How Can We Teach That the Fire Is Hot?

 

George Orwell said, “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that the fire is hot.” The realist in me would add that this is why the left-wing control of our educational systems, media, and entertainment industry is so catastrophic. The conspiracy theorist in me would add that this is why the left wing places so much emphasis on controlling our educational systems, media, and entertainment industry.

Regardless, socialism seems to be rapidly gaining popularity here in the US, largely among people who seem to have absolutely no idea that the fire is hot. They appear unaware that the 20th century even happened, much less why. I would argue that this represents clear evidence that our educational systems, media, and entertainment industry are in fine shape – from a left-wing perspective, it’s working. Anyway, this brings up a few questions in my mind:

  1. How is possible for anyone to have a favorable view of socialism after our experiences over the past 150 years?
  2. How does one attempt to educate someone capable of such remarkable, apparently willful, blindness?
  3. Why is this happening now? What happened to make socialism so attractive all of a sudden?
  4. Can Democrats win American elections while being openly socialist?
  5. Is our Democrat party engaging in smart politics or self-immolation?

I’ll start by giving you my opinions, although I wrote this post because I want yours. My guesses:

  1. People can view socialism favorably only if they have no idea what it has done in the past.  So the left wing is smart to control our educational systems, etc.
  2. People who chose to believe in socialism must feel some pain from their choices – they must feel the results of socialism themselves – poverty, tyranny, or something. They need to feel the heat of the fire. You cannot explain it to them; they won’t listen.  Even first-hand experience doesn’t seem to work much of the time – the truly poor want more promises of security from their leaders and will tend to vote socialist. This is a serious problem.
  3. I have no idea why socialism is becoming so popular now. Please help.
  4. Yes – I believe that socialism is popular enough that Democrats can win as Socialists. Really, they have been doing so for decades, and socialism is only becoming more popular.
  5. I think this is smart politics by Democrats. I hope I’m wrong. About all this.

So what say you? Why is socialism rapidly becoming more popular, what can be done to change people’s minds, and are the Democrats smart to pursue this path?

Thanks for your input.

There are 104 comments.

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  1. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    To me the simple answer to why people embrace socialism is the Bell Curve. The ones who embrace it don’t have the mental horsepower to understand that the government doesn’t have any money other than what they take from it’s citizens. Oh but you know some smart people that embrace socialism. Yes it’s because so many have a  talent  for self delusion . They think it’s always someone else’s money that’s being spread.

    • #1
  2. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Dr. B,

    The Pied Piper of Hamlin is a very nasty fellow. To deceive children and lure them to their doom is an evil thing. However, once the Pied Piper has been unmasked it will be a very long time before you will see the deception working again. Obama was the Pied Piper. As Trump succeeds the reality of the lies that Obama & Co. were feeding everyone will be more and more evident. That is why they are so desperate to destroy Trump.

    Marxists hiding behind identity politics may have been unmasked at least for the time being.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    How is possible for anyone to have a favorable view of socialism after our experiences over the past 150 years?

    People (particularly college students) are taught 1) it’s the fairest system of government out there, and 2) it hasn’t worked because the wrong people were in charge.

    How does one attempt to educate someone capable of such remarkable, apparently willful, blindness?

    “Remarkable, apparently willful, blindness” precludes a counter-socialist education from being taught. These people mentally hold their hands over their ears and hum loudly to prevent any new information which conflicts with their worldview from getting through.

    Why is this happening now? What happened to make socialism so attractive all of a sudden?

    Now that the socialism of the Democrat Party is out in the open, I believe there are people (see answer to question #1) who will vote for candidates who want to put full-bore socialism in place.

    Can Democrats win American elections while being openly socialist?

    In isolated areas, yes. Broadly, no (remember, although Obama was a socialist, he didn’t campaign as one).  Many Democrat voters are just now realizing they were voting for the wrong party over the last few years, starting with the passing of Obamacare.

    Is our Democrat party engaging in smart politics or self-immolation?

