Controlling children is far easier than controlling adults.

Therefore, there is a clear incentive for power structures to extend childhood as long as possible in their populations.

There are two major institutions of control – the State, and corporations.


The State

Government, is clearly a system of control right from the start. It’s in its fundamental DNA.

Perhaps there is space for a minimal government, I’m not a convinced, full-blown anarcho-capitalist, but governments clearly get more power-hungry and more control-hungry when they grow to any significant size or influence over our daily lives.



John Taylor Gatto focuses more on this side of the power equation. Companies turn into a similar beast to governments when reach a certain size.

In a start up or a small-to-medium enterprise, autonomy and creativity are incredibly valuable. At some point, however, it becomes advantageous for the majority of your workforce to act as cogs in the machine.

Why? Probably because large organisations are slow to adapt. I don’t see how that could be any other way (although I might be wrong). Therefore, if you have 10,000 independent critical thinkers working for you, it’s likely that the most intelligent among them will fragment and create their own companies to fill a gap that they noticed while working for you, knowing that you (the corporation), will not be able to adapt to this gap quickly enough to fill it before they do.

I think this will create a richer, more prosperous economy overall, but it will reduce the amount of power able to be collected in the hands of those at the tippy-top of these hierarchies (your Rothschilds and your Rockerfellers).


The “Solution”

A great way to keep power and resources disproportionately in the hands of the few is to keep us from growing up for as long as possible.

It’s not a hard sell. It’s easier being a child. You don’t have as many responsibilities (think students), or better yet you have none (think welfare). You are protected by Mumma Government or Daddy Corporation.

Independent livelihoods, and independent learning, require you to take a far greater weight on your shoulders.

Below is John Taylor Gatto laying out this problem in “First & Second Childhoods”


(Gatto suffered a stroke at some point in his life, I believe, so he talks slowly. Select the gear icon and speed up the video to x1.5 or x2.0 to listen more easily.)

“First & Second Childhoods”, clipped from 10:03 to 26:24. Click the ‘x’s in the timeline bar to open the clip to the whole talk.