It makes sense that a culture obsessed with so-called progress would be focused on dissolving all the accessories of a traditional society, and nothing is more traditional (and thus in more need of dissolving) than the nuclear family.
A recent op-ed from The New York Times argues that we’re more of an advanced society than ever before as the nuclear family structure continues to crumble. But these kinds of declarations, which fundamentally insist that the well-being of our modern civilization directly correlates to the decrease, and in fact the destruction, of the nuclear family is a gross and careless assertion. The death of the nuclear family is problematic – here’s why.
Opposing Nuclear Families Has Been Obvious for a While Now
We’ve seen a lot of uproar recently over the struggle between parents and teachers, an uncomfortably imbalanced structure that many parents were made privy to firsthand as their children began remote schooling during the pandemic. Since then, this uproar has risen to levels of parents being told that there is no place for them in taxpayer-funded classrooms and that children are essentially subject to whatever ideological whims are held by their teachers. For many parents, this was a frightening and stunning realization, but this kind of conviction goes hand-in-hand with the belief that the nuclear family is not only obsolete, but expendable.
Though cultural Marxism as an ideology has been relegated to a “right-wing conspiracy theory” (similar to the apparent right-wing “conspiracy” that radical critical race theory is part of school curriculums), the dissolution of the nuclear family falls under its umbrella. How? The origins of cultural Marxism, rooted in the iterations of 20th-century socialism and communism, believed above all else in the evils of capitalism and its stranglehold on the West. Because capitalism is now somehow intrinsically tied to both white supremacy and toxic masculinity, the premise follows that a hierarchical structure, such as the nuclear family, seemingly built on whiteness and heterosexual masculinity is in desperate need of eradication.
Challenging parent rights goes hand-in-hand with the belief that the nuclear family is obsolete and expendable.
Consequently, the same proponents of anti-capitalist, anti-nuclear family narratives advocate heavily for viewing the education of children as a “community” effort. Not only that, but there can be no such approach if other adults outside the classroom exist to throw wrenches in lesson plans by asserting their dominance as both parents and taxpayers. In a society where the traditional family (and capitalism) is absent, there are no parental rights, just as there are no individual rights to property, income, employment, free enterprise, and liberty.
We Can’t Claim Ignorance Anymore
It’s one thing to blatantly claim that our society is somehow better off without a hierarchical system like that of the nuclear family. It’s another to be completely ignorant, whether intentionally or otherwise, of the consequences and the toll this lack of structure is having on our culture and, more specifically, the children raised in these households.
We know now that only 18% of households in the U.S. have two parents to them, the lowest it has been since 1959. Some might see this as cause for celebration. What isn’t cause for celebration is the plethora of disadvantages the children of these households face.
Children from single-parent households are more likely to be obese. Those in households with single mothers also reported high rates of psychological issues, asthma, and overall poorer health status. In cities like Indianapolis, Fresno, Chicago, and Tucson, approximately half of kids live in single-parent households. These households have higher rates of poverty, food insecurity, and no health care coverage. Single motherhood affects disproportionately along racial lines as well – 20% of Asian women are single moms, compared to 35% of white women and 72% of black women. 10 years ago, the median income for a single mom was roughly $25,500. With today’s rate of inflation, that’s only around $31,930.
Children in single-parent households are more likely to be obese and have mental illness.
Additionally, children from these same households are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school, earn no high school degree, go through divorce later in adulthood, become teen parents, be arrested for crimes as a juvenile, and need treatment for emotional and behavioral problems.
The Harsh Reality
As with many progressive ideologies, those who are most opposed to whatever trapping of Western civilization is currently on the chopping block have usually benefited from it first. And therein lies the comfort of decrying a structure or belief system that one has been raised in but now vehemently objects to. Aligning oneself with the impoverished, the disenfranchised, and the underprivileged usually indicates that that individual has absolutely no knowledge of the everyday struggles which confront those groups.
It’s easy to oppose the nuclear family if we say instead that we benefit more by having “diverse” structures in its place. That argument in no way relates to the generations of single men and, overwhelmingly, women who work minimum wage jobs to provide for children who will not finish high school, will struggle with mental illness or substance abuse, and will one day have their own children they will struggle to provide for.
Pseudo-intellectuals can wax poetic within the bastions of progressive media all they want. Claiming the dissolution of the nuclear family is an advantage to us or that such a structure was a mistake in the first place does little to better the lives of the impoverished.
Parents should have no say in the education of their children. Not only that, but those who are more virtuous than we are will collectively raise them better than we can. Furthermore, we’ll no longer need ownership over our incomes, homes, and businesses when we don’t have a say in the upbringing of our children. This is the end goal, and indeed the underlying message, of a society that honors the widespread abandonment of the nuclear family. It’s a frightening precipice to be on the edge of, but it would be an even more destructive reality.
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