    Self-immolation. There have to be Democrat voters out there who would like to vote Democrat, but cannot any more.  These Democrat voters want to keep government out of their churches, keep guns in their houses and on their persons, and speak their minds without having restaurants throw them out.  They want to hunt and fish without animal rights protesters ruining their outing.  They don’t want their children turned into homosexuals, being taught their country is immoral, and they sure as heck don’t want their sports ruined by a bunch of misguided, disgruntled multi-millionaires who cheated their way through college . . .

    • #3
  4. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Socialism promises something for nothing, another way to say someone else will pay your bills. They promise it will be the super rich which to the average Jane seems reasonable since the media has since before she was born told us that the rich got that way by exploiting those who were their moral superiors. I’ve even worked with people who had good jobs and bright prospects who saw medical care, housing, jobs and so on as ‘rights’. When I asked them if gourmet food was a ‘right’ they just thought I was being silly. I think this lets us know, in no uncertain terms, we are dealing with a basic flaw in human nature. People, even intelligent, educated  people are quick to believe their neighbors owe them goods, especially if those neighbors are wealthy. And the average Jame believes anyone with an income more than %150 of hers is wealthy, if you don’t believe that check the opinions of folks you know. I have. 
    Now this is why our Founders did two things: First they only proclaimed they wanted to insure the right to Pursue happiness, not to guarantee success. Second they restricted voting to those with skin in the game through property ownership restrictions. They knew that giving people the ability to tax others without imposing liability on themselves was a recipe for disaster. We have let both of those perquisites for Liberty slip away over the last 80-100 years. It is a big job to reconstruct them but I don’t see any way to restore true Liberty without those two necessary conditions. 
    We would have to wrest control of both educational institutions and mass media from the leftists who have used them to mis-inform and mislead us. If that could be done then after 30-50 years we could have a population capable of understanding what true Liberty is and why it is preferable to the vacuous promise of a free lunch. Not an impossible task but very, very difficult. 

    • #4
  5. Franz Drumlin Member
    Franz Drumlin
    @FranzDrumlin

    We also have to take into account good old-fashioned human laziness. The next time you talk with a Progressive ask them how much of the federal budget is gobbled up by Defense (it’s currently around 16 percent). The answers I get from people I ask vary from 40 to as much as 60 percent. And these are well-read, educated people. Ask a Progressive to give a rough estimate of how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere. 5 percent? 10 percent? (It’s 0.04 percent. It a trace gas, measured in parts per million. I know because I just googled it.) Responding to issues emotionally is more gratifying and is way easier than spending a little time and effort tracking down basic facts. Medicare for All? It’s doable! Just tax the rich folks who aren’t paying their fair share. Why over-think it?

    • #5
  6. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Liberals think emotionally.  They believe the world should be “fair”, meaning that there are no poor, no rich, no inequality of any kind. 

    Based upon this core belief, it does not matter to them that socialism has never worked and has always resulted in human misery and repression.  What matters is the promise of fairness and equality. 

    Results never matter to a liberal, or they would not be liberal for long.  What matters is intentions, along with politically correct thinking.  Since capitalism is based upon self interest, it suffers from poor intentions.  So no proof of success,nor of it raising the standard of living of all, overcome the emotional feeling that as long as someone has more than someone else, it just isn’t fair.  As long as self interest is rewarded, there is an inherent evil to the system. 

    Thus, the often repeated refrain that Socialism hasn’t failed, only the people implementing it have failed.  Because it has to work.  It just has to.  Because the world should be fair. 

    Reality be damned, evidence is repressive.  Socialism is the only equitable answer, because that is how it should be. 

     Which is a perfectly natural mindset for young people.  If you aren’t a socialist when you are young, you have no heart.  The problem is that kids don’t grow up so quickly any more.  So it takes a lot longer before they reach the point where they can understand that if you aren’t a capitalist when you are old, you have no brain. 

    • #6
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Dr. Bastiat: 1. How is possible for anyone to have a favorable view of socialism after our experiences over the past 150 years?

    As you said, people have no clue.

    I have a friend, a smart young woman of about 40, who graduated from one of the better state universities. I mentioned to her in passing not too long ago about the high body count of collectivism in the 20th century — and she had no idea what I was talking about. Stalin, Mao — she simply didn’t know. I think they don’t teach history anymore.

