The nuclear family, defined as a monogamous pair bonded couple raising their mutual offspring, is the first and last defense of private property and, by extension, civilization itself. Unfortunately, Cultural Marxism is progressively eroding these fundamental pillars of civilization, making it the greatest threat to our way of life and standard of living.
The institution of private land ownership and of the family and the practice of agriculture and animal husbandry is explained as a rational invention, a new and innovative solution to the problem faced by tribal hunters and gatherers of balancing population growth and increasing land scarcity.(1)
Prior to this, humans survived in hunter-gatherer societies that depleted, yet never replenished, the nature-provided goods in their environment.
This meant that each individual was in direct competition for nature given goods with every other individual often resulting in violent conflict. However, such conflict was tempered once humans recognized the benefits of cooperation based upon the division of labor. As Hoppe explains, the division of labor increases productivity because there exist tasks which exceed the power of any single man and require the combined efforts of several men. Moreover, the division of labor takes advantage of the differing abilities of individuals and accounts for the scarcity of time. Hoppe expounds:
Given the peculiar, parasitic nature of hunter-gatherer societies and assuming land to be fixed, invariably the moment must arise when the number of people exceeds the optimal group size and average living standards will fall, threatening whatever degree of intragroup solidarity previously might have existed… This situation is captured and explained by the economic law of returns…that states that for any combination of two or more production factors an optimum combination exists (such that any deviation from it involves material waste, or “efficiency losses”). (2)
The technological invention, then, that solved the problem of a steadily emerging and re-emerging ‘excess’ of population and the attendant fall of average living standards was a revolutionary change in the entire mode of production. It involved the change from a parasitic lifestyle to a genuinely productive life. Instead of merely appropriating and consuming what nature had provided, consumer goods were now actively produced and nature was augmented and improved upon. This revolutionary change in the human mode of production is generally referred to as the “Neolithic Revolution”: the transition from food production by hunting and gathering to food production by the raising of plants and animals… The new technology represented a fundamental cognitive achievement and was reflected and expressed in two interrelated institutional innovations, which from then on until today have become the dominant feature of human life: the appropriation and employment of ground land as private property, and the establishment of the family and the family household. (3)(4)
Before the establishment of land as private property it was just a part of the environment, but with the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry it became necessary to have objectively defined boundaries on land to prevent conflicts with the resources of other families. Original appropriation and voluntary exchange were recognized as the best means of avoiding conflicts over scarce land and resources. However, the appropriation of land as property for use in agriculture and animal husbandry solved only half of the increasing population pressure. The use of land to increase productivity did not address the issue of the costs of reproduction. It is important to note that before the Neolithic revolution, children were considered everyone’s responsibility, therefore each individual had no responsibility to bear the cost of producing enough resources for the children he/she personally produced. Hoppe explains further
Instinctively, by virtue of man’s biological nature, each woman and each man is driven to spread and proliferate her or his genes into the next generation of the species. The more offspring one creates the better, because the more of one’s genes will survive. No doubt, this natural human instinct can be controlled by rational deliberation. But if no or little economic sacrifice must be made for simply following one’s animal instincts, because all children are maintained by society at large, then no or little incentive exists to employ reason in sexual matters, i.e., to exercise any moral restraint.(5)
Thomas Malthus in An Essay on the Principle of Population, explains then that
the most natural and obvious check (on population) seemed to be to make every man provide for his own children; that this would operate in some respect as a measure and guide in the increase of population, as it might be expected that no man would bring beings into the world, for whom he could not find the means of support; that where this notwithstanding was the case, it seemed necessary, for the example of others, that the disgrace and inconvenience attending such a conduct should fall upon the individual, who had thus inconsiderately plunged himself and innocent children in misery and want. — The institution of marriage, or at least, of some express or implied obligation on every man to support his own children, seems to be the natural result of these reasoning’s in a community under the difficulties that we have supposed. (6)
