We are facing a barbarian but a
determined enemy. We must not only know our enemy, but we must also know
our own weaknesses. It is through our weaknesses that our enemy can win.
It is my firm conviction that
the West has major faults that if not amended it would not be able to
withstand the onslaught of Islam. Every person who has converted to Islam
has stated that the reason was his or her disgust of the immorality of the
western society. Morality and family values are the topics that the
Islamist propagandists use to put their toe in the door. Whether you like
it or not the western society is losing its traditional values and because
of that it is weakening. This is a major fault that could make the West
succumb to Islam. Therefore I believe talking about family, morality and
traditional western values should be the core of our war against Islam.
This is a war. In war you need not just a sword but also a shield. We must
recognize and cover our vulnerabilities. If you disagree with the premise
of this article, please click on the comment and make yourself heard.
The Left’s War on the Family
Thomas S. Garlinghouse
have long advocated the importance of strong families and deplored
efforts, by socialists, feminists, and government bureaucrats, to weaken
familial ties. Indeed, for
many conservatives, the family—the traditional, “nuclear”
family—is the fundamental cornerstone of society, an absolutely
indispensable form of social organization.
As John Mueller of the Family Research Council, a conservative
advocacy group, has argued, “the basic social unit of society is the
family-based household.” Similarly,
former secretary of education William Bennett has written, “the nuclear
family, defined as a monogamous married couple living with their children,
is vital to civilization’s success.”
by contrast, have long taken a decidedly jaundiced view of the traditional
family. To them, a household consisting of an adult male and
female—united in matrimony—and their offspring is an antiquated,
repressive institution standing in the way of constructing a “better,”
more egalitarian world.
famous 19th century socialist Robert Owen included the family, along with
marriage and private property, in his “triumvirate of evil,” which, he
asserted, has “cursed the world ever since the creation of man.”
He advocated the public care of children at his utopian community
“New Harmony” in Posey County, Indiana.
The family, Owen declared, must give way to the “scientific”
association of from five hundred to two thousand people.
By association, Owen meant that children ought to be transferred
from parental to institutionalized care.
This was a task heartily embraced by one of Owen’s chief
“lieutenants,” William Maclure. He
developed a Spartan system of education for the children of “New
Harmony,” which consisted of divorcing children from their parents and
placing them in communal living arrangements.
have likewise almost invariably proposed to destroy, change, or regulate
the institution of the family. Marx
and Engels in the Communist
Manifesto were hardly coy about their distaste of the family,
declaring that the “hallowed correlation of parent and child” is
nothing more than “bourgeois claptrap.”
They went on to add, “Do you charge us with wanting to stop the
exploitation of children by their parents?
To this crime we plead guilty.”
Engels even devoted an entire book, his The
Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, to an extended
attack on monogamous marriage and the family.
First published in 1884, the book focused on early human history,
following the disintegration of primitive societies, which Engels believed
were characterized by an early form of communism, and the emergence of a
class society based on private property.
Engels identified the family as the basic unit of capitalist
society, and of female oppression. He
declared that the family unit is a decadent, destructive, and wasteful
institution for everyone except the ruling class.
their cue from Marx and Engels, many Communist governments have attempted
to curtail and regulate the institution of the family.
Alexandra Kollontai, the Commissar for Social Welfare in the Soviet
government, wrote in 1920, “There is no escaping the fact: the old type
of family has seen its day…It is worse than useless, since it needlessly
holds back the female workers from more productive and far more serious
work.” And in communist
China, the regulation of the family is well known.
Since 1980, China has pursued a policy of limiting one child per
family. The so-called “Womb
Police,” members of the State Family Planning Commission, vigorously
enforce this edict, often posting details of the menstrual cycles of women
for public display. Violation
of the “one child” policy frequently results in heavy fines and
imprisonment as well as compulsory sterilization and abortions.
contemporary leftists, especially Marxist-inspired feminists, would concur
with the sentiments of Engels and Kollontai.
Indeed, many have taken up where their 19th century forbears left
off. Gloria Steinem, the
famous celebrity feminist, once declared, “We have to abolish and reform
the institution of marriage…By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our
children to believe in human potential, not God…We must understand what
we are attempting is a revolution, not a public relations movement.”
and feminist Toni Morrison concurred, announcing, “The little nuclear
family is a paradigm that just doesn’t work.
It doesn’t work for white people or for black people.
Why we are hanging on to it, I don’t know.”
Bane, a professor of education at Wellesley College made the statement
that, “In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away
from families and communally raise them.”
author Vivian Gornick made the observation that, “Being a housewife is
an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and
plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be.
The heart of radical feminism is to change that.”
Gordon, a radical feminist writer, attempted to rally her sisters by
announcing, “The nuclear
family must be destroyed,
and people must find better ways of living together…Whatever its
ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively
revolutionary process. Families
have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units,
unable to join together to fight for common interests.”
foursquare against the institution of the family has become something of a
cottage industry for feminist academicians and writers.
