Have you ever sat down to a discussion with someone and an issue related to the family comes up (sex, marriage, children, contraception, abortion, etc.) and, after the tensions rise a bit, it seems as if this person is living in another world?  He may seem reasonable, yet somewhere there is a leap in logic that takes him to a world you’ve never seen.  Well, that’s because he does live in a different world – one designed and imposed in just the last few centuries.  The reason he seems at odds with the most obvious and perennial truths – which you know to be true as you know the sun is hot – is not an accident, but an orchestrated mindset rooted especially in Marxism.  Some people think such talk is just drumming up dead battles like the Cold War, but the reality is that Marxist ideas are extremely prevalent in today’s society – overtly at many colleges.  If we look hard, the ways of life proposed by Marxism have even infiltrated our family, and we need to fight back.

Family or Herd? 

For the Catholic, the family is the cell of society, the divinely instituted community of mother, father, and children, and society is healthy only when the family is healthy.  For the secular Marxist the order of the family is an actual barrier, because the primary “use” of the individual is economic and utilitarian, and the family can get in the way of the individual’s “contribution”. Fredrick Engels (known as the “father of Marxist theory”) can help us to see why.  To Engels the original human unit was the herd, and because of economic necessity, and economics alone, the father is the head of the home, and the mother – the “proletariat” of the household – is in bondage under the economic tyranny of papa.  To return to the original bliss of the herd, the family must be undone.  The first step to reintegrating the herd with each other and breaking up this too-tightly-bound-family-thing is to get the father out of the home and grouped up with his comrades in working for the whole of society, not just one family (i.e. get him off the homestead and into “the workforce”).  But once the father is in the workforce, the mother must soon follow.  Engels explains why:

Then it will be plain that the first condition for the liberation of the wife is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry [Notice he wants to bring them “back” to the primordial goodness of the herd, and not have them self-identify as the “mother” of a family unit.], and that this in turn demands that the characteristic of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society be abolished.

Don’t think we live in a world orchestrated by those who think like Engels?  Here’s his prophecy on how these will play out:

With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society.  Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry.  The care and education of the children becomes a public affair… This removes all the anxiety about the consequences [“consequences” = pregnancy]… What will certainly disappear are all the features stamped upon marriage through its origin in property relations.  These are, in the first place, the supremacy of the man, and secondly the indissolubility of marriage.  The supremacy of the man in marriage is a simple consequence of his economic supremacy, and with the abolition of the latter will disappear itself.

This is the state we’re in.  We’re increasingly a herd.  Fathers do not have supremacy, the state forms our children, and the economy actually benefits from the breakdowns in our families (two Christmases!).  The home is a place where individuals who are linked by biology alone maybe eat together, but their core identities and realities are “out there”.  Each lives “in his own world”, they don’t live in the world together.

Note that, to Engels, children and being in the home are seen as at odds with the higher calling of “public industry.”  A central tenant of Marxist thought is to remove the child from the home to be formed by and for the state.  A recent issue of Scientific America ran an article on women in the workforce, and “progress” was tallied by how many women left the home to enter the workforce.  In Marxist thinking, there is no value to moms staying home.  They were aghast at the “notion that women are better caregivers” and painted the clear picture that success “means getting more women to enter (and stay in) the workforce.”  The authors even derided Austria because it allotted too long for maternity leave which tends to lead women – gasp! – to staying home with their little consequences instead of returning to work (September2017 issue, “Women’s Work” by Ana L. Revanga and Ana Maria Munoz Boudet).  The issue, of course, also featured copious plugs for abortion, because sometimes consequences just need to be taken care of more directly.

Fighting Back

Here are three ways we can do that regarding our family and work visions:

1-    Do not look for “balance”.  I know many people use this word innocently, but a scale is balanced, and a scale measures things that are divided – it pits them, in a way, against each other.  So what’s a better word to describe the “balancing” act we all feel we’re a part of?  Order.  We want to order our lives.  We want them ordered towards God, family, and neighbor first, and anything else must be means to those ends and not ends in themselves.  The rest of this list is part of that ordering, so let’s move on.

