Re[2]: Child Rrearing

Guru George (
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 12:01:01 +0100

On Tue, 30 Dec 97 08:04 GMT0 (Tony Hollick) wrote:



> Dr. Alice Miller demonstrates convincingly that there is no shortage of
> evidence -- the blasted German pedagogical writers wrote horrifying
> manuals describing in appalling detail how to _torture_ children into
> submission and plasticity. Just as the slave-breakers did in the
> American South.

I've read Miller, and having done an emotional healing workshop based in
part on Janov's "primal therapy", I think that whole approach is
basically along the right lines. It's pretty clear that one simply
*learns* a violent way of life in a violent family, and the pain of
being constantly subjected to voilence as a child has serious repercussions
in adult life. (Everyone ought to read what Miller discovered about
Hitler's childhood. The poor kid really did have a terribly hard time.)

But there are some complications: for example, if we're saying that
torturing kids turns them violent how come the German burgher was so
law-abiding? (Or was he? Is that just a myth? Or is it that all that
pent-up burgher's aggression burst out in two World Wars?)

19th century German pedagogical manuals are not in much use in 20th
century America, yet American society seems to be more causally violent
than 19th-20th century German society. (Or is it?) This would seem to
point to other factors: what could they be? (The thesis that, for
example, in the case of Afro-American male violence, the lack of a
father in broken Afro-American homes has something to do with it, bears

Also, consider: women who are treated that way generally don't become
outwardly physically violent - typically they turn that violence on
themselves (intense lack of self-esteem, self-mutilation, etc.)

IOW, it seems that there's something about the male psyche under certain
conditions that leads to the male adult being more likely to reflect
childhood-conditioned violence outwards in physical form. There does
seem to be a genetic component (i.e. males are simply by nature more
violent), and a cultural component (e.g. the "conditions" might include
lack of good male role models in childhood).

Guru George