The Mommy and Daddy Complex
Sometimes I think it’s unfortunate that we have moms and dads. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom and dad very much. They provided for me, they tucked me in at night, and they loved me – something that I will always be grateful for. They had such a profound impact on my life. But there’s one way that they sort of screwed me up – er, screwed all of us up. They gave us the “Mommy and Daddy Complex”
What I’m talking about is the idea that the rest of life works best with a Mommy or Daddy (or Guardian). Take religion. Every single community around the world, since the dawn of time, has come up with their own version of God. From Zeus to Jesus to Mohammad, religious people seem to like the fact that it just ‘feels’ like there should be a god. It gives them proof that there MUST BE a God. If we all feel in our hearts that there is someone guarding over us, then it must be true.
But what if that feeling simply stems from our “Mommy and Daddy Complex”?
Ever since we were born, someone has been taking care of us. Through the neediest part of our lives, we’ve always had a guardian, sacrificing everything for our sake. If we cried, they came to our aid, and hugged us. They took us in their loving arms and told us everything would be okay. It’s a powerful feeling gets buried in our subconscious and makes us feel like there should always be a guardian, even long after our parents are gone.
The Christian God is even called, “Father”, and referred to as a parent many times. He calls us his children. And lots of people see God in their parent’s likeness. If their parents were happy, then God is happy. If their parents were to be feared, then God is to be feared. My image of God is almost exactly the same as my dad. Caring, warm, and liberal. And so, my God was also a liberal.
That brings me to another area that I think people are influenced by the “Mommy and Daddy Complex”: politics. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, lots of people think that the government should take care of us. Like mommy and daddy. It’s just a natural instinct. If someone is in need, the government should help them. The government should do more to educate us, give us healthcare, free cars, and help us get a house. It should give us an allowance, and tell us what’s right and wrong. We have to ask the government about who we can marry, or whether we can own a gun. And if there are bullies, like a big bank, or mean old corporation, then it’s always mommy and daddy who should protect us.
But that doesn’t work in the real world. Governments are large, monsterous creatures, who are focused on backroom deals, and re-election campaigns. Should we really trust the morals and finances of our society to slick talking politicians? The bigger government gets, the more corrupt it gets, all in the name of “taking care” of us. Yet we all accept it because we still have this idea that Government should take care of us like our Moms and Dads.
In a way, my shift from being a Christian Liberal, to an Atheist Libertarian was really a shift in losing the idea that everything worked best with a mommy and daddy. Now I think, maybe some things work better spontaneously. Like a flock of birds, or a school of fish. The world works best when adults are left to their own choices. No one is telling those birds, or those fish what to do. They are figuring it out on their own, and sometimes by helping each other, they survive.
Losing my faith in God and Government was painful. But it was a part of growing up. Realizing that we didn’t need a mommy or daddy for the rest of our lives went against everything I believed. It meant that there wasn’t going to be a safety net. People had to be responsible for their actions. We could take a chance, and fail miserably. But we also had the freedom to take chances — the freedom to prosper. The freedom to do what we wanted, for better or worse. And if we thought carefully, and were willing to work hard, we could make the world a better place, all on our own.