Nationalizing the Family
Imagine a world with perfect income equality. Nobody is born rich or poor. Parents don’t pass along their wealth to their children. Wealth is distributed equally to the community at large.
In such a world, no child unfairly receives a worse education than his peers. All children receive a free education that uses standardized curriculum. All children gather together in one place to learn.
In a world of income equality, the wage gap between men and women vanishes. No one feels obligated to do housework for free while his or her spouse earns an income outside the home. In fact, housekeeping is a social industry staffed by paid professionals, allowing men and women to focus on careers.
In this world, the care and education of children take place in community nurseries. All children—whether or not they were born to married parents—are looked after by unbiased, paid professional adults. Children in two-parent homes where a mother enhances her children’s education no longer have social advantages above other children.
Men and women no longer face the pressures of trying to make a marriage work for the sake of their children. The welfare of the children is the responsibility of the community, so parents enjoy the freedom to divorce for any reason they choose. The institution of marriage is separated from any social or economic connections and is an at-will association based solely on romantic and sexual attraction.
In a world free of income inequality, the family is not the basic building block of society. Instead, the societal functions that the family traditionally provided are “nationalized” in the hands of the state.
If this world of income equality seems distant or far-fetched now, the more you read about it, the more familiar it will feel.
The Origin of the Family
German philosopher Friedrich Engels taught this utopian vision in a big way.
Engels rejected the religious tradition that God established the family unit of one man and one woman. He believed that as animal species evolved into human beings, their early societies partook in a wide range of sexual relationships, including polygamy, group marriage and promiscuous intercourse. This was the true natural state of the family, he said.
In 1884, Engels published a book titled The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. He argued that the evolution of the family started when human males stopped breeding indiscriminately with every female in the tribe and started directing their reproductive energy toward smaller groups of females.
Engels said it wasn’t until the agricultural revolution that “man took command in the home” and woman became “the slave of his lust and a mere instrument for the production of children.”
Engels boldly identified traditional marriages as undisguised prostitution, a relationship where women trade sex and housework for financial security. He argued that the only purpose of monogamous marriage is to allow men to know which children belong to them so that they can pass their private property on to their own descendants.
Engels’s solution to this private property-motivated patriarchal oppression was to eliminate private property and to make all possessions the property of the community as a whole.
“With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society,” Engels wrote. “Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not.”
Engels’s analysis concluded that “the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry, and that this in turn demands the abolition of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society.” Since children in such a society would be cared for by the state, all relationships between a man and a woman would be based exclusively upon “individual sex love.”
Engels taught that abolishing the scourge of private property would lead to the withering away of the oppressive traditional family structure. His disciples said that “free love” and “sexual emancipation” were virtues to be encouraged to usher in a world where the monogamous family is no longer the “economic unit of society.”
Implementing the Dream
The vision Engels taught of a utopian society caught on. It spread perhaps more than any other ideology of his day. Three decades after his death in 1895, his theories on economics and the family had spread across Asia and Eastern Europe. Russia abolished private property rights in 1917 and forced as many women as possible out of the home and into the factories and other professions. Beginning in 1918, the government launched a nationwide sexual revolution by decriminalizing homosexuality, legalizing no-fault divorce and recognizing unmarried cohabitation as the juridical equal of registered marriage.
Engels’s utopian vision was becoming reality. In 1920, Russia became the first country in the world to provide free abortions upon request. Government bureaucrats were replacing the unpaid labor of women in the home with a society of communal dining halls, day-care centers and public laundries.
The Russian family began to wither away as planned. But a problem arose. Millions of children of the millions of “sexually emancipated” men and women were abandoned. Faced with an economic crisis, the Russian government backtracked on implementing the vision of equality.
Other nations in Asia and Eastern Europe also boldly set forth to abolish “the monogamous family as the economic unit of society” in the quest for perfect income equality. Beginning in 1949, the Chinese government began enacting policies designed to reduce the economic importance of the family. Parents were pressured into putting their children into state-run day care so both spouses could work outside the home. People were encouraged to eat in state-run cafeterias so homes would not require a family kitchen.
