Against Age Discrimination
by Brian Crabtree
Evil is not genetically inherited. Given that there is significant fitness disadvantage to the adaptation of hostility, if hostility were a genetic trait then it would have been selected out early in the course of human evolution. Those with a natural propensity for violence rather than cooperation stand little chance for survival on their own.
Because hostility is not inherited, it must be an aquired characteristic. The way we interact with each other is based entirely on our past experiences in dealing with others.
As America’s violence problem escalates to crisis level, politicians are continuously spouting nonsense about “cracking down on crime” after the fact. The tragedy of this is that these efforts are misdirected, and often the crimes the government ends up “cracking down on” are nonviolent, unhostile crimes.
To attribute escalating violence to a change in human nature, or to mankind spontaneously becoming more hostile, is a sign of ignorance. To believe this is to buy into the political propaganda being fed to us my our governments and by the mass media.
The problem, then, must surely be something deeper and more complex than that. The problem lies with the structure of society itself. There is no question that children are the future of the world. I will go one step further and state that the future of the world is dependent upon the treatment of out youth.
Children who are abused frequently grow up to be child abusers. Youths who are constantly dealt with with an iron fist grow up to be power hungry, violent criminals. Youths who are treated without respect for their individuality, as if they are less than human and have no capacity to make decisions, grow up to psychologically abuse their children in the same way.
Hostility – hostility and the desire to have power over others – these are the evils of society which are ripping apart any sense of brotherhood and cooperation we could ever hope to achieve.
Teenagers are often said to be going through a “stage” of rebellion and resentment. The cause of this is not a change in the teenager’s behavior, but a change in the way he or she views the world. As children, we have been genetically programmed by millions of years of evolution that we will survive better if we follow our parents and other adults unconditionally. Once children have the capacity to grow and learn on their own, they are no longer children and should not be treated as such. They have their own wants, needs, goals, and ideas. A society based on the mistreatment of its youth cannot survive.
I suggest that instead of attacking crime, we should redirect our energy into attacking the conditions which create crime: poverty, discrimination, and feelings of powerlessness over one’s own life.
In the struggle for youth rights, I suggest to the governments of the world the following steps to be taken to secure the future of our world:
1. Repeal all curfew laws for minors.
Curfews are a disgrace to basic human rights. Adults commit over 80% of crime. The excuse of security must end when it creates tyranny. [ The curfew law for minors implies that those under 18 are not citizens of the country who deserve all their rights as outlined by the Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights. –SP]
2. Remove all barriers which prevent a woman from getting an abortion.
Along with this, implement sex education classes which teach about the proper use of birth control.
Every child should be a wanted child. Government should not intervene with a woman’s personal reproductive choice. Unavailability of birth control leads to resentment of children, and, therefore, abuse.
3. Lower the legal age of majority/consent to 14.
As soon a youth feels ready to make his own decisions, he should not be restricted in any way from excercising his rights.
4. Reform the public school system.
Attendence should NOT be compulsory. In the days before school was mandatory, education was considered an opportunity. These days, the “education” students recieve (which is actually a crash course in submission, blind obedience, and living in police state conditions) is a virtual prison sentence. Schools should not be enclaves of totalitarianism which stifle childrens’ creativity and strip students of their identities. School should be an opportunity for free inquiry and free expression – a place to learn about one’s self and others.
To the people of the world who see the damage which is being done by the mistreatment of our youth, I suggest to you: think before you act. Respect others rights of expression as well as their right to privacy. Treat everyone kindly, regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual preference. Speak up when you see blatant violations of human rights.
If we can accomplish what we set out to do, and I believe that we can, then within a few generations, we can dramatically decrease violence altogether, and promote a general feeling of brotherhood and friendship.