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Bugpod Clans Won’t Replace the Family

1,422 words

Sleeping area of a PodShare co-living space.

Right-wing Twitter fumed earlier this week over the provocatively-titled essay “The Nuclear Family Was A Mistake.”

The Atlantic essay, written by New York Times columnist David Brooks, wasn’t necessarily an attack on traditional families. But that didn’t stop the deluge of anger that Brooks would dare slander the family. Brooks’s argument was less an attack on the nuclear family and more of a call for the extended kin group to return. People are too atomized and lack the necessary resources to raise many kids; Brooks argues big kin groups, which support its members and create a real flesh-and-blood community, are the answer; even if they are only based on choice, not blood. The nuclear family can no longer do this with two income earners and the death of the neighborhood community.

His model is actually more traditional than the nuclear family — but he doesn’t advocate for a return to tradition. His 21st-century clan would force Americans into amorphous, multicultural arrangements. Kinship and similarity are deemphasized and difference is celebrated. Clans encouraged homogeneity and made its members feel like they were around people like themselves. Brooks’s clans are just liberal fantasies.

The New York Times columnist is an Obama-worshipping neocon. He champions a return to traditional families, even though he left his wife a for his much younger assistant. Brooks was born and raised in the U.S., but his son served in the Israeli army. Needless to say, it’s worth taking his advice and analysis with a hefty grain of Dead Sea salt, though he is accurate when he analyzes the collapse of the family:

We’ve made life freer for individuals and more unstable for families. We’ve made life better for adults but worse for children. We’ve moved from big, interconnected, and extended families, which helped protect the most vulnerable people in society from the shocks of life, to smaller, detached nuclear families (a married couple and their children), which give the most privileged people in society room to maximize their talents and expand their options. The shift from bigger and interconnected extended families to smaller and detached nuclear families ultimately led to a familial system that liberates the rich and ravages the working-class and the poor.

He attributes these dramatic changes to a convergence of cultural, economic, and institutional causes. The nuclear family’s predominance — one husband, one wife, 2.5 kids — was entirely a result of the unique conditions that arose in the 1950s. People were able to find replacement kin groups through active church membership, closely-knit neighborhoods, and civic associations. The wife was also able to devote her time to raising kids because her husband earned enough to provide for an entire family. He is critical of this latter aspect because it restricted women’s freedom. (Oh no!)

All of these factors are long gone, and now only the wealthy can maintain the ideal nuclear family. Our society no longer supports rooted communities, no matter how much people desire them:

Our culture is oddly stuck. We want stability and rootedness, but also mobility, dynamic capitalism, and the liberty to adopt the lifestyle we choose. We want close families, but not the legal, cultural, and sociological constraints that made them possible. We’ve seen the wreckage left behind by the collapse of the detached nuclear family. We’ve seen the rise of opioid addiction, of suicide, of depression, of inequality — all products, in part, of a family structure that is too fragile, and a society that is too detached, disconnected, and distrustful. And yet we can’t quite return to a more collective world.

The one exception is immigrant communities, but children from these backgrounds quickly assimilate to America’s atomization. Brooks notes that new arrivals often complain of loneliness in the country, leading one to ask why they didn’t stay at home.

Government policy over the last 50 years was designed to reverse the decline of this family structure, but it failed miserably. Brooks suggests a better alternative is the extended kin model. This suggestion does not require one to reconnect with your actual kin. In Brooks’s vision, you can pick your extended family — and the more diverse it is, the better. He claims that ancient clans and kin groups were usually unrelated and not based on shared blood. They were just random people who came together for protection and support: “We think of kin as those biologically related to us. But throughout most of human history, kinship was something you could create.”

He also negatively compares the “individualism” of European Protestant settlers to the tribalism of Amerindians, saying the newcomers were more likely to embrace the ways of the natives than the other way around. This is both wildly wrong and an obvious dig at the historic American people. Brooks insinuates America’s founding stock are also responsible for Ellis Islanders abandoning their extended kin models.

The idea that kinship can be created empowers Brooks to argue for multicultural clans. He touts urban hipsters starting trendy co-housing communities (a nicer way of saying bugpod) where random people can come together to pretend they’re family. He promotes his own projects to choose an extended family with his “Weave” initiative and by hosting dinners for inner-city youth. “The experience has convinced me that everybody should have membership in a forged family with people completely unlike themselves,” he says.

He omits his abandonment of his own nuclear family.

While the article is accurate as to the family’s cause of decline, Brooks’s solution is unrealistic and asinine. It asks us to move into BugPods and pretend our fellow pod dwellers are family. The pod dwellers will share nothing in common besides a cramped living space, but, somehow, kinship will be created! Trust David Brooks’s plan.

