You Want to Know the Truth About the World? Ask a Child...

Capitalist Exploits's picture

By: Brad Thomas and Chris Tell at:

"Why is she so fat Daddy?" ...looking at an obese woman struggling to get out of her car at the supermarket.

"I like your funny hair." …said to a surfer with dreadlocks.

"How do you know that?" …asked of a religious, end-of-the-world crusader holding up a placard and yelling that "We're all going to die and only God can save us!"

These are some of the random comments I've heard from pre-teen children over just the last few weeks. Parents of young children know all to well how uncomfortable children's questions can sometimes be. We should relish the beautiful and at times brutal honesty they display without hesitation, though that is sometimes easier said than done.

Rarely is there any sacred ground. Honesty and a genuine unquenchable curiosity are two of the most wonderful traits of children; ironically, they're also the two traits all to often lacking in adults.

Paul Rosenberg, the author of A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, penned a great article a while ago discussing a related topic on his website here.

The crux of the article is the argument that children are inherently free, having not yet been corrupted with dangerous ideas. Ideas placed in their fragile minds by Government-run institutions humorously referred to as "public education establishments."

We have much of our current political woes to blame on a populace too easily led with corrupt and corrupting ideas. The indoctrination begins at an early age via "schooling", then media, and subsequently socially.

Paul suggested asking pre-teen children the following question:

Should you be allowed to do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone?

Now, if you think about it the above question delves directly into the role of the state in our personal lives. Worth thinking about.

If you have children, grandchildren or you need to kidnap a neighbors for a few minutes, I'd encourage you to run this test yourself and share the results with us here.

I thought about this question myself, and why the answers differ between children and adults. Paul's question denotes a bigger problem, though… education is broken.

I have written about this many times before, including a post where I described why I would rather see my kids throwing up from dysentry in an Indian hostel than nursing a self-induced hangover in a university dorm room.

The notion that our children, via government-run schools, are being "educated" as opposed to "indoctrinated" is an absurdity for anyone paying close attention. Once we reach adulthood the common perception is that we cease to believe in fantasy. Out with the Easter Bunny, out with Santa and in with reality, right?


Most adults believe in the pure fantasy that the government can, do and should educate their children. They also believe that the government can, do and should provide pensions, free healthcare and the myriad other "services". All this from a morally bankrupt group of parasites who daily show their true colours to a near comatose, naive citizenry. At the rate that we're headed, the biological makeup of humanity will have evolved purely to supply the head and hands with sufficient oxygen and blood, to enable the head to rest at suitable TV height, with the hands primed for updating social network status and voting on American idol.

Perhaps young kids who've not been brainwashed with garbage ideas yet will provide us with some insights?

It was with this thought that I took Paul's question to my own two young children, both of whom are under 10 years of age. Now admittedly, my children don't likely represent a "typical" mindset. Their upbringing has been anything but "typical" and amongst many other things has included home-schooling, time in a Thai Buddhist school (no, I'm not Buddhist, but I believe that only by integrating with different cultures and religions can one gain a fuller, more balanced understanding of the world) and an exposure to the world many think crazy.

I'm a firm believer that education is not to be found inside the four walls of a classroom, but in our wide and wonderful world. My wife and I try to educate our children from this paradigm. It is why I bought my son a second hand piece of furniture, and why I want my children to go cold and hungry. Yeah, I'm THAT kind of father.

So here are the answers my children provided to Paul's question:

My son: "Not if you irritate them."

Me: "OK, irritating might not be hurting someone. Other than that?"

My son: "Yes, I think so (looking quizzically at me). I wouldn't be doing anything wrong. I think it would be hard to be doing something wrong if I'm not hurting anyone, right?"


My daughter: "My friend was nasty to me and she shouldn't do that."

Me: "Did she hurt you?"

My daughter: "No."

Me: "But it hurt you emotionally, did it? So you're still upset at her?"

My daughter: "Yes"

Me: "Is it OK to do that, then?"

My daughter: "I don't think so."
Me: "What about other things?"

My daughter: "If I don't hurt people like that, then I should be able to do anything, unless I break your rules,

Me: "Right!"

Paul mentioned in his article that he wished to run this as an experiment, and since I was interested in the idea I thought that getting the word out would provide us with a better data-set.

Specifically Paul said:

I’d like to propose we actually run such an experiment. I’ll be pleased to coordinate and publish the data.

