No Foundation

I don’t know if y’all have read this article (found via Insty, thankee Glenn) entitled “The Primal Scream of Identity Politics“, but really, you should.

The deeper question raised is not the instrumental concern of Lilla and others—how liberalism can retool itself in order to win more elections. Rather, it’s the elemental one: How has the question of “identity” come to be emotional and political ground zero for so many in America, and elsewhere in the Western world?

I found Mary Eberstat’s answer to be truly interesting and, unusually for the Weekly Standard, right on the money.

One of the greatest sins perpetrated by statism and its greatest exponent, Marxism, is the dissolution of the family structure. Let’s be perfectly honest, here: for about as long as mankind has walked upright (and probably even before), the basic family unit (father, mother, offspring) and extended unit (grandparents, uncles and aunts etc.) were always held sacred. “Honor thy father and mother” is one of the basic principles of society, regardless of religion, and of course parental care and concern for one’s children is deeply embedded in our genetic code for very good reasons, among them being the one identified by Eberstat: it is the basic building-block of our individual identity; hence family names like Johnson (son of John) or the Icelandic Gudrunsdottir (daughter of Gudrun). It’s also the principle behind the concept of not bringing shame on the family name (even though the latter has been horribly abused by primitive societies like Islamic ones).

But if your mother has been the neighborhood’s Miss Margarine-Legs and each of your siblings shares your mother but has a different father who is anyway notable for his absence, where’s the honor going to appear? Nowhere, if I may answer the rhetorical question.

And of course, Man is a social animal — hence pejorative terms like “sociopath” or “antisocial” for the outliers who aren’t. The need for “belonging” (and its concomitant identity) is elemental, so if the historical primary identity (a member of a family) is gone, the rootless soul will always feel the need to find another — hence the appeal of criminal gangs in inner-city children of single mothers, to give but one example — and for those who were not pulled into gangs, the growth of cults like eco-centrism and even antifa can provide alternatives, poor organizations though they are. (I haven’t seen any facts on this topic, but I’d wager good money that a representative cross-section of antifa members will have come from broken- or single-parent homes.)

Another of Eberstat’s postulations is the widespread occurrence of mental illness among adolescents and Millennials (and we all know about opioid usage in those groups), and once again, it’s not a facile inference to link the lack of a family unit to that phenomenon.

And always remember: dissolution of the family is a Marxist precept, and we are not Marxists, no matter how much liberal politicians and the media think we are or would like us to be.

So, my Readers who have young children: resist with all your might any efforts to denigrate your parental authority — loudly, if you have to — and at all times, remind your children that family matters above all in the grand scheme of things. Tell your kids never to take sides with their friends against their siblings, insist on respect for you and your spouse from them, and always take their side against anyone or any institution: schools, friends and government (except of course in cases of actual criminality).

This, my friends, is the real “resistance”, and we are doomed if we don’t offer any.


  1. for about as long as mankind has walked upright (and probably even before), the basic family unit (father, mother, offspring) and extended unit (grandparents, uncles and aunts etc.) were always held sacred.

    I’m going to have to quibble on this one. Motherhood has long been “sacred”, but fatherhood? Fatherhood is not a naturally obvious concept (men don’t get pregnant after all, and our contribution to the process is so separated from awareness of pregnancy that the connection is not intuitive), though it seems so to us given our long history of understanding the basics of reproduction. And yet we still have to *tell* children how babies are made.

    Absent a long history of awareness of paternity, children are just another “Woman’s Mystery”, like how they can bleed for three days a month and not die, or how they can produce milk from their boobs.

    Once the concept of paternity was discovered, THEN the nuclear family model would’ve been possible, but that depends on men being aware of the fact that we can be fathers, AND having a reason to believe that we actually *are*.

    We used to have a social institution which allowed men to know (or believe they knew) when they became fathers. It restricted women’s sexual freedom to one man each (usually). Absent that restriction, motherhood is still naturally obvious, but fatherhood? That’s a matter of opinion.

    Of course that social institution has been under attack for quite a while now, and has now been re-defined to the point of meaninglessness, so men will more and more avoid it (the Family Courts don’t help). Unfortunately, without confidence in their paternal status, men have far less incentive to work themselves into early graves and higher tax brackets. This does not promise good things for the future of the West.

    On a related note, I don’t think men have a “paternal instinct” as such. I think we have a territorial instinct and a survival instinct, which awareness of our paternal status trigger on behalf of our children. It’s like the human sex drive substituting for a reproductive instinct, which we also don’t have (or contraceptives wouldn’t be so popular).

    Sorry about the length of this comment. It’s one of my pet peeves.

    1. I’m sorry but I’ve got to disagree. The concept of fatherhood is widespread in mammals – lions and tigers will kill cubs that are not their own, for instance – and many mammals operate on the harem principal, so fatherhood is clearly understood there. We only have to tell children how to do it because they don’t see it any more. In days gone bye they would have seen animals rutting and they would have seen their parents and other adults having sex.

      1. And if humans had the sense of smell that those species do then our history would be very different. The harem species, like equines, act on instinct, but the young follow their mothers. Chimps and other apes don’t have a paternal relationship with their offspring. In fact male apes will happily mate with their own daughters because they have no clue that there’s any such relationship, whereas they’ll rarely, if ever, mate with their sisters or mothers (unless separated at birth…the incest taboo/instinct appears to derive from familiarity).

        In days gone bye they would have seen animals rutting and they would have seen their parents and other adults having sex.

        Sex is one of those things adults do, but what’s the obvious connection between slippery friction for fun on the one hand, and pregnancy some months later on the other? The delay between the sex act and the appearance of pregnancy, especially in the absence of an instinctive mating season in humans, means that the connection is *not* obvious, especially given that a woman can have sex with dozens of guys over a period of months, and if a pregnancy happens at all, there’s no way to link it to any one sex act.

        Absent some formal restriction on female sexuality, there’s no way of knowing which of the woman’s sex partners is the father. It seems obvious to us that there is such a thing as fatherhood, but I’m fairly confident that it wasn’t obvious 30K years ago, any more than it is among chimps today.

  2. A system where there are good fathers is one of the principal factors that separates Men from Animals.

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