Not long ago, one of the Spawn’s teachers was going on about how she and her classmates needed to work hard and be attentive, because they were going to be the doctors, lawyers, and so forth of the future. He then added “Except for [Spawn] of course, because she’s a ginger” (Which I suppose she is in the appropriate light, but I’ve always seen her as more of an ash-blonde). However, she one-upped the teacher by replying “That’s right — AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO MY POTENTIAL!” I’m very proud of her for that one — even if it is a touch Randian*. Wish I had come up with it in tenth grade.
I’m reminded of that after reading this afternoon’s entry at Legal Insurrection, which treats us to a commercial on/for MSNBC.
In the spot, one Melissa Harris-Perry (apparently a talking head of some sort) actually says that “[W]e have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents […] and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” This one falls under the heading of “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.”
You know who belonged to the whole community, rather than his parents?
This sort of collectivism outrages me in more ways than I should be outraged on a pleasant Saturday evening. Fortunately, the Spawn has already figured out that she does not belong to any “whole community.” She belongs to herself, and can join a community — or refuse to join a community, or depart from one — based on her desires, needs, and sense of the consequences. The community does not own her potential. To think it does is to deny her own right to it, and to her humanity, and is damned near the baseline definition of evil.
“Lean forward” — and get rid of that soul. It’s only ballast.
*The Spawn has not, to my knowledge, read Ayn Rand, although she is doubtless somewhat aware of her and her work.