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Saturday
Sep242016

The ethics of children

Yesterday I was talking to Hayden about homelessness. I told him that some people don't have a home, and they have to live outside. In winter they get cold and when it rains they get wet. Hayden thought about it for a second, and declared "we should build a big camp for them to live in, and give them hats and scarves and gloves so they don't get cold". 

When Hayden asked why they don't have a home, I told him that bad men took their homes away. Some people lost their home years and years ago, others lost their home yesterday, and some will lose their home tomorrow. "But the bad men will give their homes back when they turn good, won't they?", he asked, to which all I could say is that we need to make the bad men turn good first, and some never do. Hayden had a solution for this too: "We should be like Dora the Explorer. When we see a bad man taking a home from someone, we need to say 'Swiper, no swiping!' and show him that it is wrong".
And just like that, Hayden has figured out the basic tenants of left-wing politics, all by himself. When someone needs help, we help them, when someone tries to do harm, we stop them. It really is pretty simple and instinctive for children to understand. Right-wing politics, by contrast, takes years of indoctrination. It takes some special mental gymnastics to convince yourself to glorify those who make wealth to the detriment of others, and to aid them by hurting those who are already hurt.

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