“Baa-Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool? No! My fleece was seized by landowners, priests and fascists. They victimize me because I’m black. And, worse, they’re not vegetarians.”

Here’s my story of the month. A group of far-Left activists hoped to attract more militants to Britain’s Labor Party Conference by offering doctrinally sound child care. Their project was called “Momentum Kids,” Momentum being the alliance of Trotskyists and other radicals who had implausibly propelled Jeremy Corbyn to the Labor leadership.

The organizers promised songs and games that would explore the unequal nature of society. The children would be encouraged to challenge the patriarchy.

If you’re familiar with British newspapers, you can imagine the hilarity with which the proposal was greeted. The headlines were of “Trot tots,” while columnists turned every imaginable pre-school activity into some pun about Communism. Top Marx, columnists.

But here’s a thought. All education involves the arbitrary imposition of values. If you send your children to a church school or a military school or, come to that, a standard public school, you are ensuring that they will be taught a certain world-view.

It may be your world-view, or it may be the government’s; but it’s not one your offspring chose for themselves. In that sense, teaching kids to challenge the patriarchy is no different from teaching them a Catholic catechism.

Teaching involves the constant transmission of values and customs. “Give that toy back to Julie, she had it first”; “Take it in turns”; “That’s not your pen.”

We generally approve of these values, so we don’t see imparting them as a form of indoctrination. Nor do we object when our kids are taught that citizens should be equal before the law, or that governments should be answerable to their populations. But those are just as much political precepts as any taught by Lenin.

If I can put my kids into Sunday School during a church service, you can put yours in the Momentum creche. In the end, we have to trust young people to make up their own minds. And, by and large, they do. After all, a version of Momentum Kids holds sway, in practice, at most British and American universities. Yet, despite decades of teaching by Marxist professors, neither country has fallen to revolution.

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Communists used to hope that children could be turned against their parents. Let them be educated according to socialist principles, ran the reasoning, and they would shame their superstitious parents into changing their views. Think of the Spies, the youth organization in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, whose members were encouraged to report unorthodox opinions in their families.

Or of the revolting Pavel Morozov, murdered by Ukrainian kulaks in the 1930s after shopping his father for hoarding grain. Stalin decreed a full Soviet funeral for the boy but, as the cortege passed, was heard to mutter: “What a rotten little s—t, sneaking on his own parents like that”.

In the event, Orwell’s Spies remained fictional. Two generations of political indoctrination, backed by the full force of a police state, failed to convince Soviet citizens that Marx had been right.

These days, political indoctrination is harder than ever. A 12-year-old with a smartphone is exposed to more ideas than her parents could have imagined. As information accelerates, so does what we might call the market of ideas. If different propositions bounce off each other for long enough, the true ones will eventually displace the false.

And that, ultimately, is why we shouldn’t worry about Momentum Kids. We shouldn’t even fret, in the long term, about the teaching of religious extremism in radical madrassas. Because the best cure for a bad idea is a better one. And there are plenty of ideas out there that are far better than either Momentum’s or Hezbollah’s (the two coincide more than you might imagine).

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George Orwell, writing in 1948, imagined a world in which we’d all be watched through giant screens. Instead, we carry our own screens, holding in our palms more knowledge than an entire government could marshal in Orwell’s day. And we can be sure that the technological miracles of our generation will be surpassed by the next.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow,

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know,

And I think to myself: What a wonderful world.

Dan Hannan is a British Conservative MEP.

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