CodeSlinger: ‘The Comprachicos’ (Child Thiefs) by Ayn Rand

Some of the most popular post on this site are the guest-posts by CodeSlinger.  Lately, I have been ranting on about the dangers of segregating school-aged children based on some ‘visible’ criteria:  race, creed, sex, and the like.  This intro is followed by a guest-post by CodeSlinger.

Since a race-segregated school has opened as a pilot project in Toronto, there have been calls for segregating boys out of ‘mainstream  schools’ and into ‘boys-only’ classrooms or schools, run by male teachers (this latter part, of course, is contrary to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms), where the ‘goals’ set for the students would be ‘more achievable’ for ‘boys’.  In other words, ‘maleness’ was re-defined as a ‘physical disability’ for which specialized, dumbed-down classrooms were needed….

CodeSlinger has thought about this:  and, while he asserts that the current atmosphere in our public schools is very damaging to boys, especially when they are young, he has come to agree that the same people who have entrenched ‘Cultural Marxism’ in our classrooms cannot be trusted not to use their position of power and influence to ensure the ‘b0ys-only’ programs are not designed to be even more ‘toxic’ to boys than the current variety is!

As part of this debate, CodeSlinger has offered the following:

The Comprachicos

by Ayn Rand

[emphasis added by CodeSlinger]

The comprachicos, or comprapequeños, were a strange and hideous nomadic association, famous in the seventeenth century, forgotten in the eighteenth, unknown today …

Comprachicos, as well as comprapequeños, is a compound Spanish word that means “child-buyers.” The comprachicos traded in children. They bought them and sold them.

They did not steal them. The kidnapping of children is a different industry.

And what did they make of these children?


Why monsters?

To laugh.

The people need laughter; so do the kings. Cities require side-show freaks or clowns; palaces require jesters …

To succeed in producing a freak, one must get hold of him early. A dwarf must be started when he is small …

Hence, an art. There were educators. They took a man and turned him into a miscarriage; they took a face and made a muzzle. They stunted growth; they mangled features. This artificial production of teratological cases had its own rules. It was a whole science. Imagine an inverted orthopedics. Where God had put a straight glance, this art put a squint. Where God had put harmony, they put deformity. Where God had put perfection, they brought back a botched attempt. And, in the eyes of connoisseurs, it is the botched that was perfect …

The practice of degrading man leads one to the practice of deforming him. Deformity completes the task of political suppression …

The comprachicos had a talent, to disfigure, that made them valuable in politics. To disfigure is better than to kill. There was the iron mask, but that is an awkward means. One cannot populate Europe with iron masks; deformed mountebanks, however, run through the streets without appearing implausible; besides, an iron mask can be torn off, a mask of flesh cannot.

To mask you forever by means of your own face, nothing can be more  ingenious

The comprachicos did not merely remove a child’s face, they removed his memory. At least, they removed as much of it as they could. The child was not aware of the mutilation he had suffered. This horrible surgery left traces on his face, not in his mind. He could remember at most that one day he had been seized by some men, then had fallen asleep, and later they had   cured him. Cured him of what?  He did not know. Of the burning by sulphur and the incisions by iron, he remembered nothing. During the operation, the comprachicos made the little patient unconscious by means of a stupefying powder that passed for magic and suppressed pain …

In China, since time immemorial, they have achieved refinement in a special art and industry: the molding of a living man. One takes a child two or three years old, one puts him into a porcelain vase, more or less grotesque   in shape, without cover or bottom, so that the head and feet protrude. In the daytime, one keeps this vase standing upright; at night, one lays it
down, so that the child can sleep. Thus the child expands without growing, slowly filling the contours of the vase with his compressed flesh and twisted bones. This bottled development continues for several years. At a certain point, it becomes irreparable. When one judges that this has occurred and that the monster is made, one breaks the vase, the child comes out, and one has a man in the shape of a pot.

– Victor Hugo, The Man Who Laughs [Ayn Rand’s translation]

Victor Hugo wrote this in the nineteenth century. His exalted mind not conceive that so unspeakable a form of inhumanity would ever be possible again. The twentieth century proved him wrong.

The production of monsters—helpless, twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted—goes on all around us. But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler than their predecessors: they do not hide, they practice their trade in the open; they do not buy children,  the children are delivered to them; they do not use sulphur or iron, they achieve their goal without ever laying a finger on their little victims.

The ancient comprachicos hid the operation, but displayed its results; their heirs have reversed the process: the operation is open, the results are invisible. In the past, this horrible surgery left traces on a child’s face, not in his mind. Today, it leaves traces in his mind, not on his face. In both cases, the child is not aware of the mutilation he has
suffered. But today’s comprachicos do not use narcotic powders: they take a child before he is fully aware of reality and never let him develop that awareness. Where nature had put a normal brain, they put mental

To make you unconscious for life by means of your own brain, nothing can  be more ingenious.

This is the ingenuity practiced by most of today’s educators.

They are the comprachicos of the mind.

They do not place a child into a vase to adjust his body to its contours.
They place him into a “Progressive” nursery school to adjust him to society.

And what do they make of these children?


Why monsters?

To rule.

So begins Ayn Rand’s essay, The Comprachicos, written in 1970. Since then, the comprachicos of the mind have had almost another half century to refine their technique, broaden the front of their attack, and make sure, in their own words, that no child is left behind.

Download and read the whole essay here:  Ayn Rand – The Comprachicos.

Then go do something about it!

Update:  the link to a pdf version of Ayn Rand’s essay has been added

3 Responses to “CodeSlinger: ‘The Comprachicos’ (Child Thiefs) by Ayn Rand”

  1. Marsha Familaro Enright Says:

    Codeslinger – I couldn’t agree with you more that the bureaucrats in charge of government education can’t be trusted to properly implement programs. I think segregation by sex is perfectly acceptable in a private school, and may have beneficial effects in various circumstances. However, in most situations, I think it’s more educational (i.e. in preparing a child for adult life) to have them in a very cosmopolitan classroom, with people of all kinds of ideas and backgrounds.

    Thank you for posting “The Comprachicos.” I often want to refer people to it and this makes it so easy. I found your post while searching for it to send to someone!

    • CodeSlinger Says:


      You’re very welcome!

      And just to underline my point: the reason “the bureaucrats in charge of government education can’t be trusted to properly implement programs,” as you put it, is not that they are incompetent. They are not failing. They are succeeding in their objective, which is to deaden the minds and break the spirits of their little victims, in order to create a nation of slaves who will be unable to conceive of any other way of life.

  2. Janet Cisneros Says:

    Thanks for sharing.

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