Revolutionary changes in the American sphere of family relations

From the book by VS Polikarpov Decline of America, 1999

One of the Achilles' heels of modern America, by which the entropy of its social system is the sphere of relations between the sexes. It should take into account the fact that America is characterized by extreme individualism and moderate feminism (See Hofstede G. Differences and danger characteristics of national cultures and tolerance limits / / Higher Education in Evrope.1997.T.XXI. № 2) which leads to tolerance between the sexes, including in relations between spouses and family members.

It is this tolerance, as the experience of ancient Rome, may lead to the decline of the social system. It is clear that in America it emphasizes that in popular American magazines developments in the field of family relations in the last 20-25 years, and their effects are compared with the eruption of a volcano. During this period, dramatically increased the number of divorces has increased the number of single-parent families with children, for many Americans has become the norm desire to live alone, significantly changed the concept of role functions in the family. "Revolutionary" changes, according to a number of American researchers in the field of family relationships (and sex in general) are the basis for the often-sounding statements about the deep crisis of the family and marriage, and even their impending death (See Making America. Wash., 1987; Oskolkova O. USA: changes in family relations / / MEiMO. 1993. № 6).

We have already cited Toffler saying that "in fact there is no family, although many argue that it is just dying." He is referring to "traditional" family as a unified standard unit of society, were by the polygamous and homogeneous structure, etc. In any case, it is certain that under the impact of urbanization, industrialization, informatization serious changes in the relations between the sexes, including in the area of family relations that have important consequences for the future of America.

A significant impact on the overall situation in the United States have end the "cold war", the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early '90s, radical change of the geopolitical balance of power in favor of the West. Altogether, this has led to a gradual buildup of America's own civilization, "For the U.S. establishment, it became clear that in Eurasia, there is one more" Latin American continent, "which will join the global plantation" banana "and" orange "republics buffet" potato "," saharosvekolnyh "," cotton-pistachio "and other" tangerine, grape "oases" of freedom and inviolability of human rights. " Democratic values clearly fall in world prices, and since the mid-term elections in 1994 once again powerfully and confidently declared themselves the philosophy and ideology of the business civilization "(Travkina NM, Vasilev VS spiritual foundations of modern American civilization / / USA — EPI. 1995. № 8. p.93).

The fact that it was the experience of building the Soviet Union served as one of the pillars of the "social contract" Roosevelt, served as the foundation of a state of "general welfare" of all civilization and democracy in general. Now, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the American establishment has decided to do away with the "ruzveltovschinoy" and begin to dismantle the state of "general welfare" — from spring 1995 this plan was more or less successfully implemented. "At the moment it is difficult to say how far might move in this direction right-wing conservative forces of the United States, but in the light of the above analysis we can confidently say that the restoration of the" civilization of business "in this country — it's a game of cat-and-mouse game with the forces of death and destruction, present in modern public body. It is an unconscious search for explosive points in the spiritual continuum of America "(Travkina NM, Vasilev VS Ibid. P.94). After the restoration of civilization business has fallen to the non-equilibrium state of the U.S. economy due to the large size of the deficit and the debt of the federal government.

Well-known American economist Buchanan showed that the democratic political system of the American sample (and the west, too) can be identified with the budget deficit (See Buchanan J. Exploration Into Constitutional Economics. College Station (Texas) .1989). Rapid dismantling of the state of "general welfare" may have the effect of "turning" of the private sector of the economy, as it is the backbone of the country (such is the state at the federal level). In this case, the American public is on the "verge" of radical changes: some researchers explicitly says that American civilization at the end of this century or early next may be in this situation, the threshold (See The End of the Millenium and Beyond / Ed . by Seddon RL, 1993. P.12-13).

Changes in family relations caused by other conditions of work because of the radical changes in the structure of industrial relations in America (the decline of large manufacturing firms, restructuring of industries and increasing the number of financial transactions, such as "Rychagova ransoms." If a quarter of a century ago, the average American worker, union member, every morning, went to a high-paying job, and his wife stayed home and raised the children (see Friedan B. Riddle femininity. M., 1994), but now he no longer belongs to a union, does not work, do not get a high salary. His wife (usually working in the service sector) earns enough to support the family income at the same level.

