Speculative thought

A thought occurred to me about all the Special Snowflakes in society today. Could it be in significant part the result of smaller families? In China the “One Child” policy has resulted in a generation plagued with “little emperors.” When you have a lot of children, even a good parent that loves all of them equally, and treats them all as fairly and equitably as possible will know they are not all truly equal, and not all as smart, or strong, or whatever, as anyone else. In short, you know some are more “valuable” or “expendable” on different measures because you confront it every day in your own home.

But with only one or two children (and as often as not they are of opposite sexes as they are the same) you don’t get that daily comparison. Is it therefore (a) easier to delude yourself into thinking that they are super-special, and (b) become disabilitayingly fearful and risk averse for their safety because you have (more that just metaphorically) put all your eggs in one basket? If you have ten kids, a harsh training program that will greatly improve 80% the strength, intelligence, and knowledge of the people who take it (compared to a “normal” school program), but kill 10%, is something to consider. If you only have one, it’s far to great a risk.

Is that fear of “losing it all in one roll of the dice” what’s driving the special snowflake blizzard sweeping the nation? Or is that just one of many contributing factors that are all roughly equal in importance? I know the fear of lawsuits is big, but what underlies and drives that? Thoughts?

12 thoughts on “Speculative thought

  1. I believe you are very much correct. The competition between the children in larger families is good for their development (IMO) and the realization the resources within the family are not unlimited also tempers expectations.

    Having smaller, often one child families has promoted the expectations of many that their child is “special”. My wife is in education and we’ve discussed this many times. Although rational thought would tell you that the abilities of children will be spread along a bell curve of some distribution, mant, many parents feel, believe and insist that their child must be a part of whatever special and gifted program the schools have. To be told that be the measure of various standardized means, their child is average or somewhat above average, but not “gifted” is insulting and almost always “wrong”. They’ll then proceed to procure their own “experts” and expect everyone to kowtow to their demands.

    IMO, supporting evidence for your theory.

    • Yes. And as a teacher myself, trying to tell a parent their sole offspring is somewhere between dumb as a stump and a paste-eater and they should set their expectations accordingly isn’t going to go over so well. Telling them they should not waste money sending the kid to college, but he should aim at a trade like a painter or shopping-cart retrieval technician is a non-starter, too. Schools set them up with utterly unrealistic expectations, hand out trophies to everyone, eliminate real competition because someone might not come in first, etc, so they get no prophylactic “reality-dose” at school to temper their souls. They are made mentally fragile, brittle, by using constant aversion therapy to condition them to avoid confrontation, disagreement, or handling themselves. They are constantly told to “get an adult” or “let the professionals take care of it” and “don’t do that, you might get hurt,” to make them fearful and uncertain. It’s a constant mix of inflating unrealistic self-worth and hesitate self-doubt where everything “worthy” is accompanied by a government-certified certificate. They don’t recognize intrinsic value, and equate school with education, certification with competence.

      They think everyone can be winners in a zero-sum game. It’s like they are determined to continue the cycle:
      Hard times create strong men
      ..Strong men create good times
      ….Good times create weak men
      ……Weak men create hard times

  2. I believe that’s part of it. We saw examples of emerging snowflakes in the 1960s among rural, one-child families.

    The other part of it is what can be called Marxist rabble rousing, and a lot of that has been taking place inside the government-controlled education system. Just take a few moments and read through a collection of Karl Marx quotes (very easy to find) and it’ll jump right out at you. You’ll fond the basis for everything any Democrat or any government “authority” is saying today. The authoritarian state NEEDS a bunch of frightened, pissed off little snowflakes, else it would never be tolerated. Thus government will manufacture pissed-off, frightened snowflakes at every opportunity. That’s the one and only reason for public education.

    Part of all that is the degradation of the family, into the secular Progressive model, wherein the father has been marginalized, or is entirely absent, and government takes over the role of leader and provider. A lot of men are now little more than women with masculine bodies. So instead of having two parents, a lot of kids have two mothers. When once a mother might have coddled a hurt child where the father told him to man up, now they’re both coddling. I was with my friend, we were about ten years old, when has dog was struck by a car and killed at a highway crossing. His mother was with us. She tried to comfort him him a little bit, but them told him to apologize to me for crying. I sensed the influence of the father in that demand, though he was not present at the time. You’d never hear such a demand, or even the suggestion, these days.

    Ask any woman about the suggestion that “father knows best” within the family and you’ll be treated to a sarcastic laugh, while only sixty years ago it would have been taken largely as a given. So it is that the “women’s rights” movement was little more than an anti-male, and especially anti-father, movement. Remember; “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and all that rot?

    This didn’t all happen in a vacuum all by random chance. It’s been, and is, an on-going program of demoralization and destabilization. When the snowflakes (and I include the millions of self entitled, government employees) find themselves in a position where we actually produce things can no longer afford, or are no longer willing, to feed them, then that century old program of Progressive demoralization will begin to bear its fruit of wholesale violence and chaos.

  3. It sounds plausible. It’s clearly not an unavoidable issue, though. My father demonstrates that: he was an only child and very well adjusted. In particular he was always very considerate to everyone, teaching me (by example — it never occurred to him to discuss it) that every person you meet should get the same respect. Among university faculty in Europe, that was not exactly a common sentiment at the time. My mother, one of 6 or 7 siblings, always thought of that as slightly odd of him, though she certainly was a very nice lady herself.

