Nevertheless, my mother guarded Soul Blazer with no small amount of jealousy such that for some time nobody played it. I do not begrudge her this, more out of an aversion to the spectacle of a thirty-three year old man being angry about the level of access he had to a video game more than twenty years prior than anything. And beyond that, what grounds would I have? The game was, in point of fact, hers. Any decision to restrict access to it was inherently justifiable, and any objection based on the perceived unfairness of this could reasonably be countered by declaring the exercise a life lesson of some sort.It does bother me that progressives, immersed in sophism, will mix together separate topics even when they're not trying to beguile you. Less so now I've figured out how to centrifuge them out with some minimum elegance.
Nevertheless, my mother guarded Soul Blazer with no small amount of jealousy such that for some time nobody played it. [...] The game was, in point of fact, hers. Any decision to restrict access to it was inherently justifiable, and any objection based on the perceived unfairness of this could reasonably be countered by declaring the exercise a life lesson of some sort. [...]
What is striking about it in my memory is the inherent pointlessness of it - the fact that there was not actually any productive desire or motivation. Nobody actually wanted the game to sit shrink-wrapped for months.Of course it's her right. It's rational, but meta-irrational.
Given that his mother did feel this jealousy or equivalent, guarding it was probably satisfying and thus the correct choice in the moment. However, it was a mistake to have let it be a correct decision so far into adulthood.
Basically she thought she needed to demonstrate control. (Or something. It varies.) To prove to herself that she could control her life and thus she would be able to deal with future disasters, and she was likely to lead a life with some minimum amount of satisfaction.
Keeping the shrink-wrap on is fundamentally cargo-cult control. Controlling a thing contested by nobody but a child proves nothing. Controlling the game could not be a means, only an end - her satisfaction was based on an illusion, unless she really loves shrink-wrapped SNES cartridges. It certainly didn't improve her relationship with her children, for example. It was a demonstration of how she was not in control, because the thing she was grasping and manipulating was not reality.
The solution to this is not to abrogate the rules of property. That causes more harm than good. In these cases, a kindly priest might offer some advice from the stool in the confessional, but beyond that there's no way to solve the irrationality but to let the fool continue in their folly till it teaches them otherwise.
Further, formalized property rights would have eased this insecurity. She would stop trying to control things she in fact has no control over, and would be able to take an accurate inventory of things she could control. Moreover, she would have had such an inventory long enough in advance to improve it were it deficient. E.g. she could have put certain housecare or childcare duties as papa Sandifer's in the marriage contract. (Even though she'd likely have got it wrong and ended up trading them away again.)
I do not begrudge her this, more out of an aversion to the spectacle of a thirty-three year old man being angry about the level of access he had to a video game more than twenty years prior than anything.The child clearly resented it. This was predictable - the parent should have known it would cause resentment. The parent was in control. By combining control and knowledge, they are responsible for causing it. Was it needful? Did this act come from a place of kindness and maturity?
I'm not saying parents need to be perfect all the time. I do say that 'the best they could' appears to mean 'everything they did was always justified,' which is flatly ridiculous.
regarding the Super Nintendo itself, which had been a gift to me as surely as Soul Blazer had been to her. If she had attempted to play the game and I had responded by denying her access to the system on which to play it, the end result would have been the Super Nintendo being taken from me.Except everyone involved knows it wasn't a gift. Young Sandifer and mama Sandifer are both aware control continues to rest with mama Sandifer.
It was a pretend gift.
The rules of private property were ones that could only be used against me, as opposed to by me.
It is difficult not to see, in this, the seeds of later politics [...] my version of this resentment was directed outwards at the ruling class. Such are the engines of history.It's not property's fault that his parents were part of a culture that lies about its gifts to its kids. And not his parents' fault they can't resist their enculturation. These lies do reliably lead to discrediting what the lies are about, though.
Notably these lies were started, as far as I'm aware, by authoritarian right-culture parents, not left-culture parents. Left-cultural opposition to authority is hypocritical, so they find the lies useful. They especially like the part where we pretend everyone can equally own property. Not coincidentally, the result is semi-true believing socialists.
Conditional gifts are not contrary to property rights, but the conditions need to be stated explicitly. In a sense, Sandifer clearly knew the conditions anyway, so they went without saying, but just as clearly we can see this leads to pathological thinking in the child, which, left untreated, leads to pathological adults. He attributes the wrongness of the informal/formal breach to property per se. He doesn't consciously recognize informal property as property, because as a child it was only the formal system that was called property.
If you're not willing to explicitly state the conditions to your child's face, then you should be even more unwilling to enforce those conditions; it's a reliable sign that doing so is contrary to your explicit values. Most of the rest is knowing the kids will object to the conditions and having no answer to those objections.
If you feel the need to fool your kids with hypocritical rules, then at least don't wonder where all your authority went come adolescence.
or perhaps just seeds of a chronic inability to let things go.Thing is these lies tend not to be one-off. If it was just the SNES, then it sounds like a grudge. However, this wink/nudge system would likely have extended to everything. It would be more surprising if it didn't have a negative effect.
Though more precisely, it was a gift in a sense that the SNES was bought knowing young Sandifer would be the primary beneficiary. Young Sandifer clearly didn't know this, and it's likely Sandifers senior would be unable to articulate it if asked. The correct words are roughly, "This is mine, but I bought it for you, enjoy." Though there is an issue where kids will start thinking it's theirs by adverse possession if the parent never use it themselves.