As in Russia, however, nothing successfully replaced the family-based economic unit. The nation fell into an economic crisis, and the Chinese government backtracked on the vision of perfect income equality.
People living in the Western world saw these catastrophes in Russia, China and elsewhere, and accepted them as proof that the grand utopian ideal of total income equality was an ideological failure.
But the vision lived on. A philosopher named Antonio Gramsci was adamant that a world with perfect income equality was still possible. During the years when the Russian government was reengineering society, Gramsci emerged as an influential thinker in Italy. Imprisoned by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1926, Gramsci spent 11 years in jail writing an anthology of political theories that came to be called the Prison Notebooks. This anthology was a collection of strategies on how the lower classes could bring Engels’s vision to life—not in the East, but in the West.
The West had flatly and stridently rejected Engels’s methods, ideals and even his vision, yet Gramsci was undeterred. In his Prison Notebooks, Gramsci evaluated Engels’s strategy of violent revolution, government takeover and subsequent withering of the family. He said this method worked only in authoritarian Eastern civilizations like Russia. Since the people of such civilizations were already dependent on the government for their livelihood, all they really needed was a coup d’état to establish a different government.
In Western republics, however, the situation was different. People did not depend on the government; they depended on themselves. Even a successful coup d’état against the government would fail to promote income equality because the people would reject it out of their Christian religious beliefs, their cultural notions about limited government and their attachment to the family.
In the West, Gramsci argued, you had to wither the family first, and then you could take over the government. Gramsci argued that the culture underpinning Western civilization had to be fundamentally transformed before the working class could capture the power of the state. Instead of waging a violent coup d’état against the government, Gramsci advocated a strategy of infiltrating Western culture. He called this plan to establish cultural hegemony through infiltration and subversion, the “Passive Revolution.”
According to the Prison Notebooks, a coup d’état that occurred before the “fortresses and earthworks” of civil society had been subverted would quickly be overthrown by counterrevolutionaries. Get control of the government, and the people will just reject it and elect another one like they had before. The only way to permanently defeat such counterrevolutionaries was to establish a “counterculture.”
The Sexual Revolution
Inspired by the work of Friedrich Engels, a group of individuals at the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, devised a plan to enact Engels’s grand vision using the psychological methods of Sigmund Freud. Applying Freud’s theories about sexual repression to economics, these educators identified the root cause that inhibited Westerners from accepting economic revolution: Judeo-Christian beliefs about sex.
One famous student of Freud was psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, often dubbed the “father of the sexual revolution.” In his 1936 book titled The Sexual Revolution, Reich argued that sexual emancipation would lead to “psychological unburdening” and positive economic change.
The first draft of The Sexual Revolution reported on the societal changes Reich observed on a trip to Russia in 1929. The dismantling of the Russian family structure deeply impressed Reich. He saw it as a huge step toward economic equality. Reich warned that re-criminalizing homosexuality or re-criminalizing abortion or any other attempts to backtrack on the societal changes he observed would ultimately lead to “the demise of the revolution.”
Like Engels and Gramsci, Reich believed the family as a building block of society had to be abolished. He believed monogamous marriages trapped people in an exclusive relationship as a price for financial security. Therefore liberation from Judeo-Christian morality would liberate people from economic reliance on the family unit. As Donald De Marco and Ben Wiker wrote in Architects of the Culture of Death, “Reich saw the family, with its inevitable patriarchal authority, as the chief source of repression. Therefore, the family had to be dismantled.”
While old-school philosophers like Engels thought the family would wither away on its own once property rights were abolished, Gramsci and Reich believed that the concept of monogamous marriage had to be destroyed before the economic revolution could be made permanent.
In January 1964, Time magazine declared, “Dr. Wilhelm Reich may have been a prophet.”
Like Antonio Gramsci, Wilhelm Reich died before his theories took deep root in society. Yet the writings of both men became key inspirations behind the 1960s counterculture movement that spread across the Western world.
