Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Adams Family Values

One of the fairly common arguments against communism made by some Christians like Peter Hitchens is the idea that the family stands as a bulwark against the State,  pointing out as he repeatedly does how his visits to the then Soviet Russia revealed to him the almost visceral hatred for the family manifested by the Soviet State.

This may seem semi plausible but when closely examined is revealed as fallacious, misleading -deliberately so I would suggest - and totally ill founded.

The family contrary to Hitchens characterisation can embody the most evil and  illiberal of values, indeed it represents the collective principle and is in essence a collectivist construct where many injustices go unseen and uncorrected, where tyranny can rage behind closed doors in an environment of faux domesticity, where individual aspirations can lie crushed, unborn, thwarted, suppressed mocked and destroyed.

The family is a collectivist unit where individualism can be implictlyy or explicity denied discouraged disavowed and forcibly suppressed which one suspects is why the likes of Hitchens as a Christian fundamentalist at heart if not in overt proclamation is so enamoured of it. The self according to him should be collectivised into the manifestation and  encouragement of performances of selfless tasks,  the antithesis of his repeatedly expressed bete noire, 'selfism'.

Does not the sinister term selfism conjure up the Orwellian notion of the crime of 'own life' the audacious desire for personal autonomy?

Now granted in a family unit the children are the recognized wards of the parents who have delimited rights over their upbringing and can be very beneficial vehicles for childhood development  and up to 18 the child should respect his parents if they are worthy of such respect but true individual development and independence  is implicit in the dissolution of the family unit and the individualization of its constituent parts.

The bulwark against communism and collectivism is not the mini collectivism of the family but the defense of individual rights which it seems many Christians find as problematic as the communists who they allegedly  oppose.

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