Raising Feral Children
One of the prize-winning article requests was: “engagement/psychological preparation of children/youth in your planning and preparations—what the hell are you going to do with TMO?”
The following article is actually an excerpt from the working draft of the new book. It is not the exact content in the finished book, but pretty close. Mostly, just the layout is changed, to fix contextual issues that only make sense if you’ve read the six and a half chapters that lead up to this point, before getting into the training-specific aspects of the book.
For most people, the mental image that arises with the term “feral children,” is the boomerang-chucking little mute kid in the Mad Max: Road Warrior. Sociologically, the term “feral children” however refers specifically to children who live isolated from human contact from a very young age. This leads to a lack of cultural behaviors and understanding, including care and language. While historically, many feral children have been abandoned or confined by their parents as a rejection of intellectual or physical handicaps, there are cross-cultural mythological examples of feral children growing into successful adults. From the Roman foundation myth of Romulus and Remus, to the modern fiction examples of Kipling’s Mowgli, and Burrough’s Tarzan, we can reflect back to the earlier point from this book that “myth is history, told better.”
In the mythological examples, we see children with relatively normal levels of human intelligence and physicality, growing into a superior being, because of their enhanced physical attributes and survival instincts that have not been dulled by exposure to social behavioral norms. Of course, this concept is closely tied to the “noble savage,” or “Myth of the Golden Age,” but it also offers an extremely useful approach for developing cultural identity and raising children that will continue the survival of cultural values and tribal identity.
Feral is derived from the Latin “ferus” meaning “wild.” It is specifically defined as “untamed; undomesticated; hence, wild; savage.” A more contemporary edition of Webster’s includes “having escaped from domestication and become wild.” The issue then becomes, “who is defining ‘untamed,’ ‘undomesticated,’ and ‘wild?’” If we allow the imperial culture to define those terms for us, then most “traditional American values” are now the realm of “wild” and “savage” people, because they do not fit the cultural norms of the imperial culture. To the Roman imperial culture, the Celto-Germanic barbarians were—by definition—wild and savage and undomesticated, because they did not adhere to the customs and traditions of imperial culture.
Yet, even in the Roman example, we look at the foundation myth of Romulus and Remus, and we see a glimmer of memory of the barbarian, uncivilized youth of Roman cultural identity. We must strive for the same. We must strive to raise children who are not constrained by the morals and regulations of imperial culture, but instead, who are constrained by the cultural values of our tribes’ values and so, live in frið with the rest of the tribe—whether kin-group or sodality—increasing the chances that those customs and traditions will survive the death throes of the declining empire.
There are three basic aspects, in my understanding, to raising feral children (It is absolutely critical to understand that, to some degree, this section is largely hypothetical for me. While we do raise our children this way, our oldest is still primary-school aged. By the time she is a teenager, or young adult, we may have realized we were complete fucking retards on the subject, and ruined our child’s life through shitty parenting.). The first of these, as in all things, is leading by example. We cannot expect our children to internalize the cultural values we profess, if we do not provide the moral exemplar for them to look up to. At best, in such cases, we can only hope that, by setting such a shitty example, our children are repulsed by it, and strive to achieve a life opposite our own, thus actually succeeding at living the values we professed, but did not live.
If you profess to believe in critical thinking and logical decision-making, as a cultural value, you cannot get angry and scream at your child to “shut the fuck up, and don’t question your parents!” After all, by questioning the basis for not only your decisions, but even the basis of your authority to make those decisions, the child is successfully implementing the critical-thinking you profess a desire for them to learn. If your cultural value is that parents are, ipso facto, the source of all right thinking in the family, in the tradition of the patria potestas, that is fine. You’re a fucking moron, but that is fine too (let’s face it. We all know parents who are considerably less intelligent than their children. Case in point? You humble author). However, if you expect your child to learn critical thinking skills, you’d damned well better be able to explain to them that there is actually a philosophical basis for your parental authority.
If you profess to believe in the virtue of health and fitness to the survival of your tribe, then your children had probably ought not see you spending every available moment of free time, sitting in front of the television or the computer screen. While some time with either tool is not even noteworthy, your children should see you engaging in activities—and probably should be participating themselves—that validate your professed belief in health and fitness.
