The Purpose Of Play

When children play unsupervised, they learn everything they need to know about living on this planet: namely hierarchy, cooperation, power, coalition-building, propaganda, reciprocity, sycophancy, retaliation, deterrence, bluffing and the calling of bluffs. They learn that if they do this and that, then that and this generally follow; they learn that there is no inherent justice in the universe other than what they create themselves; and they learn that Shit Happens.

Children have always been exhorted, especially by mothers, to ‘play nicely’, but this is actually a contradiction in terms. Play is about the establishment of hierarchy, which is by no means a ‘nice’ institution; play is about destructive testing of the human resources that will constitute the next generation, so as to identify the natural leaders and the designated objects of legitimate torture.

Posted on September 16, 2010 at 10:09 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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