Daycare Meets Higher Education
In the days before inoculations, infantile paralysis was a dreaded disease. Known now as polio, it robbed the limbs of motion, made breathing virtually impossible and often led to death.
On universities campuses today there’s a new infantile paralysis taking hold. Known as progressives dementia, it robs the brain of reason, makes breathing virtually impossible and often leads to the death of the institutions being attacked.
Victims of progressives dementia are soon, tragically, reduced to infantile behaviour, paralyzed by fear of a dissenting opinion. Outbreaks of this dread condition have been widely reported at schools across North America, But no one in authority seems to feel that a quarantine is called for to control its spread to the general population. In fact, many in authority seem only too willing to continue the spread of progressives dementia.
As the condition continues to find victims, the general public has identified some symptoms of the outbreak. The worst cases are among Yale class warriors who have grown up as pampered children of privilege, far from the barrio and ghetto. They randomly shout “Safe Space!” as they wander in public. They wear the guises of terror: Guy Fawkes masks, Che Guevara t-shirts, Mao hats. They also faint at the sight of their own blood.
A number of media outlets and academics seem to favour blaming so-called “helicopter parents” as the root cause of progressives dementia. They doted obsessively on their kids, indulging them as the centre of their own little worlds. Thanks to enabling Moms and Pops, reality — in the form of disease, war or economic hardship — seldom darkened the doors of these children as it did earlier generations.
There is merit in that interpretation. But another cause of progressives dementia seems to have been glossed over. There is ample reason to believe that a generation socialized in day care, not family care, may be contributing to progressives dementia on campus.
How extensive is the use of day care by parents? More than half (54%) of Canadian parents with children aged 4 and under used child care in 2011. In the same year, 46% under the age of 14 were in some form of daycare. Justin Trudeau made easier daycare via subsidies a key plank in his campaign for prime minister, indicating that his government wants that number to rise.
The goal in daycare is harmony, not dissent. Children raised from as early as six months old in day care quickly learn the group dynamic. The physical bond of being bound together for walks or outings serves as an ample metaphor for the larger dynamic of groupthink. Discipline in daycare is enforced not by maternal or paternal figures but through peer pressure from fellow kids.
While families indulge individualism, daycare’s group dynamic cannot tolerate much wayward behaviour. Children who deviate from group values invite the disapproval of their peers. Thus do these children learn the power of “muscle” to enforce group values on their peers even when those values are corrupt.
In previous decades daycare spawned a rash of fantastical stories of child abuse such as the McMartin case, where children out-did each other in telling lurid stories of sexual abuse. Only after a national panic were the stories found to have been children competing to see whose story could be the most outrageous. It’s not hard to see how this group hysteria has made its way to colleges, creating the alleged epidemic of sexual assault that flies in the face of all current statistics on the subject.
With so many competing young egos demanding attention from the group, the so-called safe space — a bulwark against the intrusion of dissenting opinion — has now become an article of faith to protect progressives dementia sufferers. Just as unruly elements in the daycare unit can be silenced through confrontation by the group, safe spaces on university or college campuses are given the power to silence dissident speakers
Daycare is a necessity for many urban families trying to make ends meet in expensive cities. There are valuable lessons learned in its institutions about interactions and civil behavior. But the group dynamics of progressives dementia on campuses indicates that some other less savory lessons have been learned only too well.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy @NPBroadcaster