Yes, that idea is being seriously proposed to “Dismantle Capitalism”. Here’s an archive link.
How about “no”? Does “no” work for you? If not, then how about “hell no”?
If anybody’s been paying attention (like, say, looking at yesterday’s blog post) they know just how important I consider family to be. I’m far, far from alone in that.
The theory in socialist/communisty/whateverist ideas is that if you eliminate the family, and the attachment people have to family, they’ll transfer that attachment to “the people” or more accurately, the State: “The State is mother. The State is father. We live for the State. We die for the State.” Once that happens, the theory goes, we can eliminate this crass materialism and people seeking their own advantage and everyone can live in harmony in a perfect socialist paradise. And, yes, people have tried that, whether by simply trying to minimize the roll of parents, undermining the familial connection between parents and children, or even outright taking children to be raised by the state.
It never leads to a good end.
It doesn’t work. It never works. Even if you eliminate the biological family: Keep people segregated. Reproduce only by artificial insemination. Hey make it in vitro fertilization and artificial wombs to remove the parent child relationship entirely except as purely genetic. Raise children in creches with no idea who provided the genetic material and who among others might possibly share some of that genetic source material. You still won’t eliminate the drive to family.
Family is important. Family is vital. Family is what makes the world go around. Milton Friedman noted that the smallest economic unit isn’t the individual so much as it’s the family. In situations of voluntary exchange, individuals will routinely make changes that are detrimental to them personally if it benefits their family. Which is a fancy way of saying that people are quite willing to make sacrifices for their families.
Take that away and people don’t then gravitate to the faceless collective of “the people” (nor to their self-selected “representatives” of the regime in charge). Instead, they create new units of their own to replace that familial bond. A common example of that is gangs serving as surrogate families for gang members.
You cannot eliminate the family while still retaining anything resembling human. Separate children from their parents and they find surrogate “parents”. Separate siblings and they find surrogate siblings. What they do not do (with perhaps rare exceptions) is sublimate their drive for family into humanity at large.
The results of attempts to eliminate family have always been abysmal. The substitute families almost by definition tend to be highly disfunctional (not to say that “natural” families–which have taken many forms over the course of recorded history and before–are all shining examples, but they’ve generally worked out better than not*). The idea of family has been so universal across the multitudinous cultures of humanity that one might almost think there is a reason for it, if for no other reason than, from my experience, people have generally been happier in a family relationship than not.*
So, to repeat: “Abolish family”? How about “no”.
*Yes, I am well aware that there are counterexamples to these ideas. And, no, I don’t have anything more than a general impression of the truth of the basic principles. I just also happen to think that family would not have survived so long, through so many iterations, in so many widely disparate cultures, if it didn’t fulfill an important, fundamental need in the human species. “Happiness” and “worked out better than not” will serve as terms for the fulfilling of that need.