    Dr. Bastiat: 2. How does one attempt to educate someone capable of such remarkable, apparently willful, blindness?

    Gently. Thoughtfully. Calmly.

    I think most people are intrinsically conservative — that is, attracted to traditional forms and values. I think we’re evolved that way. But most people are also of close to average intelligence and not terribly interested in economics or political theory. I think we win people over by being the reasonable person in the debate.

    We have the advantage that the left is quick to discard civility, to embrace hyperbole, and to say and do intemperate things. They also don’t make a lot of sense. Winning a debate with a liberal — that is, winning the audience — is, I think, usually a matter of remaining calm, gracious, and in control, and letting the liberal’s craziness come out.

    Dr. Bastiat: 3. Why is this happening now? What happened to make socialism so attractive all of a sudden?

    I think we are at the crest of a wave of youth empowerment. Young people lack knowledge, common sense, and judgment: they don’t know much. We have a youthful generation now that is unaccustomed to being challenged with conflicting idea — with any kind of conflict — and a university environment that panders to their false sense of sophistication and awareness.

    The radical left has had big wins with same-sex marriage and the idiocy of the so-called “trans” movement. I think they feel emboldened, like they’re winning on social issues. And socialism is, to them, a social issue, not an economic one. These people who think that change is good, that throwing off the yoke of tradition is always the right thing to do, aren’t accustomed to considering that there may be negative consequences to their radicalism.

    I expect it to get worse.

    Dr. Bastiat: 4. Can Democrats win American elections while being openly socialist?

    Apparently, if the silly little girl in NYC is any indicator. But I think rarely; the ignorant radical young aren’t yet a very large voting block, and self-declared socialist wins will be, I think (and hope), an urban phenomenon, at least for awhile.

    Dr. Bastiat: I think this is smart politics by Democrats. I hope I’m wrong.

    My hope is that, rather than re-invigorating their party, the Democrats are hollowing it out, so that it becomes dominated by a facile and frankly silly crowd of high-energy, loud-mouthed millennials and fellow-travelers, and its support shrinks to ever smaller geographic clusters in a few big urban areas. That’s still enough to do enormous damage, obviously, but it should make it hard to retake governorships or to craft a broad national movement. Here’s hoping, anyway.

     

    • #7
  8. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    This may be an unpopular opinion here, but I think one major reason why modern-day “socialists” don’t seem to be cowed by the experience of socialist countries throughout the previous century is because modern socialists’ ideal state is actually meaningfully different from the socialism practiced by the Warsaw Pact, China, and Latin America in the 20th century.

    From our perspective, it’s easy to lump all ideologies and forms of government to the left of Bill Clinton as “socialist”, but there’s still enough daylight between them for worthwhile discussion.

    What most (not all) modern lefties seem to want is essentially very robust social democracy – think “Sweden on steroids”. It’s easy to call that full-bore socialism, but there are still major differences to how the USSR or pre-1980 China functioned.

    The communist revolution of the early 20th century was founded on the principle of “you’re going to be a slave to this factory no matter what, so you might as well own a piece of it”. Hence “workers of the world unite”. The war cry of the current crop of “socialists” seems to be “there’s so much wealth in the US that you don’t need to work at all if you don’t feel like it”.

    There are plenty of other major differences between the current socialist movement and 20th century communism. “Ban all prisons” would be one.

    Really, the current “socialist” movement is just social democrats who a) want an edgy name and b) want to signal to the rest of the left that they mean business. Even Bernie Sanders has admitted that he’s a European-style social democrat who just called himself a socialist because it sounds cooler.

    • #8
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    This is my favorite illustration of the difference between plain-old socialism and new and exciting democratic socialism.

     

     

    (h/t Powerline Blog)

    • #9
  10. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Dr. Bastiat: Why is this happening now? What happened to make socialism so attractive all of a sudden?

    It’s not happening all of a sudden. Most of the “revolutionary” proposals currently being tossed around have actually been proposed for decades in the US, they just haven’t had enough traction until now.

