We’re surely nearing the last stop of the progressive train when we get to statements like this:
‘I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,’ quips [Australian Philosopher Adam] Swift.
Swift manages to find a moral loophole for bedtime stories, because they actually contribute to a relationship bond between adults and children that outweighs the unfair advantage thereby bequeathed to the next generation in that family. But advantages like “private schooling, inheritance and other predominantly economic ways of conferring advantage” simply can’t be justified, per the philosophy
It couldn’t be clearer that such philosophy is an indication of nothing so much as a mental illness. Swift and his partner in dementia Harry Brighouse draw a line in their “theory of familial goods” that is arbitrary and designed to prevent them from having to declare outright that bedtime stories are immoral. Providing for one’s children is a central source of meaning in people’s lives, and children’s knowledge that their parents are doing so contributes to a fundamental sense of security and lifelong respect and gratitude. It’s also mortar for strong marital relationships and community building. More basically, it’s a means of ensuring equality over generations, as families that stay motivated across generations can build on successes and overcome failures.
Following Swift’s progressive line of thought, our society could advance no more than a sclerotic state could ensure universally and the least motivated families could maintain. Moreover, we can be sure, as history has repeatedly proven, that those with the most advantages will find justification to maintain and expand those advantages (even as the benefit to them erodes with the crumbling society).
Ultimately, what is there to say to such nonsense except: I will provide every advantage to my children that I can, and I will work to destroy any government that attempts to prevent me from doing so. I’m not personally inclined to accomplish that overthrow through violence, but I can’t say I’d be much inclined to restrain those who would be.