I find it odd that two contradictory tendencies currently advance unabated in contemporary America. The first is that parents, schools, religious bodies, and other institutions involved in the character formation of children increasingly shirk their responsibility to inculcate virtue in their young wards. Their failure is even more egregious when one considers the atmosphere of vice that inundates children in our society. Popular music, television, and youth culture in general subject children to an endless stream of bad lessons and perverse values. Of course, there are exceptions; heroic resistence to barbarism surfaces here and there. Obviously, millions of parents want their children to grow into being virtuous, admirable adults. Yet, they do not have the will, time, knowledge, or resources to counteract the demonic competition for their children’s souls. In summary, America today is a factory that produces legions of lost, nihilistic youth.
The second tendency is that the same institutions that deal with children are becoming ever more intolerant of certain moral malformations in which they themselves are complicit. We live in an age of “zero tolerance,” where increasing numbers of actions are considered beyond the pale and lead to expulsion from an institution, if not worse. I suspect that typically American overreaction plays a part in this; we now persist in constant state of post-Columbine hysteria. Yet, I think that there must be more fundamental root rot. As a disposable and utilitarian society, where men are seen more as human resources and less as human persons, perhaps inconvenient children should just be thrown out. Let someone else worry about the trash—is that it? Or is it rather our foolish reaction to the deterioration of the moral character of the masses? Instead of admitting that our relativistic, non-judgmental liberal regime is flawed and destructive, we rather seek to discard the unpleasant results of that regime. For ideologues have a history of “removing” the data.
I do not know what is causing the insanity, but I do know that it is unjust and that it poorly serves children in America today. We are raising feral beasts, and we have the temerity to expect them to act like human beings.