FW: What Has Government Done to Our Families?

Dear Libs,

I found this article to be most interesting...especially the statement
below that suggests that the autonomous family is the only unit where
the pure socialist principle actually works: from each according to his
ability, to each according to his needs. This could be a good way to
communicate with our socialistic friends...say that we agree that
socialism works, but only within a committed family unit. We might also
suggest that socialism's benefits diminish as the "family" grows beyond
"family-size". However family is defined, these units will certainly be
considerably smaller than what government represents today. I'm going to
give it a try with my socialist sister and see how it goes.

Happy New Year!

Best regards,

Michael Denny

Libertarian Party of San Francisco

(415) 986-7677 x123



Under the domain of liberty, the natural institution of the family
(supplemented and supported by local communities and voluntary
organizations) provides the protection and care which these "dependent"
people need. Indeed, it is in the autonomous family-and only in the
family-where the pure socialist principle actually works: from each
according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

As probably the only Swede here, I feel obliged to comment.

Over all, it's a very well informed and good article, even if I'm not sure I fully share the gloomy conclusions.

With the costs and benefits of children fully socialized, and with the natural economic gains from marriage intentionally eliminated by law, the bearing of children was also severed from marriage: by 1990, well over half of Swedish births were outside of marriage.

While this is technically true, it does not mean that these kids are born by single mothers. While the institution of marriage has fallen a bit out of fashion, the idea of men and women living together have not. It is very common for people to move in together and live 'as married' in pretty much every way, except that the legal paperwork is never done. My father has done that for 30 years, and has one of those kids.

This is party because marriage has much fewer practical consequences than here. There is no reason to marry to get health insure for example.

So most of those born outside of marriage are actually born into de facto functioning families.

Just last month, the Swedish Social Democrats suffered a major political defeat, losing power in national elections to a Center-Right coalition,

This dates the article to 1991, and developments since haven't exactly lived up to the authors hopes of a turning tide. The system has become a bit more realistic and streamlined, but in all essential ways it's still intact, the social democrats are firmly in power, and taxes are higher than ever or close to it.

It should also be pointed out that Sweden had some of the highest rates of child productions at least for a period in the 80s and/or 90s, when laws were especially favorable. You'd see the 18 month child interval in many families, since it optimized the benefits you could get out of the system.