On Building Cribs for Men

An idea has been repeated often in the last few years, a thought that is true, but has managed to wind its long tentacles around the hearts of the learneds, and twist their wills for the worse. It is a curious realism in its base form, but has transformed into a sort of horrid pessimism, a black curtain that hides hope behind it, far away from the eyes of those who need it most.

This line of reasoning starts with a rather un-opposable foundation, that adults in our culture act like children, unable to choose what is best for them, and subject to fickle trends, so that in one moment they want a blue house, and the next moment a brown one, or on Monday they wish for soup to be served the rest of the week, and on Wednesday they are clamoring for stew.

Now, such an observation is indeed a grounded reality, the manifestations of which are far too numerable to point out. Suffice to say that, since Greek times, the grand circus that is Direct Democracy has had ample opportunity to flesh out the specifics.

Yet the insidious pessimist has snuck in and grabbed this observation, and decided to stick it in cement, declaring that since men act like children, we must treat them as such; that since these infants will choose to eat sugar instead of greens, we must ban the candy and force the carrot down their throat. The more childish the desires, the harsher we must come down. In a sense, it is a forfeit of democracy in exchange for the desire to coddle man-kind, a wish for mother-hood gone wild. In short, they wish to build cribs for men.

Given that the founding fathers rejected Direct Democracy for this reason, it is curious to me that their solution, Representative Democracy, is now being thrown to the sewers as if it is a hopeless dream. The toddler that is man, being apparently unfit to grow up, is now not even able to find an adult in a crowd of children to look up at. The given solution seems to be either let the government baby-sit us from cradle to grave, or to ban the uneducated from voting, for fear of their making a bad choice. The first of these options already being tried and failing all across Europe, I am seeing that the second is becoming as trendy as the first.

I’m unsure why the educated class seems so sure of their ability to govern well – little in their lives that I have witnessed makes me prone to accept their judgments any more than that of a poor man. As Alexander Hamilton said, ‘Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.’ All of the Ivy League politicians, and their Political Science Degree carrying associates, have done little to create any trust for a successful, benevolent educated aristocracy.

But at root, they have entirely missed the other possible solution for this problem – instead of taking a fact and wrapping it in depression, perhaps it is time to begin unraveling the perpetual infancy that mankind loves to slink into. By this, I mean treating men like men – dismantling the cradles and striking down the curfews, and should they burn their hand on the oven, or stay up too late and miss a test, or, dear me, elect a corrupt politician, instead of taking them by the hand and leading them to bed, force them to grow up or fall down.

It would be simple to write a story about a boy who was treated like an eight year old ‘til he was eighty – a sort of Peter Pan with no choice in the matter, forever forced to spend his life in a perpetual Neverland, only this time, Pan is the boy who couldn’t grow up. Instead of choosing between adult love and perpetual childhood, Wendy is kidnapped before he gets any naughty thoughts in his head, and Hook is the hero, trying to free the Lost Boys from their cradles. Such is the world modern man is shuttling towards – so let us be this new Captain Hook and break the cradles of mankind.

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