Sunday, November 18, 2012

Maturity and the Dangerous Child

The Dangerous Child Method of education and child raising lends to the creation of exceptionally mature minds. In fact, a Dangerous Child is an exceptionally mature child who is also exceptionally skilled in a wide range of competencies.

The 20th century American philosopher, psychologist, and author Harry Overstreet is perhaps best known for his book, The Mature Mind (PDF).
The Mature Mind at

One of Overstreet's basic starting points is that children are naturally immature, and become a greater and greater hazard to society the longer their journey to maturity is delayed.

Maturity can be measured in a number of ways. Here is one short checklist of childhood maturity:

Developing Maturity in Youth (PDF)

The modern concept of "maturity in youth" is much atrophied and regressed from earlier views of youthful maturity. Many laws, institutions, and regulations in modern societies that were put in place to protect children and youth are having the contrary effect of impeding childhood maturity (PDF), and of permanently fixing youth in a state of perpetual adolescent incompetence.

See also John Taylor Gatto's Underground History of American Education, introduction and early chapters.

With the decline and creeping helplessness of modern youth, comes a corresponding pessimism toward the types of futures which such youth are likely to create.

Thus the growing need for "rites of passage," and more practical expectations of maturity in children and young people.

As stated above, The Dangerous Child is both mature and highly - broadly skilled and competent. As such, The Dangerous Child is much less hazardous to society than an ordinary child, but is also particularly dangerous to a corrupt status quo.

This is not a contradiction. Society -- and ordinary members of society -- are much safer with a lot of Dangerous Children. But corrupt and despotic institutions, on the other hand, are in particular danger from Dangerous Children. Corrupt and despotic institutions gain much strength when the majority of their subjects are helpless and incompetent.

In the US, with the Chicago Outfit firmly in charge, readers are free to speculate as to how this discussion might apply.

There are particular sub-populations of the western world which are more likely to adopt The Dangerous Child Method, or a similar approach to a return to youthful maturity, competence, and responsibility.

There are other sub-populations of the western world which are firmly in thrall to corrupt, despotic authoritarianism. These helpless and reactionary sub-populations are used by corrupt institutions to maintain control over entire populations -- including sub-populations which are otherwise capable of greater autonomy and independence.

Consider how these ideas may relate to your choice of residence and community.

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