How is Capitalism Killing the Kids?
An illustration of how this capitalist culture has affected our kids…
*** On the surface all seems natural enough, until, in this preschool nursery, a little 4 year old boy , zooming from toy to toy, sees a little girl picking up a toy truck. He yanks it from her hand and bashes her over the head. Heedless of the girl’s shrieks and his teacher’s warnings, the boy rushes to another corner of the room, to another toy , and when someone manages to pick him up to discipline him, his body stiffens. He kicks and screams***
A child who is consistently callous and emotionally distant, seemingly immune to the rules and feelings of others, is what psychologists call “unattached.”
Who’s to blame for kids without a conscience? Violent kids in preschool classrooms, with no remorse. No loving bonds in the first two years of life because parents must work at two or more jobs to keep the apartment, or the home mortgage, contribute to dysfunctional families that result in more children without a “conscience “ as time goes by. In addition, criminologists and child development specialists believe that the combined effects of poverty and the resultant crime produce children who are emotionally distant, manipulative and selfish to the extreme.
“Such children are likely to commit violent crimes, “ says Michael Rustigan, a teacher and writer currently at the University of San Francisco State, himself a criminologist of note, Rustigan attributes some of the problem to where the kids are forced to live. Inner cities offer no hope for the young , thus the drug scene, and the crimes that support that temporary drug escape.
“In terms of crimes committed, our society is five times more violent than Europe, and ten times more violent than Japan,” said Rustigan, and that observation was back in 1990! We can only speculate on how much more exacerbated is this societal cauldron of violence today.
But the sources of child disattachment are not limited to ghetto children. Children can be detached from parents on any and all economic levels. Mom and Pop breadwinners, who work 12 hours a day to keep up the “success” image and who “warehouse” their children to day care centers, can create a precarious situation for a young child. Day care centers hire workers who come and go, and leave child attachments in limbo, and the child becomes dispossessed of relationships that had potential bonding benefits.
The “economics” of low wages also causes day care centers to have a high turnover of “concerned” workers.
All of the problems discussed here have their origins in the economic lives of the VICTIMS, who ultimately, become ALL OF US, for we must be in daily contact with those who are scarred by their backgrounds, and who walk among us, and are prone to act out whatever tendencies have been developed and enforced by their upbringing.
The economic system produces the poverty that creates the inner city ghettos, as well as the fierce, so-called middle class drive to get the big bucks that make for “security” in a very hostile and insecure system. The children that result from such a system can only reflect the insecurities and values of their parents, who, themselves are victims of the system.
“What drives America today is money, power, paranoia.”
These words were spoken not by a critic of the system of capitalism, rather by Dr. T. Berry Braselton , one whose concerns are for the growth and development of kids.
Dr.T.Berry Brazelton is rightfully disturbed about the way kids in our society are forced to grow, He’s no new kid on the block . He was a clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and founder of and chief of Child Development Unit at the Children’s Hospital in Boston.
(More on Dr. T. can be accessed at …http://www.brazelton-institute.com/berrybio.html )
T. Berry is no radical. . He recognizes the problem and the circumstances, but curiously overlooks the cause, or else Dr. T. would not be begging for the U.S. government to come to the support of kids who lack positive family life experiences. Were T. Berry an objective social scientist, he would be calling for changes in the present economic institutions which provoke all the conditions which affect our kids in so many negative ways.
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