Thursday, November 22, 2012

Prejudiced for statism

Wow.  I get really insulted when people make the erroneous conclusion that when I say something, I have their statist prejudices.

If I speak out against coerced X, don't assume I am against the voluntary equivalent of X.

A while back on the newspaper's site, I read about a woman who had stopped smoking- in part because her young daughter said it was "disgusting".

In a comment I wondered whether the daughter had come to the conclusion on her own, or whether others had planted this notion (which, by the way, I agree with) into her head.  I mentioned "brainwashing".

I really didn't quite understand the objections to my comment at first.

Finally, after more commentary, I realized that while I was assuming that the others understood I was talking about other people- not the parents- putting ideas into the kid's head, the commenters assumed I was objecting to parents sharing their own opinions with their children.

It was a very statist assumption to make.  So, I clarified:

"I wasn't speaking of what parents tell their kids, but of what busybodies tell other peoples' kids. 
And, no, I don't want other people telling my kids things 'for their own good', since very often it is a matter of unsubstantiated opinion. This is where you get 'authorities' telling your kids that 'guns are bad, mommy and daddy shouldn't have them, and if they do they are bad people. Or 'daddy is killing the planet by not watching his carbon footprint'. 
This goes on in many parts of the country. Let me warn my kids of the dangers of smoking on my own, and I'll return the favor by not implanting my opinions in your kids' minds."

I have a very hard time remembering that when I am trying to communicate with statists, even the simplest of assumptions can't be assumed.  They have a hard time thinking without the statist prejudices.

I was waiting for someone to object by saying that by writing I am implanting my opinions in other people's kids' minds- but no one did.  I would have simply said that I put my opinions (or truth) out there, and if their kids are influenced by me in any way, then I am impressed that they can read, and that they can understand what they read, and that they can think rationally about what they read.  But that I am not forcing anyone to think about anything in any particular way.

So there!  :P