By the formation of monogamous families, the hunter-gatherer’s tribal lifestyle was transformed into separate families owning particular sections of land in which they provide for themselves. Hence, the monogamous family owning land in which to produce the resources they need to ensure their own survival, either by agriculture, animal husbandry, or a combination, became the foundation of civilization. The private property norms of original appropriation and voluntary exchange formed the basis of a non-aggressive yet competitive society based on the mutually recognized benefits of the division of labor. Ludwig Von Mises has this to say:
Private ownership in the means of production is the regulating principle which, within society, balances the limited means of subsistence at society’s disposal with the less limited ability of consumers to increase. By making the share in the social product which falls to each member of society depend on the product economically imputed to him, that is, to his labor and his property, the elimination of surplus human beings by the struggle for existence, as it rages in the vegetable and animal kingdom, is replaced by a reduction in the birth-rate as a result of social forces. “Moral restraint,” the limitations of off spring imposed by social positions, replaces the struggle for existence.” (7)
It takes time and resources from both parents to raise children successfully. Children, especially infants, are entirely dependent on the resources provided by their parents. They are incapable of doing any of the necessary work to sustain their own lives at first, and as they grow, they acquire the skills necessary to be entirely responsible for themselves. This means the minimum requirement to raise a child is two parents that produce more than they themselves consume. The resources that a child requires is often more than any one parent can provide alone. It’s mutually beneficial for the parents to divide the labor in order to successfully raise their children. Children raised in a stable two parent household also learn the value of choosing the right monogamous partner. Making the wrong choice in who to start a family with is one that negatively affects multiple lives and has far reaching ramifications throughout society. The absence of either parent greatly increases the likelihood of that family turning to the State to provide the resources necessary to live. It also increases many risk factors for the child including physical abuse, drug abuse, aggressive behavior, suicide etc. The presence of step or other nonbiological parents effects an even greater increase in these risk factors relative to two biological parent homes. For more on this see How Single Mothers and Feminism Ruin Children.
The State’s forced redistribution of wealth negatively influences people’s decisions on who to start a family with by subsidizing irresponsible choices. The State’s welfare programs are ostensibly meant to help the poor and downtrodden but in reality are a de-civilizing force that undermines the nuclear family. The State coercively redistributes wealth from productive two parent homes to single parent homes. Therefore, a single parent no longer faces the prospect of being without enough resources to survive which renders them comparatively less inclined to be as selective when choosing a mate. Without State welfare programs, individuals are comparatively more incentivized to stay with and be more selective when choosing a partner for reasons both financial and social. Stefan Molyneux elaborates:
children raised by single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty, be abused, commit aggression, go to jail, suffer from drug addiction and alcohol abuse, be the victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, drop out of high school, murder, commit suicide, run away from home or become homeless (8)
Clearly it benefits a civilized society to have two biological parent households. Despite the clear advantages of nuclear families, the State incents single parent homes via welfare and other subsidies. The State may provide some of the basic resources that a single parent needs, but it cannot replace a parent’s time investment in the child’s development, and the absence of that time investment is what leads to the issues outlined above. Without the supposed safety net of State welfare programs, all individuals would be far more concerned with finding a potential monogamous partner that was far more likely to be a loyal and resourceful parent. Individuals would seek out a mating partner that promised to work towards raising their offspring in a stable two parent home. The consequences of choosing a bad potential mating partner would be far more dire in a situation without a Statist bailout. Absent a State welfare program, anyone who wished to raise a family would spend considerable time and effort in making sure their potential partner shared their values and was an able provider.
The best way to help achieve a Stateless society is to find a monogamous partner that understands the importance of the nuclear family, produce more than each of you consume, plan out the division of labor for the family, and then raise your offspring to know and understand private property rights.
CEO of RWDS Corp.
Arbitral Tribunal at Murray’s Market
- A Short History of Man, Hans Hermann Hoppe, p18
A Short History of Man, Hans Hermann Hoppe, p42-43
A Short History of Man, Hans Hermann Hoppe, p47-48
Understanding Human History, Michael H. Hart, p139
A Short History of Man, Hans Hermann Hoppe, p62-63
Essay on the Principle of Population, Thomas Robert Malthus, chapter 10
Socialism, Ludwig von Mises, p282
The Truth About Single Moms, Stefan Molyneux, Freedomain Radio, 2015