The New Left
In the 1960s, many progressive intellectuals and student activists became disillusioned with the tactics of their old ideology. They had focused on labor movements and class struggle, but they needed something new. Thus, a group of educators banded together in 1960 to establish a journal called the New Left Review. Under the editorial leadership of Perry Anderson, the New Left Review popularized the economic theories of Engels, Gramsci, Reich and others.
These New Left activists sought to change the cultural superstructure of modern society by implementing a broad range of reforms on issues such as abortion rights, homosexual rights, gender roles and drug legalization.
The most influential philosopher of the New Left movement was Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was an educator from the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University. His most famous work, Eros and Civilization, repackaged many principles Reich outlined in The Sexual Revolution. The main argument presented in both works was that Judeo-Christian repression of a person’s natural sexual instinct enslaved him to a patriarchal family structure, psychologically inhibiting acceptance of economic liberation.
Journalist and editor Ralph de Toledano dubbed Eros and Civilization “the Bible of the New Left movement.”
Like Reich, Marcuse viewed homosexuality as a key element in the struggle to undermine the traditional family unit. According to An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture, Marcuse “identified the homosexual as the radical standard bearer of sex for the sake of pleasure ….”
Since a homosexual relationship has no defined gender roles and cannot produce children, it has no social function. This is the type of relationship Engels and Reich wanted men and women to have with each other, an association wherein both partners are identical socially, economically, psychologically and in all other respects.
To achieve his goals, Marcuse endorsed a slogan coined by student activist Rudi Dutschke: “The Long March Through the Institutions.” What institutions? Tradition, religion, morality, marriage and especially family. It would be a long campaign, a nod to Gramsci’s theory of cultural warfare against civil society, but in the end it would claim the precious prize of perfect income equality.
In short, the activists of the New Left, like Gramsci, believed Engels had put the cart before the horse. Engels had argued that the abolition of private property would lead to the withering away of the family. Reich, Marcuse and the activists of the New Left said it was the other way round. The withering away of the family would cause society to abolish private property as individuals became more reliant on the state for economic security.
The Democratic Party
One of the primary cultural institutions targeted by the New Left was the Democratic Party in the United States. During the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the New Left’s Students for a Democratic Society rioted against pro-Vietnam War candidate Hubert Humphrey. Such civil unrest succeeded in pushing the Democratic Party further left, leading to the nomination of presidential candidate George McGovern in 1972.
McGovern wasn’t an official member of the New Left himself, but he was sympathetic to its platform and was known as the candidate of “acid, amnesty and abortion.”
The Democratic Party now had its original wing, the labor caucus, and a new wing: the New Left counterculture caucus. The divide between these two wings weakened the party during the election of 1972, and it became more closely associated with the hippie-style protests and Maoist slogans of the New Left. The “silent majority” of Americans became uncomfortable and moved into action, electing the previously unpopular Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon.
Yet the activists of the New Left movement didn’t just disappear after McGovern’s defeat. Instead, as the passions of the 1970s cooled, many Gramsci-inspired student radicals flooded into two professions in particular: academia and community organizing (agitating special interest groups into causing disruptions). As professors, they taught that the classic American narrative about individual liberty and constitutional checks and balances was a mask for the power of wealthy, white European males.
Most of these student activists gave up their catchphrase “Smash Monogamy,” but they didn’t give up its ideal. Instead, they used more subtle means to achieve their goal of undermining the traditional family structure.
Community organizer Saul Alinsky was instrumental in reorganizing the New Left movement.
Alinsky criticized the New Left movement for its flag burning, Maoist slogans and hippie style. He recommended that student activists cut their hair, put on a suit, and infiltrate the system from within.
“If the real radical finds that having long hair sets up psychological barriers to communication and organization, he cuts his hair,” he wrote in his famous book Rules for Radicals. “As an organizer, I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. … That means working in the system.”
