quences of policies that were supposedlyndesigned for “pro-natalist” purposes,nCarlson raises the very pertinentnquestion of whether it is proper to saynthat the Myrdals “failed.” The answer,nit seems, is no. Carlson makes clearnthat their “pro-natalism” amounted tonlittle more than a healthy fear of economicncollapse and national extinction.nTheir concern for marriage and familynwas entirely consequentialist, as can benseen from the failure to distinguishnbetween legitimate and illegitimatenunions: whatever produces children isngood for the state. Human beings werennot valuable in themselves (thenMyrdals countenanced forced sterilizationnfor the mentally ill, the “geneticallyndefective,” and criminals) but asninstruments of the state: human beingsnwere necessary to fill jobs, to pay taxes,nand to breed more job-filling taxpayers.nAlva Myrdal liked to condemn then”unbridled individualism which char­n32/CHRONICLESn”Make it last long, if possible,”nYou tell the tailor mumbling throughnThe silver needles in his mouth for younTo hold still and stand tallnWhile he adjusts for waistband slacknAnd proper cuffs. “And let it benNothing awfully dull or cheaply flashy.nThumb-pinched out of the rack.nSince you’ve inherited the cursenOf likening books to gods and men.nAnd library tables wear elbows thin.nYou’d like them reinforced.nLet its weave show, but not show off^;nFar better glances than cold staresnDismissing you for putting on false airsnWith the cut of your cloth.nIt should be something that can gon(Down any street your fancy runs)nAs well with old school ties as newer ones.nSilk cravat or string bow.nAnd it should jump at chances, yetnNot chase them round too far a bend.nBe something to relax in at day’s end,nIts wrinkles smoothing out.nacterizes the . . . bourgeois culture” ofncapitalism. Yet her militant feminismnand hostility toward the traditionalnfamily made her sing the praises ofn”individual self-sufficiency.” She failednto realize that, as Joseph Schumpeternput it, “feminism is an essentially capitalisticnphenomenon.” In the battienbetween social welfare and feministnindividualism, feminism won. Thus,nthe family wage, formerly part of thenSocial Democratic Party agenda, becamenoppressive in the eyes of AlvanMyrdal. In 1971, the Swedish Commissionnon New Marriage Lawnclaimed a need to form “a society innwhich every adult takes responsibilitynfor himself without being economicallyndependent on another” — bourgeoisnindividualism in a socialist welfarenstate.nThe Myrdals’ analysis of the Swedishnbirth dearth reveals the extent tonwhich they bought into the materialis­nThe Life Fittingnby Dick Allennnntic premises they condemned. Theirnplan to increase fertility fostered rathernthan combated selfish individualism. Itncapitulated to selfishness by attemptingnto make children compatible withnpurely economic self-interest. Theynignored the wise objection of Sweden’snhusband-and-wife social-policy team,nEli and Ebba Heckscher, who said thatnfertility rates would never be raised byntaking children from their mothers andngiving them to the state. The Heckschers’nobjection points to a profoundntruth: the state can only flourish bynrecognizing the essential preeminencenof the family.nThe Swedish Experiment in FamilynPolitics should be required reading fornanyone interested in Sweden’s presentnsituation, but it is perhaps most interestingnas a cautionary tale for policymakersnin the United States who, in thenname of “family policy,” are temptednto turn their backs on the family. <§>n”What, you want miracles?” he asks,n”Love, money, fame — the whole shebang?nStep to the mirrors, let’s see how it’ll hangnAnd how much fat it masks.”nYour body, soul and mind obey.nSplit into left and right and straight ahead.nHe frowns and plucks your sleeve for one loose thread.n”Not looking bad today,”nHe tells you, writes down measurementsnIn his spiral-ring pad, then nodsnTo his assistant, as if taking oddsnAgainst all comers’ bets.nChalkmarks the shoulders, tacks the neck.nChecks the interlining’s fulln(So hidden that it can’t be seen at all).nThen, eyes rolling, steps back.n”You’ve been told,” he says, “that whethernIt’s sharkskin, wool, poplin, or tweed.nSuch special orders can’t be guaranteednAgainst improper wear?”nYou have. You shake his outstretched hand.nYour numbered claim check safe and soundnInside your billfold (slim and leather-bound).nAnd feel, at last, name brand.n