In order to ensure that the results are meaningful, I recommend the following:

  • Make sure you have a neutral setting. Don’t talk to the child about liberty, obedience, or anything along those lines before asking the question. Make sure that you are feeling neutral too. You should want to know the child’s opinion, sincerely.
  • Since children have notoriously short attention spans, ask the question only after you have calmed them and centered their attention. I suggest something like this:

Can I ask you a question? I want to know what you think about this.

  • If the child answers more than a simple 'Yes' or 'No,' write down precisely what they say. Then, if necessary, write down your interpretation of what the child said and why you interpreted their meaning that way.
  • After you write down the answer, feel free to continue the discussion with the child if fitting, but not if there are other study participants in the area. Keep them neutral.

As I say, I'll be pleased to tabulate and publish the results if one or more of our readers want to run the experiment.

I think the results might be very interesting… and quite possibly very useful.

We would love to be able to publish the results from as large a data-set as possible. Let us know what your results are. I eagerly await the replies and will, along with Paul publish them once they're tabulated.

Will the minds of children provide us with any reprieve from the intellectually dishonest "rules" that blanket society today?

Let's find out, shall we?

- Chris

P.S.: Paul will be amongst a host of incredible speakers and friends, who will be joining us for an intimate gathering in Aspen, Colorado this August. We have a couple spots let before we close bookings. You can get more details about the event here.


"In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults." - Thomas Szasz

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GroovyChick's picture

Kids may be good at telling it like it is, but do we want them telling us how the world should be run? 

If you keep at this line of questioning, you'll put ideas in their head, then you'll start having these kinds of conversations with them:

- Mom, can I have ice cream for dinner?

- No.

- Why not? I'm not hurting anyone.

madcows's picture

Should you be able to smoke Pot?  Get fat, turn diabetic, fry your brain and live off the undrugged portion of society?  What's the definition of hurt?

Should you be able to cross borders at will and live off some other society?

What about pay?  Should CEO's get 331 times the pay as staffers?  Is that hurtful?

Dumb questions get dumb answers.  Generally, right is right and wrong is wrong.  It's like porn.  I can't quite define it, but I know it when I see it.

Zero-risk bias's picture

Should you be able to smoke Pot? Yes.

Get fat, turn diabetic, fry your brain and live off the undrugged portion of society? Yes, but not live off others.

What's the definition of hurt? Feeling pain, emotionally and/or psychologically.

Should you be able to cross borders at will and live off some other society? Yes, but not live off others.

What about pay?  Should CEO's get 331 times the pay as staffers?  Is that hurtful? No. Yes.


shovelhead's picture

I have a number of sweeping generalizations I would like to post here.

But I got to thinking how stupid they sounded, and decided not to to post.

madcows's picture

"In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults."

Winner Winner!  Ding! Ding!

sondernauch's picture

Liberals believe that people are born good and it is society/civilization that makes them bad (Rousseau). This is why liberals seek to destroy; they want to "liberate" or free people's natural goodness. Liberalism is the ruling religion these days, which explains why everything is so horribly corrupt.

Conservatives, who know that people are not born pure and good but are born prone to error, can only shout into the hurricane of approaching Xaos: We told you so!

Felix da Kat's picture

Exactly. The american, leftist-controlled media, through television, films, pornography, and other means of "dis-education",  brainwashes innate common-sense out of people. That is why the bald truth that children espouse, startles many adults with their depth of clarity. The entire system needs to be re-placed... it won't be. Get over it. Adapt.

Felix da Kat's picture

1.)  Yes   2.) No   (and don't be so naive, kid)

Memedada's picture

Name me one leftwing bias in the corporate owned medias? Old champ...

Felix da Kat's picture

Read Bernard Goldberg's book, "Arrogance". You'll very soon see what I mean. Bernie was an MSM insider who became disgusted with the elite liberalism that is so pervasive today. 

JRobby's picture

Felix did not get the memo on "media ideology assignments". Really, since there are ad $$ at stake "allocation of ideology" is more accurate I think.

Keep the electorate divided at all costs is the rule.

sondernauch's picture

"Children always tell the truth." Sweet sentiment but it's just not true. Despite what liberals believe, people are not born good and pure. Children can be quite the little fibbers.

OTOH, children do often accidentally blurt out the rude truth. They only break the Left's prohibition against outspoken honesty because they don't know any better. Send them to the government indoctrination centers (a.k.a. schools) and they will be cured of that.

sam site's picture


Unusual insight.  As you state, "Honesty and a genuine unquenchable curiosity are two of the most wonderful traits of children; ironically, they're also the two traits all to often lacking in adults."

