Conservatives who call for laws to “strengthen” the family, might do well to read this book.
Socialists who question the value of traditional family structures might also.
From Maxim Institute
A new book by Patricia Morgan has sparked debate in Britain about the correct balance of responsibility between the state and the family.
Published by British think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, The War between the State and the Family: How the Government Divides and Impoverishes examines family policy in the UK, and argues strongly that governments of all stripes have done more harm than good by intervening in family life.
Morgan argues that policies, from all political parties, which attack “collaboration,” commitment and relational connectedness are counterproductive and damaging. She cites policies including the ideological attack on marriage; the rise of cohabitation as a legal equivalent to it; the failure to pursue child support from absent fathers; government incentives which promote idleness; and dependency and no-fault divorce laws, as factors which attack human connectedness—atomising and disconnecting people.
As a result, she argues, the support, care, welfare and connection nurtured by stable family life is absent. The state has to step in and pick up the mess, and the tab. She argues that the state’s increasing role as provider, breadwinner and child-carer deprives people of responsibility and care while not in fact delivering better outcomes.
The debate raging in Britain over family breakdown and the role of the state is mirrored in this country too. Addressing issues of family and social disconnection is vital for building a decent and cohesive society. Controversial and challenging though it may be, we cannot afford to ignore voices like Patricia Morgan’s, and a greater depth of debate on the social policies of the last decades is something to be welcomed.
Read the book The War between the State and the Family: How the Government Divides and Impoverishes