Now for a large number of Americans everything related work, is the main subject of debate — between husbands and wives, workers and employers. The current situation, where the family has two spouse has changed and family principles, and family relations 50s. A. Wulf follows describes the changes: "… the grandparents do not live with their children and grandchildren, and stretched in space related communications more difficult to maintain because of geographical mobility and increased prices. Women and men had to settle their problems in a grid of social change, finding new and truly life examples of family relationships … For some social scientists, these changes mean the collapse, the decline of the family in a while. for others, they are presented with new opportunities to enhance women's influence on social processes. But even so, and others it is clear that if this is the post-modern family, this is something to which we return, something related to a time before the formation of the modern nuclear family "(Woolf A. Changes from above donizu.S.102 ).

Among the changes that have occurred in the area of family relations in the last decade, should be called in the first place the growth rate of divorce, indicating that the disintegration of the American family as an institution of society By 1980, America was disintegrating as a result of a divorce every other family, and more than 40% children experienced the shock of separation of parents. Former vice-president of New York "Morgan Guaranty Trust Company" S. Shlossteyn compares the American family with the land, which is devoid of life due to an incredible amount of artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Similarly, divorce and burnt up all the values of the American family, "Because the family is broken up, it is no longer a social resource, as she had been before, and it should not be relied upon for the transfer of (moral) values accumulated generations, American children, values such as commitment, sacrifice, willingness to defer the case for his own pleasure — these values are eroded and now they will not find »(Schlosstein St. The End of the American Century. NY, 1989. P.329).

American cultural values have shifted the focus from being the main object of concern for the child seeking to implement their own opportunities for adults, with the accumulation of funds that then invest in a business, for consumer profligacy. Fundamental values and culture of the society nowadays is not defined traditional consciousness Yankees formed the Protestant ethic with its frugality, honesty, hard work, sacrifice and mutual assistance. Each year, America is becoming less and less Protestant in nature, some of its segments become more and more religious than others, which gives reason to preachers, academics argue that the "hedonistic utilitarianism is to be regarded as the only source of ethical values in the country" ( Woolf A. Changes from top to bottom. P.101).

Distribution of hedonistic utilitarianism has led to the fact that the American public consciousness quite stable rooted understanding of the admissibility of living together, men and women without issuing marriage. These previously unthinkable in America late 60's performance, with the 70s to the present day finds more and more supporters and not surprising statistical data showing that about 4% of the adult population are now living in a consensual union. "Consensual unions — said O. Oskolkova — widely distributed among the students and are considered as a period of testing sensory and psychological compatibility of partners for future married life. These alliances are usually childless. At the birth of a child relationships are often legitimized. But the public is showing increasing tolerance and the fact of illegal birth "(Oskolkova O. op. Cit. P.111).

Another feature of the living U.S. adult population was single existence. It is becoming more common. From 1970 to 1989, the number of individuals increased by more than a factor of 2, and amounted to about 23 million people. Since 1973, in New York for singles edition of "Loner» («Single»). There are other periodicals intended for them, that in the earlier periods of American history would be considered at least strange. Must be borne in mind that the American loneliness is not like loneliness Europeans who, being in America complains about the inability to find no friends, no time to be alone and think.

American anthropologist Margaret Mead wrote about the features of American loneliness: "The Loneliness of the American … you can define it as a stay alone against their will, when this state other compatriots deem inappropriate for yourself … Being unmarried when supposed to be married, to go on holiday alone to come to the evening without a companion, one to go to the theater, to condemn oneself to a solitary evening at home, and — what is worse and can not be — all alone at Thanksgiving dinner — all those repetitive at times and misfortune American calls loneliness "(Mead M . Solitude, independence and interdependence in the context of the culture / / Labyrinths odinochestva.M., 1989.S.110). In the course of communication for the American people is not as important as the process, he imposed loneliness destroys created them based on the public image. Most chose solitary existence, of course, not for life, but for a while, longer than ever before, as, in particular, by the tendency of increase of the age at first marriage.

