The radical left has always made clear its aversion to marriage, family, and parenting. And the notion that we can and should somehow get by without them has long been with us. Way back in Plato’s Republic for example we were told that the individual needs to be sidelined or eliminated and that children should be raised communally, and taught the value of the collective and being one with the state.
Many have sought to follow this advice, including of course the Marxists. One of the first things done after the Russian Revolution was to seek to abolish marriage and family. Some years ago columnist Miranda Devine put it this way:
This anti-family ideology was adopted with gusto by the post-revolutionary Soviets who passed decrees in 1917 which made divorce easy, recognised only civil marriages, abolished shared family property and banned adoption. In 1918 courts took over parental rights. “True liberation of women, true Communism comes about only when the masses rise up … against … small-scale households,” wrote Lenin in 1919. You will find these ideas in every feminism and gender studies course in universities today. But you probably won’t find their real-life consequences, which were catastrophic for Russian society.
By 1920, divorces increased 100 fold, the birthrate plummeted, abortions skyrocketed, and 75 per cent of marriages lasted less than six months. Nearly seven million homeless children “roamed the streets, starving, dying of disease, and forming criminal gangs,” wrote Geoffrey Hosking in A History Of The Soviet Union. The Communists tried to reverse their anti-family policies but the damage was done. And now, we are marching in their footsteps, doomed by blissful apathy to repeat the mistake.
This failed experiment has not deterred the leftists, however. They are forever pushing their coercive utopianism, and that always means targeting the family. Back in 2015, Paul Kengor wrote an important volume called Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage (WND Books). In an article that appeared that year discussing the book he said this:
Efforts to fundamentally transform marriage and family have been long at work, but never (until now) accepted and pushed by the mainstream. In the past, these efforts were spearheaded by the most dangerous radicals. For two centuries, leftist extremists made their arguments, from the 1800s to the 1960s, characterized by the Communist Manifesto, where Marx and Engels wrote of the “abolition of the family!” Even then, in 1848, Marx and Engels could call “abolition of the family” an “infamous proposal of the communists.”
“Blessed is he who has no family,” Marx wrote to Engels, at best only partly in jest. Marx’s partner in crime detested family and marriage so much that he refused both. The ideological duo fulminated against the “bourgeois claptrap” of marriage, which was merely a “system of housewives held in common.” Engels was carrying the banner to smash monogamy a century before the 1960s New Left adopted the credo.
Efforts to revolutionize family and marriage continued, from socialist utopians like Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, and Albert Brisbane to cultural Marxists in the Frankfurt School such as Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich to 20th-century leftists and progressives ranging from the Bolsheviks—Lenin, Trotsky, Alexandra Kollontai—to Margaret Sanger, Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, and ’60s radicals Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Mark Rudd.
And this battle against the family continues. I just came upon an article so bizarre and so horrifying that I am still trying to determine if it is satire or not. Sadly, I think he is being dead serious. I never heard of the guy or the site he writes for, but this is scary as all get out.
I refer to Joe Mathews and his piece, “California should abolish parenthood, in the name of equity.” Yes, he actually said that. So nutty is this guy that I hate to give him any airspace. But given that others have, let me speak to this briefly. His pitch is this: if we want true equity and equality, we must get rid of parents and share children around. His piece begins:
If California is ever going to achieve true equity, the state must require parents to give away their children. Today’s Californians often hold up equity — the goal of a just society completely free from bias — as our greatest value. Gov. Gavin Newsom makes decisions through “an equity lens.” Institutions from dance ensembles to tech companies have publicly pledged themselves to equity.
But their promises are no match for the power of parents. Fathers and mothers with greater wealth and education are more likely to transfer these advantages to their children, compounding privilege over generations. As a result, children of less advantaged parents face an uphill struggle, social mobility has stalled, and democracy has been corrupted….
My solution — making raising your own children illegal — is simple, and while we wait for the legislation to pass, we can act now: the rich and poor should trade kids, and homeowners might swap children with their homeless neighbors. Now, I recognize that some naysayers will dismiss such a policy as ghastly, even totalitarian. But my proposal is quite modest, a fusion of traditional philosophy and today’s most common political obsessions.
And what traditional philosopher does he appeal to? Yep, you guessed it: Plato and his Republic. He goes to say this:
Perhaps such coercion sounds dystopian. But just imagine the solidarity that universal orphanhood would create. Wouldn’t children, raised in one system, find it easier to collaborate on global problems? Now, I don’t expect universal support for universal orphanhood. A few contrarians, lost in the empty chasm between American extremes, might object to this rational proposal on emotional grounds.
Good grief. A few contrarians? You mean 99.99 per cent of humanity who think otherwise. This guy is fruitloop crazy. And even though – thankfully – everyone but a few deranged moonbeams will reject his insanity, there have been other attempts at this, by more respectable types. The classic case was Hilary Clinton’s 1996 book, It Takes a Village.
But as Dale O’Leary remarked, the book appears to be “full of wonderful, apparently profamily wisdom. Underneath, however, one finds the gender feminist ideology. The book should be titled It Takes a Federal Bureaucracy because the village Mrs Clinton envisions isn’t a close-knit community where neighbors share common values and support one another, but a place where families are dependent on government programs.”
Yep, this is all about the State as Saviour. Mere parents are just not up to the task, so let’s steal children away from them and let Big Brother raise them. And there is a reason for this. All lefties know that if you can destroy the family unit, you then have the naked individual fully dependent on and enslaved to the State.
Recall that it was the Italian fascists who coined the term “totalitarianism.” Benito Mussolini defined it as follows: “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” Whether we get euphemisms about the village raising our kids, or nutters saying that equity demands that we have the State force all parents to give up their children, this IS totalitarianism in action.