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Our first exposure to socialism’s marketing slogan is an apt description of a normal childhood. From each according to his/her ability (parents, teachers, et al.); to each according to their need (the children.) What conclusions can we draw about adults who want to extend that state of affairs beyond childhood?


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    More generally, the family is often used as a metaphor for how government ought to work. You’ll find this across the political spectrum and even in some religious circles but it seems that leftists are most enamored with it, in contrast with the rough and tumble of the free market. Ironically, while wishing to model society on the family they are busy undermining the family that they so admire.

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      I don’t think it’s the family that socialists admire. What they seek is the unquestioned leadership of a parental figure in a system where the participants know their place. Children don’t know better. They mostly accept the beneficence and rules of their parents because it is offered for innocent purposes, love. The healthy ones grow into slightly rebellious teenagers who want and seek independence. How many times do we hear the progressives lament the stubbornness of the plebes who vote against their interests. Shouldn’t we all want free college, free healthcare, managed resources and markets, guided by the parental figure who just wants what best for his/her children. The benefits of childhood morph into the legally binding entitlement when they become adults. But the power structure remains the same. A grateful beneficiary obedient to a wise pater-familias.

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        Yep, the most likely answer to your original question (“what conclusions can we draw?”) is that socialists want to replicate the authority that parents have over their young children. Clean up your room or get punished! Instant verdicts, immediate penalties. No appeals.

        To respond to the family metaphor point, I’d say (some of) the left is applauding the demise of the family, and the decrease in the U.S. birthrate, so that metaphor may roll off their tongues a bit awkwardly. Here’s one warning:

        Harvard sociologist Carle C. Zimmerman’s 1947 classic Family And Civilization (available on Kindle for only $9.99) will knock you off your chair. In brief, Zimmerman examines the role family structure played in Greco-Roman civilization, as well as the medieval period, up until today.

        He shows that in ancient Greece and Rome, a collapse of “familism” — a worldview that placed the family at the core of society’s self-understanding — preceded a more general civilizational collapse. Zimmerman explains how and why this works. Signs of the ongoing and future collapse include declining fertility rates, abandonment of marital norms, widespread divorce, and the normalization of aberrant forms of sexuality. For contemporary readers, one striking aspect of the book is that Zimmerman published it in 1947, and saw all these things rising in the West in his day — and indeed, had been rising for centuries. Any conservative today who thinks this all began in the 1960s should read Zimmerman.