dHow Do You Spell Freedom - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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How Do You Spell Freedom?

by Christopher Chantrill
June 06, 2007 at 11:24 am

BACK IN the old days childhood was different.  Kids had more freedom, as Alice Thompson reports from Britain. She talked to her mother about life as a child during World War II.

Life as a child in those days was delightful.  The adults were far too busy to pay any attention to children. 

We broke into requisitioned houses and made camps; we spent our afternoons canoeing down the Cam without life-jackets, eating sausages out of tins and, when it rained, we slipped into the cinema to watch unsuitable love stories and horrifying images of the liberation of the concentration camps.

Of course, one time a man tried to force himself on her as she cycled to a friend’s house.  But she never thought of telling anyone until she got home. 

Thompson’s childhood was not much different.  She took the London subway home from school with her younger sister from the age of five.

Today things are much different.  According to a survey “Fewer than one in 10 eight-year-olds walk to school alone” in Britain today and there are signs in public playgrounds warning parents that is against the law to leave their children unsupervised.

And Alice Thompson is just as smothering a parent as everyone else:

I walk my three-, four- and six-year-old to school every day, clutching their hands.
Their every moment in London is supervised, with playdates and trips to museums.
I drive them to football and tennis. No wonder they love going to the country where they can spend all day making camps in the garden, pretending to be orphans.

In fact though, children have about the same risk of murder or kidnapping as a generation ago.

And though they have much less risk of being orphaned, they do have a pretty significant risk of being abandoned in divorce.

The difference is that government and media have learned that there is money and power and ratings in scaring mothers half to death. 

There ought to be a law.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill