The New Dark Age, Conclusion
The modern American household is a far cry from the family "castle" that even the King dared not enter. It is a set of cubicles, where individuals stash their stuff and listen to their own music or watch their own programs, punctuated by common rooms where the members rarely dine together, and, if they do, they consume their take-out meals or microwaved frozen dinners of their choice, while scrolling up and down endlessly on the smart phones that keep them stupid.
From the ancient perspective, a husband and wife and their children represented only a link in the chain that connected ancestors with descendants. Greeks and Romans had no word for “the family.” Instead, they had two sets of words, one that emphasized the household (which could include slaves, hired servants, and various dependent relations), and the other that emphasized the ties of blood.
Until recently, governments have left nuclear families alone, sensing that they present no threat to the power of the state. However, the builders of powerful states have always feared the strength of the extended family and the clan. Whether in Britain, in the Balkans, or in the American South, clans have been a law unto themselves. This may not always be a good thing, as evidenced by the frequent blood feuds that erupted in Scotland, Montenegro, and Texas, but in times of need, it is the clan--not the household-- that has the power and the will to stand up for its members, when they are being oppressed by government.
The Soviet leadership learned this lesson quickly. The first generation of Bolsheviks had learned from Marx that the family was an instrument of class oppression. Although their contempt for the family matched that of Hilary Clinton and other modern leftists, they quickly decided that while the nuclear family was a useful tool for raising the state’s children, the extended kin networks in Russia and Ukraine were actually a threat to the total power of the state. Henceforth, Soviet law, while breaking up the extended family, actually gave protection to what shallow and historically ignorant sociologists like to call “the bourgeois family.”
Today, then, faced with the state’s stepped-up effort (though largely unconscious) to destroy the last remnants of Christian civilization, American families are being given very bad advice from Evangelical pop psychologists who want them to recreate the "Ozzie and Harriet" model of the 1950’s family. Contrasting the self-fictionalized Ozzie and Harriet with the equally banal but all too real Ozzie Osbourne and his wife, conservatives have held up the Nelsons (as well as the Cleavers, the Andersons, and Fred McMurray's motherless household) as the ideal suburban family: a dad who did not have to work, a mother who baked cookies all day, two inoffensive children--one of whom was successfully marketed as a rock star. The Nelsons were, in Eliot’s phrase, “decent, godless people.” No one believed anything, no one did anything, no one went to church.
Instead of mooning over the Nelsons and the Cleavers, American reactionaries could be looking at reruns of The Real McCoys, a series which depicted the tribulations of a displaced Appalachian family trying to run a farm in California. In coping with California and their child, Luke and Kate McCoy were not alone: They had Luke’s sister Hassie and Grandpa McCoy to support them, and, after a while, they even incorporated the Mexican farmhand Pepino, into the family.
Going beyond Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna, American families might take even more valuable lessons from the real McCoys of West Virginia, brave and hardworking people who knew how to support their families and protect them from their enemies. (I mean no disrespect to the Hatfields, even if they were Unionists.) Like all clans, the McCoys prized their freedom and independence and knew that their freedom depended on the efforts and loyalty of the clan, not on government, not on movements, not on counselors.
There is not much left of the McCoys or of any other clan in the developed world, but as the darkness gathers once again, Christian families had better understand that their freedom and independence will not come from a pro-family tax policy or a legal foundation or a militia group. Those who wish to be free will have to move back to their hometown (or find a new one), drag grandpa out of the rest home or trailer park where he thinks he is happy, hunt up the cousins they have not seen in ten years, and begin to think of their friends and employees as potential candidates for adoption into the clan they are building. If nothing else, they will form a network of friends with whom they can exchange recipes and share grief. At best they will found the village it takes, so we are repeatedly told, to rear a child.