The Tuttle Twins and the Case of the Really Bad Libertarian Propaganda - 2020-09-29
Anyone with kids in their family knows that one of the great things about them is their bottomless gullibility. Until critical thinking abilities (sometimes) develop in later life, children will believe any hilariously phony lie you tell them, for example that a minor deity is so excited to get their disgusting baby teeth that they leave printed American currency for it, with the Treasury Secretary's name on it. It's the dumbest thing in the world, but I and probably you believed it for years.
Sadly, some would abuse this adorable nature of kids for sleazy purposes. There's a whole genre of apocryphal quotations by leaders of authoritarian movements, saying some version of "Give me the child for seven years and I'll give you the man," meaning those formative early years can shape beliefs that endure through adulthood. Jesuit leaders, Lenin and others are alleged to have said similar lines, but regardless of the exact provenance, the point is clear enough.
But Church and State are far from the only authoritarians seeing value in indoctrinating guileless kids. I learned this recently when the unscrupulous editor of a popular leftist magazine, let's call it Present Developments, mailed me a large box of libertarian children's lit known as the Tuttle Twins series, a series of illustrated stories and workbooks designed to teach youngsters the wonders of the free market. (You may have seen ads for it on Facebook.) Having now perused all 11 books in the special "Tuttle Twins combo pack," I can confirm that it's exactly as bad as you think it is.