Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The parental state

No other primate species engages in parenting in the way that humans do. The parent-child attachment process that is necessary for early brain development appears to be largely complete by the time the child is three years old. Parenting of human children for several years beyond weaning is entirely unnecessary from the standpoint of either physiological or psychological development, but it is thought to be necessary in order to sufficiently prepare children to participate in complex human society. 

What extended parenting actual does, however, is instill a perpetual sense of dependency. 

Children are intrinsically motivated to learn—naturally and without any prompting from adults—how to handle the world around them.  What parenting in modern society has to do is counteract the child’s natural programming; children have to learn that that their own abilities are not sufficient. 

In a hunter-gatherer society, children learn very early to be able to provide for their own immediate needs (e.g., for food).  In civilized society, children are taught to be dependent on others for satisfying all of their needs (and even as adults are entirely unable to provide their own food, relying instead on a massive corporate food system).  They are trained through the routines of public school and participation in sports to be "good citizens" and "team players" all the while corporate marketing is presenting them with a materialistic world based on narcissistic hedonism.

What should be conflicting messages, "you are insufficient in yourself and need to rely on others" and "you are an individual entitled to all of the material pleasures of the world that you can get your hands on" are resolved into: "you need to use others in order to get what you want." 

Our immaturity follows us into adulthood and leaves us in need of perpetual parenting. 

Enter the corporate state.  Modern civilization is a society of dependent and self-centered children, and corporate bureaucracies play the role of protective, indulgent—and more than occasionally abusive—parents.

No comments:

Post a Comment