"unquenchable curiosity" is another way of expressing the seeking of truth.  I've noticed most adults don't seek the truth but only seek comfortable re-asurring information that supports their current views.  They have zero interest in evidence such as the obvious pre-wired imploding of World Trade Center 7 or evidence that the Fed is not a government agency working for the public's benefit.

I believe this building disinterest in the truth and evidence as one ages is caused by a building toxicity in the body that creates a building anxiety and depressive state.  This toxicity comes from a deliberate poisoning agenda by toxic chemicals and metals in our air, water, food and medicine.  These are placed there to disable our health and truth-seeking tendencies so we don't pose a threat to our hidden ruler's scams like the Fed's debt based money creation and Fractional Reserve Banking systems.  View this to better understand this truth-seeking disabling agenda.

Back in the 70s there was a popular theme among young rebels known as Child is Father to the Man.  I believe as we dotoxify, rejuvenate and become more child-like we can reverse this insideous poisoning process.  I believe we are going to see in the next 10 years great advances in Naturopathic Detoxification that will reveal the superiority of children over men and in the end return the earth to a Garden of Eden where it finally becomes apparent that we're all children and have been all along.     


samuraitrader's picture

Children speak in the Language of Inclusion. They talk about what "IS". Adults speak in the language of exclusion. "Its not bad". Learn to speak in the language of inclusion.

JohninMK's picture

We all start life as individuals but we are not destined to be individuals, we are pack or tribe members. So by the time we are 7 or 8 we have had the individuality knocked (sometimes literally) out of us.

For some it returns in old age when we realise that conforming really doesn't matter.

Memedada's picture

I don’t think that is true. The so called ‘individual’ can only exist in relation to others. As a newborn child you’re not an individual. Actually you’re born with a feeling of ‘oneness’ – that you’re everything and everything is you (what Freud referred to as ‘the oceanic feeling’ – the feeling that grownups can get small glimpses of, and that are often misinterpreted as ‘a religious feeling’ or as a ‘epiphany’). The ‘individual’ (or the ego) is something that is created – consciously or unconsciously – in an interaction with (especially) ones parents. And later in groups and subgroups.

‘Individuality’ is actual a very modern phenomenon. For most of human existence the primary identifier was the group you belonged to.

dontgoforit's picture

There is hope that - if we survive - the commonality of mankind will overrule the individual need to exert will upon others.  We are, in fact, all in this together.  If we could only reach a concensus that it is in the best interests of all to stop the killing and make plowshares, so to speak, then the world would be the wonderful place we'd like it to be.  That said, there are always going to be the crazies.  Some are born to be bad it seems.

nodhannum's picture

Makes me just want to break out my "coexist" and "can't we just get along stickers"...cumbaya. We are all in this together only in a very "macro" sense. Try telling a fanatic that we are all in this together...just before he cuts your throat.

Memedada's picture

Exactly! Mankind are first and foremost a social animal. When Darwin coined the famous phrase “survival of the fittest” it was commonly misunderstood as survival of the strongest (vs. the weakest) = an argument for the capitalist economic system of everyone against everyone (dog eat dog-madness). The real understanding of the phrase (and Darwin’s most intelligent contribution to the understanding of evolution) is that ‘fittest’ is the best adapted/specialized (= not necessarily the ‘strongest’ individual, but the best fitted group. A good example is ants and bees – they can only survive as a group/swarm. If they started to compete internally and stopped collaborating, they would be outcompeted by the swarms that collaborated better. They are driven by instinct – an instinct that over millennia’s have fostered their unique ability to collaborate. We’ve gone through the same evolution – there’re still traces of our reptile past (our more primitive survival instincts), but to form a society on our most basic and irrational instincts are lack of imagination, foresight and empathy (and of course the result of the interest of the few oligarchs that – on a short timeframe – benefits)) – as a species we’re far from being anywhere near adapted to our ecological, economic and social reality. Instead we’ve ‘chosen’ to live in a gigantic Monopoly game were most ‘players’ start bankrupt and a small minority owns the game itself (including the ‘rights’ to change the rules midgame) and the bank.

The game is boring – the goal of accumulating more and more ‘paper’ is (apart from being absurd in its own right) destructive to more interesting and beautiful goals (happiness, enlightenment/truth/knowledge/understanding, art, coexistence with our fellow species, love and righteousness)…     

Memedada's picture

OK, I agree with your premise: children are – almost per definition – uncorrupted. But again (I’ve read many pieces like this – or at least with a similar point), I don’t understand why (almost all) Americans (from USA that is) are blind to other forms of institutionalized power than that of the state. The state is primarily a tool of the real power structures (the corporate/banking ‘elite’).

