Declan Leary, who recently delivered himself of the deeply evil “It was all worth it” bulletin in defense of kidnapping Native kids and letting them die by the bushel in Canadian residential schools now offers another deeply evil bulletin calling for kids to be denied an education and child labor law to be repealed. It is a vision that would delight monsters like Pol Pot.
Here is Leary:
“What I propose instead is that, rather than subjecting them to a 12-year torrent of mostly useless information that will leave their heads as soon as they leave school, parents should be allowed to raise their children as the vast majority of children were raised for the vast majority of human history. The reigning system is designed to integrate upward, but a humane deschooling would foster downward integration: reintegration from an early age into the life of the family and the tangible community.”
It is characteristic of the People of the Lie that American MAGA Catholicism has become that the whole monstrous lie is present in the language of liberation: “let” the children work. A cruel liberal regime is forcing education on children when what the little tykes really need is the grueling discipline of hard work. Once again, I am reminded of a Khmer Rouge spokesman who proudly boasted that in the past the children had played and laughed, but now they worked all the time! A glorious accomplishment of the regime.
Notably, his vision of an ignorant working class “tilling the land” is one he posits only for boys. Apparently, women don’t count at all in the discussion. His views on their duties to men unsurprisingly boil down to their duty to be “improbably attractive” wives to average-looking men.
So who is Declan Leary anyway?:
“Declan Leary is associate editor of The American Conservative, where he began in the summer of 2020 as an ISI Collegiate Network Fellow after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Classics from John Carroll University. While an undergraduate, he was an editorial intern at National Review for the summer of 2019, and a frequent contributor to such publications as National Review Online and Crisis Magazine.”
He is, in short, a privileged, wet-behind-the-ears 23 year old kid whose mummy and daddy put him through school and who has never done a day’s worth of hard physical work in his life, ready to sentence untermenschen to hard labor for life and deny them an education because, well, they just aren’t the right breed, if you catch my meaning, if you get my drift. Some people are just natural ditch-diggers. Don’t worry though. After a day of back-breaking labor, the lower orders can always find time to read in the evening.
Not Declan, of course. He is fit to be Associate Editor of The American Conservative and sing the praises of cultural genocide, denial of education to the lower orders, and hard labor for the children of others.
Leary, who tries to write off the reforms that give universal education and child labor laws as some sort of Protestant evil, is characteristically ignorant (as Traddery so often is) of the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, the inventor of the Church’s body of social teaching, whose Rerum Novarum was a massive boost to the labor movement and who likewise pushed for child labor laws by writing things like:
“And, in regard to children, great care should be taken not to place them in workshops and factories until their bodies and minds are sufficiently developed. For, just as very rough weather destroys the buds of spring, so does too early an experience of life’s hard toil blight the young promise of a child’s faculties, and render any true education impossible.”
Pius XI would later comment on such reforms:
“A new branch of law, wholly unknown to the earlier time, has arisen from this continuous and unwearied labor to protect vigorously the sacred rights of the workers that flow from their dignity as men and as Christians. These laws undertake the protection of life, health, strength, family, homes, workshops, wages and labor hazards, in fine, everything which pertains to the condition of wage workers, with special concern for women and children. Even though these laws do not conform exactly everywhere and in all respects to Leo’s recommendations, still it is undeniable that much in them savors of the Encyclical, On the Condition of Workers, to which great credit must be given for whatever improvement has been achieved in the workers’ condition.”
That this massively ignorant, privileged, and brutal punk has, at his tender age and without any apparent understanding of the pain he seeks to inflict on the world, been elevated to such a position by the American Conservative only makes clear yet again both the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of American Conservatism, but also the devastating failure of American Conservative Catholic catechesis. His aesthetic is Catholic. But his religion is MAGA: cruel, reckless, ignorant of the Tradition, and narcissistic to the core.