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Children of the FutureChildren of the Future
On the Prevention of Sexual Pathology

With a Preface by William Steig

Paperback $19.00

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux – 1983

"Angels at birth, we become lost souls. And so it has been for ever so long, as we learn from reading the ancients. How does this happen? Why do we humans, in many ways the most intelligent of all animals, fail to realize what every dog, or whale, or mouse spontaneously knows--that he is part of nature and must cooperate with it, obey its laws? Why are we estranged from life? What is wrong with us, with our way of rearing our children? Reich asked such questions all the time. He was one of those extraordinary men who are able to step outside their culture and examine it with innocent eyes. This book contains a part of Reich's enormous work on human pathology. It contains studies, made between 1926 and 1952, of the damage we do to our children by thwarting their natural impulses, some of which are sexual."

       William Steig
       (from the Preface)

In Wilhelm Reich's early work, his knowledge of children came about as a reflection of his work with adults. But his basic interest in preventing disease led him further and further back until he was focused on the newborn, "the unspoiled protoplasm." Reich believed that nothing required our dedication more than an understanding of the impact of the environment on the infant child.

In Children of the Future--a collection of previously published articles as well as new unpublished materials--Reich shows how disastrous the exclusion of genitality is to the young and how important its influence is on their development. For example, in his 1932 work "The Sexual Rights of Youth," published here for the first time in Reich's revised form, he speaks to the young of in terms of what he sees as the real meaning of "the sexual enlightenment" of youth: not the mystery and dangers of procreation , but the essential nature of sexuality and the right of youth to genital satisfaction.

Other chapters include: "The Source of the Human 'No'," "Problems of Healthy Children During the First Puberty (Ages Three to Six)," "Orgonomic First Aid for Children," "Meeting the Emotional Plague," "Armoring in a Newborn Infant," "Falling Anxiety in a Three-Week-Old Infant," "Concerning Childhood Masturbation," and "A Conversation With a Sensible Mother." All of these writings reflect Reich's concrete observations and experiences with children, and several of these chapters are never-before-published case studies from the Orgonomic Infant Research Center (OIRC). Children of the Future also includes a Preface by cartoonist and children’s book author William Steig, a friend and supporter of Reich's, best known today as the author of Shrek, upon which the hit films were based.

"Let the children themselves decide their own future," Reich writes. "Our task is to make them capable of deciding for themselves, and not to destroy their natural powers to do so."

Read an excerpt [PDF]



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