Using Alinsky’s methods, activists from the New Left have had great success in working their way into key positions in today’s Democratic Party. Current Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College in 1969 on Saul Alinsky’s methods of cultural infiltration. A decade later, Barack Obama was trained in community organizing at the Alinsky-established Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago.
Today, the platform of the modern Democratic Party is almost identical to the 1960s New Left movement.
As first lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton published a book in 1996 titled It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The premise of this book is that parents do not bear sole responsibility for educating and caring for their children. Instead, the care and education of children is ultimately the responsibility of many different institutions, including teachers, employers, politicians and government agencies.
While “It Takes a Village” sounds more homespun than “Abolish the Family” or “Smash Monogamy,” the ideology behind these slogans is the same: If you want income equality, the private family must cease to be the building block of society.
And so we come full circle, to the 2016 election for the most powerful office in America from the 1840s vision of Friedrich Engels—and his better-known coauthor, Karl Marx.
Marx and Engels published their vision in a manuscript known as The Communist Manifesto. Antonio Gramsci and Wilhelm Reich were both members of the Communist International. Herbert Marcuse was a self-avowed Marxist. Saul Alinsky was deeply influenced by the ideological goals of both Marx and Engels; his disdain for the traditional biblical family may be ascertained in one of the individuals he dedicated his book to: Lucifer. President Obama and Hillary Clinton prefer the term “progressive” (a term popularized in Gramsci’s writings) to describe their political ideology. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders preferred the phrase “democratic socialist.”
At the end of the day, the label these individuals use does not matter. What matters is the vision they share: The social welfare functions that are traditionally performed by the family should be performed instead by a state agency.
Whether or not you believe this destruction of the traditional family was premeditated, it cannot be argued that the redefinition of the American family has led to a redefinition of America’s economic system, just as Reich and Marcuse predicted.
Nationalizing the Family
For the three centuries between the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in 1620 and the start of the Sexual Revolution in 1960, the United States had one of the strongest family structures on Earth. Because the government wasn’t strong enough to give people everything they wanted, it wasn’t strong enough to take away what the people had. Liberty abounded. People relied on their families as a social safety net. Men got married and worked to provide for their wives and children. Women were primarily educators and health-care providers in the home. Parents educated their own children. Relatives cared for the elderly and the sick. In the few isolated cases where someone didn’t have family, private charities and local churches stepped in to fill the need.
All this changed with the rise of the New Left and the counterculture movement it inspired.
The popularization of pornography and premarital sex during the sexual revolution led to the undermining of the matrimonial bond uniting families together, leading to a wave of abortions and divorces. As women left the home in droves to join the workforce, children were left behind in local day-care centers. As these children reached adulthood, many of them gave up on the idea of marriage and family. They were discouraged by their parents’ example and well aware that sex outside of marriage was now socially acceptable.
In 1960, 72 percent of American adults were married, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2014, this figure had plummeted to slightly lower than 50 percent. At that point, for the first time in history, singles outnumbered married adults in America.
As marriage rates plummeted, out-of-wedlock births skyrocketed. While in 1960, 73 percent of U.S. children lived in a home with two heterosexual parents in their first marriage, by 2014 this figure had dropped to 46 percent.
Even those children who do grow up with married parents are seldom reared by a stay-at-home mother and a working father. Between 1955 and 2015, the percentage of mothers in the workforce with children between the ages of 6 and 17 increased from 38 to 74.4 percent. Only about one in five American children today grow up in a home with a working father and stay-at-home mother.
Without masculine fathers and feminine mothers as examples, confusion about gender roles reached such a level that people increasingly started to question the very concept of sexuality itself. The confusion reached a new height in 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized homosexual “marriage.” The court decision represented the start of a new era where marriage is redefined not as a divinely sanctioned monogamous partnership between a man and a woman underpinning the family structure, but as any sexual relationship between consenting partners.
The results of this redefinition of family have been catastrophic for society.
