Thursday, April 5, 2007

State as a nurse: what went wrong?

Britain's slow descent to socialism is marked by introducing of institutionalized system of state-run nurseries, as a form of help to working mothers. But it seems that this compassionate gesture, as many others attempts to provide help from government institutions, brought more harm than benefit to recipients of this help. School teachers began to note that something went wrong with these children from day-care centers; their behavior differ in many ways from that of home-nursed ones. Is this substitute of normal family care not completely adequate and somewhat deficient?
Hardly it surprised me. More than half a century ago a new diagnosis was introduced into infant psychiatry: hospitalism. Young inmates of orphanages, hospitals and other like institutions show retarded development in comparison to home-nursed children of the same age. Lots of studies were conducted to find the reason of this retardation: was it nitrition, poor living conditions before hospitalization, genetics or parents alcoholism? It turned out, however, that the only reason was the very fact of placing children in out-home environment, without close contact with mother. Humans simply are not fitted by their nature to develop normally without this everyday contact. Recently I read in Daily Telegraph:

"Now a government-commissioned study by Oxford University, the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the National Centre for Social Research confirms this anecdotal evidence in the most worrying way.

It found that children who attend nurseries for more than seven hours a day may be more confident and co-operative, but are also more likely to be become "worried and upset". They are likelier to bully and tease, are bossy and need to have their way - in short, to display the early signs of anti-social behaviour.

Such findings are hardly surprising. Placing children in institutionalised care from such a young age - a child can be placed in full-day care from the age of three months - will inevitably have an impact. Only now are we getting an idea of what that impact is.

This is a social experiment that could have the most disturbing long-term consequences."

It seems that all social experiments with socialist flavour are doomed to produce wrecked individuals with anti-social behaviour. Human nature revenges attempts to ignore or "improve" it — it is not malleable in any positive sense.

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