Tag Archive for: family policy

In a post-capitalist utopia, the family has been abolished

Is pregnancy really just an extreme sport with a high death rate?

According to the famous assessment of Tolstoy in Anna Karenina, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This fundamentally unfair situation, it might be said, goes against the key socialist tenet of spreading all social assets around equally – particularly misery.

One contemporary far left thinker who seems to have come from an unhappy home is Sophie Lewis, an Oxford-educated German-British academic, lecturer and writer currently employed part-time at The Center for Research in Feminist, Queer and Transgender Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

Ironically for someone based in the City of Brotherly Love, Lewis is an open hater of the traditional family unit, as the proudly provocative titles of her 2019 book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against the Family, and its 2022 sequel Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation rather give away. As MercatorNet said of Lewis’ first book at the time, “Full Surrogacy Now is a bracing read, with something to offend nearly everyone.”

The mother of all lies

Lewis’ big idea is “gestational communism”, or the abolition of “dyadic modes of doing family”. Traditional bonds of love between a child and its parents only train infants to believe in the capitalist notion of private property, which is what many parents “selfishly” see their children as being, rather than the common property of society at large, or the State.

“Human nature”, so-called, is nothing but a sick illusion. The (generally) automatic love of mother for child is not natural at all, argues Lewis, but an emotional phantom conjured by the current dominance of global capital. The family is nothing but an artificial capitalist brainwashing factory, Lewis explained in 2019, designed for “training us up to be workers, training us to be inhabitants of a binary-gendered and racially stratified system, training us not to be queer.”

Traditional families even caused racial genocide. Whilst “black motherhood was always queer” and collectivized, she says, “it was the invention of the ‘natural’ private family household that entrenched the disposability of black life in America.” How else could you explain the sinister fact that “black gestators are dying in maternity wards” at higher rates than their white peers today are?

Wait, “gestators”? What are they? Lewis really means “mothers”, a term now so passé in the world of contemporary Marxist gender-studies that she prefers not to use it – after all, men can have babies too these days, at least if “men” are defined purely verbally, and not biologically.

To abolish these manifold ills and so usher in an alleged utopia of “queerer, more comradely” forms of reproduction, surrogate gestators from Africa and Asia should henceforth be used to birth all white Western children, demands Lewis, or maybe one day even artificial biomechanical wombs, in a rapidly-developing process known as ectogenesis.

“No to biogenetic possessiveness” and “Let every pregnancy be for everyone” are two mottoes of Lewis’ which will surely soon pop up on angry placards outside maternity wards.

There’s one born every minute

Pregnancy itself is nothing but an “extreme sport” to Lewis or, more accurately, a form of unpaid work (do we not speak of gestators “going into labour”?) and one with an absolutely abysmal Health & Safety record. In a 2020 interview, Lewis explained how:

“The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300,000 people died from pregnancy-related causes in 2015 … I reject the notion that there’s some kind of ‘biological’ necessity for this kind of human carnage … What other workplace or industry would society accept, if it injured millions and killed 300,000 a year?”

If those particular pregnancy-related stats make Sophie blanch, just wait until she hears how many people die every year from the long-term effects of simply being born!

But there is an even wider political agenda at work here too. Breaking down the barriers between men and women, parents and children, families and society, will also help erase other barriers.

No believer in borders, Lewis dreams that, if white Western women begin to habitually use non-white African or Asian women as their hired foetus-carriers, then this will help erase the supposedly artificial divide existing between Canadians and Kenyans, or Belgians and Burmese, hopefully making the idea of the nation state itself collapse. Then, everyone of every gender, sexual orientation and nationality can end up living together in perfect interracial queer harmony in a global post-capitalist paradise of her own imagining.

Pregnant with meaning

But would this be the actual likely result of Lewis’ grand designs? In her new book Feminism Against Progress, the conservative-minded English feminist Mary Harrington argues reproductive developments like ectogenesis and mass surrogacy will in fact only benefit Lewis’ hated Big Capitalism even further.

For Harrington, “The universal solvents of freedom and equality can only do their work by liberating us from ‘embedded’ life in a web of given social relations,” like that once spoken of by George Eliot in Middlemarch: social relations like those of family, friends and organic local communities. And, once this web is successfully dissolved, we can then be exploited even further by big business.

If not only child-rearing becomes a kind of semi-communal activity, as nurseries and pre-schools already provide today, but also child-gestating, then what does this actually leave the “liberated” mothers who have farmed out their duties in this respect free to do with those newly unencumbered nine months of their lives? For most, it will set them “free” to do nothing other than keep on working in their pre-existing jobs – maybe even taking on a few extra hours, to pay the hired Eritrean mothers or robo-womb operators their necessary fees.

Lewis dreams of a future world in which work has been abolished. Yet if our future truly is one of Full Surrogacy Now, there will probably be more work for women than ever. At least today’s new mothers get a few months’ maternity leave; within Lewis’ Brave New World of gestational communism they won’t.

