We are all so terrified of child sexual abuse that we have outlawed taking photographs of children at nursery school without parental consent. And adults are terrified that their motives will be suspected if they talk to a child or, even worse, hug one. So, a few years ago, when Clive Peachy, a bricklayer, saw two-year-old Abigail Rae walking down the road after she had escaped from her nursery school in Warwickshire, he did not stop and help her because he thought people would think he was trying to abduct her. The result? She drowned in a pond.
Young male volunteers in primary schools describe feeling like pariahs, viewed with suspicion by many staff â€” when all they are doing is trying to help. And children want comfort if they fall over in the playground, yet teachers have been told never to touch the children in their care. So you get 12-year-olds with broken legs crying for their mothers, with staff unable to give them a hug, and five-year-olds putting sunscreen on each other because the teachers have been instructed not to touch them. The mess that ensues, and the visits to hospital because cream gets in their eyes, would be funny were it not so ridiculous. Equally absurd are the letters informing parents that children should not bring home-made birthday cakes into school in case of food poisoning â€” a position that results in children being less likely to share.
We don’t need objective reality — or subjective reality masquerading as objectivism (relativism).
We need consensus.
We need to agree on what our values are, outside of institutions (laws, economy) and have the right to boot out those who don’t agree.
Without that, we start to suspect each other, and using our institutions, to bury each other in giant piles of stupid rules.
This is how civilizations die, and those who want consensus — even the “outdated” and “regressive” idea of a society joined by consensus in religion, values, science, language, customs, culture and heritage (uh oh) — are those who are building the next society and not wallowing in the moribund mess we’ve made of the present one.