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On the lost human virtue of Industry.

From Industry to Indolence: how the most industrious nation in history has slipped into almost pure sloth.

Vic Biorseth, Monday, February 09, 2015
http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com/

Once upon a time, before there were truancy laws, before there were child-labor laws, before there were unions, before there was a Department of Labor, before there was an OSHA, before the global influence of Freudianism dominated culture, there was a thoroughly industrious people.  Children were imbued with industry, less due to any sense of requirement or duty than to a sense of adventure and learning and accomplishment.  And the more things they tried, the more they learned, the more confident they became, and the more they would do, and try, and learn.  They were learning and practicing and growing the personal virtue of Industry. 

By today's standards, they did great things, even as children.  They were successful farmers, surveyors, cartographers, skilled tradesmen and smiths of various kinds, printers, etc., in their teen years, and even before. The Printing-Press was the rapidly advancing, rapidly changing "computer" of the day; it was the cutting-edge of technology, dealing with increasingly automated Information Processing

Few were formally educated, but all who were educated at all were very well educated.  Illiteracy was relatively rare, but even illiterates were more infected with industry than today, and most lived a quite productive life.  They had to.  And it was always easier to produce cheerfully than miserably.  Among our Founders, the likes of Jefferson, who went to William and Mary, and Adams, who went to Harvard, were the rarities. 

Education began in the home, with "Primers" and lessons taught by parents, older siblings and cousins, aunts and uncles, and the occasional tutor who was not a relative.  The Bible was the most commonly read book, or set of books, used in education.  There were books of "Copybook" sentences, which children wrote out in developing their cursive penmanship, and each sentence - of hundreds - taught some important life-lesson beyond proper English structure and proper penmanship. 

Benjamin Franklin was home educated in this fashion until age 10, when his education became self-directed.  That happened a lot; quite often children around that age began seeking their own further education in whatever interested them, through whatever books they could find, or whatever more elevated adult they could attach themselves to, whether through internship, apprenticeship or a student-teacher relationship. 

Jefferson practiced law, but there was no such thing as a law degree in those days.  What was required was literacy and the ability to read and understand the law.  Think about it.  Why do we require more than that today? 

But today, we have truancy laws, we have child-labor laws, we have unions, we have our unconstitutional Department of Labor and its OSHA bureaucracy, we have our unconstitutional Department of Education, and, of course, we have a culture thoroughly imbued with all the absolute nonsense born of Freudianism

An old episode of the Carol Burnett show comedically illustrates what went wrong.  In the skit, someone was being electrocuted through contact with an electric wire.  But they couldn't unplug it because only an electrician could do that.  When the electrician arrived, there was a ladder in the way, and he couldn't move the ladder, because touching the ladder was the exclusive domain of the painter.  When the painter arrived - you get the picture.  Nobody could do the right thing because of all the nonsensical rules that had sprung up around doing simple tasks. 

Today we are damning new generations of youth to mediocrity through low expectations and nonsensical government and cultural rules.  Children are less capable and can do less today, not because they are incapable, but because adults,

  1. do not expect them to do more, and,
  2. do not encourage them to do more, and,
  3. act to restrain them and prevent them from doing more. 

It isn't just that most children today don't have to cut wood or haul water as a normal part of family life; that's a blessing, not a curse.  The real problem is that adults have been trained into not believing that children can or should do more or be challenged by difficult tasks.  We are "Enlightened" now, and we don't expect much from our little ones, and thus, they don't do much.  We protect them so much that some of them need protection the rest of their lives, and never really learn to fend for themselves. 

Kids were kids then, and kids are kids now.  Nothing has changed, in the natural world.  If you don't think that modern children are capable of more than they are doing now, I invite you to look up and read the life of David Farragut.  He was commissioned Midshipman at the age of nine, and he became Captain of a warship at the age of thirteen.  He would go on to become Admiral of a fleet. 

I submit that all of this was due less to any particular genius on the part of David Farragut than to his personal Industry.  And I would say the same thing about Benjamin Franklin.  Industrious children go on to be successful adults.  The more industry applied, the more success results. 

The problem begins with public, i.e., government, education, and ends with unconstitutional government restrictions on citizen behavior.  Dickens novels notwithstanding, we have no need of child labor laws.  Abuse laws, yes; human trafficking laws, yes; restricting work laws, no.  That should be up to the child and his parents. 

The only place I see this ancient freedom of children to employ themselves is on the family farm or ranch, where children grow up learning by doing how to farm or ranch.  And the current government is working on eliminating that possibility, too. 

Pray for a return to simple sanity, and Industry, in America. 



=====

Hover-Link Footnotes:  For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links.  (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" the mouse over a link, without clicking, to just to see the related Acronym appear.)

SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
STNSEACPB8 Surely Today No Serious, Educated Adult Could Possibly Believe
WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
TRMITM18 The Reason Man's In This Mess
IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic

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On the lost human virtue of Industry. From Industry to Indolence: how the most industrious nation in history has slipped into almost pure sloth.

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