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Clark

Clark is an anarchocapitalist, a reader, and a man of mystery. He's not a neoreactionary, but he is Nrx-curious 'til graduation. All he wants for Christmas is for everyone involved in the police state to get a fair trial and a free hanging. Follow him at @clarkhat

24 Responses

  1. Jimmy C says:

    That's a good thing. We're all knuckleheads with "skulls full of mush" at those ages. And what's worse is we think we know everything.

    If, for instance, life expectancy extended to 1,000 years would we really allow 21 year-olds to make any important decisions at all? Not a chance.

  2. Kevin Lyda says:

    That was nearly 80 years ago. At what point do people realise this sort of rhetoric is just bullshit?

  3. Warren Vita says:

    "…and while we needn't yield completely to this idiocy…" – great stuff. I think Rose has a point that some of the details she mentions in the letter wouldn't really be all that interesting to the tween girls the books were aimed at.

  4. Kes says:

    Um, rather disingenuous to present this without context, given that throughout the letter, Rose was discussing that Laura should edit out details of her twelve-year-old experience that hinged on her sexual vulnerability around adult railroad workers and preserving her virginity from her own cousin.

    Just for the record, Rose Wilder Lane had some very odd ideas about society and eventually became (at the time of this writing, was) an extreme libertarian and bitter foe of Roosevelt's New Deal. An interesting lady, no doubt, but I would not take her views on social development as widely applicable to contemporary American society. ( http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/08/10/090810crat_atlarge_thurman?currentPage=all )

    Also, considering what Laura Ingalls was expected to do at the age of four or five (or fifteen), I'm not going to shed a tear that child-labor laws have been (for the most part) successfully implemented in this country.

  5. Clark says:

    @Kes

    Um, rather disingenuous to present this without context,

    disingenuous – adjective – not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

    Um, go fuck yourself.

    You've convinced yourself that (a) I'm trying to make some particular political or rhetorical point instead of just sharing something that I found interesting, (b) in the year 2014 AD, there can be any more meaninful context than a hyperlink to the original source material, (c) I'm acting in bad faith, (d) you are an appropriate person to call me out on my manners and/or morals.

    Not a single one of these things is true.

  6. Chris says:

    @Clark

    Perfect takedown/snark. Good for you!

  7. onehsancare says:

    @Clark

    +1

  8. CJColucci says:

    OK, so we know that 75 years ago Rose Wilder Lane thought kids weren't developing as quickly as they used to. Was that true then? Is it true now? Or is it just another rant about kids these days? I suspect there's actual evidence on this, like, say, the ongoing renormalizations of IQ tests. Or would that spoil the fun?

  9. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    A wonderful illustration that those who bemoan the kids these days are, almost without exception, full of baloney. It has always been thus.

  10. Ken White says:

    I was going to underline the point with one of those quotes from Plato or Hesiod but a little digging suggests they are all misattributed.

  11. Sad Panda says:

    @CJColucci: I googled IQ renormalization, because I've never heard of it before. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it involved raising IQ test standards over time, rather than lowering them.
    Maybe the kids are alright?

  12. Sad Panda says:

    Oh, I also wanted to say, thanks for posting that, Clark. I usually come for the Ken White posts, but you find some interesting stuff when you tone it down with the Gonzo.

  13. James says:

    I just remember my days in the Boy Scouts. Our Scoutmasters treated us like we were 25, even though we were only 11, and expected us to behave accordingly. Tent leaking? Fix it. Hungry? Better learn to light a fire and cook dinner. Cold? Dress warmer next time.

    My only regret about being a father is that I had three daughters so I didn't get to be a Scoutmaster.

  14. Brett Middleton says:

    OK, so we know that 75 years ago Rose Wilder Lane thought kids weren't developing as quickly as they used to. Was that true then? Is it true now?

    Admiral Farragut started his naval career as a midshipman in 1810. He was nine years old at the time. He had his first command as a prize master at the age of 12.

