Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where is liberalism taking the family?

She's a 21-year-old with no more influence in society than I have. But even so, she's picked up the liberal attitude to the family and run with it, so her views are interesting for that reason.

Isabel Chalmer's parents divorced when she was a young girl. This is her idea now about "what family truly is":
I believe in the cliché that states that family is who you chose as much as it is who you are biologically related to. I have some friends who I would consider family, based on the length, dedication and unconditional love within our relationship and some blood relatives who I do not consider family because of the lacking of all those previously listed qualities.  Family to me is anyone whom you unconditionally love and whom unconditionally loves you...

Family is really indefinable. It is much less tangible than people are led to believe. Family is a feeling you get with certain people in your life, much like home is never actually a place. Family is whatever you choose it to be and is to be felt more than seen. It is wherever you feel loved and secure and is a very subjective and personal experience to each and every person. [italics mine]

There's something of a contradiction in this, as Isabel claims that family is indefinable but then proceeds to give a definition ("it is wherever you feel loved and secure").

Still, you get a sense of where liberalism is taking things. There is an insistence that the family is something that has no fixed character, but is fluid and evolving; its character is vague and not something that can be objectively defined.

The point of this liberal drift is to make family relationships a matter of personal choice and to keep as open as possible the idea that family relationships can be defined subjectively (so that we don't impinge on the freedom of others to self-define how they live).

The problem, of course, is that not much is left of the family at the end of all this. If the family can be whatever I choose it to be, then it has little real meaning or significance. It has become formless. At best, if we take the definition allowed to us by Isabel Chalmer, family is a circle of friends we feel supported by.

It's a long way from the very particular family relationships of husband and wife; father and mother; brother and sister; grandfather and grandmother; uncle and aunt and so on, with each of these roles having a particular character, set of duties, form of loyalty, and experience of love which form part of the way we fulfil ourselves as men and women.


  1. It's quibbling, but "it is wherever you feel loved and secure" is a description not a definition. And really, I don't think she is trying to define family but rather trying to emphasize the importance of one type of association over another. It's all about the Leftist project of reducing the importance of "the other". Lol, you see Liberals everywhere and I see Leftists.

  2. The point is to completely strip natural human relation away from people. It's a chimera. By removing any natural relations and forcing people to rely solely on affinity, a permanent sort of insecurity is achieved, with comfort and security only fleeting moments created by consumption.

    With the population fully atomized and utterly insecure, state institutions are all that one has, and their very structure means one can never feel really loved or secure except through constantly consuming the products those institutions demand you work to afford.

  3. Well, she has to cling to something. Shattered, compromised lives surround her. People who grew up without both parents are now everywhere. So she's found a way to tell herself that, somehow, there is still a bridge to her rainbow's-end of sensing comfort and security... that there is still a real family for her and people like her.

  4. "I have some friends who I would consider family, based on the length, dedication and unconditional love within our relationship "

    When she gets older she'll realise that friends drift away from you. They start a new relationship, they move to another town, and you just gradually lose contact. The point of family is that the relationships should endure even when that happens.

  5. I used to believe that nonsense when I was in my twenties (well over a decafe ago now). By the time you reach your thirties, all of those friends you thought you were so close to drift away while your family is still there. Blood IS thicker then water.

  6. Where is it taking the UK? The dustbin

    "Pure liberalism will always struggle to secure an electoral majority."

  7. This is the inevitable consequence of the creation and definition of relationships based on emotions rather than on traditional historical bloodlines. When the emotions fade, the relationships collapse too.

  8. Family is what servers me.

    As always, liberalism worships the self and therefore family is whatever pleases the individual to believe it is. So, truth must serve the self.

  9. You might be interested in this recent post on The Family Matrix at Public Discourse:

  10. Articles like these are written by people who justify their bad decisions in life. Chose to have a career instead of a family? Need to have IVF as a single woman who needs sperm donation to conceive? That's ok, the child will be brought up by family. Not a father and a mother, but any old friends of the mother just lying around.
    This country used to have standards when it came to what it considered family, now even single women can have taxpayer funded IVF to conceive children! Way to go with increasing the number of people receiving benefits!
    If all of these single women are so successful that we need more of them, how come they're unable to maintain a relationship with another human being long enough to conceive and how come they can't afford to pay for the treatment themselves???
    The re-framing of the definition of family is all so they can shift the goal posts and claim "I grew up in a normal family". No, your parents were divorced. You grew up in a broken home. Live with it, get over it and make sure you don't do the same to your children.
    If she really thinks that it's all so happy, then why don't parents divorce and remarry every ten years. Imagine just how happy a great big interspersed family would be. Every day would be filled with rainbows and all the other half-brothers and sisters, errr OTHER brothers and sisters could ride around on step-daddy number three's unicorn!