It’s Not Your Fault.

It’s not your fault.

It’s the system, the system of child-rearing. It’s no-one’s fault. As much as we feel as though we are free individuals thinking for ourselves, there is ‘nothing new under the sun’ and a great deal of what we do is determined by our culture, our birthplace and time, and the cumulative knowledge and traditions of thousands of years. Child-rearing is the product of millennia of human history and pre-history, at the very least. We learn the process by being raised ourselves, starting at our birth, much of the process occurring before we have any ability to talk about it or even think about it. Everyone learns it that way, so it’s clearly no-one’s fault; no-one should be accountable for something passed on that way. It’s simply hereditary. I don’t mean to blame anyone, I’m not angry at anyone; I just think we’ve been doing it wrong.

It’s not your fault, it’s not anyone’s fault; don’t hate the player, hate the game. It’s the system. We are doing it wrong, and it is systemic. It’s not some small thing, not something peripheral, what we’re doing wrong is the main thing, the big part. It’s the system, the human system. It’s part of the original human technology, our ability to do the unnatural; it’s the human madness and the human genius. It may have made us human, that is, different from the rest of the animals, but truth to tell, not everything that makes us different makes us better. Truth to tell, there is still some room for improvement.

I’m not selling a system. I don’t claim to know exactly how child-rearing should be done. I don’t claim to have all the answers for all the situations that can arise during the long, maximally complex process of raising our children; this is not intended as a parenting manual. As I said, we’re doing it wrong, and long and short, that’s all I’m really saying here. I think I know what we should not do, and I think I can prove it. It’s important. Often what we don’t do is the most important thing, isn’t it? Certainly for things like abuse – a central topic in this document – not doing it is the important thing.

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