David Brooks is finally acknowledging the need for households and families. This sounds an awful lot like Aaron Renn’s newsletter on the fall of the household. He’s totally wrong about much though:
During the Victorian era, the idea of “hearth and home” became a cultural ideal. The home “is a sacred place, a vestal temple, a temple of the hearth watched over by Household Gods, before whose faces none may come but those whom they can receive with love,” the great Victorian social critic John Ruskin wrote. This shift was led by the upper-middle class, which was coming to see the family less as an economic unit and more as an emotional and moral unit, a rectory for the formation of hearts and souls.
Actually, the “hearth and home” concept dates back to Adam and Eve. 2500 years ago, Xenophon wrote about households in “The Estate Manager”
But while extended families have strengths, they can also be exhausting and stifling. They allow little privacy; you are forced to be in daily intimate contact with people you didn’t choose. There’s more stability but less mobility. Family bonds are thicker, but individual choice is diminished. You have less space to make your own way in life. In the Victorian era, families were patriarchal, favoring men in general and first-born sons in particular.
You know what else is exhausting and stifling? Replacing the extended family with the State or GloboMegaCorp. I find my options pretty damn limited by both. Also, There may be SOBs in your family, but they’re YOUR SOBs, as Steve Sailer put it. Social friction is part of life. One of the reasons GloboMegaCorp loves Hindus so much is they’re very good at navigating social frictions due to their upbringing in a traditional extended-family society. Almost all CEOs of GloboTechMegaCorps are Hindu. The CEOs of IBM, Goolag, and Microsoft are all Hindu. Apple is probably next. I know of another several billion-dollar tech company that’s about to have a Hindu CEO.
Bear in mind that Brooks is citing his extended family – Jews – almost exclusively in his article. For my part, I found Aaron Renn and CR Wiley’s writings on family and households far better.