Written by: Simon Brace
Article source: JOY! Magazine

The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 was followed almost immediately by the rise to prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). However, as the masses rushed to bend the knee and raise the clenched fist, some dissention within the ranks soon broke out and folks began to reject BLM. At the center of this “rejection” of the BLM movement was this statement that has subsequently been scrubbed from the BLM website. “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” What followed for me, and I suspect for many others, was some kind of cognitive dissonance. I understand BLM being opposed to racism… but what is with the demand to oppose the nuclear family? How do these two things fit together? It made no sense.

Let’s put this puzzle together
It begins with understanding a central aspect of the social justice movement, which has taken the world by storm. Demands are being made in all nations, including South Africa, to transform, to decolonise, as we all call for diversity, equity, and inclusion, new pronouns, and a new age in which men can compete against women in sport. However, the contemporary social justice movement, when examined, does not turn out to be what most people, Christian or non-Christian, have in mind when they typically think of social justice. The scholars who are leading this cultural transformation[1] have a very particular philosophy: the German idealism of Hegel. Drilling down a little further you can follow this trail of ideas, like a trail of bread crumbs, from the contemporary social justice scholars to thinkers like Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, Lukacs, Foucault, Derrida, Fanon; and further back Reich and Gramsci, then Nietzsche and finally Marx. What do they have in common? They are all Hegelian idealists, and they are all Marxists or socialists. In summary, the social justice movement of our times is a cultural Marxist movement the foundation of which stands squarely upon the shoulders, for the most, part on the men listed above.

An anti-Christian movement
This cultural Marxist/social justice movement is both anti-nuclear family[2] and anti-Christian[3].  The anti-nuclear family attitude begins with Marx and his Communist Manifesto and, until today, dominates South African institutions.[4] Why might the nuclear family have to go? Because the “traditional or bourgeois” nuclear family structure of the family is believed to oppress both women and children and serves as key institution to prop up capitalism.[5]

Underpinning the social justice movement
So then, to complete our puzzle, we should ask why BLM is anti-family. BLM is a Marxist organisation and the demand to “disrupt” the nuclear family is consistent with the demands of Marxism, which is the philosophy that underpins social justice movement…

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[1] Some of the prominent Social Justice scholars would include: Judith Butler, Ibrahim X. Kindi, Kimberle Crenshaw, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, Sophie Lewis, Richard Delgado, Jean Stefancic, Angela Davis, Robin DeAngelo, Patrica Hill Collins.

[2] “Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists…The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital….The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting…” Hardly a positive view of the family! This is straight out of Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto.

[3] “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.” ‘Audacia e Fide’ in Avanti!; reprinted in Sotto la Mole (1916-1920), p. 148. This statement substantiate the anti-Christian commitment of Marxism and also lays out the strategy of taking over society by infiltration and capturing of the key institution which shape society.

[4] This is clear in policy documents and curricula in many Universities in SA. Here is one example: https://www.nwu.ac.za/sites/www.nwu.ac.za/files/files/corporate/2018.Report.Decolonisation_of_University_Education_Declaration.pdf Central to this document is the call for Social Justice. Of course the question is Social Justice as understood through which philosophical framework? More examples can be given. Consider example the publication from Stellenbosch University titled: Queer Activism in South African Education: Disrupting Cis(hetero)normativity in schools. Or at UCT the program: Beyond the Binary. “Beyond the Binary: As part of UCT Global Citizenship Programme’s Activation Week, Wandile Dhlamini staged an exhibition, #BeyondTheBinary, which encourages viewers to broaden their perspective on what gender is, breaking down the problematic assumption that it is defined solely in terms of a binary. Its aim is to create a more inclusive campus in which every one of every gender feels validated and acknowledged.”

[5]This line of thinking has continued from the time of Marx until today.  Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex and Sophie Lewis Lewis’ book Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation lay out the history and the demand clear call for the abolition of tradition/nuclear family. The former published in 1970 and the latter in 2022.

Date published: 03/11/2023
Feature image: Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork adapted from www.rawpixel.com
SIMON BRACENational Director of Ratio Christi South Africa and the Chapter Director at the North West University in Potchefstroom. Email simonbrace@ratiochristi.co.za

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