This is civic nationalism on soy.

Brooks particularly likes how these new kinship groups dispense with the reactionary traits of clans. Gender equality and inclusivity are the norms in the groups. But to have a successful kin group, the reactionary traits must be present. If everyone can join your group, then what makes it special? Clans were defined by their exclusivity and hostility to outsiders. It’s how they survived and molded a group identity. It’s unclear how a bugpod will create a group identity that earns the loyalty of bugmen and women. Unlike real families, they can’t call upon blood to stick together. They can’t even call upon a shared faith or background. Only the shared living room connects them.

There’s also Brooks’ strange insistence on families embracing those who are completely different from themselves. Human nature dictates us to find those who are similar and see them as our own kind. A random black kid eating Pizza Hut with your family isn’t going to elicit the same affection a nephew would. Men choose wives and friends based on commonalities, not on sharp differences. Differences lead to distrust and animosity. Integrated schools didn’t turn into loving communities for good reason. The old ethnic enclaves that Brooks longs for cannot be replicated with urban professionals and inner-city youth. An exclusionist culture that upholds reactionary norms is essential for these kin networks to survive.

Brooks desires for the new America to take on the good aspects of the old America. Last July, he argued for a “conservative way to embrace pluralism and diversity.” “We can communicate across difference; the American creed is the right recipe for a thick and respectful pluralism; American structures are basically sound and can be realistically reformed,” he wrote in a New York Times column. This “conservative” multiculturalism would supposedly triumph over the Left’s toxic multiculturalism. Only a fool like Brooks would believe that.

Brooks occasionally admits that contemporary America is riven with tensions and pathologies that threaten to turn us into a dystopia. Yet, he always believes that new Americans can imitate old Americans and uphold our national greatness. His July column understood that demographics will doom the GOP — yet he thinks this just means there needs to be a “conservative” multiculturalism. America’s anomie and economy threaten to destroy the family — yet he thinks we just need to form kin groups with our fellow bugmen. Brooks believes all our issues can be solved if we double down on liberalism and diversity. He is a true conservative: He wants to preserve the status quo at all costs, and refuses to countenance any solutions that may threaten his own respectability.

The family will only come back when freedom of association is respected and homogenous communities are restored. You can’t build a clan out of diversity and shared bunk beds.

 

16 Comments

  1. Shane Farrell
    Posted February 13, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    On an aside this analysis isn’t a million miles away from E.Michael Jones work Slaughter of Cities. The traditional ethnic enclaves were specifically targeted for the introduction of vibrant diversity, the subsequent vibrant crime and inter ethnic tension caused a gradual trickle effect of the old stock choosing to leave which eventually became a flood. Linh Dinh from Unz review has a few good articles on this process. Here’s a quote from his essay Blacks, Jews and you which is one of his best.

    As a tireless walker, I must have logged at least a thousand miles through hundreds of cities and towns across the United States, so I’ve seen many black ghettos with ruins of Polish, Italian or Irish churches, or Jewish synagogues. It’s obvious the people who built these had every intention of staying there for generations, so it wasn’t because of racism, but the very real fear of being mugged, killed or raped by blacks that they abandoned their fine homes, dear neighborhoods and magnificent places of worship.
    In truth though this was something that happened previously with the euphemism families in need. You get a nice working class estate and a council decides to dump degenerates into it as the locals have neither the cash to lawyer up or the connections to prevent it. The locals endure a hell hole or leave the area falls to bits another nice working class area is selected, lather rinse repeat.
    I live in Europe in a country that was formally not culturally enriched but we have started to see the process played out on a larger scale. And with the new vibrants the degeneracy has an inter ethnic edge to it with dysfunction on steroids

  2. Posted February 13, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    “In Brooks’s vision, you can pick your extended family — and the more diverse it is, the better.”

    This does NOT appear to be the policy of Israel. I think it likely that (((David “Brooks”))) [sic] is insane, but at least he no longer touts his support for the invasion of Iraq. And BTW, where is his minder Bill Kristol these days?

    • HamburgerToday
      Posted February 13, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I agree. (((Brooks))) — and Kristol and so very many others of their ilk — seem insane.

      • Randy
        Posted February 13, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        High functioning psychopaths.

