How does one keep a crab in a bucket? Answer: Add more crabs. As one is trying to crawl out, the others will grab him and pull him back in.
Despite official genuflections in the direction of diversity and tolerance, the sad fact is that culture of the slums is monolithic and deeply intolerant. Any child who tries to resist the blandishments of that culture can count on no support or defence from teachers or any other adult, who now equate freedom and democracy with the tyranny of the majority. Many of my intelligent patients from the slums recoundt how, in school, they expressed a desire to learn, only to suffer mockery, excommunication, and in some instances downright violence of their peers. One intelligent child of 15, who had taken an overdose as a suicidal gesture, said she was subjected to constant teasing and abuse by her peers. “They say I’m stupid”, she told me, “because I am clever.”
Still, children arise in the unlikeliest places with ambitions very different from their peers, and fortunately not all teachers believe that no child can escape the slums unless all do. One of my patients, for example, early conceived a passion for French culture and literature. She decided at an early age that she would study French at University and was fortunate, considering the school she attended, to find a teacher who did not actively discourage her. But the cost to her in ordinary social relations with her peers was incalculable: she had to sit apart from them in the classroom and create her own enclosed little world in the midst of constant disorder and noise; she was mocked, teased, threatened, and humiliated; she was jeered at while standing at the bus stop to go home; she was deprived of friends and sexually assaulted by boys who despised, and perhaps secretly feared her devotion to books; excrement was placed in her letterbox at home. As for her parents — they did not understand her. Why could she not be like everybody else — and leave them in peace.
Above we see the dynamic with respect to the underclass. It however, is effective in many other situations. Feminists use it to keep women on the reservation.
Teen girls use it to push other others into sex at a young age; starting many on the road to sluthood. These girls deep down know that such early sexual relations is not good. Though they can never admit it to themselves. Still, they feel bad. What to do? Enlist others into their engaging in the same deed. “If everybody is doing it, it must be OK. Right?” Such simple thinking easily overwhelms many teen’s defenses.
Even adults have trouble in this regard. I live considerably below my means. There is pressure from co-workers to step up the lifestyle. They are all in debt, live in fancy houses, drive fancy cars, etc. I however, do not. I do wonder how many have started out thinking that they might live modestly, but were dragged into a lavish lifestyle by their peers.
Unfortunately, one does not always get to choose their peers. But when you do, choose them well.