How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy
t3knomanser

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Family Values

I support family values. Let me make that clear. The family, as a social unit, forms the basic atomic component of any society that has ever existed. Why this is forms the basis of a very interesting anthropological argument. However, the family unit has been all but eradicated with the advent of modern transportation, starting with the automobile, and culminating with jet travel. No longer do children grow old in the same town where they grew up. We move around, constantly, and the number of moves an individual makes in their lifetime is continuing to increase. As children grow old in parts of the country geographically distant from their parents, grandparents, and other traditional family members, they also grow socially distant.

Many of the problems conservatives track back to a lack of family values arise from this issue. Not so much the loss of values, as the loss of family. The basic structure that holds society together has frayed.

So how do we solve this without resorting to extreme measures to keep family structure from decaying further? We redesign the structure of the family. What features are needed in a neo-family structure that aren't offered in the current?
Geographical robustness:
Any new family structure must be able to cope with geographical distance in some fashion.
Resource sharing:
There must be some way for members of the new family to pool time, money, food, etc.
Value structure and cultural indoctrination:
The main purpose of the family unit is to impart to its members (especially the children) a set of values to guide behavior and the protocols for operating within the society that contains the family.
Tradition
Any family unit imparts a sense of family tradition; an understanding of those who have come before, their actions, and the reasons for them.
Adaptability:
Each new family must be able to change to suit changing conditions, which is where the existing extended and nuclear family structres have failed.


To this end, I offer what I call the "ad-hoc" family, or the family-by-fiat. This is a simple concept, and one that is already appearing in today's metro-internet culture. Individuals connect and form a group. This group is close-knit, built on shared values, goals, and behaviors. Usually these people are friends, but nothing excludes members collected by blood ties. This forms the core of our family unit. These people behave as a traditional extended family would, but instead of being formed by blood ties, they are connected by ideologies and experiences. This in itself does not provide any improvement over the traditional family structure, but structured properly, this unit can meet all of the requirements stated.

Geographical robustness:
These units are formed by personal choice. If one member, or a group of members (such as a nuclear family unit) must move, within a period of time, they can find another unit in their area capable of including them. If not, they could always form their own ad-hoc family and include members. Either way, a structure that meets the following needs exists.
Resource sharing:
Each of these ad-hoc families can share resources by the same choice that replaces blood ties. Moreover, each family can choose the degree of resource sharing involved. Some families may choose to pool living quarters, funds, food, etc., while others may pool fewer, or even perhaps no resources. If a sub-unit (a group of individuals within the ad-hoc family, such as a traditional nuclear-unit, a couple, or some number of closer friends), is not comfortable with the resource sharing level, they can find an ad-hoc family that better suits their needs.
Value structure and cultural indoctrination:
This ad-hoc unit is better adapted to sharing these knowledges than a traditional family; these units are formed on value structure, and the culture into which the members were indoctrinated. Since these are the source of the family connection, it stands to reason that they will be enforced.
Tradition:
Here, the ad-hoc structure is arguably weaker. With fluid membership, it's hard to have a strong connection with past members. However, remember that the connections are value-based. So, the traditions being upheld would be the traditions of the ideals and values of the family. A family for non-violence and equality could link their tradition to people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Ghandi.
Adaptability:
This is the strongest feature of the ad-hoc family. Since the very structure is fluid, the members can exit and reform into new and different families when situations change, and make the current environment uncomfortable. One economy may support small families of four or five people, while a different economy may be better suited to a larger, more extended family.


There are other advantages to this. One of the biggest factors in destroying the nuclear family has been the economic need for multiple workers to maintain a small family. Individuals from nations that value an extended family have seen the value of this, in terms of an economy of scale. These families are able to have both parents working, while grandparents are able to be at home with the children. The ad-hoc family can mirror this through resource sharing; some members can stay at home with other members children, while other members work. Because all of the individuals involved are working within the same value structure, we have a safe and secure environment to supervise our children.

This is not a replacement for the nuclear family. This is a meta-unit, that can be comprised of nuclear families. This also allows for families built on other structures: homosexual and polyamorous ad-hoc families are possible. While some argue that such structures go against family values, I refer back to my key features of a family. There is nothing to show that any non-nuclear base fails to meet those standards. All we are doing is making our social abstraction a degree more granular; we work with larger, self organizing units, and leave the details to them.
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I support family values. Let me make that clear. The family, as a social unit, forms the basic atomic component of any society that has ever existed. Why this is forms the basis of a very interesting anthropological argument. However, the family unit has been all but eradicated with the advent of modern transportation, starting with the automobile, and culminating with jet travel. No longer do children grow old in the same town where they grew up. We move around, constantly, and the number of moves an individual makes in their lifetime is continuing to increase. As children grow old in parts of the country geographically distant from their parents, grandparents, and other traditional family members, they also grow socially distant.