    For example, the notion of a Medicare-for-all-style universal health care plan was first proposed by FDR and was debated in Congress for a while under Nixon. The notion of free higher education for all comers has also been around for decades, just at the state level.

    What we are seeing is really evolutionary growth in a movement that appears to have reached a critical mass, probably through a combination of a slow shift in the American public towards urbanization, the introduction (and failure to completely collapse) of Obamacare, and the election of Trump as a rallying point for the base of the Democrat party.

    But this is still the result of an evolutionary shift, not a rapid jump.

    • #10
  11. Don Tillman Member
    Don Tillman
    @DonTillman

    I’ll disagree a little bit.  I don’t think this is an intentional trend toward socialism.

    Instead, I believe politicians and the politically connected have enormous natural incentives to get more power and wealth, and the most efficient way to do that looks a lot like socialism.

    (Just a quickie, I can go into this more.  A lot more.)

    • #11
  12. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I remember reading something about art forgery being one of the easiest crimes, because the victim is on the same side as the perpetrator.  They are rooting for the perp!   The victim wants to believe that this painting they have or have the opportunity to buy is really a Renoir/Matisse/Van Gogh.   They shut off their own critical thinking.    People are willing to be deceived.

    Same here.   People want to believe things the ‘free stuff’ fairy whispers in their ear.    They want to believe that “This time it’s different.”   There are always people who are taken in my some get-rich-quick, something-for-nothing scheme.    Always.     Never bet against people’s basic impulse to be lazy.

    • #12
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    Dr. Bastiat: I think this is smart politics by Democrats. I hope I’m wrong.

    My hope is that, rather than re-invigorating their party, the Democrats are hollowing it out, so that it becomes dominated by a facile and frankly silly crowd of high-energy, loud-mouthed millennials and fellow-travelers, and its support shrinks to ever smaller geographic clusters in a few big urban areas. That’s still enough to do enormous damage, obviously, but it should make it hard to retake governorships or to craft a broad national movement. Here’s hoping, anyway.

    Depends on if there is another major downturn in the economy and who is in the White House. Would Barack Obama been possible without the 2008 meltdown? 

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think you have a combination of ideals and emotions happening at pretty much the same time. The university has been selling socialism and idealism for years; it has at least four years to perpetuate the myths of socialism, and by the time students leave, they’re pretty much brainwashed. Next, the students talk an idealistic game, but when they say they want equality for all, they really mean they don’t want anyone to have more than they have. And they don’t want to have to work for it, either. We’ve done a poor job of promoting the downside of socialized medicine; we hear about it on the Right, but the media makes sure the Left doesn’t receive the information. How many people on the Left know of the prediction of $32 trillion dollars needed over ten years for universal healthcare? How many of them know of the delays for surgery and other important procedures? I have a friend in Israel whose 75 year old husband entered the hospital with a badly infected gall bladder. He won’t be able to have it removed for six weeks; I have no idea how they will treat it in the meantime.

    • #14
  15. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    The university has been selling socialism and idealism for years

    To stick with the theme that alot of what is currently being termed “socialism” is essentially European-style social democracy, it’s worth considering that a very high percentage of people currently ages 20-35 spent a semester or even a year in Europe while in college (compared with lower rates of exchange students in the past).

    Most of those students only see the upside to the social democracy system while in Europe, such as cheap (to them) healthcare which is often much more easily accessible than in the US; fewer homeless in cities in Europe than in the US; shorter work weeks; free tuition; etc. etc.

    Because one pillar of most European social democracies is that students get everything subsidized in exchange for paying huge taxes once they start earning, most exchange students see only the upsides of such systems and think “why can’t we have this back home?”. I spent many years as an ambassador for American exchange students in Germany as a side job and heard this mantra countless times.

    So to the question “why now?”, the great increase in student exchanges over the past 2 decades is almost certainly a factor.

    • #15
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    Dr. Bastiat: I think this is smart politics by Democrats. I hope I’m wrong.

    My hope is that, rather than re-invigorating their party, the Democrats are hollowing it out, so that it becomes dominated by a facile and frankly silly crowd of high-energy, loud-mouthed millennials and fellow-travelers, and its support shrinks to ever smaller geographic clusters in a few big urban areas. That’s still enough to do enormous damage, obviously, but it should make it hard to retake governorships or to craft a broad national movement. Here’s hoping, anyway.

