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How the State Destroys Families

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:55 am
by notmartha
Posted on July 21, 2020 by Ben ... -families/
The peculiar consequences that result from government intervention are similar in all areas of economic and social life. Problems such as indifference, evaporating solidarity, irresponsibility, and short-term thinking are more than often caused or exacerbated by—sometimes well-intentioned—government interventions. This holds true for interventions in the financial world and in business, and it is no different with family policy. To make this clear, we first want to make a few comments about the economics of the family and then explain how state intervention tends to destroy families from within.

A Godly Power Plant

According to the Christian definition, the family is a community between a man and a woman and children, before God, with God, and for God. It is a kind of worship. Worship is what bonds the Christian family.

From this covenant of life before God, with God, and for God, a whole series of further consequences follow with logical necessity, e.g., the formal and public alliance of the spouses, lifelong loyalty, openness to many children, rejection of abortion, and Christian witness. Conversely, where there is no reference to God, there is no logical connection between these elements. They then appear as more or less arbitrary conventions. They become optional in the free design of individual lifestyles. Godly principles become superfluous and even considered hindrances.

In a society that loses the love for God, the family also loses its solid form. The Christian family is then gradually replaced by a patchwork of other forms of society, which are set up according to one’s taste. This is inevitable and cannot be prevented.

But the traditional dominance of the Christian family is not only threatened by widespread apostasy, it is also, and massively, under siege by state idolatry. The institution of the state is the greatest idolatry man has invented. It replaces both the family (as a nuclear unit) as well as God Himself in the fact that state makes its own laws.

The most important precondition of this little miracle is that men and women are different, and they happily complement each other. They complement each other in their intellectual and physical abilities, in their social skills, in their spiritual and aesthetic sensibilities, and in their mental lives. It is therefore possible for them to grow together in all these dimensions of being human beyond what would be possible for them alone and on their own.

From a purely economic perspective, families are probably the most efficient form of human organization. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever properly appreciated, not even by the economists. This is probably due to the fact that the family’s performance has many dimensions, most of which are difficult or impossible to measure, in distinct contrast to the performance of a company or of a sports club.

Families are exceptionally efficient, but if there is a lack of faith in the gifts of God, then failure is likely.

But how is this failure promoted by government intervention?

The State and the Family

To answer this question, we first have to consider the nature of the state. According to Max Weber’s well-known definition, the state is a monopoly of legitimate violence. This concept of the state is rooted in the legal concept of the modern state—the state that determines the law at its own discretion. It emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from the debates on the natural law conception of objective law, which is beyond human arbitrariness. In the modern conception, the state itself does not only have special rights that correspond to its special obligations. Rather, it is above the law in a strict sense. The state is completely free to decide what is right and wrong.

Once this concept of the law and of the state has gained a foothold, there is a natural tendency toward unlimited state growth. There is no logical brake on this movement, because the powers and tasks of the state are no longer fundamentally limited, but fundamentally open and unlimited. And there is hardly any economic brake on state growth either, because as it grows, so does the income and power of state servants and all other interested parties.

Family policy has been compromised in the process of ​​state growth in recent years. In the past, various state interventions served to protect the family (tax privileges, child benefits, etc.), but today’s politics are almost exclusively harmful to the family.

Explicit political harm to families by the state is common. Communists like Friedrich Engels correctly recognized the family as a source of bourgeois morality and therefore fought them. The state today considers itself as the legitimate owner and parent of all children, replacing the birth parents.

Tacit damage to the family is a much more important variant. In fact, the family-damaging effects of the state is sometimes not even considered. Monetary policy is an important example. Our current monetary system is designed to create constant price inflation, which in turn creates irresistible incentives for debt, and destruction by it. The risks are obvious. How many families have been broken because they proved to be unable to handle the debt burden? Monetary politicians have no intention of acknowledging this. They simply do not take them into account when making political decisions. And yet these are consequences that result from their decisions.

When the state intervenes it damages family life. Indeed, on the one hand, such interventions burden families financially, and, on the other hand, they make families superfluous. State usurps the God-ordained family structure. One important example is emancipation policy in the name of feminism. The state-funded all-day schools and all-day kindergartens expressly aim to alleviate the natural and healthy roll of the female. All of this fits seamlessly into feminist politics since the 1970s: abortion rights, divorce laws, custody laws, etc.

It is clear that this policy does not support the Christian family. In fact, it damages the family by worsening the relationship between the costs and benefits of family life. It reduces the incentives to start a family and keep it alive even under resistance. All-day schools and all-day kindergartens are financed through family taxation, so the returns to family life decrease while the need for additional monetary income increases. There are increased divorces and increased numbers of single mothers. This connection is further reinforced by the fact that the incentives for men to start a family also decrease. For one thing, you have to expect a higher probability of failure from the start. On the other hand, divorce law very often means economic ruin for men.

If you wanted to reduce families, you couldn’t think of anything better.