But their criticism of the family is intellectually dishonest, in
as much as anti-family advocates are generally mute when it comes to
proposing concrete alternatives to family organization. How society is to
be rearranged once the family is dissolved is never explained.
The experiment conducted by Israel’s socialist
kibbutzim settlements, taking children from their parents and raising
them collectively, has been almost completely abandoned, in favor of more
conventional nuclear family life. In
the few surviving kibbutzim, children
live with and are raised by their parents rather than by the community as
references are still occasionally made by theoreticians to communal living
arrangements, in which children are removed from their parents’ care and
placed in some form of state-sponsored facility.
But just exactly how this is to be accomplished is never specified.
By coercive force? What
if some people object? What
is to be done then? And what
about the numerous studies showing that, compared to children raised in
families, institutionalized infants are slower in learning how to sit up,
grasp objects, walk and talk, and are often undersized even when they
receive adequate food?
failure of leftists to propose serious alternatives to family organization
doesn’t mean, of course, that anti-family advocates aren’t deadly
serious about their stated goals. On
the contrary, while their alternatives to family organization may be
ill-considered and intellectually bankrupt, their hostility toward the
family is quite real. Nor
does it mean that their anti-family diatribes should be taken lightly.
Much damage has been caused by ill-conceived and emotionally
charged rhetoric (“Ideas have consequences,” as the conservative
writer Richard Weaver once said).
numerous other intellectual fads and fashions, the animosity toward the
family has managed to seep into the larger culture, and has influenced
millions of women (and many men). In
college, for example, feminist professors wield enormous influence,
especially on impressionable young women.
These students are often told that marrying and starting a family
is a betrayal of womanhood. In
even more explicit terms, they are taught that marrying, having children,
and assuming the role of a housewife is tantamount to being a slave or a
perhaps even more influence, however, is the widespread belief—currently
enjoying cachet among the intellectual elite—that the two-parent family
is nothing more than a socially created fiction, or, in the parlance of
postmodernism, a “social construct.” There
is nothing neither new nor original about the postmodernist approach to
deconstructing social institutions, such as the family.
Such a perspective goes back to the ancient Greek sophists, who
made many of the same observations. The family, when viewed as a mere
arbitrary choice of the moment, is seen as in a continual state of
evolution; it is a transitory phenomenon, something that can be altered
and changed according to fiat.
in anthropological terms, the family is difficult to define.
If anything, anthropology has demonstrated that, cross-culturally,
the family is an institution that takes many forms, from the Tibetan
polyandrous household to the Hopi extended family. Variety, however, does
not rule out the preponderance of a single form. The
nuclear family, though not universal, has been quite prevalent throughout
human history. It is by no
means a recent historical invention or the result of the Industrial
Revolution, as some scholars have suggested.
In fact, nuclear families were the dominant form of human kinship
during hunter-gatherer times, which accounts for more than 90% of human
leftist ideologues would like to use this observation as a club with which
to bludgeon advocates of two-parent families.
But, as should be clear, the fact that different family forms exist
says absolutely nothing about their relative merit or value.
An evaluation of this sort requires comparing the effectiveness of
different family forms within the same cultural context.
It requires assessing each form’s performance vis-à-vis certain
criteria, such as caring for, raising, socializing and preparing children
for adult life.
one uses this type of evaluation, it is increasingly clear is that, in the
context of modern Western society, the nuclear family is an
important—even indispensable—form of human organization.
It is now literally impossible for any informed person to maintain
that the family “doesn’t work,” is harmful to children, or is
outmoded and antiquated.
after study has shown that children who live in single-parent homes tend
to have more problems—emotional, educational, and physical—than
children living with both parents. It
is a well-known statistic, for example, that fully 70% of all prison and
reform school inmates come from fatherless homes.
It is equally well known that instances of abuse in single-parent
households are much higher than in two-parent households.
Children in single-parent households are 77% more likely to be
physically abused and have a 165% greater chance of experiencing physical
neglect, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
study. And, according to a
recent Swedish study, children who are raised in households with only one
parent are more likely to suffer health problems, such as mental illness
and suicide risk, than children raised by two parents.
Left’s ongoing war against the family—for surely it is a war—has
been deeply destructive. The
above statistics demonstrate just how destructive this war has been.
Removing the father from the home and denigrating the role of
motherhood has opened the door to a host of social pathologies that
currently afflict American society. Rather
than liberating women and children from the supposed “tyranny” of the
family, the Left, in its headlong quest to remake society, has unleashed
social chaos, poverty, illegitimacy, and crime.
For many leftists, of course, this is their goal.
Underlying the Left’s hatred of the family is an even greater
antipathy toward Western culture in general and American society in
particular. Anything that
might undermine the American way of life, such as the devaluation of the
family, is heartily applauded by leftists.
all this in mind, it is time for conservatives and those who value
American society to stand up and redouble their efforts to preserve and
defend the traditional family. It
is also time to peg leftists with their true label—enemies of American
author holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California,
Davis, and works as an archaeologist in Santa Cruz, California.