Phyllis Schlafly, Age 90, Takes Libertarians to School on Government and Marriage

Phyllis Schlafly turned 90 last Friday, and if you don’t know who she is or would like a refresher, here’s 80 year-old Richard Viguerie from his article, “The Most Important Conservative Who Never Held Public Office“:

A true renaissance woman, [Schlafly] has published some 20 books on topics ranging from phonics education, to feminism, to the damage pornography does to children, to foreign affairs and national security.

Here is Jeff Lipkes at American Thinker in his article about Schlafly on her birthday:

More than any other individual, she was responsible for the nomination of Barry Goldwater, and thus, indirectly, Ronald Reagan. And virtually single-handedly, she defeated the so-called Equal Rights Amendment.

Back in March we featured highlights from a recent Schlafly speech where she outlined what she was up against in the 1970s and won anyway: “Hey, Nancy Boys: Learn From Phyllis Schlafly What’s Possible.”

In her column this week, “Faulty Ideas About Marriage,” Schlafly schools all those “hip,” “cool,” and “enlightened” libertarians (of all ages) about the mistaken idea that “the libertarian view is to ‘get the government out of marriage.'” She asks, “where did that slogan come from?,” and teaches, “There is simply no basis for that notion in the works of classic libertarian writers.”

As a Harvard graduate student, I was present for what could be considered the beginning of libertarian thought in America. It was the first American speech by Friedrich Hayek following the worldwide success of “The Road to Serfdom,” which had been read by millions of Americans through its publication in the Reader’s Digest.

The thesis of Hayek’s great book is that government efforts to redistribute the benefits and burdens of economic activity inevitably involve a loss of individual freedoms, which could lead to a totalitarian state, as happened in Germany and Russia. Now, 70 years later, Hayek’s basic idea is part of most Republican stump speeches and forms the basis for Republicans’ adamant opposition to Obamacare.

But nothing in “The Road to Serfdom,” or in any of Hayek’s later works or those of his fellow Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, questioned the value or necessity of civil marriage in a free society. There is nothing to suggest that regulation of marriage was somehow inconsistent with individual freedom.

Mises’ American disciple, the radical libertarian Murray N. Rothbard, once famously proposed selling off lighthouses to private owners who would then be supported by voluntary contributions from passing ships. Rothbard wanted to privatize nearly everything, but he never suggested privatizing marriage.

Phyllis Schlafly also notes this:

Another influential libertarian was the Russian-born novelist Ayn Rand, whose novels depict a titanic struggle between the creative geniuses who need maximum freedom to produce, versus the “looters” and “second-handers” who try to regulate them and share their wealth. Ayn Rand attacked Christianity and other conventional beliefs, but never questioned the value and necessity of civil marriage defined by law.

So where did the idea come from? Schlafly explains:

The answer is that they came from writers on the left — most significantly, from the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and published in 1848.

She adds:

Marx hated the bourgeois family, not only because it provided the means of transmission and accumulation of private property, but also because the family controlled the formation and education of children. Marx wanted to break the family so that children could be raised and educated communally, free from patriarchal ties and religious beliefs.

With all that history, which should be familiar to every educated American, it’s incredible that we’re now seeing the worst of Marxist ideas, the deconstruction of the family, presented in the name of libertarianism and even conservatism.

Ouch. Class dismissed for now — but if you’re still confused, read her entire column here, and then click over here to read three articles by self-described libertarian Jennifer Roback Morse, and then read what Bill Muehlenberg teaches about Cultural Marxism.

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