Collapse of Authority


Britain is steadily becoming “decivilized,” a Conservative member of Parliament declared February 16 (

Following national concern over a spree of shootings in London, Alan Duncan warned that the United Kingdom would be “condemned to decline” if authority over young people is not established. In a speech to the Center for Policy Studies think tank, Duncan called on teachers to be given more authority so they can exert control over children. “The collapse of authority cannot remain undiscussed,” he said. “If there is no fear of authority, there is no respect for it.”

Duncan rightly pins the blame for the breakdown of law and order on the family. However, his hope that the Tories can implement policy changes to fill the vacuum left by a loss of parental authority is doomed to failure.

Home and family life is the foundation of any society. Any remedies aimed at treating the effects of broken family life—such as patching up the education system—will not work.

The late J. Edgar Hoover once stated before the Special Senate Committee investigating organized crime in interstate commerce: “The home is the first great training school in behavior or misbehavior, and parents serve as the first teachers for the inspirational education of youth. … Here the spadework is laid for instilling in the child those values which will cause him to develop into an upright, law-abiding, wholesome citizen. He must learn respect for others, respect for property, courtesy, truthfulness and reliability. He must learn not only to manage his own affairs but also to share in the responsibility for the affairs of the community. He must be taught to understand the necessity of obeying the laws of God” (emphasis ours).

That is something we do not hear public officials in our morally bankrupt society advocating. We must come to recognize that obedience to God’s law—and the teaching of it within the family—is the only solution that will work.