Children grow up thinking that all the world is in perpetual violent turmoil, and this means that they grow up with this terrible feeling, that the world has been mismanaged by their parents, and that they must change it. Therefore they either take jobs where they can opt out entirely; or have the view that they should all go out to the middle of Biafra, and this to my mind is bad.
There are situations which cannot be resolved; there are questions for which there are no answers, and if you don’t accept this, then you will rapidly develop a police mentality. You will search for culprits, you will tear up contradictory evidence, and you will push people around until they are in easily labeled and easily controlled blocs. And I think some way must be found of getting the children to realize they live in an imperfect world, that there are no political systems which will make a difference. In fact, I would try and get children to see that politics is a complete waste of time.
Illustration by Saul Steinberg (1999)