THE ECONOMY has recruited women on a massive scale in the past 20 years, largely as cheap labour and mostly at the lower end of the occupational structure.
Although some might say it is an improvement for women to escape the frailty of unpaid, negotiated conditions in the kitchen sink, nevertheless the compound does include an original felony of unjust wages from a system which regards the individual worker as a factor of production and the family as little more than economic inputs.
The State too adds its mite as a sentimental sop. far short of real family needs in many cases. If we look .further we can trace the continuing and chronic maldistribution of wealth and privilege in British society.
This inequality has been condemned by one Pope after another from Leo.XI I I in 1891, to Pope John Paul. as -being the enema of a truly united Christian nation. In Britain, more than most. it fosters a class system which has by and large absorbed and reduced Christianity -to ritualised lipservice and from which the
working class masses are, in the main, estranged. This erosion of true ownership, and the creation with it of a largely servile. dependant population, the prey to manipulators and false consciousness. carpet-baggers of the media and politics who clutter up thought with an ever widening range of piffle, and decadent piffle at that.
Our matrimonial chaos is due to both factors — that the family has no existence in capitalist philosophy or communist, both stemming from the collective or individual pursuit of Mammon.
"Give them bread and circuses" seems to be the instinctive policy of the uneasy minorities who exercise 'their despotism in modem Britain: immoral diversion playing an increasing drug-type part in thought and behaviour control, and so eating away at the supports of the family. What is surprising is that the Church seems determined to acculturate itself to a system so sick and so moribund and so philosophically warped as to make the liaison almost indecent.
-fhe Church is signally failing to
draw on its own teachings in the social order — it almost begins to look as though radical Catholic teaching regarding the primacy of the family over the economy, the just wages. and the theology of class are simply an embarrassment — that is if our Church leaders know the teaching (I met one highly placed dignitary who stumbled somewhat when I discussed papal social teaching with him). The conference last week on marriage crisis showed the same superficiality, the same vapidity and gas that inevitably rises from religious discussion that fails to look at the social order, or which accepts the social order as a kind of divine backcloth, as immutable as the stars. We are supposed to change the world not prostrate to it. During the past 20 years we have seen the greatest ever flight of women from the family and domestic life into factory and office, surpassing anything among our EEC partners — as do our divorce rates.
Forty live per cent of married' women with three children or more now go out to work as our economy devours all other institutions in its obsessive path.
While Marxist Russian views in such matters as our divorce rates seem hypocritical coming irom country that once abolished the family, and itself has high divorce rates — despite the prophecy that human happiness and stability derive from the socialisation of the means of production — we could do worse than look at the neo-Marxist criticism that Capitalism in the West is again raping family life to gratify its own prime pursuit of profit at cheapest cost.
The manipulation of the media and advertising in particular on television by multi-natiOnals — which equate the system with unusually happy and loving families buying the right product, is as near to the horrific lie of George Orwell's "1984" as anything could be.
One lears that all our media are increasingly distorting along the same continues away from justice and truth towards an entirely perverted vision of society and life.
Martin J Viner Wirral Cheshire