Sunday, November 16, 2014


H.L. Mencken wrote a study of Friedrich Nietzsche in 1908 and this passage struck me as a foreshadowing of the fears modern American conservatives have about the future of the family:
We see about us that women are becoming more and more independent and self-sufficient and that, as individuals, they have less and less need to seek and retain the good will and protection of individual men, but we overlook the fact that this tendency is fast under-mining the ancient theory that the family is a necessary and impeccable institution and that without it progress would be impossible. As a matter of fact, the idea of the family, as it exists today, is based entirely upon the idea of feminine helplessness. So soon as women are capable of making a living for themselves and their children, without the aid of the fathers of the latter, the old corner-stone of the family - the masculine defender and bread-winner - will find his occupation gone, and it will become ridiculous to force him, by law or custom, to discharge duties for which there is no longer need. Wipe out your masculine defender, and your feminine parasite - haus-frau - and where is your family?

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