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It Takes A Village


des
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I have been watching more booktv. Yes I admit to being a geek. But anyway I do listen to conservatives if they don't sound too strident. Anyway I just heard about my third reference to "it takes a village" and the anger and controversy this seems to spark among conservatives.

 

Most of them no doubt take their child to church school or church-- well isn't that part of the wider community. ANd not all of them homeschool. And they seem to want the public schools to help them teach religion by having them pray in school and teach "intelligent design" which almost no scientist would say is science. So that's the wider community.

Most of them would want a neighbor to tell them what is going on with their kids--- indeed I have heard some decry this is somewhat absent these days. And most of them "believe in" firemen and the military-- esp the military. And I'm sure they want parks and museums as places for their child in the wider community.

 

I'm inclined to think if ANYBODY else wrote the book it would never be mentioned. (It might have been quite obscure, but that isn't really the point.) Say it was a best seller. Hillary didn't even make it up, it is an African saying (though I don't know which country).

 

So anyone else think it is all Hillary bashing?

 

BTW, I started listening to someone talk about Condi vs Hillary. (for president). It started getting silly with discussions on Condi's "brilliant foreign policy" and a total lack of understanding of how bills are written and passed in congress-- but a clever premise anyway. Basically was that Hillary will win the presidency, but the only one who can stop her is Condi.

 

 

--des

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It could be because Hillary Clinton wrote the book and also because the title comes from African folk wisdom. Some conservatives find the idea of wisdom from a non-European , non-Christian perspective highly offensive . In this view

African peoples, Aboriginal peoples etc. are supposed to be "rescued", changed

and assimilated into Western culture , not learned from.

 

In addition many on the Right believe that the salvation of humanity lies in adopting the nuclear family model , not "the village". However from some of my readings it appears that the nuclear family model is really a rather recent developement in human history. I remember watching a show on PBS about a tribe ( I'm sorry I don't recall the name of the tribe) that was totally matriarchal in structure. The male who was closest to a woman's children was not her mate, but her brother: because he came out of the same mother. When Christian missionaries came to them and said that God was the father and Jesus was the son the people of the tribe had no idea what they were talking about.

 

Trying to emulate the nuclear family model can be a joy, but can also can be difficult in many situations. One of my guilty pleasures is the reality show Cheaters on TV. In one episode a working class man was working 70 hours a week to make enough money provide for his wife and child , trying to fulfill the role of breadwinner His wife left him because he was never at home.

 

 

MOW

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The nuclear family is a recent thing. I think even in our parent's days it was a little less common. My mom's family is in the South but there are so many of them that I have no idea to this day who all my various cousins are. Every so often I would find out a new cousin who was once twice removed (never did get the hang of those terms :-)). My dad's mom lived with them when she was very indisposed and they were almost prisoners in the house. (But was quite mentally with it). I don't think think the nuclear family is the result of Christianity but more the automobile and the tendency of living farther away-- perhaps other pressures. I'm sure patriarchy could sometimes be due to Christian explanations (look at the Catholic church-- Jesus was a man, therefore priests have to be men).

 

I hadn't thought of the African wisdom thing. I think many of the people criticizing the book haven't read it and many of the criticisms (1. Hillary is a socialist and wants the government to take over the family. 2. Hillary had a ghost writer-- yeah so?) seem to be based by people who haven't read the book. Of course, I haven't read it either.I was more curious of all the venom I heard of (as well as various plays on the title). I knew of the saying

years before the book came out. It didn't seem at all radical to me.

 

 

--des

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Hillary is a socialist and wants the government to take over the family.

 

Des, I think for most conservatives, this is probably the worry. Not that she desires that. But it's just one more step down a "slippery slope" of the government, or "village leaders" telling us how to live. I know that for me, I completely buy into the idea that we help each other, etc. I love the "Acts" model...that they went house to house, giving as each one has need. I think Christians should live like that.

 

I think that for most conservatives, if they are honest, can probably find a lot that they agree with in the book concerning giving, sharing, carrying one anothers' burdens. We are not an island. It is certainly a biblical model. Where we get concerned is when we feel the government thinks it might know better than us, and tells (or legislates) how we ought to eat, raise our children, live, etc. We want that message taught or encouraged, not legislated. And, in the end, I'm sure alot of the problem with the book IS that it's Hillary, not someone else, who wrote it.

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That's an interesting perspective Darby. I tend to see conservatives as very much wanting to legislate private behaviors - ie bedroom behavior, what is taught in schools, what books are allowed in libraries... :blink: It's confusing to me because it is (not that most people realize this - except here, I'm sure!) very contradictory with conservative philosophy.

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That's an interesting perspective Darby.  I tend to see conservatives as very much wanting to legislate private behaviors - ie bedroom behavior, what is taught in schools, what books are allowed in libraries...  :blink:  It's confusing to me because it is (not that most people realize this - except here, I'm sure!) very contradictory with conservative philosophy.

