My inner engineer marveled at the simple efficiency of this solution for keeping a dozen children safe while walking down a busy city sidewalk. But my inner sociologist squirmed uncomfortably.
Mind, the kids didn't seem to mind: their eyes were wandering hither and yon as they walked, largely ignoring their right hand held up slightly by the rope. But that's kind of the point -- children at that age learn from everything happening to them. So I have to wonder: what does this teach?
I confess, I find it creepy as all hell. The implicit message seems to be that captivity is right and appropriate, so long as it is intended to keep you safe. I suspect that most people would word that differently, but many would agree with it in spirit. It makes my skin crawl.
To understand a person, it's often best to understand their formative literature. If you want to understand me, I commend the novelette With Folded Hands, by Jack Williamson. (The basis for the followup novel The Humanoids.) It's fairly old (I confess, I last read it decades ago), but perhaps even more than 1984 it shaped much of my political philosophy. If the above scene does *not* make you squirm, the story might help you understand why it does me...