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Nationalizing the Family

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Mark Steyn makes some excellent points in this four-minute excerpt from his speech on “The Nationalization of the Family.”

He notes that the takeover of the family was by far the most consequential act of state ownership of the late 20th century. No question about it. A faceless bureaucracy is being substituted for the only bonds that can create a healthy society: family bonds. Steyn also recognizes that we should grieve far more over the waste of lives than the waste of money by this bureaucratic state. Amen to that.

But I’d like to elaborate a little here. The organic family unit — father, mother, child — is really the template for all healthy human relationships. We all know this in our gut. Without the security of the human bonding in a family, something great is lost to any human being who’s been deprived of it. Children end up more isolated and alienated, and they take all of that baggage into adulthood. People become more detached from others if their sole source of “care giving” is a faceless bureaucracy. In a very real sense, the state can then mediate and dictate all human relationships. For example, a poor single mother is less likely to get married if she knows she’ll lose state entitlements. It’s disturbing as we come to realize that nationalizing the family goes hand in hand with abolishing it.

Also, let’s note how the cliques ruling the bureaucracies can’t recognize human potential, creativity, and innovation. Even if they could, they’re hostile to it all. They squander lives and talent. And they’re in the business of squashing love.

Our only choice, in the end, is for each of us to compete with this machine. It sounds daunting, but we must find a way to build a culture that reaches out in human love and understanding to anyone at risk of falling victim to the machine, and even those who already are. I hope to explore in future posts how we might try to do this.

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