Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

“Teen Culture” is the New Imperialism, and it is Destroying the World

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2018

School shootings, teen suicide, and low-achieving youth are products of the artificial extension of childhood, the oppression that teens face. But with this issue, is it easy for individuals to take control of the situation, and refuse to be part of the problem. You can solve these problems for your family in one generation.

I could see this as far back as my youth. There were the middle school aged kids of my neighborhood environment and there the other few. They knew about hunting, fishing, how to fix a car or drive a tractor. Some because their situation mandated it, some because there were provided the opportunity. Growing up in an adult environment is different.

As mentioned in a recent post, those of the ‘millennial culture’ are different also.

By Joe Jarvis

You know how missionaries used to run around the globe forcing everyone to be a Christian? And in the process, they destroyed native cultures and traditions?

Well, the same thing is happening today with Western “teen culture.” It is being exported around the world with disastrous effects.

Manufacturing Adolescence

Preindustrial societies mostly exhibit a continuum from childhood to adulthood. There is generally no random cut off age where suddenly teens are given rights and expected to become adults. Children seamlessly and gradually integrate into adulthood, with puberty rites being the only major benchmark.

These societies were “free-range parenting” before it was cool. Even toddlers have a large degree of autonomy. The child is allowed to explore, and the mother provides the nurturing, feeding, and love at the child’s initiation. Young children participate in the work of their parents and elders and interact and learn from people of all ages.

Children are raised from infancy alongside adults, instead of being segregated into peer groups of the same age. They slowly learn from adults and take on more responsibilities by emulating what they see…

You can trace the roots of this phenomenon way back to the industrial revolution when social structures got a big shakeup. Kids worked less alongside adults in family work and apprenticeships. Instead, they were shipped off to compulsory public schools. They were grouped by age and sex, and “educated” to be factory workers…

A similar story has played out for Kenyans, Moroccans, Australian aborigines, Canadian Inuits, and many other preindustrial societies recently integrated into Western culture. Their ways of life led to few social problems like unwed pregnancy, the breakdown of the family, drug use, depression, violence, and general teenage angst and rebellious destructive behavior. But that changed upon the introduction of Western television, schooling, and teen culture.

What is it that preindustrial teens are seeing on those television programs? Answer: teens being treated like, and behaving like, irresponsible children.

When teens in preindustrial society are forced to attend Western-style schools, how are they affected?  Answer: they’re cut off from adults and from the centrality of adult culture; they’re prevented from working, or at least making work the center of their lives; they become controlled by adults instead of part of adult life; teens, rather than adults, become their role models.

When Western mechanisms delay marriage, what is the outcome? Answer: because marriage is the hallmark of adulthood in virtually all cultures, the delay of marriage also means the delay of adulthood. It’s no coincidence that Tom Smith’s recent survey… showed that Americans now think adulthood begins at age twenty-six; the median age for first marriages in the United States is now 26.8.

Taking Action

If you’ve read my articles before, you know that I am not a big fan of “top-down” solutions. That is, the best way to deal with something is on a grassroots, individual level. Trying to change a whole society is difficult and not at all guaranteed to succeed. If it does, you have to guard the progress against undoing.

Better to make the changes at the individual level, where you don’t have to ask permission or get a majority to agree.

Clearly, some broad reforms would help the situation. It is not about the government “doing something” about the problem, it is about the government undoing some of the harm they have caused.

For instance, abolishing public schools, or at very least compulsory schooling would be a good start. Since that probably won’t happen anytime soon, parents can homeschool, send their kids to alternative schools, or team up with friends and neighbors to form a co-op arrangement for education.

Removing age-based restrictions on rights, or at least moving to a competency-based model of gaining rights and privileges would also help. Again, petitioning the governing is mostly a waste of time. Better to work with the freedoms you can give your kids. So they still can’t drive until 16, but at least they can cut their hair how they want, and maybe even have a glass of wine with dinner.

But as with most problems, the largest barriers to improvement are in our heads.

Why not give your kids freedom from an early age? Why not let them participate in household work from an early age? Hell, why not let them participate in your career if they are into it?

The cool thing is that the modern economy seems to be reorganizing to accommodate this way of life, without sacrificing modern comforts and efficiencies.

It is easier than ever to work from home. Imagine a setting where mom and dad do their work while the kids independently learn, or work on easier tasks. Older kids–neighbors or family members or even a tutor–teach the younger kids. Certain work tasks and household chores can be done together as a family, as many hands make light work.

The whole point of this method of parenting is that you offer a continuum from childhood to adulthood.

And without even noticing it, life lessons, love, and kinship will be passed on. You don’t have to sit a kid down at a desk to teach them how to become an adult. If you interact with them daily, they will learn from you. You just have to allow them to participate and encourage them to pursue whatever they get excited about.

If you can’t teach it to them, the internet can…

Be seeing you



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: