Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Hitler

Two young women - sisters - chatting in the kitchen of a suburban house. One sister - the visitor - unscrews the lid of a jar of boiled candies and helps herself to one or two.

A little boy, about three years old, wanders into the kitchen, his eyes fixed on the open jar. The candies were his and he had a strict, self-imposed regime of two per day.

"No more lids are to be taken off in this house!" he thunders.

The sisters laugh.

"And there is to be no more laughing in this house!" he orders.

The sisters laugh uncontrollably.


The child was me, and the incident raises the issue of the early formation of psychological characteristics, and also the link with an eventual social philosophy.

It is generally accepted that a person's basic character traits are determined within the first couple of years of life. And clearly one's personality and character affect one's views of social arrangements and ultimately one's (implicit or explicit) social philosophy.

A conservative tendency? The incident suggests - let's be honest - a leaning towards something a little closer to fascism!