Government 101 - teaching children
Now, at last, there is a way to give your children a basic course right in your own home!
In my own experience as a father, I have discovered several simple devices that can illustrate to a child's mind the principles on which the modern state deals with its citizens. You may find them helpful too.
For example, I used to play the simple card game WAR with my son. After a while, when he thoroughly understood that the higher ranking cards beat the lower ranking ones, I created a new game I called GOVERNMENT.
In this game, I was Government, and I won every trick, regardless of who had the better card.
My boy soon lost interest in my new game, but I like to think it taught him a valuable lesson for later in life.
When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp and will allow him to understand the benefits.
Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax.
Give $1 of this to his younger brother, who has done nothing to deserve it, and tell him that this is "fair" because the younger brother 'needs money too'.
Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money and for various other things you need.
Make him place his $5 in a savings account over which you have authority.
Explain that if he is ever naughty, you will remove the money from the account without asking him. Also explain how you will be taking most of the interest he earns on that money, without his permission.
Mention that if he tries to hide the money, this, in itself, will be evidence of wrongdoing and will result in you automatically taking the money from him.
Conduct random searches of his room in the small hours of the morning. Burst in unannounced. Go through all of his drawers and pockets.
If he questions this, tell him you are acting on a tip-off from a mate of his who casually mentioned that you had both earned a bit of spare cash last week. If you find it, confiscate all of that money and also take his stereo and television.
Tell him you are selling these and keeping the money to compensate you for having to make the raid. Also lock him in his room for a month as further punishment.
When he cries at the injustice of this, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy" and only interested in looking after his own happiness.
Explain that he should learn to sacrifice his own happiness for other people and that since he cannot be relied upon or trusted to do this voluntarily, you will use force to ensure he complies. Later in life he will thank you.
Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily.
Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about and carefully explain that ignorance of your rules is not an excuse for breaking them.
Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instil in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under a democratic government.
He is too young to understand the benefits of democracy, so explain this wonderful system as follows: You, your wife and his brother get together and vote that your son should have all privileges removed, be caned, and confined to his room for a week.
If he protests that you are violating his rights, patiently explain his error and tell him that the majority have voted for this punishment and nothing matters except the will of the majority.
When your child has matured sufficiently to understand how the judicial system works, set a bedtime for him of, say, 10 p.m. and then send him to bed at 9 p.m.
When he tearfully accuses you of breaking the rules, explain that you made the rules and you can interpret them in any way that seems appropriate to you, according to changing conditions.
Promise often to take him to the movies or the zoo, and then, at the appointed hour, recline in an easy chair with a newspaper and tell him you have changed your plans. When he screams, "but you promised!", explain to him that it was a campaign promise and hence meaningless.
Every now and then, without warning, slap your child. Then explain that this is self-defence.
Tell him that you must be vigilant at all times to stop any potential enemy before he gets big enough to hurt you. This, too, your child will appreciate, not right at that moment, maybe, but later in life.
If he finds this hard to accept, you can further illustrate the point as follows. Take him on a trip across town with you, to a strange neighbourhood.
Walk into any random house you choose and start sorting out their domestic problems, using violence if that is what is required.
Make sure you use overwhelming force to crush the family into submission - this avoids a protracted visit and becoming involved for long periods of time.
Explain to your son that only a coward stands idly by whilst injustice is happening across town. Tell him we are all brothers and problems left to fester will eventually spill over into your neighbourhood. Use some of the $5 you took from your son as bus fare and to purchase a baseball bat.
Drink a bottle of whisky and then lecture him on the evils of smoking dope. If he points out your hypocrisy remind him that the majority of people drink and that, as already explained, the needs of the majority are the only moral standard.
Break up any meeting between him and more than three of his mates as being an 'unlawful gathering'. If he strokes the cat without the cat giving its express permission, slap him hard for feline harassment.
Mark one designated spot in the yard where he can leave his bike. If he leaves it anywhere else, padlock it and demand $50 to release it. If he offends more than three times, confiscate the bike, sell it, and keep the money.
Install a CCTV system in your son's bedroom and also record all his telephone conversations.
If he protests, accuse him of having something to hide.
Explain that only criminals seek privacy and that good, dutiful children relinquish their privacy in exchange for the advantages which protective parenthood offers. Remind him of the boy across town who was caught smoking dope in his bedroom by just such a CCTV system, and explain that this case justifies installing CCTV in all teenagers' bedrooms.
Lie to your child constantly. Teach him that words mean nothing - or rather that the meanings of words are continually "evolving", and may be tomorrow the opposite of what they are today.
Have a word with his teachers at school and ask them to share any merit marks your son achieves, with any ethnic minority students who did not get any merit marks. If he questions this policy, explain that long ago we abused the ancestors of these people, and so it is only fair that he shares the merits around to compensate their descendants.
This is also probably a good time to tell him that his energy, talent and enthusiasm will not secure him a job if the quota of such 'abused' people has not yet been filled.
Tell him talent stands for nothing - it is fairness and sharing which are important. Remind him that his primary duty is the happiness and welfare of people he does not know, and will never meet.
Ban cutlery from your home and make your son eat with his fingers. If he asks why, remind him of the youth who stabbed a cat to death last week with a fork.
Explain that if just one cat is saved by the banning of cutlery, then this prohibition will be worthwhile. If he protests, question him closely about why he is intending to kill innocent cats, or accuse him of being a cat hater.
Issue him with a pass card which he must show before he can enter the house. Stand guard at the front door. When he comes home, politely but firmly take him into the spare room and question him about his movements.
Ask him how much cash he has on his person. If in excess of $50, confiscate the lot as it exceeds the house rule for maximum cash allowed. Then search his rucksack and pockets. To keep him guessing, do the occasional strip search. If he protests, detain him for longer and make the search more thorough. If he gets really angry at this, hold him in a locked room until he misses his next outing or party.
If these methods sound harsh, I am only being cruel to be kind. I think it is important for children to understand the nature of the society in which we live.