Like many middle-class children, I grew up with more than I needed. The Christmas season was littered with cheap, plastic toys assembled by underpaid Chinese factory workers. I was always overfed and undernourished, because there was a McDonald’s and a Pizza Hut on every corner. School breaks were occasioned with trips to amusement parks and beaches. Upon entering adulthood, however, I came to realize the disadvantages of this extravagance. I was a brat. I expected everything on a silver platter. I was disillusioned, because no one had successfully informed me that life required perennial effort.
Why do our role models adopt a system of deception and disinformation? It’s often referred to as “sheltering”, but does it accomplish this aim? Perhaps for the duration of childhood, but when reality finally emerges from this colorful falsification, crushed dreams are the inevitable result; and “what happens”, as Langston Hughes asks, “to a dream deferred?” In my experience, it will “fester like a sore”.
How will Meritocratic Democracy change these realities? Will we still be dominated by a cultural ethos which permits actively lying to children in order to “protect” them, only to add insult to injury later with apologist statements like “that’s life”? Will we satisfy every possible whim of childhood, treating the youngest members of our families like corporate CEOs when they don’t yet possess the rational capacity to know what’s best for them? Or will such behavior be regarded as child abuse? Will we allow corporate interests to socially engineer our children to best suit their profit margins? Or will we encourage each child to embark on the greatest quest of all time—the quest for his or her self?
Custom Education, funded by the Millionaire’s Estate Tax, is every child’s self-quest wonderland. Further, the No-Brainwashing Act prohibits not only parental religious indoctrination, but also the abuse that is deceptive sheltering. Equal Opportunity for Every Child, in every venue, is Meritocratic Democracy’s answer to the silver platter syndrome.
It is certainly an exciting time to be alive. One thing is certain: the fantasy world of childhood needs to come to an end. How can we ever expect to have rational citizens capable of functioning within a healthy polity when we raise them on foundations of mythological untruth and pitiless extravagance?