Monday, May 29, 2017

Modern Family

In my last post I criticised Sarah Vine for suggesting that the freedom of Western girls to "be whoever" is what defines the West.

It led to a brief discussion on parenting which clarified for me one of the problems we face. Mark Moncrieff (of Upon Hope) commented that:
I think the most important word here is the word "raise", children need to be raised. But "being free to be whoever they want to be" implies that children can raise themselves.

Which led to my own (disjointed) comment in reply:
That's a good way of putting it. And you can imagine why this is so. If you are a liberal and you think that there are no objectives purposes in life and that people should just "be themselves" however they see fit, then there is little purpose to parenting your child - there is nothing definite to raise them toward. Parenting just comes to mean accepting unconditionally. Not imposing anything. Giving the child confidence to "be anything you care to be". The parents are just there to ferry the child around as a kind of support crew, rather than transmitting culture, identity, purpose, wisdom, values.

This is not the only reason why the traditional role of the parent has been undermined. It's more difficult now for parents to set the tone within the family home, given the arrival of portable, wi-fi devices (at least 20 years ago you could simply change the TV channel). But 20 years ago, many middle-class parents were happy enough if their children were raised for the purposes of educational qualifications and career, and so the traditional role of parents in socialising their children was largely left to schools.

This is clearly one issue where it is not enough to be "conservative" (in the sense of conserving the good in society) - we have to be restorationist. We have to restore an older understanding of the parental role, which means giving parents confidence that transmitting ideals of character, of natural sex roles, of identity and loyalty, and of life wisdom are significant to the development and the future well-being of their children.

5 comments:

  1. My son is nearly 10. So far he seems to be turning out really well (touch wood) and very attentive to my efforts at leadership parenting. It probably helps we don't have a TV. He does spend a lot of time watching Youtube videos, but the messages he gets from the stuff he likes - mostly gameplay videos - do not seem nearly as harmful & destructive as what you see on BBC or other television stations. You mostly see smart white guys (& couples) being competent, doing something they enjoy, and talking about it. Gamer culture may not be ideal, but it seems a million times better than the cultural Marxist dominated entertainment media establishment.

    As far as my own parenting goes, I have tried to inculcate a sense of responsibility, an understanding of the challenges of life, a thoughtful respect for tradition, an understanding that men and women are complementary. Because this tallies with his lived experience he respects my views and we rarely disagree. I have taught him a healthy scepticism of the Liberal-Establishment messages he gets from school and other sources, a proper regard for the achievements of our ancestors, and a desire to live up to their example.

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    1. Well done! I haven't done so well with my own son. He has started to parrot the narrative. So I have begun to sit down with him (once a week) to explicitly teach him about competing world views and values. So far, so good - but I hope I get enough done in time before he gets to the age where he doesn't listen anymore.

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    2. Obviously you failed in your parental responsibility to give the child a through grounding in his religion and traditions. If he had that foundation, he would have the confidence and knowledge to reject the narrative he unthinkingly parrots now.

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  2. ...And reading your blog over the years Mark has helped my parenting a lot. :)

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  3. The term conservative means maintaining the traditions of the last 2000 years hence there is no need to have the additional term of restorationist. A conservative person instinctively understands that.

    The purpose of marriage is to pass the ancient traditions, culture and wisdom to the next generation. Most marriages in the west are not contracted for that purpose hence the total abrogation of parental duty which follows is inevitable.

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