A government of any kind only wants to control the movement of the masses to attain its own interests. Yeah, I guess I’m an anarchist at heart.
The following quote from Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution is something that just…grr…
“Their motives were very clearly expressed by one of the Menshevik leaders in Moscow: If the socialists enter the government, there will be nobody to lead the movement of the masses “in a definite channel”.”
I’m starting to see (yes, rather late in life) that everywhere, in every time, fights, wars, political struggle is always about power and control, even personal and local arguments.
Why do we insist that the whole world move “in a definite channel?” Why must we believe that everything, everywhere must be controlled? Someone has to hold the reins. Someone must be in charge.
What if we let go of that idea completely and just let things be the way they are?
What if we controlled ourselves alone, held our own reins?
What if we left everyone else alone?
It brings to mind the reaction I often got when I was asked to explain how we were educating our children. We chose “radical unschooling” as our philosophy. In reality though, it chose us, or we evolved into it once we let go of the reins.
The horse analogy works well here. The reins are used to control an animal, along with a bit and saddle. The horse does not do what it naturally would do. You’re using it as a means to your own ends. That’s fine for an animal, to most people. But it’s not for humans. Any humans.
I’d explain that we supported the children, loved them, played with them, worked with them, and helped them to develop and attain their own goals, whatever they were. We offered insight and an introduction to the world around them. We made them safe and comfortable. We answered questions and added our own experience to the plans they made. And then we got out of their way.
The next question I was usually asked was, “How do you make them…?” Insert thing you want your kids to do: math homework, read, chores, etc.
I don’t make them do anything.
Then, “How do they get a job, go to college, etc.?”
They just do because that’s what independent humans do naturally without control.
Sometimes, often, the kids would want to do something far outside our comfort zone or our ability to provide. We worked through it together, without force from either party. Once they became legal adults, they had the right to walk away from us and do as they pleased without negotiating with us.
If my children decided to live a life completely separate from mine, never to be seen again, I’d be sad, but it would be their right as individuals. I cannot force them to stay and live like me. I cannot force them to take care of me when I can’t take care of myself. I have to negotiate a relationship that facilitates that the best I can, and let the rest go.
What if we all lived that way with each other? What if no one controlled anyone else? What if we didn’t “lead the movement of the masses ‘in a definite channel’”?
[…] Want to read more posts inspired by Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution?Learning Hooks and Summit ReachesAm I Turning Into a Revolutionary?Distracted and Uninspired?Leading the Movement of the Masses? […]
Very interesting how you went from reading that passage to how to raise kids.
And you have a valid point, too!