On April 1, a teacher in Quebec had a surprise for her students. She told them that the government had imposed a new rule requiring them to wear shower caps in the classroom. She told them it was an additional safety precaution.
You won’t be surprised to find out this was an April Fool’s Day joke. The gag was posted on Reddit Thursday afternoon and most people seemed to think it was quite funny. I’ll admit there’s something mildly amusing about a bunch of teen-agers wearing shower caps in class, but I couldn’t really laugh at it.
All I saw was a classroom full of young people who have been so brainwashed that they’re willing to do anything an authority figure tells them to do — in the name of their own safety.
To me, this “joke” reveals the dangers of living in the conformist bubble that we call the modern school system, where good little boys and girls learn that obedience to government is required — whether it makes sense or not.
If this had happened when I was a student, I would have complied without question. I might have grumbled. We all would have. We probably would have said it was stupid. But we would have done it anyway.
I wasn’t taught to think for myself. None of us were when I was in school — and I don’t think things are any different today. I was a completely compliant student who obeyed authority without question, whether it was at home, at school, at church or in public.
We make a virtue of this sort of obedience. We give gold stars and special recognition to obedient children. We tell them it’s “good citizenship.”
But this childhood brainwashing is what makes it easy for us to be controlled as adults.
When you’ve been through this years-long compliance factory, you learn to obey “government,” which means obeying whatever politicians decide to order you to do. The children of one country grow up learning to obey their government and the children of another country grow up learning to obey a different government.
And those children are willing to kill each other when the politicians order them to do so, for no reason other than the politicians decided the other side is evil.
Those who have gone through this system of brainwashing are willing to hand over to politicians pretty much any portion of their income that they’re ordered to give up. They’re willing to obey whatever rules the politicians give them — about what sort of work they’re allowed to do and where they’re allowed to live and what they’re allowed to sell.
Adults who went through such a system as children are willing to obey pretty much whatever they’re told to do — and they’re willing to criticize those who have the audacity to question the orders handed down to them.
And when politicians decide to order them to remain in their homes — for their own good, of course — they’ll generally obey. When politicians order them to wear masks wherever they go — regardless what their own judgment tells them is needed — they’ll generally obey that, too. In fact, they will socially shun whoever isn’t willing to comply with the politicians’ orders.
And why wouldn’t you? You went through 13 to 15 years — maybe more — of compliance training when you were young. You were taught to jump when you were ordered to jump.
And you learned to obey with whatever you were told — even if it was as absurd as wearing shower caps — because who are you to use your own judgment?