrutinize obvious innocents.  We haven't been telling our children not to judge.   We have been telling them not to live.  We think that they will be reading Dreams from my Father.  They will more likely be burning it.

Ironically, from the earliest stages of education, we have also been telling our children that mankind evolved from the animals.  What they will realize, if they are intelligent, is that mankind can evolve from mankind.  And they'll realize that if there is any reason humanity look and feel very similar and nobody appears to have changed beyond the possibility of interbreeding, it is because our minds are incredibly different.  The dogs are comprised of hundreds of breeds, and the finches are composed of different beaks, because dogs and finches adapt with their bodies.  But man's adaptations are spiritual, and we recognize his evolution not only by the way his environment shapes him, but in the way he shapes his environment.  Our evolution is marked not by our bodies, but by the quality of our civilizations and our ability to hand them to our children.

Our unwillingness to judge hostile foreigners and domestic enemies by the ideological superstructures responsible for shaping our environments isn't actually an indifference to men, but an indifference to outcomes -- and in the realest sense a denial of any kind of progress or safety or civilization.  Our children will probably not hate us for our otherness, but for our pusillanimity and reckless imprudence.  And when we show our children paintings of the Puritans and the Indians and ask them whether we'd have the Indians do any different, they might for the moment answer no.  But later on they will wonder why we didn't do what was necessary to avoid ending up like the Indians -- or the dhimmis.

Your father,


  1. Jeremy, you are a favorite antagonist of mine. I am thanking your for this journal in my time of thanksgiving.

    1. And I'm thankful for my readers! Happy thanksgiving, Craig!

  2. Hello Jeremy, I just ran into you blog. I am grateful for writers such as yourself who take inexplicably controversial issues in such a mundane manner.
    I too have a little girl and am afraid this is the world we are leaving them.


  3. Humans harbor brain structures analogous to those in herding animals, and the briefest of observations proves that we do, in fact, herd. (Pop culture and fashion are but two blindingly obvious examples.)

    People's herding impulse also visibly undergoes cyclical changes, where sometimes it is governed by fear/anger and other times trust/optimism. This is central to the Socionomic Hypothesis ( www.sociomomics.net )

    For a long, long time (since the mid-1970's) social mood has been in an uptrend, entering into a once-in-three-centuries mania quite visibly in 1995. We've been there ever since, and this manic optimism yielded pathological trust, suicidal openness and totalitarian tolerance.

    When social mood rolls over from this Popular Delusion, what follows will utterly shock most people into catatonia. Immiscible peoples have been invited to shuffle together during a period of manic tolerance, and when that tolerance turns to fear and distrust, the energies of rage will be as same-poles of magnets forced into proximity.

    Look around and note how few people have any sense at all what an historical absurdity is this time and Narrative.