Monday, February 10, 2020
David Brooks: "The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake", and an aberration; but eveyone needs to have a place to belong
“The Atlantic” has a booklet-length essay by David Brooks, link (paywall, maybe), "The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake". The tagline is “The family structure we’ve held up as the cultural ideal for the past half-century has been a catastrophe for many. It’s time to figure out better ways to live together.”
Part 1 is called “The era of extended clans.” Brooks talks about the evolution of the extended family, in an era when people couldn’t afford privacy. You were forced to accept intimacy with people who were less than ideal, “the best you could do.”
Then came hyper-individualism, led by women and competitive gay men.
Part II is called “redefining kinship”. It needs to happen, to bring back some localism, as the “anywhere’s” leave the “somewhere’s” behind and risk being stranded in outer space themselves, alone.