MUST-LISTEN: Jennifer Roback Morse explains how socialism undermines family

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

New podcast featuring Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse discussing marriage and family. You can skip through the first 5 minutes because it’s just introductory. This is a great interview – highly recommended! There is a fair amount of Catholic stuff in the interview, so be forewarned. The interviewer just goes through some of her essays and asks her about them.

When I hear a woman who has this much of an understanding about what marriage is about and what forces are arrayed against marriage, it just makes me want to run out and get married, because she makes it sound so interesting that I want to try it out and see if everything she says is really true. She has such a good understanding of who her opponents are and what they think and what they are trying to accomplish. A very serious woman.

The MP3 file is here. (54 minutes)


Why are socialists so hostile to the natural family? (essay)

  • socialists oppose monogamy
  • socialists view marriage as a structure that oppressive because of gender roles
  • socialists favor “group marriage”
  • socialists believe that children should be raised by the collective, not by parents
  • socialists intend to achieve this by imposing their vision through government power

How does the welfare state discourage people from having children? (essay)

  • high taxes make having more children unaffordable
  • state regulation of marriage and parenting opens door to risk of legal trouble
  • welfare payments to individuals means that relationships can be exited easily
  • e.g. – women can divorce and substitute welfare for a husband/father

What is the sandwich generation? (essay)

  • boomers complained about having to take care of children and elderly parents
  • with the normal timing for having children, this doesn’t happen
  • but if child-bearing is delayed, then this problem occurs
  • also, there are fewer siblings available to help with aging parents
  • this opens up the need for government to take over care for dependents
  • women are encouraged to focus on education and career during fertile years

What is the effect of welfare states mandating high minimum wages? (essay)

  • minimum wage laws increase unemployment rates
  • if you require employers to pay high wages, then employers offer fewer jobs
  • young people are just not productive enough to get those jobs
  • so young people stay in school more and delay adulthood and child-bearing
  • welfare states also make it hard to fire people, causing more unemployment
  • when government raises minimum wages and benefits, it hurts young people
  • when young people finally get a job, they are already in their 30s

How do Catholics respond to the socialist emphasis on equality? (essay)

  • making everyone equal requires the abolition of differences between people
  • for example, feminists try to make men have the same careers as men
  • but this requires women to diminish the fact that they want children
  • Catholics don’t want to make everyone equal, but to defend the weak
  • Christianity supports private property (thou shalt not steal)
  • Christianity supports the family as being ordained by God
  • Rerum Novarum says that inequality and imperfection in society is OK

Who is excluded from socialism’s drive for equality? (essay)

  • children are excluded from equality because they are dependent
  • children impose obligations on people to take care of them
  • the same is true for the elderly

2 thoughts on “MUST-LISTEN: Jennifer Roback Morse explains how socialism undermines family”

  1. I might be wrong, but it seems this is all based on a misunderstanding of what the word ‘equal’ means. ‘Equal’ – in value, worth, and dignity – does not mean ‘the same.’ Morse is right to call out the pitfalls of the modern definition of socialism.

    1. No, you’re not wrong. I agree with your definition of equal as being equal in value, worth, dignity, etc. I think the socialists are basically committed to equal life outcomes regardless of choices. What does Marx say? “From each according to his ability to each according to his need”. Well, I’m going to say something right now. I didn’t spend all this time going to school and work to pay for everyone else’s sex changes and abortions. I’m sorry to be so mean about it, but I want to get married and have children. And those children are going to need to be homeschooled and then private schooled and then they may want to start businesses or get PhDs like Stephen Meyer. And I can’t afford to pay for everyone and have enough left over for my plans, too. I’m sure that if I ever got married, my wife would be the first to tell you why she needs to be able to stay home with the children to form their first attachments, to get them to be able to trust, and to help them to have empathy and a conscience. But that means keeping our money in the family, and keeping the government social engineers out of the family.

      Isn’t Dr. J great? When I listen to her, I think “you should get married, because look what women are like”. When I listen to her talk passionately about these issues, I think “she knows more about this than you, so you have nothing to worry about – she’ll take care of everything”. It’s like marrying an accountant. Now you don’t worry about taxes. Or marrying a lawyer. Now you have nothing to fear from the law. Her knowledge of these issues gives me a sense of trust and security about marriage. If women approached marriage like this, men would find them irresistible. She really knows how to handle a husband’s needs and concerns, and she knows about children’s needs and concerns, too.

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