The second aspect is the inculcation of critical-thinking skills. If we accept that wisdom and good judgment are the basis of good fortune for both the individual and the clan, then it seems self-evident that teaching basic critical-thinking skills—logic—is a fundamental prerequisite of training our children to be leaders of their own generations within the tribe. If we teach our children legitimate logic and critical-thinking skills, they are less likely to find themselves coerced into actions inimical to their best interests and the best interests of the clan, through political and corporate marketing schemes that play on falsely created emotion.
The third aspect, directly related to the above, is the absolutely essential requirement of homeschooling our children. While this is often attacked by many within the preparedness movement as “impractical” for “most” people, that—in itself—is a failure of critical thinking and judgment. The typical reason provided for declaring homeschooling to be “impractical” is the “need” for two incomes, and the resulting inability for one parent to stay home. That is completely a function of surrender to the marketing of imperial corporate cultural programming. If removing Mom from the workforce requires a downsize of housing or material lifestyle, what are you losing?
“Oh, I don’t want my children to feel deprived!” This concern is an admission that you are allowing others to define the cultural values of your children. If your children are raised to value family connections and values over material wealth, how could they feel deprived by the opportunity to spend more time with their family? It is only when we see our children corrupted by the corporate advertising of the imperial culture—through public schooling, whether from teachers or their “peers,” or through television and other media marketing—that we see this raised as a concern.
“Well, what would the neighbors think!?” Who gives a shit? Unless those neighbors are part of your kith-and-kin, in which case, they should—by definition—share your cultural values and traditions, the opinions of your neighbors should be completely irrelevant to you. If they are of your tribe, and share your cultural values, and they voice opposition to your homeschooling, I would offer that there are two issues potentially raising their head: a) they do not, in fact, share your cultural values, at least in this specific area, in which case, you should reconsider where you’ve placed the boundaries of your tribal identity, or, alternatively (and possibly more likely) b) maybe they are not making a comment on your values, but on your ability to adequately teach those professed values. Perhaps, in the latter case, it is not the neighbors you are actually concerned about, but the unconscious understanding that you’re a fucking retard, and have no business trying to educate your children, if you are truly concerned about the survival of the tribe, rather than your own ego.
“There is no way my wife would go for that!” Like both of the aforementioned “concerns,” this actually illustrates nothing more than a failure of basic critical-thinking skills and good judgment. In the first place, it is a failure of critical thinking on the part of your wife, relative to the goal of survival of the tribe—and thus, of her own children. If your wife recognizes her role as the cultural arbiter of morality—in her role as the keeper of the hearth—then there is really no sound basis for refusing the role of homeschooling teacher for your own children. Does she believe that her income, as a method of funding more purchases of material goods, to assuage her guilt for not being home to raise her children, is more important than, well…being home to raise her children?
This of course, reflects back on the other side of the poor judgment involved. If you are a husband who is married to a woman that does not share your cultural values and customs, you demonstrated a remarkable lack of good judgment in marrying her in the first place, didn’t you? The reciprocal is equally true of course. If you are a wife, who is married to a husband who insists that you cannot afford to stay home and take care of the children, because of financial considerations, and you believe that passing on the cultural values of your kith-and-kin is the most essential role you have in life…then you’re a fucking idiot for marrying his ass in the first place.
The common retort to this that I often hear from critics is, “Well, I don’t believe in divorce! That’s a cultural value.” This is often offered as a defense for an unsuitable pairing that occurred because of youthful indiscretions and the lady of the house getting “knocked up.” I get it. Shotgun weddings are still a very real thing where I live. I’m not even referring to the morality or immorality of premarital sex(for me to protest premarital sex as immoral would require a level of ironic hypocrisy that even I am fundamentally incapable of) What we are referring to here is the “Well, she got knocked up, so I did the right thing by her and the kid.” Make no mistake, I agree this is the appropriate response. For better or for worse, you’ve passed on your DNA, and have—in my personal belief—a moral obligation to ensure the best possible outcome for the child. However, none of this removes the guilt of piss-poor judgment from your moral load. Now, because you lacked the good judgment to use a better form of birth control, or to abstain from premarital sex, you find yourself saddled with a spouse who does not share your cultural values. Undoubtedly, this was a result of the programmed conditioning you received in your own life, leading you to fall for a pretty face or a hard body. In the heat of the moment, good judgment and critical-thinking skills often fall victim to “damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” So, now you’re stuck, watching your children raised in the teaching of a culture completely foreign to your own values and traditions, with the forlorn hope that maybe—hopefully—you will be able to reverse that programming in the brief interludes you have with your children, at supper and on the weekends. Of course, at the same time you are struggling to achieve this, your efforts are being very effectively countered not only by the official programming of the public education system, but also of the unofficial programming of exposure to peer-group children with similarly contradictory values to your own tribal cultural values.
