Monday, July 31, 2006

Kids are Wimps

these days, argues a well-linked Psychology Today article. It asserts that parents are so hyperprotective and managing of their children's lives that it sets them up for anxiety and depression. The kids end up spineless, showing extreme deference and obedience to people in power, and are extremely materialistic.

I'd just like to say at this point that capitalism sucks, and Rehnquist's Virginia Pharmacy dissent was essentially correct.

And I'd like to thank you, internet, for listening.


Fishfrog said...

So in Rehnquist's dissent, there seems to be a roman numeral I, but no II. It seems as though he started out wanting to discuss the standing issue first and then move on to the merits. Why no II? Also, what does it have to do with wimpy children?

Matt said...

There is a roman numeral II missing from that reproduction of the opinion. The fourth para under I starts with "Thus, the issue on the merits is not..." That's the start of II.

As for what it has to do with wimpy kids...largely unrestricted business speech creates a nation of docile, politically impotent consumers.

Something like that.

Fishfrog said...

But wouldn't the exposure to unrestricted business speech make us stronger? More speech equals good. Right?

Matt said...

No, not really. More speech is good, but only in a particular way. The good things about having more speech are having a variety of viewpoints heard and multiple differing ideas expressed. The primary value is diversity of opinion. 1am jurisprudence can only, then, really, be said to be worthwhile to the extent that it protects minority viewpoints.

And in the case of certain majority viewpoints, it can be a bad thing. Demagoguery and fascism would be the big example, but you can see it in the commercial context, too.

I mean, a significant part of people's experience is commercial speech. It programs particular ways of thinking into people. It teaches them that they are essentially flawed, but that they can find redemption through purchasing consumer goods.

And when they do they get a little rush, but then they've lost money and they don't feel any less empty in any meaningful way. So they go out and buy more, even to the extent that it hurts them badly, putting them into debt and further misery.

And so the rich get richer, companies profit, and majorities suffer as they sell themselves out to their capitalist oppressors.

Fishfrog said...

"I mean, a significant part of people's experience is commercial speech."

I dare say the most significant part of people's experience is commercial speech.

How do you feel about the minority viewpoint thing in the commercial context? Like if Microsoft has a monopoly and a small startup wants to advertise but the stations refuse to air the ads. Is that even a speech issue or is it just antitrust?

Matt said...

If stations refuse to air the ads because MS pressures them, that would make it antitrust. But the problems are similar. I mean, in antitrust, you're keeping monopoly power in check by having competitors. Competitors keep the monopolist from charging greater than competitive prices. We work from an assumption that more commercial actors is better, which is like the idea that having more viewpoints is better than fewer.

Is such a company "minority" enough to get 1am protection? I'd say no, that commercial speech should be viewed as an aggregate. Its only content ever is the proposal of a commercial transaction, and so it's not really a minority viewpoint. "Consume!" always means "consume!", no matter who's saying it.

But maybe you could graft some politics onto commercial speech. "We use only American suppliers and labor." "We're proud supporters of Black history month." But I doubt that this would be enough.

(As an aside, I've said a couple of times now on the blogs that I don't think you can make a defensible case for 1am protection of majority viewpoints. Both times I thought the argument was kinda cheeky and had to have some quick rejoinder.)

Fishfrog said...

Cheeky? You lost me. But your point is a good one. After all, if something is a majority viewpoint, it is rarely suppressed in a way that would bring about constitutional review. If a law is passed, it necessarily has majority support (if you think our republican form of democracy works). A viewpoint targeted by the law would necessarily be a minority viewpoint. Unless the citizens are masochistic.

Arfanser said...

AAAHHH, fishfrog found the key. People are masochistic and our republican form of democracy doesnt work. Now what?

Fishfrog said...

ummmmm..... oligarchy?

Matt said...

anarchosyndicalism. Mostly because it's fun to say and spell.

Goddess said...

Wimpy kids. I dislike wimpy kids. My friends have wimpy kids. And when I tell said friends that they are "helicopter" parents, and that it is their own fault that little Joey screams at the top of his head every time he doesnt get his way, they look at me like I have two heads. I know they think that I am surely never going to win mother of the year, but MY children play BY THEMSELVES every darn day, they do not scream when I say No, and they diffently climb all the way to the top of the jungle gym as I sit on a bench and simply state, "One day you are going to fall off and break an arm". And when one of them does fall down and busts her chin open, I calmly get up, get a towel, tell her to hold it on her chin, take her to the ER to get the resulting stitches. Never stopped her from getting back up to the top of the jungle gym. On the contrary, that is where her "BEST SINGING" takes place. Who the hell am I to take away the "BEST SINGING" place?