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Raising Free-Thinking Children Amid Societal Madness

International Man: TV, movies, popular culture, government schools, and many factors mold the minds of today’s kids.

Unfortunately, these institutions are rotten to the core.

What are parents and children up against today?

Doug Casey: It’s very serious. Once upon a time, going to school and watching a movie or a TV program wouldn’t endanger your kid’s moral character, but now they do. And I ask myself: Where did the rot start, when did it begin

There’s an old saying: Tough times breed strong men; strong men result in good times; good times result in weak men, and so forth. I’m afraid that pretty much describes what’s happened with the US.

We’re following the path of all great empires in the past. After Athens became rich and prosperous, they fomented the Peloponnesian War, which resulted in their collapse. It happened to the Roman Republic, which fell away from its founding virtues, transformed into an empire, and became dissipated and soft. It’s happened to Europe after it became rich and prosperous. Its conquest of scores of colonies has come back to bite it.

When civilizations become rich and arrogant, they lose their moral foundations. They become hypocritical and corrupt. They don’t want to admit it; the elites may not even recognize it. But a spiritual cancer becomes pervasive, and they seem to suffer a loss of self-confidence. Perversely, as the foundations of society collapse, its superstructure, the government, grows and becomes more important. The society becomes bureaucratized. That transfers risk and responsibility away from individuals and traditional institutions, placing them onto the State.

This has happened to America. Once upon a time, America really was different from and better than any other country in history. Why? Because it was only country explicitly founded on the principles of individual liberty, economic and social freedom. That’s all being washed away now. The reality has been replaced by worthless State operatives crowing the “America is the exceptional country” as a justification for crimes.

In fact, “America” has devolved into “the US”. The US, most regrettably, is just another of 200 states covering the face of the globe like a skin disease.

The country has been demoralized. The average guy has been taught our basic values are evil, and he questions whether the ideas of Western Civilization and America even have a right to exist. Americans have outsourced their ability to think and make moral decisions to CNN or the New York Times. If they think for themselves, they can be canceled. They’ve outsourced their right to defend themselves to the police. If they do defend themselves, they can be jailed or bankrupted. Everywhere, adults are treated like children. So they’re increasingly acting like children.

International Man: In the past few years, the indoctrination of children into woke and other bent views has accelerated.

Where is this trend headed?

Casey: St. Ignatius Loyola, who founded the Jesuits, and Lenin, who founded the Soviet Union, both said words to the effect that if you get control of the kids for a generation, you can warp their minds for a lifetime. They were both absolutely right.

Wokeism has actually replaced traditional moral and religious values in the West at this point. It’s a trend that’s been in motion for decades and is accelerating. Trends in motion tend to stay in motion until a crisis is reached, at which point anything can happen. In any event, the majority of the youth in America and the West have been totally captured by the notions of wokeism—race consciousness, intersectionality, LGBTQ, canceling, political correctness, socialism, and a whole panoply of other psychological and moral aberrations.

It’s going to be hard to reverse this trend. My guess is that we’ll have a really serious crisis before we can know the answer.

International Man: How do parents with young children opt out of this growing insanity?

Casey: I think it’s important that they opt out. At least if they really care about their kids. If your kids are in government schools, you should get them out. It’s as if you’re letting them swim in a cesspool.

Amish kids are homeschooled, and they have few of the problems afflicting “normal” society. No, you don’t have to swear off automobiles and electricity. But you can insulate them from really destructive influences. Helicopter parenting, to keep kids “safe,” can turn them into hothouse pansies. Of course, you don’t want them to grow up with wolves, although that worked for Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

Although I’m no fan of Islam and the precepts of Mohammed, it can be said that kids growing up in that culture have some advantages today. The fact is that children in backward Mohammedan countries aren’t influenced to do drugs, disrespect their elders and their culture, mutilate their bodies, or a dozen other things subtly or overtly encouraged in the West. Most of the values imparted in their madrassas are antithetical to classical Western virtues, and the knowledge they gain is mostly useless. But at least they’re taught some virtues and believe in something, as opposed to nothing.

In the West, kids are halfheartedly taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. But they don’t get much familiarity with concepts like right and wrong or good and evil. If they do, they certainly don’t get any instruction in critical thinking or the Socratic method. They’re on their own to put the world in perspective, and most fail. They wind up acting on feelings and emotions, not logic and reason. What values they get come from the Woke media and the schools.

But the schools are intellectual and moral crime scenes, run by teachers who grew up in the system. Their paychecks ensure they promote it robotically. The higher the grade level, the more likely the teacher will be a Progressive or a Marxist of some stripe. Since charity begins at home, you should get your kids out of government schools, or for that matter, any kind of conventional school at the earliest age possible.

International Man: Homeschooling has become increasingly popular, especially after the Covid hysteria.

What’s your take on this trend?

Casey: The only way to solve this problem is by homeschooling your kids, or uniting with other parents who share libertarian views, and hiring a tutor with both academic competence and the right values. Your kids are your most important asset. You shouldn’t entrust them to government bureaucrats who will indoctrinate them with bad values and misinformation.

Teachers’ unions control the teachers, and the values of the National Education Association (the largest teacher’s union) are not just adjacent to but worse than those of the Teamsters or UAW. In addition, school subjects your kids to hanging out with young yahoos who will have picked up lots of bad habits and ideas. Don’t worry about them being socialized. There’s plenty of time for that after they’ve learned right from wrong and are capable of independent critical thinking.

If they’re swimming in a cesspool, they’re going to be contaminated.

International Man: Opting out of the traditional schooling options is an excellent start. But is it enough?

How can parents best ensure their children become independent, free-thinking, capable adults as the US and the West accelerate their decline in the years ahead?

Casey: It’s not enough to simply opt out of government and other conventional schools. A positive alternative is critical.

Ron Paul has a program for homeschooling kids. His platform makes it easy for you. Tom Woods does a lot of excellent work in this area, too. If they follow the programs Ron Paul and Tom Woods lay out, by the time they’re ready to go to college, they’ll already know far more than the typical college grad.

The fact is that college today is not just a gigantic misallocation of four of the most valuable years of your life and a huge amount of money. It’s much worse. In the time he’s not partying at what amounts to a five-star resort, drinking and chasing girls, a student is being actively corrupted and indoctrinated. He’ll emerge with a near-valueless degree, a bunch of bad attitudes, destructive ideas, and a mountain of debt.

What’s the alternative? Some close associates and I are putting together an alternative plan for what a young man (or woman) should do over those four years. The object is to become a modern-day Renaissance Man, capable of dealing with all aspects of the real world.

I suggest you read Maxim Smith’s blog to follow what he is doing as a teenager in a beta test of the program.

Reprinted with permission from International Man

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