The Handmaid’s fairy tale

Would most ordinary mothers – sorry, “gestators” – really want this to happen? And would most children really want to be raised not in an ordinary family, as today, but within a gigantic, inescapable “classless commune” encompassing our entire globe (or the gullible Western bits of it, anyway)? I’d imagine not, but Lewis, who is herself happily childless, doesn’t seem to care. “It’s true: I am not thinking of children here,” Harrington cites her as airily admitting.

So who is she thinking of, then? Only of herself. Lewis aspires for her own personal friendship networks of radical far left “aspirationally universal queer love” to become the ideal mode of all our future living, a New Model Family queerly engineered to spawn a world of “beautiful mutants hell-bent on [social] regeneration, not self-replication” of the family-line, as today.

In other words, a world filled only with self-styled “beautiful mutants” just like her. Her childhood was terrible, and so should everyone else’s now be.

Home is where the hurt is

By her own account, Lewis’ childhood relationship with her father was dysfunctional, to say the least. When she told him she had been raped aged 13, he allegedly accused her of lying, saying rape was “good for the feminist CV”, and blaming her for one of her mother’s past suicide attempts.

Unsurprisingly, Sophie left home the first chance she got. More surprisingly, she later formed her own dyadic family unit herself, by getting married (to a woman). Yet, at their wedding, they did not exchange vows but what a credulously celebratory portrait in Vice magazine called “disavowals: of the institution of marriage, of the biological family, and the dysfunction that both can breed.”

However, when her own mother later lay dying in hospital, Lewis still attended “my closest bio-relative’s bedside” – but, as Vice explained, this didn’t make her into a hypocrite:

“Lewis didn’t find that looking after her sick mother contradicted her stance on the nuclear family. If we had achieved the ends of family abolition already, there would have been a vast [communist] network of people to care for her mother in those final months of her life, not just Lewis and her mother.”   

How can Lewis guarantee that? If you can choose your family, as Lewis ultimately advocates – she says infants produced by gestational communism should adopt and periodically drop parents, grandparents and siblings voluntarily as we do today with our friends – then what happens to those poor souls who nobody wants to adopt? Who will look after them in their hours of need?

Losing the lottery of life

The ultimate stated aim of Lewis’ pseudo-philosophy of “Gestational Justice” is to ensure that “the provision of basic physical and psychological needs is no longer dependent on a genetic lottery”, i.e. that of birth. Theoretically, this will break the logic of Tolstoy’s celebrated aphorism, ensuring that, rather than just some lucky people being born into happy families, one day everyone will be able to choose their way into one, the exact reverse of Sophie’s fate as a child.

But whilst there are innumerable sad cases like her own, far more people are already born into more-or-less happy families anyway, just like Tolstoy implied. Stripping these lucky lottery winners of their prize in the name of “equality” will not necessarily make everyone equally happy at all, but simply run the very real risk of making everyone equally unhappy instead.

Still, that’s socialism for you.


Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience… More by Steven Tucker.

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

NSW Premier puts families at centre of election pitch

This will be the first policy initiative of its kind in Australia.

The New South Wales state election is just around the corner and the major parties are putting forward their final pitches to the voters.

Last weekend the Liberal party, currently in government and led by Premier Dominic Perrottet, launched its big family-friendly policy, the New South Wales Kids Future Fund. The policy is based on a similar Canadian initiative.

It was a notable announcement — the first policy of its kind in Australia. The ABC explained the policy this way:

If re-elected on March 25, the Coalition has promised to create savings funds for every child and kick in the first A$400.

Every year the child’s family puts another $400 in, the government will match it.

The earnings are not taxed and once the child turns 18, they can withdraw the money but they must use it on education or housing.

Perrottet touts the long-term thinking behind the policy, saying it will help a new generation “build the foundations of financial security so they are ready for success in the NSW of tomorrow”.

The Labor opposition says the policy will only help wealthy families and will do nothing to help the cost of living crisis hitting families right now.

Indeed, much of the criticism the policy has attracted is focused on the same concern – that poorer families don’t have the spare cash to put into an account for the future and wealthy families too, leaving the poorer kids even further behind when they turn 18 compared to their more affluent counterparts.

While the NSW government has proposed a mechanism for less well-off families to still get $200 each year into their child’s account based on their eligibility for certain government support, the criticism of the policy is not unreasonable.

After all, few policies that involve direct payments to families won’t benefit some families over others. And more money that goes directly to the kids is less money going into the pockets of education bureaucrats and social service NGOs.

Further, policy that incentivises parents to find a way to think less short-term and invest in their kid’s long-term future should be encouraged. One of the great underreported social and economic causes of inequality is family breakdown. It dilutes wealth, creates more demand for housing, destabilises the day to day life of the kids affected and can often be a symptom of adults putting their needs before their kids.