  3. HamburgerToday
    Posted February 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    (((David Brooks))) isn’t a ‘conservative’. he’s a hippie in a suit. Brooks’ answer to the disintegration of the family is…wait for it…the commune (or the college dorm)! Brooks just cannot get out of the idea that his Boomer generation has all the solutions to the world’s problems just like they did in 1968. As a Person of Boomer, I am ashamed to share a cohort with this man and, in keeping with tradition, disavow him utterly. This is the same guy who got tingle about the crease in Obama’s pants. He supplicates himself in at the Altar of the Melanin God and is shocked that others do not do the same. If Brooks were to live long enough and things were to get bad enough, he would pen a ‘The Conservative Case’ for essay support cannibalism. He’s a garbage-wrapped-in-skin purveyor of Hate Whitey Porn.

    • Olorin
      Posted February 14, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      1. You don’t share a cohort with this man except in the marketing research fantasies of admen and academics who in the 1950s-60s sought to remake the republic by destroying people’s allegiances to their roots and replace that with demographic clusters designed to sell maximum Product.

      2. Agree totally on the “college dorm as commune as ideal model of society.”

      3. David Brooks bashes the nuclear family perhaps because of his failures with that system. IIRC he was married for many years to a shiksa whom he required to convert to judaism before marriage. She also changed her name from the one her parents gave her–Jane–to Sarah. They had multiple children together–all daughters if memory serves–then after 28 years of marriage, he dumped her for his “research assistant,” an evangelical Christian gal 23 years younger than he. (He created a black hole of cringe around that time by penning a NYT opinion piece–clearly pointed at his discarded wife–talking about how, in life, some people simply have to learn to embrace pain and move on when things don’t work out as they wanted.) He went on to pen further pieces in which he “considered” what Christianity is, etc., etc., yielding enthusiastic talk in certain “conservative” circles about whether his new wife was going to Bring Him To The Lord. (Talk about a scribbler who knows how to tease a cliff-hanger!)

      So the obscured truths behind the above flatulating may include that the white, western nuclear family is something of which he could construct a simulacrum…but it never fulfilled him. Or more accurately that he expected to fill certain deficits in himself that cannot be thus filled. Another possibility is that he wanted sons, or fresh shiksa meat…and, lacking self awareness, and posessing his tribe’s gifts for rationalization, storytelling, and projection, blames his disappointmeny/emptiness not only on others, but on entire institutions. While, as you well observe, turning to other institutions (the eternal youth dream of the college campus) for distracting innovations.

      There is, of course, the distinct possibility that people from non-nuclear-family ancestry can never function well within or feel contentment in that institution. They will always expect of it childish things like the gratification of whims or the excitement of novelty. They will treat a spouse as yet another consumerist acquisition that like all things of that sort never fill the chasm within them. They will resist all the ways in which that family structure sculpts men and women into bearers of a very particular tradition.

      And there’s the rub. It seems obvious to me that jews of Brooks’s sort have nothing in their ancestry or genetics that fits with this family and social structure. They view white women as prizes, they readily insert their genes into her ancestral inheritance…but they do not experience marriage and family as ennobling, the bearing of an ancient flame in a dark world. This reminds me of an ancient broad down at The Evergreen State College named Coontz who specializes in marriage- and family-bashing, but she comes across as an old Berkeley commie who couldn’t find a husband there…but nevertheless is an expert on All Things Child And Family Related.

      It may also be that this is related to what another commenter referred to as high functioning psychopathy, I don’t know, and in any event I have tried to wean myself from reference to such Frankfurtian constructs.

  4. Some guy
    Posted February 13, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    What a dumb idea. Do these people actually believe their own BS?

    Also, this was a great line: “He is a true conservative: He wants to preserve the status quo at all costs, and refuses to countenance any solutions that may threaten his own respectability.”

    That’s going in the memory bank.

  5. Bartolo
    Posted February 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    If you want strong communities, minimize commonalities LOLZ

  6. Sutter
    Posted February 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    The anti-marriage thing is already very advanced in Europe.

    You will see great stats here:
    https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/out-wedlock-births-rise-worldwide

    It is increasingly common in Latin America, too: https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/12/14/459098779/all-across-latin-america-unwed-mothers-are-now-the-norm

    The Europeans are looking at the USA in horror, again, for our “backwardsness.” This time, it is about marriage. Add another item in the long list (speech restriction, free college, socialized healthcare, nude beaches). The rift between us grows ever larger, which kind of stinks, because I would really like to emigrate back to the White People’s continent, and would like a system in the future for other whites like me to do the same in order to escape White Erasure in the Americas. But it is difficult to immigrate to Europe, and it would be further difficult for a US citizen to fit into countries that have become so different and so anti-American.

    On another note,
    “Yet, he always believes that new Americans can imitate old Americans and uphold our national greatness.”

