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The family unit has long been the target of the left, especially the anti-religious left. The left in general pins everything on social class and capitalism as the source of all that is evil in modern life, and sees the family as part of the capitalist structure that needs to be completely thrown out and revised.

The evidence seems to indicate, however, that strong family units and relationships are exactly what you need to be prosperous.

In 1936 post-Great Depression USA, a team of Harvard researchers commissioned a study titled the “Harvard Study of Adult Development”, to track the progress of 268 Harvard sophomores through life. The study even started to track their offspring into a second generation, and currently remains one of the longest-ever running academic studies to ever be undertaken at eighty years old, involving multiple groups of scientists over the decades. A formidable feat, considering that similar studies have usually failed due to participants dropping out, funding drying up, scientists losing interest, or any number of other variables.

In 1973, a group of Boston inner-city youths were added to the study, offering a perspective on social progression from an impoverished perspective.

The study resulted (every two years, researchers would meet with the participants and ask questions) in some startling revelations. Libertarians and conservatives have long known that the fabled leftist bogeyman, “The 1%”, is in fact a dynamic and constantly changing figure, as people move up and down the social ladder based on the outcomes of individual decisions affecting them. The study observed some Harvard sophomores moving into significantly poorer economic status, and sometimes this only happened in the second generation of children. The adage, “The parents make the wealth, and the children spend the wealth”, applied very aptly in these cases. Some of the Harvard students became even more wealthy. Some became doctors and lawyers, one even became a US president, some as previously stated, went down, and became factory workers. Of the Boston youths, some went up to become doctors and lawyers and investment bankers, some also became factory workers, some became even poorer. Of both groups of individuals, some developed mental illness, usually schizophrenia.

The common denominator of the most economically prosperous individuals was not just a strong family structure, either with their own family (such as wife and children) or extended (parents and relatives), but also with relationships in general in their social circles. Those that became ill typically had extremely sour relationships in the form of grudges or unforgiveness for what they deemed very unjust events in their lives, that literally ate away at them for years after the event happened. The study showed that strong relationships were the greatest indicator for stability and economic prosperity, and with that, it can be assumed it also ended up in applying to most other types of prosperity, considering they already had both relationships and economic prosperity.

The Western world’s embrace of capitalism and freedom in general has been among the most prosperity-inducing moves in the world and history, but these countries were also strongly based on the family unit at the time of these massive improvements.

Prosperity is relative; a factory worker might think life is pretty miserable in comparison to the lawyer, despite the unemployed and homeless vagrant at the factory doors; just as the lawyer working extended hours might yearn for a day of less work and more family time that the factory worker might be getting out of his nine-to-five job, depending on career commitments of course. If the left succeeds in destroying the family unit, indications are that life for a majority of people will get worse, and the left will continue to double down on its socialist and individual mandate destroying policies and ideology.

  • Harald Sitta

    An excellent combination of libertarian and conservative thinking. Thank you!

  • kdj

    Can I add that the strong families add to cohesive community structures which are also extremely important in reducing social problems. Generally where there is little community cohesion you have all the social problems of violence, gangs, alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy etc. And, dare I say it, a cohesive community is usually an homogeneous community