The third change — a reduction of strength of marriage, the primary cause of which is the growing economic independence of women, which is a result of their active inclusion in the labor force. Analysis of U.S. data points to a direct correlation between the increase in employment of married women and the increase in divorce rates. The ability to have their own earnings woman gave more autonomy, changed the structure of family relations, the traditional functions of the family. Women began to demand equal rights in decision-making, greater control over income and expenditure of the family. And here it is necessary to take into account the extreme individualism inherent in Americans of both sexes and has its positive and negative sides. In connection with this noteworthy observation of the behavior of D. Shliapentokh American women in the family, "Now, an American woman! It is surprisingly cold emotionally. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, listening, reading, watching, maybe it's made of different stuff than the Soviet one. She, an American, rational much stronger emotional. I have explained this to two factors: a striking, by our standards, self-esteem and focus on her husband. The woman above all concerned not to be humiliated once in a relationship with a man. The joy of the senses and the more self-forgetfulness sacrifice her almost completely alien. Russian-Soviet phenomenon — the success of women persecuted, accidents, failures, unrecognized geniuses — totally alien to this environment. It is hard to imagine an American, who for the sake of love was ready to make such sacrifices as a Soviet woman. The idea that love includes both organic indispensable element of sacrifice, is profoundly alien to the American spirit. As I've already said, this is — yet another manifestation of American individualism, which, as we observe it either, never ceases to surprise. Emotionally American, maybe even more than her partner, concerned equivalence justice. She does not like to death "to be used» (be used). This is the reason the success of the feminist movement in the United States, in which one of the central ideas and the idea was: "do not want to be used." At the same time, American endlessly devoted to her husband or boyfriend … I married an American, I would argue, the values of emotion, love, passion, take one of the last places. Something similar in men … Like them — men and women — do not need polyhaniya passion, do not need the sacraments of new emotions, as if diversity is of no importance in this sphere of life "(Shliapentokh D. Strange amerikantsy.S.102).

Interestingly, the emotional coldness of American women is due to stereotypes of American culture in which individualism prevails and calculation. Working in Moscow, a television producer and translator M. Birdie believes the reason for this state of affairs the inability of men to communicate with their wives because of the complicated relations between them. American feminism arose in part as a response to the cultural image of the "real" men — a lonely, harsh, galloping through the mountains on horseback with a pack of your favorite cigarettes, and not with the woman: "When our men — she said — one wants affection, tenderness and women's attention, they are not scared to admit it wants from the fear of violating accepted standard. Thank God, that Russian men are not affected. The need of the caresses, eager to communicate with women who are looking for support and love "(Birdie M. word in defense of Russian men / / Beauty and the world. 1997.S.65). The inability of Americans to communicate with an American follows from the fact they have no friends that do not allow them to pour out his heart, and the desire for certainty. They had already decided whom to fall in love with them (age, profession, hair color, hobbies, membership of a political party) and when to fall in love (three years after the fact, how to get a good job), they know when to get married, when to have children and how many. And if something does not go according to plan, they resent and love may soon disappear. "From our relationship disappeared game and randomness. — Emphasizes M. Birdie. — We forget that sometimes the most faithful and enduring love arises from the most unexpected person "(There zhe.S.66).

