“There is no danger as long as Central and Eastern European governments do not let harmful thoughts to be protected by legal censorship”, said sociologist Dr. Filip Furman in an interview with V4NA. Furman pointed out that early-age exposure to propaganda confuses the child’s mind and insecurity can become a weapon in the hands of the left-wing.
“The left has for years been trying to socialise children according to its own ideology, but even their voters are not open to sex change and homosexual content”, Sociologist Dr. Filip Furman, Director of the Ordo Iuris legal research institute’s Social Sciences and Bioethics Centre said. V4NA asked the expert for his opinion on propaganda tools – often disguised as children’s tales but noticeable for emanating a leftist ideology – that are typically used around children.
“Children who have grown up in traditional families are more or less immune to the extreme leftist ideology”, says Mr Furman. He also points out that books such as Fearless Fairy Tales or the Antiracist Baby – in which the story is focused on LGBT ideology or racism – are often more likely to influence the parents, who will pass on these values to their children.
We can make a distinction between primary and secondary socialisation in every person’s life, Mr Furman explains. Primary socialisation relates to immediate family members, where children learn basic values. During this stage it’s solely the parents’ values that have an impact on children, so the left’s influence in Eastern Europe is not as strong as in the West, because the traditional family model and perception are much more prevalent in Eastern Europe.
Secondary socialisation, however, is different. This phase is not based on the values of children’s immediate family members or those who surround them, but rather on the behavioural patterns of other communities that they are in contact with. “Left-wing propagandists have realised that people who have an established set of values are more difficult to change, so they want to change society and the culture that children are exposed to.” This is how children’s books come into the picture.
Mr Furman explains that children’s minds follow a rather binary logic – perceiving simple truths and lies, as well as good and bad values – so complex issues like normalising untraditional sexual orientations in books like And Tango Makes Three, or the Hungarian book A Fairyland for All (Meseorszag Mindenkie) may confuse children.
“In many instances, the way of thinking behind these stories is completely illogical,” the expert says. “The book called The Antiracist Baby is built on the idea that we should notice and celebrate differences. However, I think it only introduces racism into children’s lives.” Although children notice skin colour, they do not automatically put each other into social categories, so these stories trigger the exact opposite effect.
“Most children would get confused,” Mr Furman points out.
“Children are still learning about concepts in preschool and they are not socialised to this craziness,” he says, adding that “uncertainty doesn’t make them ‘fearless’ but rather confuses them”. “I cant see what good this could achieve,” he notes.
Mr Furman says it is easy to expose the underlying leftist propaganda, because race in Central Europe is not a category that people tend to identify with. The phenomenon is more typical of Western Europe and stems from efforts to compensate their negative historical heritage. “We don’t think in terms of races. I do not identify as white, I identify as a European.” Children also see these differences, but these categories are unknown to them,” he adds.
The expert remains optimistic and predicts that Eastern Europe is unlikely to follow the same path as the West.
“In a social perspective, all I can say is that this sort of propaganda will not be successful,” Mr Furman says, pointing out that it did not gain ground in the West because people “have suddenly become tolerant”, but becaue lobby groups have achieved certain legal changes to promote their own interests. It is not a revolution but a series of amendments and legislative changes. And then, it was no longer possible to speak out against them (say, against the LGBT propaganda) because that would be a breach of the law, which eventually came to protect these harmful thoughts and ideas, he stressed.
“If we are careful enough and avoid making the mistake of adopting laws that censor free thought, and we build on open discussions, we can protect the truth. I’m not worried about Poland or Hungary, but we must be careful,” Mr Furman concluded.