Why Progressives Are Trying to Destroy the Family

November 2, 2021 Updated: November 2, 2021


It has long been policy among Marxist progressives, socialists, and communists to undermine and destroy the family. The reason is obvious: When your goal is to vest all power in the government, any independent organization, such as the family, that retains the loyalty of citizens withholds power from the government. The commitments of families are to its members, not to the government, and Marxists think that this should be forbidden.

The self-proclaimed Marxist Black Lives Matter declared on its website, until it saw fit to scrub it off, that one of its objectives, along with disbanding the police, was destroying the two-parent family. Two-parent families are rare among African Americans, but in spite of poor academic performances, a high level of gang membership, a high level of incarceration, and a horrific rate of violent murder among African American youth, Black Lives Matter’s view is that one-parent families are a good plan. Black Lives Matter thinks that all will be fine (for them) once they take over.

Totalitarian societies such as National Socialist Germany, the Soviet Union, Soviet Eastern Europe, and communist China strived to undermine family loyalties, encouraging family members to inform on one another. Any anti-government sentiment, or even insufficiently strong pro-government sentiment, are grounds for re-education and punishment. Children are taught in government schools to vet their parents, and report them to the authorities if they’re not enthusiastically patriotic.

Kibbutzim in Israel were founded on the communist model. Everything was handled at the community level; nothing was left to the family unit: Cooking was communal, as was eating in the community cafeteria. Children resided and were reared in the community children’s house. But over the next decades, Kibbutzniks slowly had a change of heart, and mothers wanted more time with their children, first weekends, then full-time family apartments. Children, too, when they hit adolescence, were unwilling to reside and dress and undress in front of children of the opposite sex. Eventually unisex overalls were exchanged for clothes suitable for binary gender roles.

The logic of feminism, having incorporated Marxist class conflict for its identity politics, disparages men, marriage, motherhood, and families. What holds the greatest value for feminism is being able to kill unborn children. The feminist goal is not to support the government, but to take over the government, so that females can rule. The family stands in the way, so it has to go.

The two-parent family was the dominant form of the family, in all racial and ethnic groups, during the first half of the 20th century. But by the 21st century, the two-parent family was prominent only among Asian Americans and white Americans, with single-parent families a major percentage among Hispanics, Native Americans, and African Americans.

The two-parent family was also stripped down in both structure and function. In traditional societies in the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, and elsewhere, families were either multigenerational, compound, or extended, with a large number of relatives providing a wider family within which the two-parent family was nested. In the 21st century, two-parent families, not to mention single-parent families, were in many cases on their own. This is largely the result of the spatial and social mobility facilitated and even required by an advanced industrial and post-industrial economy.

The traditional family was the basic productive unit of society, usually engaged in agricultural production. Children provided the necessary manpower to get the labor-intensive, multiple tasks done. Think of an American or Canadian family farm at the turn of the 20th century. Male children also provided the strong arms of the family militia that would defend, if necessary, the members and property of the family. In the 21st century, child labor and military defense are no longer functions of the family.

What remains of the functions of family in the North American 21st century is the establishment of a domestic household and the rearing and socializing of children, usually a small number of children, as they’re financial liabilities rather than assets. Many people under the influence of feminism choose not to marry or to establish a household with others, but instead reside as individuals, which indicates a loss of family households. Many single women decide to have children on their own, forming single-parent households. But children are increasingly under the authority, not of their parents, but of civic and governmental authorities, stripping parents of the child-rearing function.

Educational bureaucrats, school boards, and teacher’s unions engage in collusion to take control of children’s lives, sidelining parents who are purposely kept in the dark regarding what students are taught and how students’ lives are managed. These bureaucrats and officials share the radical ideologies of the extremist faculties of education in which they were trained. Thus, we see bureaucrats, unions, and school boards pushing political ideologies on K-12 students. These include racist “critical race theory” that condemns little white children as privileged oppressors and little black children as victims who have no control over their lives. Schools also push children into “transitioning” from their birth sex to an imagined alternative sex, smoothing the way for puberty blocking hormone treatments and disfiguring plastic surgery, all hidden from children’s parents. Schools now specialize in systemic programs of child abuse.

These educational officials also collude with friendly state and federal administrations, such as the Biden administration, which concur with the radical ideologies and wish to advance them. The point of this collusion among officials and governments is to wrench all children away from their parents, making them dependent on the government, in which the school officials are low-level members. This is a major step in destroying the family and making the government all powerful, smoothing the way to despotic socialism and communism.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Philip Carl Salzman is professor emeritus of anthropology at McGill University, senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, fellow at the Middle East Forum, and president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.