2-    Awaken your identities as sons, brothers, and fathers.  It’s amazing how simply opening our eyes to our truest identities can help order our lives.  For example, if you ask many men, “What are you?”  Their first answer is professional, “I am vice-president of an insurance company.”  Wrong.  If you got fired tomorrow, what would you be then?  Not only is this not your true identity, it places your hopes in a temporal reality – in your gut you know you were made for more, for eternity.  What are you?  You are a son.  Marxism begins in what you produce, but God begins with who you are.  Did you ever notice what Jesus calls the paralytic man that was lowered through the roof when he forgave him his sins?  He didn’t call him “paralytic man”, the way the Gospel writer and even most bible editors do.  No, he said, “Son, take courage, your sins are forgiven” (Matt. 9:2, Knox).  You are not your defects.  You are not your profession.  You are a son, and from that grows the brotherhood with your fellow man.  Then, as a mature son and brother, you also are a father, communicating the very love of God.  Be who you are, not what you do.

3-    Examine and adjust.  In the light of this new ordering, examine how your life is lived, how your actions display these inner convictions.  “Integrity” is when what you believe and say you believe matches up to how you live.  Your family is first, huh?  Well give them what they need most, which is not money or even discipline – they need you.  Be there and be present.  Put the damn phone down. Pray for them. Heck, if you are just a dawn to dusk workin’ kind of guy, start a home industry in the garage with your kids.  Sell something at the farmers market.  Buy your daughter a lemon squeezer and let her rake in cash next to you at that market.  The key is to examine how your life is being lived (i.e. what are the actual ways you are spending your time) and then adjust when you realize that there is a dis-ordering of things.  It is disorder that makes us unbalanced, not being unbalanced.  By all means work hard and have magnanimity in all you do, but if you look around and you’re just living life the way our society is at the moment (remember Engle’s prophecy?), then its time to live differently.

  • salesgirl

    Lol Engels the father of Marxism? He was certainly Karl Marx's sugar daddy, judging by the number of letters between them in which Marx asked for money and Engels sent it. Marx uad "daddy issues," he hated his father, hated God, and treated his wife like garbage, leaving her and the children to starve, shiver and scrounge in wretched flat, selling furniture for food, always inches from eviction, while he refused to work but spent days at libraries writing his latest magnus opus, or gallavanting with misanthropic intellectuals. The worst was when she was so malnourished that her starving baby had nursed her bloody trying to get milk from her thin body....she was clinging to her last shred of hope as Marx had gone back to Germany for his father's funeral and was to receive a decent inheritance, one that might get them food and better flat for a time anyway. Unbeknownst to her, he was spending it all on a new suit, professional photograph portraits, and rounds of drinks for buddies, among other frivolities. He returned with only a few shillings out of it all. The poor woman lost any hope and sanity she had left. Her children one by one committed suicide as they grew up, no doubt due to the extreme malnutrition and neglect. This is the godless man who these awful murderous anti family regimes in Russia, China and South America base their worldview upon. Marxism, communism, socialism, leftism, liberalism, progressivism...call it what you will, it's just lipstick on a pig of an idea.

  • Fantastic article, Jason. My husband shared it with me and even though I'm not technically your target audience I took away a lot of encouragement and inspiration of it. As a mother, I find it really hard to not lose sight of the importance of my contributions to society *through* my family. It's easy to focus more on my part-time work--measurable products, income, recognition--than on my vocation and the formation of my children in virtue (because they don't pay me and often don't give me the recognition and gratitude I crave ;)).

    Obviously every person is different, every family situation is different, etc. Women make hugely important contributions to society from both within and outside of the home. But I think one of the great points of your article is that such immense damage occurs when the the family *as such* is systematically dismantled. The world--or the individual family--won't fall apart if a particular family situation requires the mother to work outside the home. But to say that any person's, man's or woman's, only (or even most important) contribution to society is in the workforce is quite simply diabolical.

