Walter Williams: Failure of the Greatest Generation

November 26, 2007

by Tammy Drennan

If you haven’t been reading Walter Williams, I would like to recommend him.

Here he is this past week:

“There’s little question that the greatest generation provided their offspring, the baby boomer generation, with goods and services that their parents could not afford to give them. But tragically, the greatest generation did not instill in their children what their parents instilled in them, the values and customs that make for a civilized society. In previous generations, people were held responsible for their behavior. Today, society at large pays for irresponsible behavior….

A society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. These behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word-of-mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error.”

Our first line of defense – traditions and moral values – emanates from in-tact, healthy families, able and willing to guard children against the grasping hands that reach out for them – special interests, the media, businesses, unions, social crusaders – and able and willing to fully embrace the role of parents and gatekeepers of the future.

No institution embodies the assault on family and functional and civil society as does state schooling. It assumes the incompetence and inferiority of parents. It rejects traditional values, even as it pays lip service to them. It takes children away and exposes them to all the ills of institutionalization – the very opposite of family. Above all, it positions children as targets – targets for the graspers, for every individual or group that can weasel its way into the good graces of a politician or a school board.

Our children are battered, war-weary and deteriorating before our eyes. They are looking for meaning and finding only meanness. They have no defense but their parents, yet their parents have also been raised in state schools that diminished the role of family; they chase their own pleasures or cower in fear in their homes.

It’s time to find our parenting feet and take back our children. We’ve languished in the wasteland of state schooling for far too long. We see it doesn’t work. It promised what it couldn’t deliver. It now promises what it has no intention of delivering. It disrespects us, laughs behind our backs as we naively deliver our children year after year.

We are still a free people. We don’t have to turn our children over to the state. We don’t have to bow to its arrogance and self-importance, to its insolence. This country was not built on the back of state schooling but on the back of family and community.

Let’s create a truly great generation – one of strong, healthy, wholesome, fiercely independent families and considerate, smart, creative, happy, unexploited children.

We can do it.

See also: Dear Dr. Walter Williams