The traditional family is now considered irrelevant, Such a trend is explained. It is also shown that this will not lead to a world of individual freedom, but a world in which the human himself ceases to be important.
Nietzsche proclaimed in ‘The Gay Science’ that God was dead. He did not deny the existence of God. Rather, Nietzsche was stating a fact that he observed. God no longer mattered in Europe.
In the 20th century, the nation-state was then proclaimed to be dead in Europe. After WWI, monarchies no longer were powerful. After WWII, European countries became either markets for American goods or Russian experimental labs.
No more God, king (nation-state), or country.
‘God, King, Country’ on a roadside in Morocco. Morocco is one of the few countries in Africa to have experienced little unrest since becoming independent after colonialism.
A new world did not emerge from a removal of religion and a devaluing of the nation-state, however. Those like the adherents of the Frankfurt school realized this as early as the 1920s. They conjectured that people were so repressed that they needed to free themselves of all social restraints. From the 1960s onwards, the family became the new target.
Herbert Marcuse, one of the leading lights of the Frankfurt school.
Nowadays, the family is dead in Europe. As Nietzsche observed with God, once something sacred is questioned, it ceases to be sacred any longer. Merely to question whether people should get married or not, or how they should be married, is tantamount to denying the family (it should also be remembered that the word ‘king’ doesn’t do justice to the concept of classical monarchy which is essentially a family affair with the subjects thought of as being part of the monarchical family).
All these things mentioned – God, the nation-state, the family – were all special because they were unique and singular. They are no longer important because it is morally felt that the individual human can’t be subject to any outside forces. This is modern humanism, a different animal from Renaissance humanism it must be expressly stated. Secular humanism may be a better term for modern humanism.
Pico della Mirandola, a Renaissance humanist. In modern humanism, humans are independent of God.
Moral arguments such as personal autonomy are rubbish. People live in communities. If a community collapses, the individual no longer has any meaningful freedom. God, a national community, and family, are things that people hold in common. Life is then not merely eating, sleeping, playing, and pleasuring oneself.
No more God.
No more nation.
No more family.
So what is next?
It is predicted that the human being is next. This is not a wild prediction. Let me explain.
There is form and there is content. For example, a nation is a form. What goes into that nation could be anything from communism to theocracy which are content.
Content goes deeper, however. There are so many reasons for living in a national community such that it is impossible to enumerate these reasons. Content is highly subjective but is still real.
What has happened is that things are now only expressed formally, but the content is being left completely open. For example, marriage is formally a contract between two people. But in terms of content, it is much more. It is so much more that it can’t be expressed comprehensively.
Once something becomes pure form, It is easy for someone to come along and stuff anything into that form. Comprehensively explaining theology and the necessity of being loyal to a nation-state is a similar problem if everything is expressed as form.
Similarly, it will become difficult to comprehensively explain all the things that go into being human. Humans are inherently a special creation. One can see that clearly, but explaining it is difficult. Geneticists then tell us that, formally, a human is no different from a chimpanzee. We believe them because we think in terms of form.
Cartoons like Peppa Pig are funny because we emotionally recognize that humans are inherently different to animals.
This will then mean that humans will be seen as just another animal. Modern humanism, originally based on the idea that humans were a special creation because of the identity they had with God, facilitates this. Hence, secular humanism will kill the thing it professes to love.
Currently, I am researching a book on Carl Schmitt. Any comments or suggested corrections to this post are welcome. I have already authored one book Mysteries of State in the Renaissance. My Amazon page is here.