  4. friends:

    i have determined, after much reflection and living 69 years at this point, never again to vote for anyone unless that person has led men in battle. presumably a man. and, got his men through in good order and without undue casualty.

    it is the difference between dwight eisenhower and adlai stevenson.

    as to the “snowflake” business.– when i was young, a boy, we worked in the summers during harvest among men, and we took direction and instruction in how to work and how to deport ourselves among our elders. i took my first paying job under the tutelage of bill grant, who introduced himself the first day of harvest at the cannery by saying, “boys, when i walk up onto the hill at the start of the shift, you’ll be working. and, all i want to see from you is assholes and elbows. any questions? no? good. this is ain’t a debating club, and if i want to hear anything from you, i’ll ask you. get to work.” and, we were handed a rake, a broom, and an five tined pitch fork.

    best foreman, best man, i ever worked for at any level of employment. the first day he said to me, “john, call me bill,” was a great day, and one of the doors i walked through into adulthood. (until then, it was “mr. grant.” period.) the old guys told you what was expected, and if you were lucky, they told you kindly. they weren’t so kindly if you had a bit of an attitude.

    my first day i got blisters. pretty bad ones. i asked one of the old vinermen, who had hands about the size and strength of a silver backed gorilla, how to take care of them. he said, “well, you can go to the drug store and get alum, and soak them in a solution of that to dry them out, or, you can do like i always done, and that is to piss on them. and, rub it in, no matter how it stings.” i chose the latter course, and it worked just fine. he always got a bit of a “snipe hunt” grin on his face, for as long as i knew him.

    we started the world as children, and were treated as such, and entry into adult company was done by learning the ropes. it was not a matter of entitlement, or being especially smart, but a matter of demonstrated willingness to learn and do as you were told. from that, if you worked hard and paid attention, you earned the right to do others what to do.

    the snowflakes do not understand a fundamental truth about life. and, that is before you assume the mantel of command, of being at the top of the food chain, you have to know what it is to take orders, direction and teaching and to start at the bottom. those children who cried (and they were & are children), cried because they have not been toughened into the realities of life, let alone the toughness of politics. they just never had an old vinerman to tell them to hitch up their pants, put their backs into it, and piss on their hands if they’d never blistered.

    john jay

    p.s. by the time i finished that summer, i had callouses. i had become, in a sense, toughened and calloused. that is a negative word to the snowflakes, they never having had learned the utility of toughness or callouses. i had callouses across the palms. and, i had callouses where my fingers rubbed together as i gripped shovels and other tools.

    the snowflakes simply lack toughness. because they have never needed it. never understood its utility. and, quite likely, never will. they will be, essentially, children of arrested development the rest of their lives. they don’t know what it is to surmount a challenge, because they have never met a challenge.

    so, they sing “i will survive” to indicate they can take a trump presidency. as eloquent a demonstration of idiocy as you will ever witness.

    • Your last line in particular rings so true. The media is full of whiny actors and actresses proclaiming what survivors they are, since they had a few months when they weren’t pulling down their inflated salaries, or had to check in to some clinic to be treated for their indulgement du jour.

      As a kid in the Pacific Northwest, my brother, my friends, and I all worked in the summers picking berries: strawberries, transitioning to raspberries, and final (arrgh!) to commercial blackberries. We worked our butts off and had a great time! We learned something about responsibility and made a few dollars for a luxury item or two: my first shotgun was purchased at age 12 with berry picking money.

      Of course, the gubmint, in its infinite wisdom, decided that filling the fields with local school children learning about responsibility and the food-to-market cycle was akin to 5 year old Chinese babies working in sweatshops, and put the kibosh on it. It’s obviously much better to have bored pre-teens and teens figuring out what kind of mischief to get into, or taxing the taxpayers even more for “summer programs” for bored teens, than letting a free market solution take care of this.

  5. One magnifying factor for the Chinese is that male children are traditionally held to be a much worthier person than females. They have an exalted rank in a family, so they end up thinking they are hot shit. I am amazed at how badly they treat sisters and wives due to this mentality. It’s stunning to witness.
    That’s why they so easily aborted females, and why they now have such an imbalance. Traditionally, this sort of male/female imbalance would end up in neighbors being invaded in the pursuit of wives. This should be making Asia very nervous. Typical socialist/communist thinking, which is to say, they didn’t think. No consideration of history when they decided to limit children. No concept of human nature.

    • India suffers from the same problem. Its politics are different (though socialism is still rampant), as is the religious background, but the outcome is similar.

      • No kidding. When I worked at Microsoft, the meeting rooms were filled with obnoxious, incompetent Indian engineers who looked down their noses at anyone who dared question the crap the churned out.

      • I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve worked with a number of highly competent engineers in India. My point actually was about the treatment of women: I’ve read a number of newspaper articles about that, for example about the fact that few women in India are allowed access to the Internet. It’s not clear if they are quite down to Saudi standards, but clearly they have a lot of work to do. They way they handle rape is another example.

        • I’ve worked with several different women from India. Two of them were office mates and I mentored one of them. I was very, very impressed with them. Example: One of them came to the U.S., alone, to get her masters degree. She was something like 21 years old, didn’t know anyone here, and traveled half way around the world to go to school. She graduated and then successfully interviewed at Microsoft for a software design engineer position. See my posts here for pictures, her shooting guns, bringing friends to Idaho to shoot guns, and blowing up her birthday cake with explosives.

          Here is another woman from India who visited Idaho to shoot at explosives. She is also an excellent software engineer.

          I cannot comment about how they are treated in India. We didn’t talk much about life in India but none of them said anything to me about their treatment being adverse.

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