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June 05th 2013 print

Steve Kates

Kafka, kids and the new breed of enforcers

It starts in kindergarten, the concerted campaign of authorisedf shunning and compulsory thought-corection, and its advocates won't to stop unless we rise to the challenge of ignoring them

I have been reading such a subtle article it has filled me with endless admiration. By Daren Jonescu and titled Kindergarten and the Kafkaesque, the point is that when the leftist loons go after five-year-olds for pointing fingers at someone and saying, “bang, bang” there is a real intent behind it that actually ends up shaping society in the intended way. And it is more than just about guns. As he writes:

No one ever mistook a half-eaten Pop Tart for a weapon. And that is precisely why you are forbidden from saying ‘bang, bang’ while wielding a half-eaten Pop Tart. If this still makes no sense to you, that is because you are not crazy. But try, for a moment, to put yourself into the twisted psyche of a progressive authoritarian, and ask yourself this question: What is the message being sent through such rules, and the lesson being taught through their enforcement?

These are all of a piece with the way we enforce speech codes by making certain expressions of our beliefs beyond the pale in acceptable society. Eventually everyone will understand that it is against the rules of “civilised” society to have a positive view about guns and gun culture, but it goes beyond just guns. It is everything the left doesn’t like that they turn into the equivalent of swearing in public. Everybody learns to behave themselves because there is an ever-present danger that they will be hauled before the PC courts of public opinion.

The ultimate goal is not to punish such thoughts; punishment is merely the means. The real goal is to break the young soul to self-censorship and self-accusation regarding all thoughts related to personal efficacy, individual power, independence, and self-defense. A submissive citizen does not ‘cling’ to his weapons. Therefore, future citizens must be taught that such ‘clinging’ is a vice.

Submission to the collective is the goal. Seen from that perspective, it is quite logical to try to make children self-conscious about how they eat their Pop Tarts, lest they appear to be ‘threatening’ society. Notice, they are not actually threatening any person; their threat, being imaginary, is abstract. It is a threat to ‘other students’ in the abstract, to the collective. The child is learning to feel guilty if he catches himself in possession of thoughts unacceptable to the state as such; that is, he is learning to submit.

This is, as he notes, a world of insanity but it is designed to shape the future so that these five-year-olds will know they can do the “bang, bang” routine or their equivalent in other areas of social censorship with trusted friends but never, but never, when out of the house and in mixed company. It will become as great a faux pas to speak positively of such matters as it is to smoke inside a building. You will be shunned and cast out from society. It will be impossible to have such views and travel in the company of our social and political elites. Which is why he brings in Kafka and the future we are creating:

Kafka’s world is our world. The nightmare logic of infinite bureaucratic authority which drives a man into admitting his own guilt without even understanding what he is accused of is the mechanism of public school indoctrination. And like Kafka’s Josef K., we are all, in the compulsory progressive public school, to learn how to self-accuse, to self-incriminate, to self-condemn. And then, at the end of our submissive life of democratic self-enslavement, socialized medicine will treat us to the ignominy of an ending worthy of Josef K. — “‘Like a dog!’ he said; it was as if the shame of it should outlive him.”

It is the way it happens and it is how we are controlled in the modern world. Some things just can no longer be said without risking one’s entire career and social position. Being pro-gun is now becoming one of those ideas in the way that other forms of expression have been leached from elite society. Fascinating to see this in action, but also extremely depressing.

Steve Kates teaches economics at RMIT University. His most recent book is Free Market Economics: an Introduction for the General Reader