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Issue 03 – Christ the King 2020

The Jungle

Products Of Gestational Labor

Angela Nagle on the family


Products of Gestational Labor

The call to abolish the family has recently been revived by cultural revolutionaries who are getting their way on a number of issues to which most people had never given any consideration. Why is it being revived now, when the family has already been in decline for decades? And why is it being demanded as part of an avowedly egalitarian project when decades of research have proven that family breakdown has not only been caused by growing economic inequality but that it in fact exacerbates that inequality?

First, for those who might wish to explain away what I am about to say, the call for the abolition of the family is not a fringe demand, but something that is widely discussed in media, in academia and other elite institutions, and in activist organizations. Anarchists are only its vanguard. The official Black Lives Matter organization, which has received vast sums in corporate funding, has listed the abolition of the family among its demands. Left-wing publications like the slickly produced anarchist Commune magazine have explicitly advocated for it. Last year Verso Books, the influential leftist publishing house, released Sophie Lewis’s Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against the Family, which made the case for family abolition amid glowing reviews in Vice, the Nation, the Outline, and elsewhere. The Open Society Foundation and Ford Foundation-funded publication Open Democracy recently published an opinion piece by Lewis headlined “The Coronavirus Crisis Shows It’s Time to Abolish the Family,” while the Nation ran with “Want to Dismantle Capitalism? Abolish the Family.” “Socialism is about democratizing the family to get rid of patriarchal relations,” Jared Abbott, a national steering committee member of the Democratic Socialists of America, has told Vox. At the Socialism 2019 conference, organized by Jacobin magazine and the D.S.A., a panel on “Social Reproduction Theory and Gender Liberation” advocated abolishing the family as a remedy for patriarchal capitalist relations.

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About the author

Angela Nagle

Angela Nagle is the author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right.