Items of interest found recently in my RSS feed
- The Truth About Consequences
April 27, 2009 – QUOTE: “the hierarchical nature of this system. Those at the top of the heap enjoy the freedom that comes with never being held accountable by anyone. This exemption is implicit in conservative notions of “liberty,” and is considered an inalienable (if not divine) right of fathers, bosses, religious leaders, politicians, and anyone else on the right who holds power over others. The privilege of controlling others’ liberty, without enduring reciprocal constraints on your own, is at the heart of the true meaning of “freedom.” […] And that’s a truly frightening development. A government that cannot fairly, honestly, transparently hold people to account—where, in fact, nobody can apparently even imagine that such a thing might be possible—is by definition, no longer a government of laws, because the law depends on a strong relationship between cause and effect.”
I’ll also recommend Sara Robinson’s follow-up post to the above: Blame It On The Parents, about the differences inherent in authoritarian child-rearing practices and liberal child-rearing practices, and what they each mean for the source of our sense of morality.
Parenting is the first — and far and away the most defining — experience most of us have with power relationships. What we learn from that relationship teaches us a great deal about what we can expect from power for the rest of our lives. We may choose to revisit those assumptions as adults; but it’s not easy, and requires significant re-trenchment of how you view yourself and the rest of the world.