Turning from unsuccessful inquiries concerning natural phenomena, perhaps the child perceives, in a dim way, his relations with the State, and, as God posed before him in the realm of philosophy and science, so do all replies to his questionings now end in omnipotent government.
"Why does no one prevent the man with a star from clubbing the other man?"
"Because he is a policeman."
"Who said that a policeman might strike people?"
"What is the government?"
"The government is my son, you will learn when you are older."
"Who pays the policeman for clubbing the other man?"
"Where does the government get the money?"
"You will learn when you are older."
Usually at the age of six years, or even earlier, a child's education is practically abandoned by its inefficient parents and intrusted to the church and the State.
The State uses money robbed from the parents to perpetuate its powers of robbery by instructing their children in its own interest.
The church, also, uses its power to perpetuate its power. And to these twin leeches, as "Ouida" has aptly designated them, to these self-interested robbers and murderers, are the tender minds of babies entrusted for education.
Herbert Spencer has shown that the status of women and children improves in proportion to the decline of militarism and the advance of industrialism.
The military spirit is encouraged in multifold ways by both church and State, and little children and women, in their pitiable ignorance, assist in weaving nets that shall trip their own unwary feet and those of other women and children that follow them.
A spirit of subordination is inculcated by both church and State, which contemplate without rebuke the brutalities of authority, excepting in some cases of extraordinary cruelty, and teach the helpless victims that it is their duty to submit.
The most commonplace tenets of the sepowers would seem absurd and outrageous if expounded to an unprepared adult mind and stripped of all those devices of language by which the various promptings of shame, good nature, ignorance, or deceit impel us to soften the truth.
Say to such an one:
"Murder by the State is laudable; murder by an individual is criminal.
"Robbery by the State is permissible; robbery by an individual is a serious offence against the person robbed and also against public welfare.
"Assault of the parent upon his child is justifiable; assault of the child upon the parent is intolerable."
He would not look upon you with the simple confidence of a puzzled child, attributing the apparent incompatibilities to the feebleness of his own understanding.
But to the child these bewildering social sophistries, flowing into his mind from sources that appeal to his trust, and presented with ambiguities of language that serve to increase its difficulties, must appear hopeless labyrinths of mystery.
Thus at every step from infancy to adult life the progress of the child is checked by the incapacity of those who desire to advance its welfare.