Acton Institute Powerblog

Government Divides, Families Unite – Pope Leo XIII saw it coming

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Jennifer Roback Morse takes a look at The War Between the State and the Family, a book that examines some of the family unfriendly social policies of the United Kingdom. The state, she finds, is in the process of atomizing the family into a loose association of persons with easily separated relationships. “Decomposing society into nothing but a collection of unattached individuals has been destructive of individuals and society alike,” Morse writes.

Read the full commentary here.

Jonathan Spalink


  • Sandra Eggers

    Dr. Morse, you cogently and eloquently state the argument, allowing the reader to "peek behind the curtain" draping these policies.

    And what is seen is not pretty.

    Your article provides critical information to voters, allowing us to be better able to scrutinize the social policies espoused by those running for public office, particularly those policies supported by the Left (Socialist) Wing of the Democratic Party.

    Dr. Morse, thank you for your part in preserving liberty.

  • David Pendleton

    Dr. Morse’ article makes clear that noble intentions and benevolent goals can never make up for the poor consequences resulting from statist policies. Economic freedom and political freedom need to be extended to families in order for them to prosper, just as economic freedom and political freedom are key to development of developing Africa. Unfortunately it is all too clear that the welfare system, far from liberating, has unwittingly enslaved many into a continual state of dependency on the state.

  • AntónioCostaAmaral (AA)

    <em>Unfortunately for the advocates of radical atomization, government promotion of individualism fails on its own terms</em>

    Government does NOT promote individualism. It promotes paternalistic individualization. Individualism (vs. government social constructivism) as a philosophy (that owes much to Thomas Aquinas) is essential to the promotion of the family and of the shared social values.