I have a note scrawled in my journal that I’m going to attribute to Deirdre McCloskey. Mostly because it’s on a page that contains other McCloskey-isms that I feel more certain are in fact attributable to her. Hmm. This is actually the first time I’ve had to pronoun a trans-person, it feels less strange than I thought it might… and while I admit there is a small part of me that wants to be fractious about this and argue semantics, most of me doesn’t really care enough to get all bent out of shape. Although, to be completely honest, at least some of me wonders if this is personal bias and if I’d be as kind to someone whose work I didn’t necessarily admire. I like to believe I would be. (but who knows)
In any event she said something along the lines of ‘Households are socialist enterprises’.
And also ‘this is smallest group at which this kind of regulation can really work’. Ie Authoritarian control over other peoples lives. I’m paraphrasing that last part from memory (which as we’ve established before in previous posts isn’t great)… so… if I’ve messed this up completely, apologies to Deirdre.
I think I mostly believe this to be true. (although I reserve the right to change my mind without prior notice about anything I’ve previously asserted to be certitude). In your typical nuclear family there is a set amount of income that is distributed by an authoritarian figure (or figures if your parents share the management role to some degree) to non-income earning dependents to satisfy their needs. It works because… well…
…there are consequences for insurrectionist behaviour. Non income earning dependents have to take and accept what they are allocated (or face strangulation)
Once you start to add just one more family into the mix things start to get a little more challenging.
Decisions are still made to distribute the shared income pool and allocated based on perceived need… only people perceive needs very differently and the human condition discerns slight and grievance very easily. That and you’re always going to try and favor your particular ménage first. It starts to get very complicated, very quickly.
I tend to believe human beings are extremely dichotomous. They can come together and co-operate to achieve amazing, truly awesome inspiring things. But group them together and have them decide how to divvy up money and things just go to hell in a hand basket.
Also socialism is bullshit.