However, in such a relationship between American men and women are due to stereotypes of their culture that are absorbed by them as a child. In this respect, it is of interest posed by the Canadian Department of Cinematography film about one day in the life of the Japanese, Indian, French and North American families (See M. Mead, op. Cit. P.102-103). Three children were laid to sleep mother, they stood at the cradle and sang him a song that the children went to sleep, the North American toddler parents unceremoniously left alone in his room, no lullaby, with the lights off and the door closed. Thus, Americans are jealous of the beauty ritual lullaby from foreigners, from infancy to teach their children to self-sufficiency and independence. No less important is the fact that Americans now disapprove "daydreaming in children" (M. Mead There zhe.S.105), as it would interfere with his adult to adapt to the hard pragmatism of life. The education of children affects the feminization of men, one manifestation of which is to reduce the authority of the father in the family. After all, American mothers forgotten by mankind required that the father must educate his son. "However, now there is nothing to pass on to his father to his son, and therefore, in the eyes of the children in the house of the father's role is not much different from that of the machine that produces the money to pay the bills" (The Book of the Samurai. P.275). Finally, the atmosphere of the American consumer civilization generates increased homosexual tendencies in society. The current American family does not teach teen romantic love, it forms rasschetlivy his approach to life. As a result, the first failures of love is formed by the phenomenon of adolescent narcissism, so they have restored a sense of self-worth in the eyes of others, while denying the opposite sex (See Dolto F. On the side of the teenager. SPb.-M., 1997. P.30 ). American family contributes to guiding children to homosexual relationships (according to scientific studies, only 2% of the population orintirovany homosexual because of a genetic predisposition, the remaining 4.6% — the result of prevailing in a society of freedom in the sphere of sexual relations).

In contemporary America, children and childhood have become extremely controversial social area: on the one hand, there is a general nostalgia for the innocence of childhood, the other — that the illicit drug trade is a completely legal commerce deprives our children of the opportunity to be their own children. "I must say that the Americans have long believed that their culture is focused on adolescents, but blood-curdling stories about abandoned little ones, sexual offenses, the poor, the unsecured schools and the failed attempt to establish a system of child welfare caused soul-searching" (A. Wolfe, op. Cit . P.102). American children are no longer children because of the power of the bigotry and hypocrisy of society, which can not be found in any other country in the world. "Try some man in a friendly slap his colleague did not even lower back, but just on the shoulder — she instantly accused him of indecent" sexual harassment "and will submit a claim for disadvantaged honor and dignity of at least 10 million, dollars and at the same time, dozens, if not hundreds of thousands of women, for that matter, and men without batting an eye at the show tens of millions of pornovideokasset the most incredible views and ways of debauchery, posing naked in thousands of illustrated books, and "respectable" married couple on television fall — during the day — with the audience for its juicy memories of how they changed each other and other intimate details "(Trofymenko GA USA Today … P.20).

It is clear that all these pornographic images have an impact on Americans who are engaged in various sexual perversions. The American journalist S. Bejkos on the basis of studies has written a book "Sexual perversion, or the secret life of Americans," which showed the failure of the approval of the death of an American sex because of the panic caused by AIDS, in contrast, continues to expand the variety of sexual deviations. She writes: "In my journalistic research, I found a direct correlation between socio-economic status and a tendency to perversions. Poor people seem to be prone to this is much less than the rich. According to the Institute, Kinsey, more than one-third of American men go into the sexual practices beyond the "rules (which refers to pre-game intercourse, oral sex plus). They are practicing heterosexual anal sex, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, sadomasochism, bondage, etc. The higher one goes up the social and financial ladder, according to some researchers, the greater the likelihood that his life will prevail kinky sex "(Bejkos SK Sexual perversion, or the secret life of amerikantsev.M., 1997. C.10) . In her book, she points out that many Americans belonging to middle and upper class (it should be noted that the size of the middle class is only 70 million people), including being married, practicing various kinds of sexual perversion. It should be noted a surprising parallel between an inclination to sexual perversions well-fed Americans and prisoners of Soviet prisons. "In general, the convicts are not protected intelligence, spirituality, nature, made up for this deprivation (communication floors — VP), violating all norms of human humanity, going to the hype and all sorts of devices, and criminals — the most heinous sex crimes, even with rape subsequent murders … Homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality took in the camps character plague "(the Polish G. violets and lilies of the valley. Sex in the camps / / Friendship of Peoples. 1994. № 7.S.148). Now, on the threshold of XXI century in America, "is a perversion of the" new sex "… when people are struggling, often unsuccessfully, with the redistribution of male and female roles" (Bejkos S. ibid. P.17-18). It is obvious that American society will increase the tendency to nurturing fetishists, masochists, more cruel sadist. All this contributes to the prosperity of corruption that destroys the social fabric that could eventually lead to the decline of modern America.

See also Death of the West. Where are the children?

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