    Depends on if there is another major downturn in the economy and who is in the White House. Would Barack Obama been possible without the 2008 meltdown?

    I think so. Republicans had had their two terms, and Obama was (deceptively) attractive as a candidate. So I think he would have won anyway.

    • #16
  17. Umbra of Nex Inactive
    Umbra of Nex
    @UmbraFractus

    Dr. Bastiat:

    • Why is this happening now? What happened to make socialism so attractive all of a sudden?
    •  

    Helicopter parents.

    We have an entire generation of young “adults” who have never experienced a moment of independence, and are therefore scared of the idea. They’ve spent their entire lives with mommy and/or daddy holding their hands, providing them with everything they need including unearned “self-esteem” boosts while asking nothing in return. They never learned to make a decision or resolve a conflict without consulting an authority figure. As they outgrow their actual mommies and daddies, they are increasingly drawn to the prospect that society (AKA government) can and should provide them with a new mommy and daddy to take all the uncertainty out of their futures.

    • #17
  18. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    think you have a combination of ideals and emotions happening at pretty much the same time. The university has been selling socialism and idealism for years; it has at least four years to perpetuate the myths of socialism, and by the time students leave, they’re pretty much brainwashed.

    There’s a huge peer pressure factor at work in the universities as well.  Holding contrary views in a world in which doing so gets a person ostracized (and worse) takes a lot of moral strength and courage.

    • #18
  19. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Why now?     The Left suddenly finds itself unopposed within the Democrat Party.   The positions aren’t really even new.   It’s mostly old George McGovern.  Back then, the enormous animosity towards Nixon on the Left gave little room for the moderates in the Party to restrain the Left’s worst impulses.  

    Similar thing today.    But it’s gone on longer and the animus is deeper.   It started with Bush #1 and the hanging-chad ‘stolen’ election.   The vitriol was like nothing I have ever seen and has only gotten worse.    There are virtually no moderates left within the Dem Party.    They have quit, been tossed out or been co-opted … reversing their own long standing positions.     

    • #19
  20. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Franz Drumlin (View Comment):
    The next time you talk with a Progressive ask them how much of the federal budget is gobbled up by Defense (it’s currently around 16 percent). The answers I get from people I ask vary from 40 to as much as 60 percent.

    That’s not an accident.  Military spending is almost 60% of discretionary spending, but only 16% of total (discretionary plus non-discretionary) spending.  Guess which number gets reportedIt’s so easy to lie with statistics.

    • #20
  21. AltarGirl Member
    AltarGirl
    @CM

    First, we imported socialists with a very open and tolerant immigration policy and a refusal to protect our borders, giving amnesty to people who entered illegally with no idea who they were.

    When people say immigration didn’t change America, this is exhibit A.

    Second, a 40 year wage stagnation and degree inflation that is increasingly more expensive to obtain have made anything that promises more equity tantalizing, especially to the young were already more partial to it than before.

    • #21
  22. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Here’s a fun fact to run by would-be socialists. Around 43% (or about $1.6 trillion) of the total federal budget is spent on us old folks:
    Social Security – 25%
    Medicare – 15%
    Civilian pensions – 2%
    Military pensions – 1.5%

    But us old folks are far wealthier on average than are younger people. So, we have a situation in which relatively poor people are subsidizing relatively rich people. Why is that? Old people vote more than do the young. The point is, that socialism benefits the politically powerful at the expense of the politically weak.  Bet you’re all shocked, shocked to learn that.

    • #22
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Dr. Bastiat: How does one attempt to educate someone capable of such remarkable, apparently willful, blindness?

    Bumper stickers: Socialism is Slavery

    I’m only half kidding. We need to be having a lot more conversations with the brain-dead liberal types. Leftists are beyond reach. If it takes bumper sticker slogans to start a conversation at church or work, so be it. 

