Many years ago, I was walking through a suburb of Prague on the way to visit a friend, and witnessed a child aged nine or ten push his friend off his bike. The bike came crashing down and the victim howled. I had no idea what the provocation was, but I did not like the way the aggressor strutted away in triumph. So, unable to express my thoughts in Czech, I went over and delivered the aggressor a smart smack. He looked mortified and cried in turn. I went on my way.
Had I the language skills, I might have taken the boy aside for a therapeutic chat, attempted to establish the causes of his actions, his motivations, his mental state, his inner psychological condition, his social and psychiatric needs – but only after delivering the smack. The smack was important because it showed the child that, judged by prevailing social standards, by adult standards, the action was wrong, that wrongs are punishable, and that, one way or another, punishments hurt. For who does not have a psychiatric condition? Whose actions are not determined in a causal chain – at least, when judged ex post facto? What monster is not in need of therapy, nurture, respect, rehabilitation?
Besides, since time immemorial, adults have disciplined children. The mother delivered her child a sharp rebuke, a smack if it did the job, the child cried, the lesson was learned, everyone moved quickly on. No grudges were born, and no emotional harm was caused – that is, until psychology was invented.
It seems to me that the society which cannot distinguish between an admonitory smack and a violent assault, a pass and a sexual assault, a joke or insult and psychological torture, is rotten to the core. The youngest child learns he can act with impunity, chuck stones, vandalise, shout abuse at passers-by, raise merry hell, because no-one will dare intervene. As for social workers or psychiatrists, he can run rings round them. Instead of personal moral values, which it is the business of every responsible citizen to uphold and enforce, and which are the bedrock of a free society, we have a public crusade for ‘social justice’ administered by an army of bureaucratic functionaries.
And, so to Scotland, where the smack has now been criminalised. Scotland, once a bastion of common sense, is now it seems in the process of transitioning to a new sort of society inhabited by a new sort of person: non-violent, non-sexual, non-aggressive, non-offensive, non-acquisitive. But once all normal human emotional responses and needs have been eliminated, the individual banished, what is left? A totalitarian state where all are under permanent surveillance and in permanent psychiatric care, led by a monstrous butch Pollyanna with a Bay City Roller hairdo, accompanied by an army of social enforcers and behavioural engineers.
No, I don’t think I shall be visiting Scotland anytime soon.
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Is there anything on God’s Earth more soul-destroying – anaemic – wooden than the Scottish Parliament, which, if you have a strong constitution, you can see on the BBC Parliament Channel.
There’s something surreal about it as you can sense the underlying aggression throughout proceedings.
I would be interested to know whether under the terms of these new laws, if an adult threatens in public to smack a child, will he or she be prosecuted for threatening actual bodily harm to that child? Serious question.
That’s quite possible in your demented dominion (no offence). Corporal punishment is still allowed over here where I and my children smack our youngsters with wild and joyous abandon.
Hilarious at the end. You types always end up in some right winger’s ludicrously hyperbolised fantasy dystopia as the logical consequence of something you don’t like. Usually along the lines of an East Germany you don’t really have the first clue about.
Oh, congratulations, you made a 9 year old cry by hitting him. You don’t really need to speak the same language for words and the way they’re spoken to have the desired effect. But no, your first impulse was to administer summary punishment. This is what totalitarian states tend to do.
Come to think of it, reading
“I witnessed a child aged nine or ten push his friend off his bike. The bike came crashing down and the victim howled. I had no idea what the provocation was, but I did not like the way the aggressor strutted away in triumph”
again, means you stuck your nose in where it wasn’t wanted after you saw a very minor incident which you admit you knew zip about the context of, purely because YOU didn’t like it. You can sign up to your “army of social enforcers and behavioural engineers” and start “permanent surveillance.
It’s hilarious, it really is. The hypocrisy!
“This is what totalitarian states tend to do.”
Well, *Privy*, maybe to be ‘totalitarian’ is a bad thing; but the best family structures are always hierarchical, where the rooster rules the – uhm – roost? Just my opinion, of course, but better and more logical and more proven by history to be the best than what you propose…which is what, exactly?
That boy in Prague had just violently pushed another child and caused him considerable pain. A smack was just what the little brat needed – a taste of his own medicine as it were. An excellent lesson, much better than any word. Very useful for the boy.
Children who are not disciplined in their childhood are not happier than those who are. An indisciplined child is not only difficult for other people who suffer from his selfish and stupid behaviour. He also suffers because it is difficult for him to establish normal friendly relations with other people even when he grows up.
Discipline is not totalitarianism. No society can be stable and prosperous without it.
“I don’t think I shall be visiting Scotland anytime soon.”
Very wise! Who knows what excesses of cruelty you might be tempted to engage in.
Even in England you can be arrested for it. My friend smacked his infant son for disobediently walking into the sea, and he had to go to the police station because somebody reported him.
I threw a cup of scalding coffee on my son once as we were driving to the dentist when he called me a “pig”. Just first-degree burns. Thanks (I like to think) to my firm discipline, he went on to become a Gold Medalist at university. It was sad though that I was mad because he was causing us to be late for his dental check-up, which turned out to have been mis-scheduled anyway.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wee Jimmy Krankie spent so long acting the kid, that she now thinks like one.