Many of the problems conservatives track back to a lack of family values arise from this issue. Not so much the loss of values, as the loss of family. The basic structure that holds society together has frayed.
<lj-cut text="A wordy explanation of the family-by-fiat as an alternative">
So how do we solve this without resorting to extreme measures to keep family structure from decaying further? We redesign the structure of the family. What features are needed in a neo-family structure that aren't offered in the current?
<dl><dt>Geographical robustness:</dt><dd>Any new family structure must be able to cope with geographical distance in some fashion.</dd><dt>Resource sharing:</dt><dd>There must be some way for members of the new family to pool time, money, food, etc.</dd><dt>Value structure and cultural indoctrination:</dt><dd>The main purpose of the family unit is to impart to its members (especially the children) a set of values to guide behavior and the protocols for operating within the society that contains the family.</dd><dt>Tradition</dt><dd>Any family unit imparts a sense of family tradition; an understanding of those who have come before, their actions, and the reasons for them.</dd><dt>Adaptability:</dt><dd>Each new family must be able to change to suit changing conditions, which is where the existing extended and nuclear family structres have failed.</dd></dl>

To this end, I offer what I call the "ad-hoc" family, or the family-by-fiat. This is a simple concept, and one that is already appearing in today's metro-internet culture. Individuals connect and form a group. This group is close-knit, built on shared values, goals, and behaviors. Usually these people are friends, but nothing excludes members collected by blood ties. This forms the core of our family unit. These people behave as a traditional extended family would, but instead of being formed by blood ties, they are connected by ideologies and experiences. This in itself does not provide any improvement over the traditional family structure, but structured properly, this unit can meet all of the requirements stated.

<dl><dt>Geographical robustness:</dt><dd>These units are formed by personal choice. If one member, or a group of members (such as a nuclear family unit) must move, within a period of time, they can find another unit in their area capable of including them. If not, they could always form their own ad-hoc family and include members. Either way, a structure that meets the following needs exists.</dd><dt>Resource sharing:</dt><dd>Each of these ad-hoc families can share resources by the same choice that replaces blood ties. Moreover, each family can choose the degree of resource sharing involved. Some families may choose to pool living quarters, funds, food, etc., while others may pool fewer, or even perhaps no resources. If a sub-unit (a group of individuals within the ad-hoc family, such as a traditional nuclear-unit, a couple, or some number of closer friends), is not comfortable with the resource sharing level, they can find an ad-hoc family that better suits their needs.</dd><dt>Value structure and cultural indoctrination:</dt><dd>This ad-hoc unit is better adapted to sharing these knowledges than a traditional family; these units are formed on value structure, and the culture into which the members were indoctrinated. Since these are the source of the family connection, it stands to reason that they will be enforced.</dd><dt>Tradition:</dt><dd>Here, the ad-hoc structure is arguably weaker. With fluid membership, it's hard to have a strong connection with past members. However, remember that the connections are value-based. So, the traditions being upheld would be the traditions of the ideals and values of the family. A family for non-violence and equality could link their tradition to people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Ghandi.</dd><dt>Adaptability:</dt><dd>This is the strongest feature of the ad-hoc family. Since the very structure is fluid, the members can exit and reform into new and different families when situations change, and make the current environment uncomfortable. One economy may support small families of four or five people, while a different economy may be better suited to a larger, more extended family.</dd></dl>

There are other advantages to this. One of the biggest factors in destroying the nuclear family has been the economic need for multiple workers to maintain a small family. Individuals from nations that value an extended family have seen the value of this, in terms of an economy of scale. These families are able to have both parents working, while grandparents are able to be at home with the children. The ad-hoc family can mirror this through resource sharing; some members can stay at home with other members children, while other members work. Because all of the individuals involved are working within the same value structure, we have a safe and secure environment to supervise our children.

This is not a replacement for the nuclear family. This is a meta-unit, that can be comprised of nuclear families. This also allows for families built on other structures: homosexual and polyamorous ad-hoc families are possible. While some argue that such structures go against family values, I refer back to my key features of a family. There is nothing to show that any non-nuclear base fails to meet those standards. All we are doing is making our social abstraction a degree more granular; we work with larger, self organizing units, and leave the details to them.
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