Anyone who has children understands that one of their best qualities is their limitless trustworthiness. Children will believe any fantastically false lie you tell them until critical thinking abilities (occasionally) develop later in life, such as that a minor deity is so happy to obtain their filthy baby teeth that they leave printed American cash with the Treasury Secretary’s name on it for it. It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world, but I, and most likely you, have believed it for years.
Unfortunately, some people might take advantage of children’s cuteness for nefarious ends. There’s an entire genre of legendary quotes attributed to leaders of authoritarian organizations that say something along the lines of “Give me the child for seven years, and I’ll give you the man,” implying that those formative early years may establish beliefs that last a lifetime. Similar statements are attributed to Jesuit leaders, Lenin, and others, but the concept is apparent enough regardless of the source.
But the Church and the State aren’t the only ones who see the usefulness in indoctrinating naive children. I recently discovered this when an unscrupulous editor of a popular leftist magazine, let’s call it Present Developments, mailed me a large box of libertarian children’s literature known as the Tuttle Twins series, a series of illustrated stories and workbooks designed to teach children about the wonders of the free market. (Advertisements for it may have appeared on Facebook.) I can confirm that the unique “Tuttle Twins combination pack” is as horrible as you think it is after reading all 11 books in it.
Each Tuttle Twins book is based on the teachings of a notable libertarian intellectual, such as Friedrich von Hayek, Ayn Rand, or Ludwig von Mises, and includes a tribute to the figure as well as a brief biography of their work. Connor Boyack is a Utah resident, a Brigham Young University graduate, and the president/founder of Libertas Institute, a free-market think tank, which is impressive given that there are only approximately 900 of them in the United States. “In that position,” he argues, “he has modified a considerable number of laws in favor of personal freedom and free markets,” presumably when he isn’t penning odious Ayn Rand propaganda for helpless children.
The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law, the first book in the series, is based on Frederic Bastiat’s writings. As a teacher, I can tell you that assigning the twins to “ask a wise person to teach them about something really important” is an excellent instructional method. They visit their next-door neighbor Fred, who brings them to his personal library, which features an oddly lovingly depicted bookshelf with a number of recognized libertarian titles, ranging from Murray Rothbard to Ron Paul’s End the Fed to, bizarrely, Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars.
Children Will Suffer
More adventures lead the twins to the circus, where they work as guest clowns and become involved in the search for the star attraction, a strongman named Atlas, who has resigned (shrugged). The strongman’s wages had been cut by the despotic ringmaster, who believes the circus can continue without him. Soon, the kids learn that being a clown “was actually pretty easy,” while Atlas toils away in the gym, and indeed, the entire circus enlists his help to erect tents, hang tightropes, and feed the animals—apparently, this is not a carnival without carnies.
The slacker clowns hate Atlas’s celebrity and benefits at work and spout nasty egalitarian lines like “We all make this circus work together” and “We’re all just as important,” which are, of course, typical Marxist bullshit. “These clowns must recognize that some skills are more valued than others…,” the children eventually learn. Atlas possesses a unique skill set that is difficult to duplicate, which makes him more valuable.” The Russian organist “remembers history,” claiming that the clowns’ alluring calls for equality “destroyed by Russia,” which was formerly a peaceful, problem-free society.
Finally, the children persuade Atlas to return to the circus, and he saves everyone when the pillar supporting the Big Top begins to collapse, owing to the fact that it was improperly constructed without the superman on whom everything appears to rely. Everyone Learns Their Lesson after the ringmaster returns Atlas.
Your Own Adventure is a free-to-choose game.
Finally, choose-your-own-adventure novels are available. These books are comparable to the ones you might have read as a kid, but they’re written for teenagers, with fewer drawings, and plainly aimed at the YA market. Because of the Gummint and its Unintended Consequences, the novels aren’t “choose your own adventure” like most commercial books, but rather “choose your own consequence.”
The Tuttle Twins and the Case of the Broken Window feature children.
The kids in The Tuttle Twins and the Case of the Broken Window are in a high-stakes, end-of-season baseball game, probably in the Cliché League, with a tying run on base. However, Emily’s outstanding performance shatters a priceless window in the local church, forcing us to make a decision: Run or Come Clean. Come Clean, socialists.
The church is insured, but when Father McGillivray points us that the policy has a $5000 deductible, “and our rates will go up,” Boyack unwittingly reminds us of capitalism’s nonsense. We’d rather not file a claim.” You could argue that if something is too expensive to use, what’s the sense of having an insurance market at all, but that isn’t the Tuttle Way. The kids’ family offers to pay the deductible and have them work it off by having them intern for their Uncle Ben, who “does this YouTube news broadcast that’s quite popular,” which is quite the pickup line.