(New Series No. 188, February 2004)
11 Years old child: Home-Family is a Jail. Parents sharp-searching eyes are fixated on the child all the time. If parents commit a mistake, the children are punished.
25 Years old adult: Family depends upon its own members' exploitation. Through the interplay of emotional blackmail and toughness- cruelties' dual tactics-families survive in the present. In a society where vast exploitation occurs throughout, family members themselves are very oppressive. The trouble is that parents take the responsibility of molding children seriously but in the same exploitation system at any cost. Whether it is the peasant or workers, today the family is paralyzed. To survive, all most families do is work, work, work, and play tricks. When children grow up, the parents are then engaged in limitless efforts towards marriage. Why? What is the purpose? For exploitation to provide a new family set up, create a new organized unit?
Elderly person: In family, there is increasing unpeacefulness… and more unpeacefulness. No sitting together, no love amongst one another. Living isolated and ignored. There is a sense of extreme burden, responsibility, heavy expense, no respect for any one… Mostly everybody feels inner isolation yet everybody appears integrated in the family. For every one either young or old, the family cycle is a difficult chain. The gradually narrowed family is now scattering. Family says,”I can’t take your burden any more.” To make ends meet, so many persons run away from family. But then outside the family, there is the market. Nowadays to make ends meet, it is very tough in the market. On the one side we are unhappy because of family and on other side because of society. What to do?
*The human species, like other species, has generational relationships which provide continuity. The community has generally constituted society generally through generational relationships which continue to be expressed until now.
* Due to the scattering of community, society is now in a very dangerous situation and there are problems for the human species. Hierarchic, oppressive, exploitative social systems have had a very bad impact on the body and soul of humans.
-- After birth, death is certain. This is natural. Happiness at birth and sadness at death are natural amongst living beings. But in a hierarchic social system, in a divided and split society, the pain of death becomes concentrated. No longer something of collective mourning, the pain becomes unbearable. Death which is natural becomes unacceptable. The obsession to become immortal is born.
-- In the hierarchic social system that emerged with the break-up of the community, men acquired a central role. And men's "I"-ness has became all-engulfing.
-- On the one hand, concepts of soul-rebirth and rejecting death emerged. And on the other, male-centered families arose to maintain the "I,"- my blood, my lineage, my copy, my name alive. But without women, children were not possible. So man's 'my woman', marriage rituals, emerged to create my wife/wives.
-- Nose-rings were used to establish control over animals. Nose-rings became the symbol of a husband's property. Thus, the nose-ring was declared to be the ornament of woman. The formation of family was the institutionalization of the dominance of man over woman. Mother and father both became the nose-rings of children and without them the children were considered orphans. Marital institutions drew lines demarcating legal and illegal sexual relations between man and woman. Men kept on consuming illicit relations and the pain was borne by women and illegal (bastardized) children. The constraints on women and the guarding of females has made woman irritable and overbearing. Woman as mother, as giver of life, has been transformed into woman as mother of nagging.
-- 'Blood relations' are supposedly considered an important part of the family yet girls through marriage become part of another family. With the creation of separate kitchens, even brothers by birth become parts of different families. Man by taking a woman constituted an economic unit in the form of family. Besides satisfying a man's sexual desires, marriage and family has become a means for producing children. There is an extreme desire for a son so that the rituals to be performed after death can be carried out by the son. There is an extreme desire for a son as a walking stick in old-age.
...Family acts like a permanent military detachment. But while a conscript army robs and then disperses, a standing army or permanent army continuously loots…
* To maintain the status quo, to climb the ladder of hierarchy, the whole family has to work as a unit. Family is a primary base in hierarchic social systems. The family works like the permanent military unit for these systems. To make life hell for children in the name of their welfare and to insult the elderly as a superfluous load is the normal function of family.
--In the past, having children so that they will look after you in old-age, generating a shop-keeping, instrumental relation, was undoubtedly painful. But nowadays, the gulping-biting that takes place in childhood to increase the marketability of children is resulting in the very break-up of relations between the young and old.
--The increasing dominance of the market in thought and practice combined with the increasing tendency of one-upmanship in society is deepening the politics that goes on in the family. Family has become the primary unit of the market. In the family, there is endless disrespectful behavior today towards one another. This behavior is flourishing. Insulting behavior reaches the depth of breast-beating and again comes back to the level of disrespect. Indifference and disrespect for the desires, tendencies of childhood, and children is called 'love'.
* Motherly love then, love, attachment, feeling of one's being, entertainment, empathy, sentiments, respect, help, co-participation, happiness at arrival, pain at departure... There are multi-dimensional relations between generations. Between infants, boys and girls, young and old. Community-wide bonds that existed between generations in the family mold have shrunk and narrowed and now entered the stage of the break-up of relations among generations. Slave-mother, foster mother, governess used to limit the motherly functions of a few women slave-owners, fuedals, bosses. But now daycare is limiting the motherly function of large numbers of working women. A handful of maternal and paternal grandparents of slave-owning/fuedal/boss class was limited by clowns, singers, storytellers, instructors. Now teachers and specialists through various mediums have side-lined maternal and paternal grandparents on a massive scale.
--In the said 'blood relations' mothers and women's role is dominant. Still recognition is given to the father, the man. "There should be at least one daughter otherwise the womb is not clean." Offering a girl in marriage is a great charity. These beliefs kept some space for daughter in the pre-dominance of man and son in the family tradition. In the past, there has been the custom of killing girls upon birth. But murder of the fetus after discovering it is a girl through the use of modern technology is a modern phenomenon.
* With the break-up of community, and the advent of hierarchy, inter-generational relationships community-wide have shrunk. The domination and expansion of the market has further limited the family, affecting husband-wife-daughter/son. Life has become a machine, leaving no time for love and romance between husband and wife. At the same time, dwindling desire and energy is emerging as the basis for industries that cater to produce sexual desire. The present system’s axis is the market and its crisis and instability has shrunk the family to a single woman bringing up children in highly developed areas. A single person does not constitute the definition of family. Yet in highly developed areas throughout, the number of single persons is continuously increasing.
The formation and increase of old-age homes and the withering-dying desire for children is a reflection of massive disorientation in intergenerational relations in the human species. Rejecting the natural process of death after birth has given birth to social psychosis. This massively hideous condition is also a loud call for a new social construct based on a new community.