The kids have been coming home from elementary school talking about politics, mostly about how awful Donald Trump is. Apparently kids are picking this up from parents and taking the thoughts to school. We’ve had some discussions as a result, mostly involving them and their mother, but it has made me think more about how to introduce them to political philosphy. I’ve been disturbed to see young relatives turn out to be commies/fascists, or at least muddled and confused, when I might have expected them to learn better. The trouble is, that is what is taught at school, and especially at college.
This is not new knowledge or a new conclusion for me, but what it comes down to, and where I’d start with an explanation, is that all politics and related philosophy comes down to the question of who owns you. Who owns your life?
That makes everything one might agree to as an aspect of giving up rights to their life a matter of degree and kind, but to believe that any should be given up puts you on one side, and believing you own yourself and in not giving it up puts you on the other. The rest is shades of greater or lesser evil, at its lightest not apparently evil in the least.
This is a good way to explain property, since it’s an extension of yourself. It’s a good way to explain self-defense, since it’s inherent to being alive. It even gives a basis for explaining how governments arose and were assigned to do certain things for us as a group, and how that could easily lead to a government being “in charge, with force” rather than “charged with force.” Not helped by individuals not always being rational or acting in their own best interests. Not to mention there always being those who see their best interest in a place of power and disregard for the interests of others.
I believe it’s a bad idea to leave kids to pick up on things themselves, especially with those out there whose goal it is to instill wrong. Educational systems run by those who believe you don’t own yourself have been part of a long game to mold people to the desires of those who enjoy power. If you know better, you counteract that.