Not that the Perrottet proposal is about family breakdown, but a bit of a nudge towards putting kids first over the long term is not a bad thing. And if, as a result, it makes parents think a bit more carefully about how they invest in their kids’ futures, that’s even better.


Samuel John

Samuel John is a Sydney-based writer and commentator. He has previously worked as a political staffer, ministerial adviser, and in government relations. More by Samuel John.


Great news from Washington about American families

Transgender tide may be turning

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

America must take care of its families, or go the way of the Roman Empire

Time to turn away from materialism and imperialism.

One thing demographers have known all along is something you cannot deny: “Demography is destiny.” The phrase was coined by 19th century Frenchman Auguste Comte. Agree or not with his positivist philosophy, he nailed it about demography.

While clickbait comes at us with news of wars, markets and celebrity gossip, the bigger story, the backstory behind so much of everything, is demography.

Demography didn’t get much attention in legacy media until 2020 when the British medical journal The Lancet released the most comprehensive world fertility study to date. The study documented a mysterious, unprecedented earth-shattering trend: a 50% decline in world fertility over 50 years, with no end in sight. Even the study’s scholarly authors described their findings as “jaw-dropping.”

We are only beginning to realise the social, economic and political impact. Look no further than the United States. Trends in America are followed worldwide and tell quite a tale.

Rising cost of living

For decades, well into the 1960s, US pensions and retirement benefits proliferated. Why not? Back then, relatively few people lived beyond 80, and it was a given that there would be four or more workers to support every retiree.

But things have changed mightily since Social Security and elderly healthcare schemes came of age. The heady days of easy money are gone.

First, people live much longer and have fewer children. The US fertility rate is 1.7 children per female, 20% below replacement level.

Also, the dominant world reserve currency — the US dollar — has diminished in value. Back in the 1960s you could buy a Coke for a dime. Now it’s at least ten times that. Is the soda worth more, or your money worth less?

Today two incomes are necessary to support the average family. That wasn’t the case back when a Coke cost a dime. Women, mostly out of necessity, entered the workforce.  That meant less family time. In such a system, children become a financial liability.

Then there is the uniquely American higher education industry, a colossal con commanding exorbitant subsidies and insanely inflated fees for a ticket to upward mobility. For the average American family, the costs of college are their largest expenditure apart from the family home.

Covid, the economy and lower fertility are testing the diploma mills as never before.  Also, a growing number of Americans are beginning to push back against a pious professoriate that subordinates authentic education to woke indoctrination.

Today there are over 65 million Social Security beneficiaries and 132 million people who work full-time, just two workers kicking in for each beneficiary. And a lot of those full-time folks don’t make much. On top of that we have Medicare, Medicaid and a vast global imperial footprint, all financed by a fiat currency that is losing value. Without at least replacement fertility, these systems will see a slow-motion collapse.

Thus two troublesome trends confront American families: A diminishing currency (chronic inflation) and declining fertility. Each exacerbates the other.

Also in the mix is an American popular culture promoting consumerism and instant gratification, prioritising creature comforts over children. Hedonism is not family-friendly.

Stop-gap measures

Over time the powers-that-be have tried to fix things with:

  1. Immigration: For years, cheap labour flacks told us that importing vast numbers of unskilled low-wage workers would save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Not true. Mass immigration does not generate sufficient revenue to offset social welfare costs. (Funny thing about immigration: moneyed interests privatise the profit [cheap labour] and socialise — via taxpayers — the costs). Mass immigration instead suppresses wages, making it harder to rear children. Not only that, recent immigrants and their descendants feel the squeeze like everyone else, and their fertility is now below replacement-level.
  2. Printing money: In order to finance the welfare/warfare state, the government just continues to spend. We’ve become accustomed to debt financing and printing money to prop up a broken system. This works for a time if your money is the dominant world reserve currency. Imagine if you maxxed out your credit and could print your own money to finance it. Works fine until creditors say your money is no good or worth much less than you think. Inflation hurts families.

The above short-term fixes have not worked. And let’s face it: the days of global dollar dominance are numbered. There is a disastrous disconnect between public policy and demographic reality. Try as we might, there is no substitute for children.

America has a large middle class that binds the social fabric and includes most intact families. What is good for the American middle class is good for the family. But the middle class — the establishment’s cash cow — is shrinking.

At the very least, supporting families and children should take priority over subsidies for the elderly. But the elderly vote, and politicians care more about the next election than the next generation. However, supporting parents and children is the solution to preserving retirement programs and the society at large.

Superpower status at the expense of family is a Faustian bargain. We need to hunker down and focus on the family instead of propping up the wastrel welfare/warfare state. Yes, it can be done, though it will require changing our ways, establishing new priorities and investing in the future of families.

If not, look no further than ancient Rome. They also dumped their Republic, became an Empire, spent like crazy and came to neglect the welfare of families.

Is there a lesson here?


Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family… More by Louis T. March

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.