There are of course, despite these refutations, instances where it is not practical or practicable for mother to stay home and teach (Honestly, I don’t have a fucking clue what they might be, but people keep insisting to me that there are…). In such cases, in the tribal approach to surviving the decline of empire, we have a ready-made alternative, in the origin of education in much of America, when a local community built their own school, and hired a school teacher to come teach their children. In such cases, we have the opportunity to select a teacher that teaches lessons that correspond to your cultural values.
While the obvious example of this is private schools, whether secular or parochial, there is a less obvious example. That is simply, in cooperation and collaboration with others in your tribe, selecting a member of the tribe to act as the community schoolteacher, at least for the primary grades. It is, in effect, a return to the one-room schoolhouse model of yore (Yes, I am specifically talking about an obsolete, archaic system—that resulted in literacy rates estimated to hover steadily above 94%, versus current statistics, which hover between 80-85%, depending on how strictly you define ‘literacy.’).
We see the effectiveness of this educational model described by French emigre Pierre Samuel duPont de Nemours (Pierre Samuel was the father of Éleuthére Irénée du Pont, founder of the DuPont company.), who, in 1812, penned an interesting little booklet on National Education in the United States of America (Available in digital format, courtesy of the University of Michigan, at: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015030974144;view=1up;seq=7) wherein he pointed out, “The United States are more advanced in their educational facilities than most countries…they have a large number of primary schools; and as their paternal affection protects children from working in the fields, it is possible to send them to the schoolmasters—a condition which does not prevail in Europe…most young Americans, therefore, can read, write, and cipher. Not more than four in a thousand are unable to write legibly—even neatly…the Bible is read; it is considered a duty to read it to children; and in that form of religion the sermons and liturgy in the language of the people tend to increase and formulate ideas of responsibility. Controversy, also, has developed argumentation and has thus give room for the exercise of logic…In America, a great number of people read the Bible, and all the people read a newspaper. The fathers read aloud to their children, while breakfast is being prepared—a task which occupies the mothers for three quarters of an hour every morning. And as the newspapers of the United States are filled with all sorts of narratives…they disseminate an enormous amount of information.”
What we see then, is a historical model of community- and family-based education, predicated on the local community’s shared values, that led to the growth of the most powerful culture in the human experience. Perhaps—just perhaps—it is time to return to that model, on the local, community and tribal level, to ensure the survival of our cultural values?
Ultimately, the goal of survival preparedness, if we use “I want to survive!” is a dead end. You are not going to survive. Whether that is in the long-term or the short-term is largely predicated on your ability to develop the types of strong tribal ties that allowed your ancestors to survive the decline of previous empires. Simply building a gang of fellow preppers may be adequate to ensure survival in the short-term, at least until someone comes along who offers more benefit to your friends-of-convenience. In order to survive for the long-term, you need to develop that level of loyalty among your kith-and-kin—or within the intentional tribe of a sodality. Even then however, you can only survive to the end of your natural lifespan. The continuation of your cultural values requires passing on those values to the next generations. That requires strong families, with children who are indoctrinated in the values of the clan’s culture.
By providing the example to your children, of how to live in accordance with those values, and by educating them with the skills and lessons of those values, you provide the greatest opportunity for not only their—and your—short-term survival, but also for the long-term survival of your culture. That requires, as in all other aspects of life, emigrating “outside” of the metaphorical borders of the decadent, dying imperial culture’s definition of “modern family values.”