The Political Indoctrination Of Children
History is littered with the indoctrination of children by totalitarian regimes. Nazi Germany had the Hitler Youth. The Soviet Union, North Korea, China and others all moved to control their societies by indoctrinating children at an early age. Children as young as kindergarten age were educated in the ideology of the state with heavy emphasis on the state’s view of history, it’s enemies and physical training. In virtually every case, there is a strong militarism nature to the training which in many cases included weapons and unarmed combat.
The following video shows how the Nazis understood that the foundation of the ongoing success of their regime was dependent on raising a generation to believe what the state required them to believe. The indoctrination was all the more insidious in that it was often intermixed with physical and other fun activities.
We now live in the 21st century, an era when we are more reasoned, more democratic than ever before. Unfortunately, the political indoctrination and militarization of children continues. As the following video shows, there is a direct comparison between what happened in countries like The Third Reich and what is happening today in places like the Middle East, as well as, Africa and some Asian countries.
Unfortunately, this misuse of children is not limited to totalitarian regimes. The indoctrination of children is rising in some democracies where the political leadership sees its country as under constant threat by defined and sometimes undefined or constantly changing enemies of the state.
It starts with the belief that the state should control thinking and that the state is better served when people see things the way the state thinks they should. Sometimes, as in North Korea, the indoctrination is personality-cult oriented, in other places it is based more on hatred of an external enemy.
Sometimes it is started by those who believe so deeply in a cause, like global warming or sex education or a political party, they blend their beliefs into teaching children what to think rather than teaching them how to think.
No democracy is immune to the misguided idea that there is only one way to think and that is as true in North America as it is in the Middle East.
It doesn’t matter if you support President Obama or the Republicans, Stephen Harper or the NDP, the political indoctrination of children is not just wrong, it is just one more form of child abuse. Children should be encouraged to explore the world around them, taught to be curious and to learn from that curiosity. From that should come their own, individual formulation of ideas and understanding. No state, no individual should take it upon themselves to try and indoctrinate children to one set of beliefs, especially beliefs founded on hatred or fear.
In the end, the nation is not well-served by raising children who have been robbed of their right to think for themselves. It is no different than raising a generation to believe that blacks are not equal to whites, that only The Third Reich is righteous, that Jews are evil or all followers of Islam are murderous suicide bombers.
The indoctrination of children is the continuation of extremist intolerance and it takes from them the very thing most of us thought we were fighting to protect….. the right to live our individual lives and to think for ourselves.
© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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