Greenfield: Whose Children? Our Children
“We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents,” MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry argued. “Educators love their students and know better than anyone what they need to learn and to thrive,” the NEA asserted. “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t,” a Washington Post op-ed bluntly asserted.A Minnesota bill now proposes to take children away from parents who don’t agree to have them sexually mutilated. Similar bills are working their way through other states.
Behind all the identity politics, the graphic sexual materials in classrooms, the covert gender swaps by public school administrators, critical race theory, drag shows and so much else is a showdown between the family and the state. It’s not a new confrontation, but teenage puberty blockers, suicides, sex and racism manuals have made the stakes painfully clear.At the heart of sexual identity politics is an obsession with dismantling the family. The embrace of transgenderism by the state is no accident of politics. The family, like race and religion, is the chief rival to the state. The state set out to neuter its rivals through identity politics, using race, religion and finally sexuality to define new identities and use them to make the state supreme. The great struggle between human beings and the state was always going to come down to the question of whether the system or the family would be the central unit of social organization. In a little over a century a question that once seemed as basic to the understanding of humanity as the differences between men and women was muddied. The government took charge of education and demanded oversight of all the nation’s children because the indoctrination of the citizenry was a vital national interest. But so was the existence or non-existence of the children. The state did not just control what children learned, but whether they lived. It asserts the right to kill unborn children in the womb, and in Canada and Europe to kill them through euthanasia if they are ill or depressed. From eugenics to abortion, the state determined that it had a vital interest in not only how children were raised, but that they lived or died at its command. Democracy had come to mean not a town meeting and a free press, but the state determining its own future constituencies, rigging elections a generation ahead by controlling demographics, education and all the elements of the lives of children. By controlling children, the state had become a next generation tyranny in the guise of a multi-generational democracy. The Left always looked to the “future” and the “children” because they had already brought it into being. The new social order remade parents into glorified employees of the state. Birthing and rearing children became labor on behalf of the state subsidized by its institutions with the understanding that at the opportune moment, the state would tell the parents to step back while it takes charge. When schools secretly change the gender of children or push sexual and racist materials on them, the state is taking charge. And administrations and unions indignantly tell parents to keep quiet and not interfere. Parents, like most taxpayers, under the impression that the system answers to them or at least that it ought to answer to them were confused and enraged. The shift from the single-income family to the two-income family with preschool encompassing children as young as 18 months and then to an ever more intensive chain of state educational institutions happened gradually enough that most parents thought it was their own idea. But what the Soviet Union and Communist China had failed to accomplish, happened in America. Children, from even before they could talk, were being raised either directly by the state or by the institutions that it closely regulated. The unintended consequences of that, emotional fragility, a lack of healthy models for interpersonal relationships, and an obsession with ‘snitching’ on others that persists well into adulthood, were only the collateral damage. The campus safe space and the ghetto are where the experimental testing of the children has been conducted, leaving behind radioactive social wastelands fit only for DEI seminars. Such children raised by the state become adults who want the state to go on raising them. When they’re hungry, the state feeds them, when they’re cold, the state shelters them and when they’re unhappy, the state tells them whom to blame. When their relationships fall apart or when their feelings are hurt, they turn to the state to soothe them with a dose of revenge. The state was field testing its transitional model for replacing the family with its communal institutions. This dream, at least two centuries old in western socialist circles, is being realized not only by the primary products of those experiments, single mothers raising children from different fathers on government subsidies, but by much of the next generation. Teachers and administrators in those institutions are pushing sexual identity politics on children as young as two years old not just because it’s a current leftist fad, but because eliminating the family wipes out any competition. The gradual transitional elimination of the family is rapidly picking up speed. Now the plan is to destroy the family by destroying the children. Children have an inherent need for a family. Totalitarian regimes have fought the family in the past by turning children against their parents. And yet even in the face of the monstrous propaganda of the USSR, Communist China and Nazi Germany, the family has persisted. The Left has come to realize that the only way to destroy the family is to destroy the children. The familiar vision of socialism is man as a tabula rasa, a blank state, not just economically or socially as under Communism, but completely empty, ready to fit any mold. He can be a man or a woman, or any hybridized combination of new invented sexes to be determined by the state. Instead of the people deciding what the state ought to be like, the state will determine what the people will be like down to the smaller granular detail. A democracy of people who have been trained to reshape themselves completely in response to propaganda and their instructors are capable of becoming the willing pawns and puppets of any state no matter how terrible. Or so it would seem. This totalitarian utopia requires the extinction of the family as its ultimate precondition and final triumph. That is what is really at stake in this struggle. And it is best summed up by a single question. “Whose children? Our children or the children of the state?”