How the State Destroys 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 Power Plant without Equal
According to the Christian definition, the family is a community between a man and a woman, before God, with God, and for God. It is a kind of worship. Of course, this is not the only motivation to start a family at all, but worship is what defines 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 commitment outside of one’s own family. 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. Sometimes they become superfluous and even a hindrance.
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 being together, which are set up according to one’s taste. This is inevitable and cannot be prevented by any human intervention—not even by the state.
But the traditional dominance of the Christian family is not only threatened by widespread apostasy. It is also, and massively, under siege by state intervention. In order to understand these, however, we first have to consider the economic reasons from which families arise and grow. The very first of these reasons is the division of labor.
The theory of division of labor teaches us that the work of specialists who exchange their surpluses is more profitable than nonspecialized work. The shoemaker naturally produces more shoes, the baker more bread than he himself and his family would need. But the point is that their specialization makes more shoes and breads overall than if everyone had devoted part of their time to shoemaking and another part to baking.
The most important precondition of this little miracle is that the specialists have different talents. The productivity of the division of labor is based on the inequality of the exchange partners. And that is exactly why the Christian family is so efficient. 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 a
Article from Mises Wire