The Imaginary Children Bring Terror

Previously I had written how Imaginary Children were important to many a conspiracy theorist. By claiming to save children that didn’t exist – from the not-born, to the not-real, to the in-the-imagined future – people justified all sorts of grifts, conspiracy theories, and so on. “For the children” is both a triggering set of words and a meme because of how common it is.

These phantom children also justify all sorts of extreme responses.

To say one is going to “save the children” is an excuse to pretty much do anything you want – after all, doesn’t everyone want to do that? There’s no amount of money (belonging to other people) that you can spend, no amount of surveillance you can’t do, no amount of arrests you can’t make. “The children” are the ultimate excuse.

And of course for authoritarians, the perfect excuse.

To say one is going to “save the children” also means anyone you accuse of harming them is also undeniably evil. Who would ever want to hurt (the made-up) children but someone irredemably evil? You can do anything to anyone you want if you accuse them of hurting children first, even imaginary ones.

Again, perfect for authoritarians and bigots, but perhaps I repeat myself.

However, even if people are not harming the illusionary children, people who are in the way are still a barrier. If they question you or don’t want to go on a crusade, they’re at best someone to ignore if not outright enemies. Plus you can convert anyone questioning your love of false children into a villain when you need to.

An endless supply of enemies to send minions after.

In fact, to say you’re doing things “for the children” – especially future children – let’s you justify ignoring or creating problems. Ignore climate change, we have children to save. Creating a police state mine just be fine if you’re saving the children. Not paying your workers a living wage is important because your great wealth will be used for the future children – honestly.

If it’s for the children, you can do anything. Also you might just by coincidence become rich and powerful. Imaginary children are perfect tools for grifters, con-artists, and authoritarians.

Again, what’s weird to me, what is hard to understand, is how people can so easily ignore real children. Maybe it’s because real children aren’t perfect, aren’t the right color, and take effort to take care of. Maybe dealing with real children requires one confront the horrible reasons they suffer. Either way, plenty of folks seem to prefer imaginary kids to real ones – probably because they’re an excuse.

It’s up to us to focus on real people, kids or otherwise, because those focused on imaginary children will use them as an excuse to be terrible. It’s important to focus on real people because the people worried about imaginary children will use them as an excuse to be terrible to them.


It’s Imaginary Children All The Way Down

Imaginary Children play a huge role in America’s “extractive politics.” By extractive politics I mean those that use people and their resources as fuel, usually returning nothing, and often causing them great damage. One way to get people to go against their own interests is to invoke imaginary children.

We’ve seen this with evangelizing charities promising to help children in other countries – of course middlemen took their cut, evangelized, and ignored the real causes of suffering in the world. But everyone got to pat themselves on the back while surprisingly little got done. You might see pictures of real children in need, but there was always an abstraction in the pitches and grifting that made them less than real.

Then there’s abortion in America, which historically was just a way to get votes without resorting to old racism routines. People are wound up by politicians and preachers to absolutely get distraught over imaginary children while ignoring the plight of very real human beings. You never see someone say “I worry about the children so I am against abortion and for universal health care” or something. So people vote anti-choice and then suddenly find they can’t get IFV, medical treatments, and so on and everything is worse. No real children or people are helped, but those maybe-babies are somehow safe.

(Of course, you’ll notice racist crap keeps coming into the anti-choice side when they argue things like we need more babies so we’re not replaced with some kind of non-white people. Anti-Abortion politics always had racial fear in it.)

Further along the grift-on-imaginary is the Satanic Panic crap over the centuries that morphed into the entire QAnon/Save the Children insanity of the 2010s-2020s. Evil forces were doing awful things to children in rituals, draining their blood to make drugs, and other things fevered grifters and sanity-challenged posters could come up with. Just like other Satanic Panics there was no evidence, because it was all just a mix of grift and attempts to call political opponents child-victimizing pervert Satanists. It was all about imaginary children, and it led to real-world consequences from conspiracy theorists.

Oh, and of course, those propagating these conspiracy of child-consuming cabals somehow ignored real children, real suffering, and questionable sexual behavior among their heroes. Because of course they did.

By the time you get to imaginary evil cults victimizing imaginary children it imaginary scenarios it feels like you’ve hit peak made-up-child-for-grift. Where can you go when you resurrect anti-Semetic tropes, witch-hunts, bonkers consiracy theories, and pathological politics and voltron them together? It feels like there’s no where else to go in the field of finding ways not to give a shit about real kids.

Wrong, you can go into the future and take the Imaginary Kids to the final fronteir.

We see this in weird futurists, startup grifters, and long-termist pseudo-philosophers. They have to think about the kids of the future! Those Future Kids are just as important as kids these days if not more so! Also this justifies them getting rich doing cryptocurrency startups for nutritional supplements and not paying their taxes. Someday all that money they have will be used to make a better future, and not just wasted in a midlife crisis after their fifth divorce and an FTC investigation.

The Imaginary Kids have gone cosmic, and assholes can justify being part of an exploitative economy and abusing people because they might help Future Kids. It’s not a grift or daddy issues, really!

Conspiracy bullshit, religious fanaticism, and futurist greed-excusing are all the same. They rely on Imaginary Kids to get you to buy their crap and excuse their abuse.

Its up to us to focus on real people, not empower these assholes, and shove their face into the suffering they excuse and cause.

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