    • Agreed, that someone's primary contribution is workforce is a very damaging idea (and one that seems to be pushed more and more). What's funny is that seems pushed by capitalism more than socialism (<-- actually both look at that too much, because they are economic systems). Our lasting impact will always be our families.

      • Jason Craig

        I agree about Capitalism, but it is solely because of economics and not a distorted anthropology, which it is indifferent to.

      • William J. Walsh

        I'm curious about your distinction here. Am I correct if I understand that you mean that while both materialist ideologies overvalue participation in the workforce Marxism is more pernicious because of Engels idea that we are fundamentally members of a herd, not a family, whereas Capitalism just motivates people to make more money?

        If so, I have often thought that Capitalism also misidentifies people as being primarily consumers of goods or economic actors, which is another distorted anthropology. Also, while Marxism is a worse evil for its dogmatic atheism at least, it has had less influence on my life in the US than Capitalism. The folks who want to break up our families do not know that Marxism is their root ideology, and would attribute their program to feminism or Enlightenment progressivism--and that might be more correct. American society is more Capitalist or market driven than it is anything else, and it is hostile to the family and still would be with the vestiges of Marxism weeded out I think.

      • Agreed. The danger of developing a distorted view of the family is certainly present in Capitalism, but it is explicit in and foundational to Marxism.

  • OK, sometimes you have valid points but are on the verge of getting kind of out there. This one takes the cake. You state that it is bad that "Fathers do not have supremacy". What? You think that the male should hold supremacy over the family? And that the woman's place is in the home, and if the man has supremacy one must be suppressed . This is where you go over the edge, something that is "let's go back to the good old days", "back when I was a kid".
    Valid point: "“Integrity” is when what you believe and say you believe matches up to how you live." OK, I completely agree with that. But if what you believe is that men are superior (I am sorry, you will try to argue that supremacy at the home does not equal that they are greater than another, but that is exactly what you are stating), then I pray that you will NOT live that. Superior means you must suppress another, it is that one is "superior to all others in authority, power, or status". This is wrong on so many levels, according to Jesus, the Bible, and logic, that I can't even begin the argument.
    Again, when you get into what you should do at home it sounds good at first. Pray for your family, be interactive, and then suddenly it is teach your daughter that they should interact with food, begin suppressing them to homemaker. My daughter made a program and sold it at school, I think that is a great thing. She sees more than being just a homemaker, that doesn't make her worse at being a homemaker. Just like a man should be more than the money maker, he must be a father as well, and being good at one does not make you worse at the other.

    • Jason Craig

      Thanks for the comment.

      Superior was a bad word choice, apparently. I meant rather to point to the perennial teaching of the father as the head of the household. However, we see here the problem of seeing headship as necessarily suppressive, which reiterates the point of the article, I think. Fatherly headship is taught "so many levels, according to Jesus, the Bible, and logic, that I can't even begin the argument." I would add culture and tradition, because I don't fear them.

      Also, I'm sorry if the lemonade example was shockingly cliche, but my daughter is a wildly creative entrepreneur and this was an actual idea she had and did. She's like a factory of business ideas. But, again, you seem to equate homemaking with suppression, which again reiterates the point of the article.

      So, you think I tend toward suppression as a father and that she tends toward being suppressed in domesticity. Hmm. Like I said, thanks for the comment.

      • Wording is important, probably made me be more negative than necessary. Homemaking is by itself not suppression, only that it should be the only option/most pushed option/etc. (can't think of the right term) is oppressive. Pushing that one should be a SAHM and that other options are not as Christian, seems off-putting at best. I am simply going by the definition of supremacy, "superior to all others in authority, power, or status". That is a frustrating term and belief, that one is superior to others in Christianity does not compute (sorry, IT guy).