A 2012 study in The Gerontologist found that the number of “elder orphans” has skyrocketed across the nation over the past several decades. This demographic includes middle-aged and elderly people with no spouse, no children and no family to support them in their old age. The study found that about a third of Americans between 45 and 63 years old are single, most of whom never married or are divorced. This represents a 50 percent increase from 1980. The study also found that about 15 percent of 40-to-44-year-old women had no children in 2012.
When society gets to a point where the majority of people don’t have a family to help support them, people have no choice but to rely on the state. Family breakdown in America has reached a point where over 49 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The U.S. government now spends 49 percent of its annual budget on mandatory government entitlement programs. Politicians can talk about the financial dangers of out-of-control welfare spending, but the fact is that a huge chunk of the population uses these programs. Why? In many cases it is because of the dissolution of family. The cultural revolution is well underway!
The uncomfortable truth is that Reich, father of the sexual revolution, was right: If you destroy the family as the basic economic unit of society, you create a culture where people are far likelier to accept state supremacy.
As political analyst Mark Steyn wrote in the New York Post: “Once upon a time, in Britain, Europe and beyond, ambitious leftists nationalized industries—steel, coal, planes, cars, banks—but it was such a self-evident disaster that it’s been more or less abandoned, at least by those who wish to remain electorally viable. On the other hand, the nationalization of the family proceeds apace, and America is as well advanced on that path as anywhere else.” He then quoted Prof. R. Vaidyanathan saying, “The West has nationalized families over the last 60 years. Old age, ill health, single motherhood—everything is the responsibility of the state” (Oct. 19, 2014).
Conspiracy Against Family
In the midst of the sexual revolution, educator and televangelist Herbert W. Armstrong warned that Communist philosophy would strip America of its blessings—the greatest national blessings ever conferred on any people. Based on Bible prophecy, he predicted that Communist thought would pervert America’s morals, sabotage its education system, wreck its social structure, destroy its spiritual life, and weaken its economic power.
As the New Left movement worked to hijack the Democratic Party and to “Smash Monogamy,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in his July 1976 Plain Truth personal: “A solid family structure is the very foundation of any stable and permanent society. But today in the affluent countries a conspiracy is developing which seeks to destroy marriage as an institution, as well as the family.”
He further elaborated with this shocking revelation: “The conspiracy consists of a two-pronged attack: 1) a well-organized movement to subtly influence college students to prefer alternatives to marriage, and 2) an attempt to influence the general public by newspaper and magazine articles, television programs, the lecture platform, the women’s lib movement, and student or former student rebels of the ‘New Left.’ How much of all this propaganda has been planted in the minds of the psychologists, professors, writers, publishers, women’s lib crusaders and others by trained Communist propagandists can only be estimated.”
At the time Mr. Armstrong wrote these words, there wasn’t yet any sensational dent in the number of marriages taking place. Yet today, after 60-plus years of Gramsci-style “passive revolution,” the traditional family is already halfway down the path toward extinction. What remains when the family unit is completely destroyed?
Without strong families to educate children and care for those who can’t care for themselves, people turn to the state for security. History shows that when the state seizes womb-to-tomb responsibility over people’s lives, dictators like Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Josip Tito or Fidel Castro always end up gaining control.
Unhinged Communist philosophers like Engels and Marcuse would have had no effect on modern society if the people knew and clung to God’s law. The problems in America and Britain today are a direct result of the sin of the people. No political candidate is going to “make America great again,” no matter what people think. It is going to take national repentance to bring people back to God and restore this world’s broken family structure.
The American and British peoples long ago rejected God and allowed Satan-inspired philosophy to infiltrate, subvert and divide their nations. God will allow this experience to teach them the natural consequences of broken law. The sad truth is that humanity will have to endure a time of intense suffering due to its own hardheadedness.
A strong family built on the biblical model—with a faithfully married, family-focused father and mother intent on fulfilling their respective roles—is an ideal any clear-thinking person should treasure. Only after people learn this vital lesson will God be able to finally teach all nations the way to true peace, joy and prosperity!