    Craft apprenticeships or indentures generally began at the age of 12-14 in colonial America. Samuel Adams entered Harvard at the age of 14.

    Jewish males become bar mitzvah at the age of 13, considered able to form binding contracts, marry, etc. Today this is merely tradition, but I expect it was taken more literally in the distant past, which is why the traditional speech begins "Today I am a man."

    I think Ms. Lane had a point.

    Even today I think kids mature faster in some cultures than others. A colleague of mine from Tunisia had a piecework job when he was six, shelling almonds or something like that and getting paid by the pound. How many American six-year-olds have that kind of attention span?

  15. Kevin says:

    @Sad Panda

    Oh, I also wanted to say, thanks for posting that, Clark. I usually come for the Ken White posts, but you find some interesting stuff when you tone it down with the Gonzo.

    I know Clark isn't really the type who's likely to alter his stylistic approach based on reader feedback (and that's a good thing!), but I felt I should note for the record that personally, *I* come for the Gonzo ;)

  16. Castaigne says:

    @Kevin Lynda:

    That was nearly 80 years ago. At what point do people realise this sort of rhetoric is just bullshit?

    Never.

  17. Sad Panda says:

    @Kevin: Fair enough, I'm sure the Gonzo has a dedicated following! :)

  18. wgering says:

    You scared me for a minute with that Slate link Clark.

    Based on my experience, describing today's college students as "children" is generally (but by no means universally) accurate.

    Just give your kids Legos instead of iPads and they'll be fine. Or send them to work on a farm.

  19. pharniel says:

    @Brett Middleton
    Even today I think kids mature faster in some cultures than others. A colleague of mine from Tunisia had a piecework job when he was six, shelling almonds or something like that and getting paid by the pound. How many American six-year-olds have that kind of attention span?

    I was running a register at 6, roofing at 8 and mowing the lawn (much to my step-mother's horror) at 9.

    It all depends on the individual child what they're capable of and what the parents are willing to do. There are 20 year olds I'd never let near a toaster oven let alone a kitchen knife and 14 year olds that I'd happily have on any re-roofing or re-modeling job.

    We could have a discussion about helicopter parents infantilizing their children in an effort to 'challenge' them by pushing them for success in academic and scholastic achievements at the expense of self-sufficiency but that's a whole different discussion.

  20. AlphaCentauri says:

    I think the one principle that is eternal is that teens will have little interest in any activity that their parents think shows maturity. Every generation invents its own type of genius, but the previous generation usually doesn't recognize it.

  21. Warren Vita says:

    @pharniel: I think a lot of it has to do with increasing urbanization. I grew up on a farm, and was driving tractors and operating other dangerous machinery by the time I was 8 or 9. Now that I've been away living in the city for several years, it kind of amazes me how much more dangerous my upbringing was than my life is now.

  22. G. says:

    All I have to say to this is that when I went to see Gran Torino, starring Clint Eastwood, my wife was nudging me 10 seconds in with a meaningful "look…it's you…50 years from now…or maybe just next week…"
    Damn kids these days be spineless I tell ya…now…where's mah shotgun and mah tequila dammit.

  23. ThomasS says:

    One of the first things that I heard when I moved to Switzerland is that it is a bit like living in an earlier era. By US standards the Swiss are quite liberal, but their approach to child rearing is a good example of where the claim comes from.

    A favorite "expat story" of mine involves a child in primary school who comes home one day with a note: "Little Johnny feels left out, because he does not have a pocket knife. All his friends have pocket knives. In the future please send him to school with a pocket knife."

    Schools also get upset if the kindergartners are walked to school by parents. "They should walk to school with other kids!". I've also heard of first and second graders demanding to light candles. "C'mon mom, we learned to use matches in school!"

  24. Devil's Advocate says:

    @Ken
    Besides, in the case of Plato, Greek civilization was about to hit a precipitous decline it never recovered from, so a "kids these days" complaint wouldn't have been wrong.