25 Aug The Total State and Your Kids
We have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few years lamenting and warning about the “politicization” of everything. Our interest in and concern about this matter predates our involvement in the effort to expose and challenge the politicization of capital markets (stakeholder capitalism, ESG, etc.), but it has certainly been heightened over the last few years because of that endeavor.
Given that this politicization is ongoing and ever-accelerating, we think it might be worthwhile to take a step back and to remind you – and ourselves – that the politicization, as awful as it may be, is, at least in theory, the mere precursor to the real horrors.
Last night we read the following story, summarized, with quotes from various German and American news sources, by the folks at The Babylon Bee. Unfortunately, it was produced by their “Not the Bee” publication, which focuses on stories that seem like they should be satire but aren’t. In other words, this is real:
A number of daycare centers in Germany have already introduced these “sexual exploration rooms,” while other daycares are still considering it. This includes at least two nurseries in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
These rooms are made for children – yes, CHILDREN – to engage in sexual games and discover their bodies and what pleases them.
A German newspaper, Die Welt, reached out to the North Rhine-Westphalia children’s ministry for comment. They were told that the “sexual behavior by children” could not be “prevented” and said they had no intention of contacting the daycare centers to investigate.
According to Fox News:
Die Welt reported that one daycare in Kerpen offers children the “freedom to try out childish sexuality.” The daycare also said that sexual self-pleasure on its property is of “great importance,” insisting that “masturbation is normal.”…
Another daycare in the town of Rheinberg has also set up similar rooms where children are encouraged to play “doctor games” and urged to pursue and explore each other’s bodies “carefully,” according to REDUXX….
Earlier this month, REDUXX reported that Germany’s leading professional association on sexuality and partnership, Pro Familia, issued recommendations to daycares to set up “body exploration rooms” and “sexual games” for kids back in July.
In June, another German outlet, BILD, published an email from an Arbeiterwohlfahrt daycare center in the Hanover region of Germany that was sent to parents.
Some parents were outraged when they received the email stating the ten rules detailing how children in the rooms would be encouraged to “pet and examine” themselves and other young students.
Our initial reaction to this was to think of the educational “reforms” introduced by György Lukács, the founder of “cultural Marxism,” when he was the deputy people’s commissar for education and culture in Bela Kun’s short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic:
Special lectures were organized in schools and literature printed and distributed to “instruct” children about free love, about the nature of sexual intercourse, about the archaic nature of bourgeois family codes, about the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasure. Children urged thus to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the Church, and to ignore precepts of morality, easily and spontaneously turned into delinquents with whom only the police could cope. . . .This call to rebellion addressed to children was matched by a call to rebellion addressed to Hungarian women.
Our second thought, however, which was triggered by the “Not the Bee” folks, was to think of Carl Schmitt and his philosophical and personal warnings about the ultimate effects of radical politicization.
As we have noted in these pages countless times, Schmitt was a Weimer-era German legal scholar who was very concerned about what he saw as the blurring of the line that separated the state from society. This, he argued, fostered a permanent state of argument, hostility, and change—in the political realm.
In brief, Schmitt contended that all of this led, in time, to the facilitation of “the total state,” which he defined as a society that “no longer knows anything absolutely nonpolitical.” People divide themselves and others into subgroups – friends and enemies – based on “values” rather than interests, and then battle one another constantly for societal supremacy.
And then, it gets worse. From the conclusion of The Dictatorship of Woke Capital:
Carl Schmitt understood that this value development and self-identification would create political disorder. He also explained how order might be restored in such a society, where multiple friend-enemy factions had developed.
Democratic sovereignty necessarily elevates one faction over another. This, in turn, eliminates substantive equality, exacerbates disorder, and calls into question the legitimacy of the sovereign. The only way to remedy all of this, Schmitt argued, and thus to restore order, is to trade sovereign democracy for a sovereign dictator.
Carl Schmitt was a living, breathing oxymoron. He grew frustrated with and tired of trying to rationalize the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of the Weimar Republic, and so he chose to pledge his allegiance to those who would restore order. And he became “the crown juror of the Third Reich.”
Like most conservatives, we have always scoffed at the idea that “fascism” could ever be a real thing in the United States. We probably can’t count the number of times, over the years, that we have quoted the inimitable Tom Wolfe on American fascism: “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.”
Even in the context of Schmitt’s admonition, we’ve never quite been able to figure out how it would work. How do you get from here to there? How does one go from zero to Hitler in under five seconds? The whole idea not only seems implausible, but ridiculously so.
And then…we saw the tweet/post that “Not the Bee” appended to the German daycare story. It’s from MMA world champion Jake Shields, and it asks, simply: “Would you rather your country be run by Nazis or Pedo’s?”
Granted, this is a story about Germany. And granted, these are the off-the-cuff ramblings of a random guy (who, by the way, used to get hit in the head for a living). But A.) America’s story is not so different, and B.) that’s exactly the point.
The sexualization of children by schools and school officials is a real and serious problem in this country. And so, for that matter, is the effort to make that sexualization appear more pervasive than it is and to convince parents that it is either happening to your kids right now or it soon will be.
In any, either, and both cases, there is a battle taking place in American public schools, where your children (and grandchildren) are both the victims and the battlefield itself. THIS is the Total State. And THIS is Total War. And this is precisely how we get from here to Hitler. Regular people (like, for example, Jake Shields) will, eventually, get to “I don’t CARE what you have to do! Just make them leave my kids alone!” Or, to put it Shield’s terms, they’ll get to “Ummm…We’ll take the Nazis over the Pedos, thank you very much.” If the politicization continues unabated, this is probably inevitable.
The only answer here is de-escalation, that is, depoliticization. We think we understand how that should take place in capital markets, but, unfortunately, that’s not gonna be enough. We must get “back-to-neutral” on so many other things as well.