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The next step in the culture war is the assault on the traditional family

The idea is that having family, growing up with two parents, is privileged, and that this creates inequity. Any inequity must be crushed.
Sumantra Maitra Nottingham, UK

After the leftist progressives have tackled police and government, they will come for the family. The idea is that having family, growing up with two parents, is privileged, and that this creates inequity. Any inequity must be crushed.

Bethany Letiecq, professor in the Human Development and Family Science program at George Mason University called for the abolishing of family, and this concept has been increasingly growing in academic circles. There have been several recent articles calling for abolishing of the family, including in Open Democracy, Outline, and even The Nation. Letiecq, the author of  a paper "Surfacing Family Privilege and Supremacy in Family Science: Toward Justice for All," coined the concept of Family privilege. These arguments are all rhetorically similar and are couched in ideas of "justice."

"Family privilege recognizes that some families are the beneficiaries of unearned or unacknowledged advantages... our society values and privileges heterosexual marriages over other relationships, including couples who live together, raise children together, and choose not to marry," Letiecq argued. "Marriage as an institution is patriarchal and hegemonic at its base," she wrote, designed by men to have a hold of power. Needless to mention, that is ahistorical and complete nonsense. And yet, it is increasingly echoed by others.

"There is no doubt that the most effective way to mitigate privilege would be to eliminate the family. Without parents, grandparents, siblings, or any kin relations, we could become equal." The group Black Lives Matters acknowledges their official position stating that they intend to "disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and 'villages' that collectively care for one another, especially our children."

Feminist lobby group Family History Project argues for abolition of traditional families by claiming that conservatives have weaponized traditional marriage. Earlier, a few years back, the best-selling new academic book in feminism was "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family," by British-American feminist Sophie Lewis, who argued that "gestation" is work, like any other work and therefore there should be no kinship attached to it, and women should simply be treating childbirth as labour.

"Abortion is a form of necessary violence. We need to move away from arguments designed to placate our enemies, and defend abortion as a right to stop doing gestational work," Lewis claimed, adding that that is the only way for women to reclaim their power, and abolish the traditional family.

Lewis proudly claims to be a Marxist, and wants to abolish not just family but capitalism as well. Coming from a broken and abusive family herself (obviously) she believes that family is the root to all evil, including "discomfort, coercion, molestation, abuse, humiliation, depression, battery, murder, mutilation, loneliness, blackmail, exhaustion, psychosis, gender-straitjacketing, racial programming, and embourgeoisement." Others are not as out and proud, which makes them even more dangerous.

In the traditional western understanding of Marxism, the focus is almost always on class conflict and violent revolution. However, that is also a narrow understanding. A much deeper aspect is often overlooked; Marxists primarily hate family and nations, the units of society, which are the greatest hindrance to true egalitarianism, alongside faith, and flag. In the 1920s, Marxist Alexandra Kollontai outlined how family is viewed under Marxism.

"The family breaks down as more and more women go out to work," Kollontai wrote, adding that "The old family structure is now merely a hindrance. Communism liberates worm from her domestic slavery and makes her life richer and happier." You see, under communism and true egalitarianism, there won’t be any personal belonging and attachments, and that includes children.

"The woman who takes up the struggle for the liberation of the working class must learn to understand that there is no more room for the old proprietary attitude which says: 'These are my children, I owe them all my maternal solicitude and affection; those are your children, they are no concern of mine and I don’t care if they go hungry and cold–I have no time for other children.' The worker-mother must learn not to differentiate between yours and mine; she must remember that there are only our children, the children of Russia’s communist workers."

Any religion gives a sense of forgiveness and commonality, and any flag gives a sense of nationalism and unity, and family is the ultimate symbol of aspiration. But all these supersedes class consciousness, and naturally are detrimental to an egalitarian flattening social system. The original Leninists wanted this egalitarianism under a single totalitarian state. But that’s just one school of Marxism.

The post-60s new left, and feminism, for example, were much stealthier, and far more destructive. Lewis and Letiecq are not the first ones calling for abolition of family. In the late 60s, feminist philosopher Kate Millet urged her followers to understand that the only way to gain true equality is by destroying heterosexual family, by means of pornography, prostitution and promiscuity. In The Dialectic of Sex, book written by American feminist Shulamith Firestone in 1970, childbearing was considered a form of labour performed by women (workers) who were legally subordinate to their husbands (the owners of the means of production).

In the 1968s Paris revolt, the Comité d'action pédérastique révolutionnaire, and the Front homosexuel d'action révolutionnaire (clue is in the name) desired "true Marxist egalitarianism" which will destroy the masculine foundations of both capitalism and Soviet style Leninism. Small traditional heterosexual family, as always is the primary threat to leftist state ideology and totalitarianism as child bearing is simply considered labour supply for the society.

A few years back, one would have laughed at such utopian notions. The argument goes like this, the Marxist argument for abolition of the family has been there forever, so what is the threat now? The difference is this: In the 60s and 70s, the majority of the west had a semblance of religious and traditional morality. The universities were not radical hubs churning out revolutionaries funded by tax dollars.

The media, while biased, were not openly contemptuous and destructive in its agenda. And the conservatives were not afraid to legislate, and didn’t leave it all to the judiciary, with defeats after defeats in every social issue. As Bethany Mandel wrote in 2017, the argument of slippery slope is very real. It was easy to laugh it all off in 2010 or even in 2015, not so much in 2020. The last remnants of the traditional family is the next and final battleground, one that cannot be lost at any cost, if one wants to preserve society as we know it.

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Sumantra Maitra
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