Struggle. I think most people want their friends or family to have a peaceful future. I don’t think that’s possible or desirable. Far too much work is done to make children feel their world is safe and reassuring. That’s a tremendous waste of time for teachers, who should be spending time teaching poetry, history and science. For Valentine’s Day at school, my youngest daughter, who is 12, sends a Valentine and gets one. When I was a kid, it was a day of extreme anxiety and tension, as it can only be and should be. One: Will you get a Valentine at all? Second, will you know who it is from? Because it would mean someone had or hadn’t made an effort, and yours had already been sent. These anxieties are important. They prepare you for life. She gets a Valentine from the entire class. They might as well e-mail one from the headmaster to everyone. It’s painless. Excitement-free. Risk-free.
By turning against the left-liberal consensus, Hitchens has ensured plenty of struggle in his own life.