A recent article published by AIER discusses a study of the Chinese Great Leap Forward of 1959-1962, entitled “When the family is abolished people starve.” It is of course condemning totalitarianism, communism, and mandatory human government in general. Read it, please.
In just three years in China, as Mao sought to fully establish communism and create the conditions to totally end private property, two key features of family life as found throughout human history were abolished: “private” (family) raising and teaching children, and “private” (again, family) preparation and eating of meals together. These were replaced by “community/cooperative” institutions: child-rearing and caring facilities (creches, ala Brave New World), and communal “canteens:” all food and utensils and ancillary items moved into a single place and meals prepared, served, and eaten in a public place.
Barry Brownstein concentrates in his article, as did the book, on the physical catastrophe. THIRTY-TWO million people died in the worst manmade famine known in the history of the world. But the clearly-document attempt by Peking and the CCP to throw families onto the ash heap of history also had significant societal impacts. Very negative impacts.
Whether due to Creation or due to human evolution, the fundamental building block of human society is the family: man, woman, and child (or children). Humans are flexible enough and society resilient enough that variants and some people’s outright rejection of this building block can be survived. Whether it is homosexual groupings, polygamous groupings, serial “monogamy”, communal free-love situations, or complete abstinence/chastity, as long as it is a small fraction of the total population, society can stumble on. There may be damage to society – as we can see in these States and in history and other cultures in the past and now. But eventually, the damage heals.
But what if you attempt this for a significant percentage of the population? Or nearly all the population? What then? What psychological, societal, moral, yes, and spiritual impacts are created? Even if the effort is only for a relatively short period of time?
Humans have “experimented” like this in the past. The reported nature of Spartan society may be a fairly early example, though it could also be that Sargon the Great (aka Nimrod according to some historians) may have tried something like this in his Akkadian Empire. There are no doubt many other examples in ancient history across the world of which we know little or nothing.
In modern times we know of many attempts: especially religious sects – “christian” for the most part but many different religions. Most of these experiments failed quickly and were abandoned. But some lasted several generations, including the Shakers and many farm more unusual groups. Other attempts were subsets of such religious efforts: portions of the LDS both early on and in the 1890s-1915 period.
But perhaps the longest and most disruptive of these is found in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches with their monasteries and convents. The world still has to live with the results of that movement – especially when these orders were a much larger and more important part of their societies. And to make it clear, seldom did these organizations attempt to start at birth. Unlike communists.
But for the “more serious” experiments we have to look at governments. Some date back a long way – the Ottoman Empire, for example. But for large-scale efforts we need to look at the so-called “progressives” and their various socialist efforts: the Paris Commune, the Spartacists in post-WW1 Germany, but especially the Russian Communists – the Soviets, and then China and Cambodia.
But in doing so and paying attention just to groups trying to impose such nonsense on an entire nation, we risk not understanding the full dangers.
We need to consider what was attempted and done by Western governments in general. No, not just the Third Reich in Germany. Although its experiments with Jewish ghettos, “ethnic cleansing” and major relocations of populations were all evil, the real experiments were in the concentration camps (and not just the Jews) and the SS breeding and training program, together with the Hitler Jugend. And regimented their population as a whole. Meanwhile the Soviets were doing the same thing.
But go back a bit more: past the Brits and concentration camps in South Africa. To Canadian and American Indian Reservations and boarding schools. And to common ways of housing plantation slaves. The ideas of destroying families – if not expressly stated that way – have a long history in modern times.
And every time, they failed. Not just failed to accomplish their purpose but failed to keep people alive AND have a society that was even liveable. The latest example of that is the American welfare system, which (even if it is not intended) destroys families. No matter what the color of their skin.
Because the end result of denying and destroying normal, natural families: father, mother, children? To create monsters in human form. Not just Soviet or Chinese or Khymer Rouge cadre. Not just the overseers and SS-manner and gulag staff. Not just BIA workers and IHS guards. But monsters in the guise of those same fathers and mothers and children. Monsters who not just starve and eat other humans, but psychopaths and sociopaths who refuse to be a part of a society, who seek to destroy and destroy and dominate. Mad dogs.
That happened in China: indeed, although their present leaders WERE cadre or the children of cadre, they are now the ones in charge. And in the West, it is the children and grandchildren of the monsters formed by the madness of Communism, Socialism, and war 80 years ago and more. Ditto in the former Soviet area.
Repeating the cycle of madness as led by government leaders and survivors – and by victims of those governments.
Which means that we (at least as a society) have NOT learned the lessons of history. And means we may be doomed to repeat it.