Somebody here must have heard of this one:

 

"If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist." -- Joseph Sobran (1995)

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Cynthia-

 

Before Fred posted that appropriate quote, I was going to similarly point out that all sides usually want the government to get involved in THEIR projects, and similarly want the government to butt out of other areas.

 

I do think there is a difference in getting involved in what goes on in someone's bedroom and some of the other things you mentioned. I may not get involved in someone's bedroom actions, for example, but I am going to be very involved in what is taught in MY kids public school, financed in part by MY tax dollars. Same goes with books in a public library--especially where there is access for children. I don't think of those as particularly conservative ideals....just good, protective parenting.

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Des, I hadn't thought about the influence of the automobile in the development of the nuclear family. That would be a fascinating study.

 

You're right about our parents generation. When I was growing up there was not only my 3 siblings and my mother and father, but my great aunt, my two aunts , and my grandmother all in one house.

 

Darby, many of the negative images and ideas that come to children are coming from corporate America, not public libraries and public schools. WWF Smackdown,

Fear Factor where people eat worms and jump into human excrement etc. isn't coming "the government". I'm an independent piano teacher and I can see the difference in my students from those who go to the library and read , and those who look at a lot of TV.

 

Liberals are just as angry when their tax dollars are used to bomb people ,especially women and children, to torture p.o.w.s and to engage in activities in South America that are to terrilble to mention. Anyway I don't think this African proverb has anything to do with "the government" taking care of you,

but that for a child to grow requires elders, contemporaries, and even "the ancestors".

 

MOW

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.... many of the negative images and ideas that come to children are coming from corporate America, not public libraries and public schools. WWF Smackdown, Fear Factor where people eat worms and jump into human excrement etc. isn't coming "the government".

Exactly! We're afraid of giving the government too much control over our daily lives, yet we don't seem to notice the effects of leaving things up to corporate greed. All the talk about "control" is rather academic, when big businesses have more human rights in practice than humans do. It's not about giving the government more control over our personal lives; it's about giving it the control to keep corporate America in check so that real people have more control over their lives.

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MOW-

 

I don't think the African proverb meant "government" either; I was just explaining the concern that conservatives have--if elders, contemoraries and ancestors don't step up to the plate, many will argue the government take over.

 

 

I agree about the trash that bombards us from corporate America. Where's the disagreement? That's why my kids don't watch Smackdown, or Fear Factor. There are alternatives. I don't have that same abililty with my kids' public school (unless I have the money for private school, which I don't). Thus, I can't "take my business elsewhere" when it comes to school. So I'll work, and at times fight, as would any good parent, to be actively involved in their education.

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Well yes, I agree pretty much with what you say darby. I'm not sure I agree that liberals really want the things that conservatives fear, ie take over of parenting. I think there are, quite obviously, people that shouldn't BE parents. But I'm pretty sure we would agree who those were.

 

People have pretty serious problems in some cases-- who helps is a matter of political opinion, I suppose, though I can't for the life of me figure out how we fix health care without the federal government (and no Hillary didn't do such a good job on that-- though it is a huge problem). Some of the problems the kids come with where I work are incredible. Stuff like an extremely ill mom, absent dad, and older son in prison. It really will take a village, including a combination of private and not private sources.

 

 

As for the auto and the nuclear family, I'm quite certain that wasn't an original idea. I think the idea goes something like this: as people drive more, more and better roads are built. As better roads develop people travel more and are likely to live increasingly far from their parents. I'm a pretty good example of this. My sister lives in Switzerland (which you can't drive to of course, but she started moving farther away) and I live in NM. Before the car a trip of a hundred miles took 2 days. (There is a road outside of Milwaukee--where I was brought up called the "Two day road". It meant two days from Milwaukee. It is so close now. My grandmother recalled going in a model T-- or somesuch-- there.)

 

 

--des

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Just wanted to add one thing about what my perspectives, as a social conservative, or whatever would be.

 

My expereince is that conservatives want a voluntary way of having it takes a village, which is where things like a church community etc. comes into play. The fear is that if the village is taken to mean government, that the family will become a branch of government.

 

Mostly I think it breaks down to people wanting the freedom to create their own combinations in their lives and not to be told that "x" is the only way, under legal penalty.

Edited by jamesAMDG
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I think that most likely Hillary is more referring to children who don't have that wonderful social structure that is so needed or in the areas where all children need assistance (outside of the family and church, etc.) for ex. in health care. I also think it is strange that conservatives feel that liberals are the ones that are attackign personal liberty in some way. As someone said, we aren't the ones making laws relating to personal liberties but more worried about the safety net, or lack thereof. If it weren't for the socially restrictive, scary system of social security thousands (perhaps many higher) of elderly people would be living in poverty.

 

 

 

--des

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