Not only do parents who homeschool their children fulfill their duty. They are also protecting society from the move towards totalitarianism. (Part 2 of Opposing the move towards totalitarianism)
For the main part it has been totalitarian states that have weakened family solidarity in a targeted manner, for the simple reason that an atomized mass stripped of its natural social structures is easier to control. Competing for the loyalty of the individual – something that is always being played out between Polis and Oikos – even democracies easily succumb to the temptation of weakening the family and cutting its responsibilities in order to expand governmental influence.
A strong and healthy Oikos is a horror scenario for every dictator. A few insular and uprooted individuals, however, can easily be controlled without the danger of substantial resistance. This fact results in the paradox that the extremely hostile-to-freedom dictatorships of the 20th century have been accommodated, above all, by the freedom movements of the Age of Enlightenment. It’s those very movements who have in effect weakened the Oikos level and strengthened individualism.
Besides, according to a present day conception governmental authority emphasizes the individuality of man to a very high degree. Responsibilities that used to be concentrated in the family have been shifted to the individual who has in turn been allocated a high degree of individual freedom. Nowaday this is restricted by governmental order only – not by patriarchal order, as it has formerly been.
Dis-empowering families removes separation of powers
However, the vacuum of power resulting from this shrinking familial responsibility has been filled by the state. Although modern spirit loves to depict patriarchy as a kind of root of evil, no patriarchal structure has ever caused such tectonic destructions in societies as the symbiosis between individualism and the strong state. While the influence a patriarch may be able to exert is narrowly bounded, governmental limits are growing ever closer to zero.
And even separation of powers in democracies, designed to limit the worst proliferates of governmental totality, is nowhere near as effective as the natural separation of powers that goes with the familial society level. Strictly speaking, the highly praised democratic separation of powers suffers from an incurable constructional defect:
Separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial powers is only a separation of powers between different governmental authorities. Consequently, the state divides power amongst itself. No doubt this still is a better option than an open dictatorship. But we must not be blinded to the fact that the truly effective, age-old separation of powers, the one between state and family, between Polis and Oikos, has in truth been eliminated by dis-empowering the family.
Elimination of family authority results in totalitarianism
This is also the opinion of an expert of constitutional law, Prof. Dr. K. A. Schachtschneider. In his essay »The Legal Problem: Family«, he states that the nationalization of families, the judicial splitting up family members into individual entities and the elimination of family authority are the reasons for todays development of ‘democracies’ towards totalitarian states. By now the state, according to Schachtschneider, cannot fulfill its task to protect the family for the simple reason that it no longer knows what family is.
Not only the secular state, but also many Christians have by now accepted the conception of man from the age of enlightenment, which is characterized by individualism. In fact, they are at a complete loss of comprehending the patriarchal Oikos, which characterizes the biblical conception of man. Withal, this progressing dis-empowerment of the Oikos is making an impact on all areas of life: economy, security, social responsibility and in particular also education.
To be continued…