Book Review: Global Conflict

Children In Our World:  Global Conflict, by Louise Spilsbury, illustrated by Hanane Kai

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Edelweiss/Barron’s Educational Series.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Depending on your own views towards conflict and world peace [1], you will find this book either endearing or intensely dishonest.  The best thing that can be said about this book is that the illustrations are thought provoking and of a high level of skill and the sort of approximation to realism that children of all ages are likely to find beautiful.  The text, though, is another matter entirely.  If you want to know how snowflakes are made, books like this one give a good indication of the process.  The poverty and error of the author’s worldview are made plain by the way in which the author seems to assume that governments and international institutions are capable and interested in bringing peace when they are either nearly entirely incapable (the latter) or are often the most active persecutors of their own people or agents of violence on a large scale (the former).  The author thinks that by learning how to communicate we can all just get along peacefully, but sometimes life isn’t like that.

The book itself is mercifully short, but it has a preachy attitude that demonstrates once again that books to children are generally not so much about amusing children as indoctrinating them.  In this case, the author wants children to grow up as little internationalists who have a high trust in the powers of government and who view our soldiers as merely people who fight in self defense of our country but who would really want to be at peace, which appears to be true of our soldiers but not to the government leaders who ultimately command them.  The authors point out that warfare and global conflict is often destructive to efforts at education, although the author seems to view education merely as public education, probably because of other worldview concerns.  The end goal of this book, and others like it, appears to be to encourage people to grow up as passive recipients of government entitlements and as supporters of government taking upon itself the responsibilities of safety and a lack of development of personal moral and political responsibility for oneself.  The goal appears to be the indoctrination of young people into mistaken views of the world that leave them vulnerable to exploitation from paternalistic governments, and to view this as a natural phenomenon rather than an artificial one, and as a good thing rather than a very bad thing.

Ultimately, this book’s worldview fails on multiple counts.  For one, the author misdiagnoses the etiology of conflict in merely miscommunication by denying the existence of genuinely antithetical worldviews.  This is as true in political conflict within communities and countries as between them.  As both the globalist and Islamist worldview assume a totalitarian aspect that demands control of the entire globe and seeks to do so by force or fraud if necessary, conflict is guaranteed if someone stands up against either of these wicked worldviews.  Instead of viewing conflict from the perspective of our bent desires to rebel against the authority of God and to dominate those we view as beneath us–both tendencies of which are visible in this book–the author offers a naive and misguided belief that all problems can be solved by better understanding each other and talking it out, which is misguided and erroneous in the extreme.  When this is coupled with the author’s mistaken view of the role of human government in conflict as a force for evil, generally, rather than for good in such matters, it becomes clear that this book is not an effort to educate but rather a desire to indoctrine a generation of youth in a field worldview whose failure is already manifest to all who have any awareness at all in our contemporary world.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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