Posted By Jennie Chancey on August 6, 2011
Mercatornet has been on a roll this week with fabulous pieces on the family as society’s foundation. First, there’s Sergio Belardinelli’s presentation about the influence of the home, recently given at the third annual conference of the Home Renaissance Foundation in London:
The great challenges we face – from bioethics to biopolitics, from problems of population to those of immigration, from the crisis in traditional educational institutions to problems among the younger generations and the reform of our welfare systems – all seem to focus on the family. Whatever issue, whether of anthropological, social, political, ethical or even theological relevance, must necessarily take into account the institution of the family, demonstrating its undoubted centrality both in the life of the individual as well as that of society. Despite this, a certain dominant culture today seems to have great difficulty in recognising this centrality, apparently wanting even to remove it, reducing the family to something eminently “private” and subjecting it to a series of attacks which give rise to considerable concern.
Read his full paper HERE. Next we have the brilliant Allan Carlson on the importance of the family-centered economy:
The great Russian-American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin himself had lamented the “loss of function” as both a central cause and symptom of family decline. As he wrote in The Crisis of Our Age: “In the past the family was the foremost educational agency for the young. Some hundred years ago it was well-nigh the sole educator for a vast proportion of the younger generation. At the present time its educational functions have shrunk enormously…. In these respects the family has forfeited the greater part of its former prerogatives.” Sorokin pointed as well to the loss of religious, recreational, and subsistence functions. He concluded: “Now families are small, and their members are soon scattered…. The result is that the family home turns into a mere ‘overnight parking place.’” (10)
The diagnoses of familial decay offered by Alexander Chayanov, Wendell Berry, and Pitirim Sorokin are quite similar. Do they point to a common response? The answer, I believe, is yes: Simply put, societies need to recover and renew the natural family economy; societies need to chart a return of certain economic functions—broadly understood—to the home.
Read the entire piece at THIS LINK.