Parents naturally worry about the future. They want to prepare their children to compete in an uncertain world. But often, argues political philosopher and father of three Matt Feeney, today’s worried parents surrender their family’s autonomy to gain a leg up in this competition.
In the American ideal, family life is a sacred and private sphere, distinct from the outside world. But in our hypercompetitive times, Feeney shows, parents have become increasingly willing to let the inner life of the family be colonized by outside forces that promise better futures for their kids: prestigious preschools, “educational” technologies, youth sports leagues, a multitude of enrichment activities, and — most of all — college. A provocative, eye-opening book for any parent who suspects their kids’ stuffed schedules are not serving their best interests, Little Platoons (Basic Books; March 9, 2021) calls us to rediscover the distinctive, profound solidarity of family life.
Feeney joins Capita in conversation on March 9th at 12 pm.