Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Who Benefits From Our Fears?

fear, children, dog walking, freedom, security, control

“Think of the children!”

I have daughters. And neighbors, nephews, nieces, cousins, friends with children. And friends who used to be children. But when the command to “think of the children” is screamed out by freaked-out paranoiacs demanding more laws, more punishments, more prison time, more surveillance — and consequently less freedom — I try to think responsibly.

As did one Corey Widen, when she “let her 8-year-old do the most normal, cheerful thing in the world — walk the dog around the block.” Lenore Skenazy tells the tale in Reason. “After the girl returned home, the doorbell rang. It was the police.”

Someone in Widen’s Wilmette, Illinois, community had seen the child and dog walking around “unsupervised” and called 911.

The thing, there was no lack of supervision, here. The child was supervising the dog.

What could be more natural?

The neighbor could have walked outside and smiled at the kid and talked about the dog and, in general, been a good neighbor.

Think of it as a peaceful order of supervision.

Instead: in came the police.

Then, after the police let it go, the Department of Children and Family Services stepped in to “investigate.”

Because nothing says DANGER more than a kid walking a dog.

Skenazy notes that this attitude is commonly justified by crimes against kids. And yet, Ms. Skenazy notes, crime in Wilmette has gone down dramatically over the years. As it has most elsewhere.

The culture has become more paranoid.

Who is served by this?

Authoritarians. Haters of freedom. Demagogues.

Certainly not kids, for kids cloistered from simple responsibilities cannot grow up to take on real responsibilities.

Think of the . . .  future adults.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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By: Redactor


  1. CoachFerg62 says:

    Our American society suffers terribly from the infantilization of the youth. Children are so supervised, organized, and instructed that they have lost virtually all ability to think, problem-solve, or act without direction. As with all things, there is a time and a place for the former. It has become the ultimate goal of The Keepers of Order to prevent children from experiencing life out of an irrational fear for their safety.

    Beyond that, the current generation of parents, having been brought up that way, hyperextend their conditioning to their children. Fear guides their every decision – from cameras all over the home to all organic everything – they stunt their children developmentally, physically and socially.

     The result is a current generation of what could be termed Generation Fearful. They are afraid of failure, being wrong, and anything that coudl be considered a challenge. They need to be wrapped in the cocoon of comfort, never challenged, never pushed, never thinking. Their entire existence is wrapped up in how they feel. They have become slaves to their emotional state.

    The bright side is that not all children are raised this way. There are still parents that allow their children to fail. There are still teachers who challenge, give Bs, Cs, Ds, and Fs. There are still college professors who will not cowtow to emotional instability as normalized behavior. However, there are not enough of them to counteract the newly infantilized adults who are the the symptom of the greater approaching social disease – totally dependent adults. I hope the kids revolt, demand individual freedom, and get on with living a life worth living rather than being organized, instructed, and enslaved to their emotions and the nanny state that caters to them.

  2. Pat says:

    You just can’t win.   I agree that it was a normal activity for an eight-year-old, but what if she had been abducted?   I did all sorts of things when I was younger – walked the dog, crossed a busy street alone and walked twenty minutes to play at the local public school, etc.    There were no cell phones. Today there are no easy choices.   Parents who don’t over-protect their children run the risk of being accused of child neglect..   There’s no happy medium.   There are only ‘safe spaces’.

  3. Not So Free says:

    People just need to learn to mind their own D%^& business..
    Simple enough.

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