fullest and most rational manner possible.” The Cold Warnfamily, in this view, was merely one variant of the fullynsocialized family, part of and dependent on the kinder,ngender Leviathan state.nIndeed, both the Swedish and American experiments innthe state defense of tradition have recently turned againstnfamily life. In Sweden, the shift came in the 1960’s, asnfeminist critics blasted “the almost pathological confinementnof mothers,” and stimulated a revolution that destroyed thenlegal and economic bases for marriage. As one expertnexplained in a quasi-official statement: “I should like tonabolish the family as a means of earning a livelihood, letnadults be economically independent of each other and givensociety a large share of responsibility for its children.” Then1969 report of the Working Group on Equality, headed bynAlva Myrdal, laid out the components of this agenda, whichnwas fully implemented by the mid-I970’s. Sweden nownboasts of the world’s lowest first marriage rate, one of thenlowest birthrates, and an illegitimacy ratio of about 500 (pern1,000 live births). While himself an admitted social democrat,nRutgers sociologist David Poponoe argues in hisnprovocative book Disturbing the Nest: Family Change andnDecline in Modern Societies that “the very nature of thenwelfare state compromises the institution of the family.”nAlthough the Swedish project began with the goal ofnhelping families to function better, “the very acceleration ofnwelfare-state power weakened the family further.” Thisnrepresents a “cultural contradiction” which has played nonsmall part in creating Sweden’s contemporary “welfare-statencrisis” of rising obligations and insufficient resources.nWith some variation, the pattern has been repeated in thenAmerican military’s socialist experiment. Here, 1970 seemsnto be the swing date, after which traditional families fell intonsustained retreat. Already by 1980, an official Air Forcenreport stated that the traditional family (Air Force father,nnon-working civilian wife, and one or more children) wasndisappearing from its ranks. Even when excluding thenunmarried, traditional families only represented 28 percentnof all Air Force families. At the same time, “new familynforms” needing “special supports” emerged as the norm,nincluding dual-career service couples and single-parentn(usually meaning “father absent”) families. Despite thencomprehensive (if, admittedly, often tacky) array of welfarenprograms already in place, intense pressure grew fornadditional child care and youth service. One consultantndeclared that “the provision of child care for military familiesnmay be essential today for mission readiness,” while thenArmy Family Action Plan called an expanded child carenbenefit “a crucial program for the Army.”nBuilding what the Army’s 1983 White Paper calls militaryn”families of excellence” has, in fact, meant a steady declinenin family autonomy, and an embrace of themes and goalsnhostile to tradition. One Marine Corps study on retentionnproblems among females, for example, proposed that thenCorps “help women develop short term alternatives tonmarriage and pregnancy for overcoming loneliness.” Meanwhile,nthe feminist theory of androgyny — that there are nonrelevant differences between the sexes — has emerged as anform of military social gospel. As author Brian Mitchellnexplains in his book Weak Link, each military unit now hasnan “equal opportunity officer” who monitors gender rela­ntions and reports violations of policy, “much in the way thenSoviet military has Communist Party officers assigned tonunits to keep Commanders politically straight.” As innSweden, the welfare state has been converted into an enginendestructive of traditional family bonds and duties.nIn light of these experiences, it is possible to see the flawsnimplicit in the theory guiding government aid to thenfamily. To begin with, state aid simultaneously createsndependency and undermines responsibility, which creates andilemma for the rationally constructed welfare state. As onenDanish welfare official recenfly put it: “if [the welfare state]nis to fulfill its intended function, its citizens must refrainnfrom exploiting to the fullest its services and provisions —nthat is, they must behave irrationally, motivated by informednsocial controls, which, however, tend to disappear as thenwelfare system grows.” The system consumes itselfnSecond, it turns out that emotional bonds are not enoughnto preserve the family as an autonomous social unit. Love isninsufficient when arrayed against a state apparatus that hasnappropriated the functions of early child development, basicneducation, economic support, recreation, civil religion, andnold age security. Simply put, the comprehensive welfarenstate holds all the “loyalty” trump cards in its hand.nIndeed, if one looks deeper into history, a century-oldnconflict between the state and the family for the loyalty ofnthe individual grows clear. Mandatory school attendancenlaws and so-called child labor laws have subverted parentalncontrol of the economic lives of children, while a mandatorynSocial Security System has socialized the insurance value ofnchildren, to the advantage of the childless. As the state hasngrown, the family has lost.nAt the more diabolical level, we see that the abstract statenhas a clear interest in eliminating all institutions that standnbetween the governors and the governed. As Princetonndemographer Norman Ryder has artfully summarized:n”Political organizations . . . demand loyalty and attempt tonneutralize family particularism. There is a struggle betweennthe family and the state for the minds of the young.” Inncontemporary Sweden, the struggle seems to be over, withnthe state the undisputed victor. In the United States, thenissue awaits firm resolution. Our military families appear tonbe caught in the same liberty-destroying matrix as thenSwedes. However, other developments suggest that somenAmerican families are still fighting back: witness the surgingnhome school movement, or the passage in many states ofnparental notification laws for teenage abortion.nFamily autonomy and human liberty will grow only as thenstate shrinks. The fate of family life in the Americannnational security state suggests that there is no exception tonthis rule. While dispute rages over the continued existencenof a serious Soviet security threat or the pending end of thenCold War, there are independent and compelling reasonsnfor social conservatives to support a sharp reduction in thensize of our standing military force. Rather than a blow tonconservative principles, this action would represent a traditionalistnliberation from the misshapen socialism that hasnrecenfly taken root in the services. The same reasons urgencontinued opposition to proposals that would subject Americanncivilians to the Swedenization that has befallen ournmilitary compatriots. <^nnnMAY 1990/27n