n+1 shares Marco Roth’s “On Torture and Parenting,” an essay originally published in 2006, in light of the release of Roth’s recent memoir, The Scientists: A Family Romance.

Roth, one of the founding editors of n+1, explores the parallels between parenting and torture, eventually leading to an exploration of the torture perpetrated by the then-current Bush Administration. At the time, Roth and his wife were figuring out the most humane way to establish a sleep schedule for their child.

“Everything we do with our daughter is governed by love, and we wish her to become a full and free individual, capable of love in her own right. Intention, however, is a thin defense. Love has never prevented people from mistreating their children: ‘This hurts me more than it hurts you!’ And indeed—for here is the thing—the Bush Administration has relied very heavily on the excuse of good intentions in its bid to make torture acceptable to Americans.”

Jack Taylor is a Rumpus Intern, gangly fellow, and Steal the Bacon enthusiast. More from this author →