    Articles in the white-positive sphere are littered with these sorts of proclamations of racial inferiority of other races. It is a fixture of this movement. And it is a huge intellectual weak spot, as it is very possible that either 1. the IQs of non-whites could increase in better environments, 2. the IQs of non-whites could increase through evolution in relatively short amounts of time in white or Asian countries, or 3. the immigrants coming into the formerly white countries are self-selected from among the more intelligent members of their race.

    It is also bad philosophically. Is it really that important to you to reside in a country that is “greater” than other countries? Do we need to chest-thump about our supposed greatness? Is it advancing our cause to chest-thump, or is it turning decent people off? Would we not still have a cause if we turned out to be low-IQ? I say this, because the average IQ of people in the white-positive space is probably not high.

    • Corday
      Posted February 16, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      “Why do white positive people say such positive things about whites?”

      I hate to be so flippant, but I don’t feel that you’re arguing in good faith.

    • Bartolo
      Posted February 16, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Great points. We don’t have to give up on our people because Ashkenazi Jews have higher IQs. We have to finally realise that we defend our interests on purely subjective reasons: because they are ours, period. This obssession with justifying the defense of our interests by reference to something objective/external (muh Western civilisation / we abolished slavery / human rights / science / democracy / tolerance etc.) is the most retarded and self-harming thing we do. No one justifies his love for his children on account of them being the best. Our people are our people, and we take our own side. That’s it.

    • Lovely Phenotypes
      Posted February 16, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      You make a great argument for the mediocre and unhinged.

      Embrace Liberal values and be swept up by greater people.

      As much as IQ has been run through the mud it hasn’t drastically changed group comparisons for decades.

      If you step into the more anti-white mainstream youth circles you’d be amazed at people’s lack of understanding basic topics and difficulty with English. Get a taste of Shaun or Vaush’s followers, it will open your eyes.

  7. Vehmgericht
    Posted February 14, 2020 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    There is no need to encourage the growth of such clan-infested favelas in the UK: ‘migrant’ communities are busily building them.

    The syndrome of once-elegant city districts devastated by incomers is a familiar on on both sides of the Atlantic. What might be less familiar to our transatlantic friends is the uniquely British scenario whereby the wealthier, primarily South Asian, sort of ‘ethnic’ fellow likes to take his newly bought pleasant semi-detached villa, concrete over all the greenery for multivehicle parking, and erect spurious ‘utility’ structures in what would have been the back garden for the housing of yet more extended family — the so-called ‘beds in sheds’ phenomenon.

    All this is highly illegal under the stringent British planning regulations, yet somehow the local authorities can never bring themselves to obtain court orders to tear these unsanitary eyesores down. Whole swathes of elegant north London suburbia have been blighted by the transformation of tasteful period housing into pilastered compound-like ‘W*g Palaces’, with not so much as an English Rose anywhere in sight.

    It seems to me that these folk are simply recreating the arid landscape and jerry-built urban clutter of their lands of origin: a most ruinous thing if allowed to spread to England’s cherished green and pleasant countryside. As Nietzsche said: Deserts grow: woe to him who harbours deserts!

  8. Razvan
    Posted February 14, 2020 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    David Brooks is simply a classical Marxist. If an existing institution is colliding with the communists goals then that institution have to be utterly compromised and destroyed.
    And the family has it’s part on maintaining the private property of a non-jew. So the non-Jewish family must be compromised and destroyed. The non-jews will be better slaves, cheaper, efficient, incapable of organizing, and most important with their numbers slowly reducing. In a modern society the slaves are no more useful due to robots. (It is said that an ancient Greek discovered the force of steam; his invention was dismissed because they didn’t know what to do with the slaves – make no mistake, a marxist will know perfectly what to do with the slaves).

    The irony is that the “proletariat” killed the elite, aristocracy and bourgeoisie alike, and now their marxist friends are out to get them now. At first it was nice, with sex, booze, drugs, and rock and roll, now with diversity and family abolition.

  9. cecil1
    Posted February 15, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Anybody who thinks that communism (and the viciousness behind it) has died is very very mistaken.

    This is just communism in its latest apparel.

    Its all so ugly and transparent at the same time. We’ve seen this all before.

  10. Carrot
    Posted February 16, 2020 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Good article. Brooks will find a lot of multicultural living among the homeless. Rather than stop the conditions which make people homeless, like low wages, anti-union legislation, immigrant strike breakers, etc., he says we should all huddle together as poor, tired, wretched refuse of middle America with some inner city diverse people. We can all relish in the fact that our dear leader Brooks does it once in a while too.

    Something tells me Brooks is just a blathering Jew, trying to boost his social standing with every word.

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