My baby has a very poor critical thinking skills, but even he is aghast that so many people seem to be agreeing with the politics driving the confessed Norwegian terrorist, if not his actions. What does one say to an average baby who can’t understand why some humans are falling over themselves to agree with a mass murderer? Please advise – your past feedback on the importance of unions was helpful in preventing my baby from continuing his totalitarian rule over his stuffed animals and now they all have health care and benefits so that’s something.


Your baby is growing up in a world where fear of the Other is pervasive. We are constantly told through mainstream media in the form of news and tabloid press, and also through marketing that we should aspire to a culture of uniformity and mass consumption where there is little place for difference (different ideas, different cultures, different bodies, different belief systems).

Perhaps you could use an analogy with your baby. Ask him how would he feel if he was constantly treated poorly by the people running the daycare center? These people, to whom we shall refer as “the daycare ruling class”, take away his treats, hide his crayons, tell all other babies that your baby is “ugly” and not creative enough to be part of the daycare center. Your baby complains but nobody listens to him. Eventually, your baby feels disempowered, disenfranchised and alone.

Then one day, someone hoping to gain control of the daycare center, someone hoping to become the new “daycare ruling class” comes along and suddenly listens to your baby’s gripes. Now, your baby’s gripes are legitimate (indeed, they had hidden his crayons, drowned his stuffed animals, deprived him of his marshmallows). However, this aspirant to become the director of the daycare center will obscure the reason for this wrong doing. Instead of examining the reason why management was acting like assholes, he points to the one single brown baby in the playpen and nonchalantly states that it was her all along stealing his candy. Moreover, this person manages to convince your baby that he should go and tell all the other babies about this “brown baby thief”. Your baby at first might not be very open to these ideas, but this person who one day hopes to run the daycare, promises that there are rewards down the road. There will be unlimited candy if the brown baby is evicted from the playpen. Your baby, who at this point is tired of both the abuse from the daycare ruling class and the perceived lack of action to correct his problems might become more receptive to the idea of a brown baby thief. At first, he does not act upon this, he just ignores the brown baby. But eventually, the discontent grows. Other babies start to comment that indeed, their candy was also stolen, that management was refusing their nap time, etc. The brown baby is pushed to the corner more and more. Management is still not correcting the problem and there is this guy who wants to take over and screams louder every time.

Your baby is not a fool but since nobody listens, except from the guy who wishes to take over the daycare center, eventually your baby starts to talk to this guy. This guy has a whole collection of pretty story books (like Choose Your Own Adventure, only that the “adventure” always involves getting rid of all brown babies). Nothing changes. Your baby’s gripes have not been addressed, but suddenly someone is talking to him, suddenly there is a sense of unity in the daycare center brought upon by a shared belief that the brown baby is the cause of all their troubles.

And this is how perfectly reasonable babies end up agreeing with ridiculous ideas and those who peddle them. Not because there is any truth in them but because the peddler promised unlimited supplies of candy and a unifying sense of purpose… if only they can get rid of the brown baby.

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