Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What is the Swedish family being replaced by?

If you want to be a self-defining, autonomous individual then you won't like the set character of the traditional family. It will be thought of as restrictive, as not offering enough choice. So the trend in liberal societies is to leave the family undefined.

It's the same old story - whatever is predetermined is thought to be oppressive and in need of deconstructing.

I was reminded of this by an article in the Herald Sun on the way family has been taught here in Victoria. As long ago as the 1980s it was decided that it was better to leave the family only vaguely defined:
"What I've found is that in the 1970s and early-'80s, the curriculum authors tried to hang on to that very traditional notion of the nuclear family," Ms Farrelly said.

"By the time they got to the '80s, they conceded this wasn't going to wash, and they got quite anxious."

Instead of then exploring different types of family units, Ms Farrelly said the educators came up with really quite weird definitions such as "groups of people who share things".

"Then family just disappeared. The course (now) focuses very much on the individual," she said.

So there's another liberal definition of the family to add to the list: "groups of people who share things".

That's a bit like a recent definition of the family by the director of Family Relationship Services Australia who said,
The definition I like now is whoever you share your toothpaste with, that’s your family.

So is this vaguely defined family really going to catch on? Are we going to see all sorts of permutations and combinations of people choosing to share things together?

The indications right now are that that's not what's happening. If we take a look at Sweden, which has pioneered the changes to family life, something else is emerging:

What you can see is that 47% of Swedish households are comprised of only one person. That's such a striking statistic. Next highest is Norway on 40% and then Germany on 39%. The UK is 34% and the US is 27% (low compared to the Europeans, but in 1950 the figure for America was only 9%).

So liberalism is moving us not so much toward the new undefined family as toward solo living.


  1. Remember Azimov's Foundation Trilogy (I think it was) where each person lived on his own planet?

  2. Yep. I can look out my front window and see 6 houses occupied by bachelors. The guy across the street from me owns 6 houses as rentals and I own 2.

    Personally, I know of over 20 single childless men now. Their combined wealth, probably 30-40 million. Can't compete (or even want to) with jobs or the government and a culture of women who have lost their minds.

    Sorry if I don't dress all fancy and women ridicule my car, yeah that's how bad it is in liberal land, but my life is a hundred times better than theirs ever will be. I'm free. They are not.

  3. I pointed this out back in 2006.

    It isn't the liberals alone who want this. The capitalists want it as well.

    Why do you think the capitalists tolerate the liberals so well? The liberals are helping the capitalists accomplish a shared goal.

  4. Steve Kellmeyer:
    "It isn't the liberals alone who want this. The capitalists want it as well."

    Agreed. And then there's no next generation being born, so the capitalists want more mass immigration of person-units to fill the void.

  5. The women living alone will get cats. That is not quite alone.

  6. So the very same folks who are the most concerned about Carbon Footprint® and its effect on Climate Change®, are the very same ones living in household situations that are almost inevitably less efficient. It's hypocrisy... all the way down.

  7. And while the Swedes and the rest of Europe are having just over 1.8 child per family, the Muslim families in Europe have on average 8.1 children per family. It's called the "Suicide of the West"

  8. I have about 15 cousins living in Sweden and I can tell you that nation will turn into a complete basket case.

    My young nephew told me they teach children about divorce in school, how it is a natural process and a natural part of life.

    The only good thing Sweden has going for it is the fact that the winter climate is so inhospitable that many immigrants retire and go back to their own warmer countries.

  9. Q: What is the Swedish family being replaced by?

    A: The Iraqi, Palestinian, and Somalian family...

  10. It is the logical and natural conclusion of the Enlightenment conviction that the nature of all human persons can be adequately described without mention of social relationships. Even when important, they are non-essential and describe nothing this is, strictly speaking, necessary to ones identity. This principle underlies all their talk about the “state of nature” and the “social contract,” and from it is derived the notion that the only obligations are those voluntarily assumed.

    Bentham is very instructive here. For him, , the idea of “relation” is but a “fictitious entity,” though necessary for ‘convenience of discourse.’ And, more specifically, he remarks that “the community is a fictitious body,” and it is but “the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it.” Thus, the extension of the term ‘individual’ is, in the main, no greater and no less than the biological entity. Bentham’s view, then, is that the individual –the basic unit of the social sphere — is an “atom.”

    Such a concept would have been unintelligible to previous ages and to most other cultures.

    Which is why the "nuclear family" has trouble surviving. To paraphrase the French Senate reported in their 2006 report on Homosexual marriages, the traditional family was a connection to one patriarch connected hearth to hearth. The nuclear family was an attempt to secularize Christian conceptions of both the conveyance and contractual obligations of the sacrament; it has been an attempt that has largely failed.

    With a strong conviction in radical autonomy [which may also be argued as a secularized Christian concept] and a complete (almost complete?) overthrow of Western patriarchy, the "family" makes less and less sense and becomes harder to defend, promote or organize.

  11. Sweden will become a Muslim country in the near future.

  12. Things like that are just high-minded efforts to induce fine feelings at the cost of precision in speech. What is the point of defining "family" as "social group"? We already have the phrase "social group".