Page:Earth-Hunger and Other Essays.djvu/280

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In the current discussions about property, rights, and social relations, it is very rare to see any appreciation manifested of the connection between the family and property. Yet this connection lies at the root of the whole matter. The grandest and most powerful monopoly in the world is the family, in its monogamic form; we have sects which have perceived this and made it an object of their agitation. They are not large, and, for obvious reasons, they are regarded with suspicion and abhorrence by respectable people; but it is undeniable that when they inveigh against monogamic marriage as monopoly, and against the monogamic family as the hotbed of selfishness, they have facts to support their position which are as true and as much to the point as any of the current denunciations of monopoly and selfishness in reference to capital and the industrial system.

I beg the reader to note carefully the form and limits of the statement which I have just made. The parallel which I affirm is not rhetorical, it is in the essence of the facts; when I say that one set of assertions are as well grounded as the other, the force and point of the assertion lie in the "just as much as." Both are correct as to the facts in a certain measure and way; both are fallacious as they are ordinarily asserted and employed. It is not easy to deal with the matter from the side of the family within the proper restrictions, but the necessity of a better popular understanding of the general subject is so great that I am compelled to try it.