    And then take Klavan’s advice. Just sit there with a smug smirk on your face while the progressives explain their delusions about how the world ought to be — remain calm and polite — and wait for them to ask you for your opinion. Don’t be an easy catch. Make them come after your view, and then give it to them — good and hard. As I said, you won’t convince the leftist, but you may kick off some new thoughts with the liberal audience.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    And then take Klavan’s advice. Just sit there with a smug smirk on your face while the progressives explain their delusions about how the world ought to be — remain calm and polite — and wait for them to ask you for your opinion.

    It just occurred to me, WC, that if we have a conversation limited to socialism and their idealism, and leave Donald Trump out of that particular discussion, we may get somewhere. It’s hard to have conversation with hysterical people.

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Franz Drumlin (View Comment):

    We also have to take into account good old-fashioned human laziness. The next time you talk with a Progressive ask them how much of the federal budget is gobbled up by Defense (it’s currently around 16 percent). The answers I get from people I ask vary from 40 to as much as 60 percent. And these are well-read, educated people. Ask a Progressive to give a rough estimate of how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere. 5 percent? 10 percent? (It’s 0.04 percent. It a trace gas, measured in parts per million. I know because I just googled it.) Responding to issues emotionally is more gratifying and is way easier than spending a little time and effort at tracking down basic facts. Medicare for All? It’s doable! Just tax the rich folks who aren’t paying their fair share. Why over-think it?

    I seem to remember a survey (young people or whole population, DK) where those surveyed thought 20-25% of the general population was gay.  Some attributed it to the number of gay characters on TV and in movies, and how they were portrayed.  Although I don’t put much stock in polls, it was an interesting result . . .

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    One thing that needs to happen is for young people to be instilled with self-confidence. If you are afraid you will fail, you will be much more attracted to the socialist safety net than you will be if you believe you can and will succeed in life. 

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):

    One thing that needs to happen is for young people to be instilled with self-confidence. If you are afraid you will fail, you will be much more attracted to the socialist safety net than you will be if you believe you can and will succeed in life.

    That is a tricky goal. We have a generation of people who thought they could instill “self-esteem” in their kids by praising them for anything and everything (although self-esteem might not be the same as self-confidence). From my point of view, self-confidence grows through experience: when a kid does something difficult or unusual or learns what it means to help others by actually doing it, they become self-confident. Also, instead of protecting their kids, parents needed to let them make mistakes and have disappointments, and then learn how to bounce back. Parents didn’t want to see their kids suffer, so they nurtured helplessness and a false sense of esteem. So sad.

    • #27
  28. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I think so. Republicans had had their two terms, and Obama was (deceptively) attractive as a candidate. So I think he would have won anyway.

    I think if you had an even half-decent campaign staff, you could have beaten Obama badly before the financial crisis. The Rev. Wright stuff alone should have sunk him. But McCain is and always has been an idiot. Even after the financial crisis when Obama sided with Bush over the bailout, McCain could have tied Bush around Obama’s neck and wiped the floor with them. 

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    One thing that needs to happen is for young people to be instilled with self-confidence. If you are afraid you will fail, you will be much more attracted to the socialist safety net than you will be if you believe you can and will succeed in life.

    That is a tricky goal. We have a generation of people who thought they could instill “self-esteem” in their kids by praising them for anything and everything (although self-esteem might not be the same as self-confidence). From my point of view, self-confidence grows through experience: when a kid does something difficult or unusual or learns what it means to help others by actually doing it, they become self-confident. Also, instead of protecting their kids, parents needed to let them make mistakes and have disappointments, and then learn how to bounce back. Parents didn’t want to see their kids suffer, so they nurtured helplessness and a false sense of esteem. So sad.

    I think that the notion that self-esteem has not been earned by young people has been exaggerated. My own kids and their friends worked very hard starting in kindergarten. The teachers who encouraged them to keep trying based on a crumb of initial success were instrumental in helping my kids develop their work ethic.

    I’m not worried about that at all. I would be more worried if teachers did not encourage their students.

    It’s self-confidence that gets us out of bed in the morning.

    • #29
  30. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    The answers to #1 & #3.

    If you send your kids to government schools, don’t be surprised when they learn to fans of the government.

    • #30

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