Notebook

Crisis of Trust

law proposal from the government is rich in paradoxes. It affirms that the young now reach psychosocial maturity late, yet would place on teenage shoulders the weight of tremendous decisional autonomy in cases of experienced dysphoria. An observer remarked: ‘We would give our children a gift package without precedent: an immense vacuum, a gigantic black hole, in which they have to work it all out on their own, without any compass other than that of an absolute relativity.’

The proposal premises that ‘asymmetric’ communication is of its nature suspect: that any person of authority (a parent, a teacher, a doctor, or a priest) should be seen as a potential manipulator. Naturally there is a need for prudence. But where will this general crisis of trust take us? The state proposes itself as guardian; but what have we witnessed these past 18 months if not a general collapse of trust in governments? My heart goes out to the young. What battles they have to fight — alone.

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