If you want to make people free, you have to deal with the real powers to be – again, the banking cartel and their lackeys (media, state – including of course what’s left of public ‘education’, church, police/judicial etc. etc.).

I’ve – as a response to another of your postings – declared myself a leftwing anarchist. I got the (maybe not that) surprising response, that a ‘leftwing anarchist’ was something unheard of. Like anarchism was a ‘right wing’/capitalist idea. Anarchism – in its origin – is left wing. The major anarchist thinkers were – and are – left wing (Noam Chomsky being one, that most Americans have heard about (?)).

In short: a real project for human liberation includes a struggle against all illegitimate power structures (state and market). The most indoctrination made in USA is made by corporations (often in an unholy alliance with state actors) – Hollywood being a prime example.


dontgoforit's picture

There was a time when most Americans believed in the system.  Corruption and politics are like lye in our water.

rlouis's picture

I love the curiosity of 4 and 5 year olds.  By the time a kid is in the 3rd grade, the classroom presure to conform has forced them to stifle their questions and follow instructions.  But isn't that what the system wants? Just shut up and obey.

what's that smell's picture

another anti-government screed wrapped up pretty-in-pink behind a "become like little children" sermon.

randroid meets jesus on the road to austerity.


assistedliving's picture

did anyone really read this?

disabledvet's picture

Awful. Everything is a publicity stunt now...not even the children are safe.

"Come and join us at our made for TV movie!"

Conax's picture

They can be brutally honest, but they can be terrible little liars, too.  It just depends whether or not they are in trouble.  I always had fun chatting with mine, they were always trying to con me.

besnook's picture

art linkletter was way ahead of you.'s picture

"Bent out of shape by society's pliers"  Dylan It's Alright Ma (I'm only Bleeding)

Magooo's picture

Children are bloody monsters. 

dontgoforit's picture

Lord of the Flies - Wm. Golding - monsters and saints; just like us.

Memedada's picture

You do know, that ‘Lord of the flies’ is fiction? And that the more normal response of people (including children) when left to themselves is to cooperate…?

shovelhead's picture


Read about children or only has one.

Bemused Observer's picture

That childhood innocence and simple outlook is very alluring, who doesn't want to be a kid again at Christmas?

But if you allowed the kid to choose, he'd eat nothing but pizza, Pop-Rocks and Pixie-Sticks. He'd bathe once a month and keep an alligator in the swimming pool. He'd have the dentist file his teeth into points because it looks cool, and replace the front door with a giant waterslide.

Let's not get TOO romantic in our thinking here. They ARE cute, that's why God makes them that way, so you'll take care of them. But they're not right in the head until well into adulthood.

bluskyes's picture

Children are the property of their parents, until they begin sustaining themselves.

Aussiekiwi's picture

'But they're not right in the head until well into adulthood.' optimist!, and would'nt an alligator in the pool be cool? sometimes its good to try to hang on to a little bit of the child.

nodhannum's picture

Bill and Hillary are still not right in the head . They never progressed that far. They are icons of the "if it feels good (to me) do it"???? of the hippie days.

MeMadMax's picture

I got three daughters and they don't, how we should say, begin to think like that...


They already realize that they live in a cuthroat world were only the strong survive, kill or be killed, and they are at the bottom of the totem pole...


And no, I didn't teach them that, they are in touch with their gut instincts already...

tvdog's picture

"They already realize that they live in a cuthroat world were only the strong survive, kill or be killed, and they are at the bottom of the totem pole..."

True, but regrettable - and changeable. Civilization advances slowly - one funeral at a time, as a wag once said. Drawing and quartering is no longer practiced; heretics are no longer burned at the stake. One day, perhaps 1000 years from now, mankind will realize that killing and torture are less productive than cooperation and empathy.

Sure, teach your children that the world is a harsh place - but also teach them to make it better.

"The world isn't fair," my father always used to say to me. My interpretation: my father didn't give a damn about fairness, and didn't think he should have to. If you are not careful, your children may reach the same conclusion about you - if they don't grow up to be psychopaths like yourself.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

You learn the truth from children and crazy people. That's why we teach our children to lie and lock up the truth tellers as being crazy. (Conspiracy theorists)

E.g: Phone is ringing...

Mom to little daughter: Honey, tell them that I am not here

Daughter answers the phone: Hello!

Caller: Is your mom home?

Daughter: She told me to tell you that she is not here   

Mom faints

dontgoforit's picture

Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional.

jbvtme's picture

parents mold their children in their own image. and so the gene pool gets weaker and weaker