Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to them. Once the chorus of cultural values was full of ministers, teachers, neighbors, leaders. They demanded more conformity, but offered more support. Now the messengers are violent cartoon characters, rappers and celebrities selling sneakers. Parents are considered "responsible" only if they are successful in their resistance. That's what makes child-raising harder. It's not just that American families have less time with their kids; it's that we have to spend more of this time doing battle with our own culture.
The key words of violent economics are urbanization, industrialization, centralization, efficiency, quantity, speed. . . . The problem of evolving a nonviolent way of economic life [in the West] and that of developing the underdeveloped countries may well turn out to be largely identical.
E.F. Schumacher (1911 - 1977)
Source: Small is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered
An act of violence against nature should be judged as severely as that against society or another person. The turning over of a stone, the unnecessary felling of a tree, or the slaughter of an animal is a crime to be weighed in judgment against the wants and needs of the person and the values of his society.
There are certain fundamental requisites for wise and resolute democratic leadership. It must build on hope, not on fear; on honesty, not on falsehood; on justice, not on injustice; on public tranquility, not on violence; on freedom, not on enslavement. It must weave a social fabric in which the most important strands are a devotion to truth and a commitment to righteousness. These are essential ingredients of the American way of life. They are the necessary conditions for the achievement of freedom and human progress the world over.
Over the last decade or so 'wars' have been proclaimed, in turn, on teen pregnancy, dropping out, drugs, and most recently violence. The trouble with such campaigns, though, is that they come too late, after the targeted problem has reached epidemic proportions and taken firm root in the lives of the young. They are crisis intervention, the equivalent of solving a problem by sending an ambulance to the rescue rather than giving an inoculation that would ward off the disease in the first place. Instead of more such 'wars,' what we need is to follow the logic of prevention, offering our children the skills for facing life that will increase their chances of avoiding any and all of these fates.
For my part, I believe that the vain, glorious and the violent will not inherit the earth. . . . In pursuance of that faith my friends and I take the hands of the dying in our hands. And some of us travel to the Pentagon, and others live in the Bowery and serve there, and others speak unpopularly and plainly of the fate of the unborn and of convicted criminals. It is all one.