A recent post looked at how abuse against children manifests in the western home, frequently through religious inspiration. Desperate, fragile parents often attempt to gain absolute obedience from their children, driven by a desire to protect them.
But the problem extends far beyond the home. Institutional violence, abuse and neglect is widespread. In Germany, the Twelve Tribes sect have been caught at it on camera: adults beating and abusing children as young as four in an underground cellar.
A predatory Catholic priesthood has been exposed all over the world, from Australia to Canada to Britain. In the USA, adopted foreign children are given away to strangers – signed over with the stroke of a pen. Child exploitation is widespread in Britain.
In Northern Ireland, police are investigating abuse in the child care system. In Jersey they are once again following the trail of abuse relating to Haut de la Garenne, as part of the Savile enquiry. There has been systematic, serious sexual and physical abuse in Wales for decades. Claims in the eighties that a paedophile ring operated with impunity in the heart of the UK establishment were ridiculed. They turn out to be true.
There is a resonance between the parental need to control, which sets up the abusive environment, and institutional abuse. For we have created a monster and in seeking to placate it, we offer up our children in sacrifice. A perverse replay of the biblical story about Abraham.
In an act of sadistic abuse, Abraham bound his son, Isaac, and placed him on an alter, intending to kill him as proof of his own holiness. Fortunately, Abraham’s mental aberration passed and he heard his conscience tell him not to do it. Little is made of the trauma suffered by Isaac.
Likewise, today’s children are offered up as sacrifice to the monster. We now require that they learn, at an early age, that they have to obey orders and do as they are told. School and University are no longer about enlightened development of the enquiring mind. They are about preparation for, and shaping to fit into, the corporate work environment.
For the monster that we have created is The Machine. Having invented a mechanical world, we find ourselves bumping into it at every turn, as if it existed independently of us. As if it can teach us how to be human. We moved from a rural, pastoral life to city dwelling, losing touch with nature and seasonal rhythms. Gradually the corporate clock has come to rule our lives. We are no longer aware of the new moon, of the sound that the wind makes as it whispers to oak or willow, or the way animals might experience us.
We have become absorbed into The Machine. It now rules our lives, requiring our unquestioning obedience and the sacrifice of childhood joy. Corporations have become the agents of The Machine and in an extraordinary turn of events are now enshrined in law as individuals, with all the rights and protections of a human being. We speculate about meeting non-human life forms, without realising that we have already created so many of them that they are invisible.
The Machine and it’s corporate agents direct our lives, it is to them, not us, that our governments owe allegiance. While the unemployed riot, The Machine plays computer games with our young soldiers. In a bizarre mirror image of the gaming culture, it starts wars and plays shoot-em-up for real. Young men, who grew up shooting software enemies through X-Box consoles, are now inside the game. They have become the targets which they spent so much time imagining.
But, just as an abusive parental effort to instil discipline in a child will only breed rebellion, so it is for The Machine. As it seeks more and more control, creating robots, drones and laws with which to subjugate us, it breeds it’s own downfall. The enormous growth in youth unemployment across the western world is creating a generation who do not buy into the idea of a nine-to-five workday.
Why should they? It is clear that with modern automated production, goods can be made at a fraction of their sales price. Since we create money with nothing but the power of our imagination, there is always enough for whatever we imagine we can do. It is just a matter of priorities.
If we can (as we do) create trillions of pounds and dollars out of thin air to pay for bankers, bombs and bums in parliament, then we can also afford to keep the unemployed, restless, youth in a style to which they would like to become accustomed.
A couple of hundred years ago, we had little idea that we would end up in the world of today. It might be a good idea to look at the kind of world we are creating.
It is likely, but not certain, that humanity will prevail. What can you do today, to tip the balance?