Column

The End of Childhood

If you want to see how America’s liberal elites would like to reshape the United States, look at Western Europe.  For decades, they have dreamed of importing European social models, of a Swedish welfare society, and of comprehensive sexual tolerance à la Hollandaise.  But the liberal vision is most perfectly manifested in the form of children’s rights activism, of using threats to children’s welfare as a means of gaining widespread public acceptance of highly interventionist social policies.  Who, after all, is prepared to speak out against policies to suppress baby battering or child molestation?  Look at Europe today, and you are probably seeing the shape of the Democratic Party platform in 2008 or 2012.

In Britain, children’s rights have been used to justify a wholesale revision of social policy and concepts of rights and family.  There is now a children’s minister and a “children’s czar,” a children’s commissioner who regularly makes pronouncements on how the rights of the young are systematically denied.

But the most ambitious consequence to date of the children’s rights mind-set is a massive computer database of Orwellian proportions.  The rationale for such a system is simple.  Every few years, a case emerges in which a child is killed by abusive parents or minders.  In the ensuing public inquiry, officials...

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