Why the State Cannot Substitute the Family

Happy_family_(1) copyThe State can never substitute the family especially in the formation of children. Sociologist Carle Zimmerman notes that “the parent who prevents a baby from swallowing a safety pin, keeps him from high places, warns a child daily about crossing the street” and other protective functions, “does more protecting of a family member than the whole police force of the United States does altogether for the child in its entire pre-adult life.”

In a similar way, the parent who keeps the child away from “scalding water, matches, electrical circuits, stoves (wood, gas, and electric), and fireplaces” does more to safeguard him from danger than the local fire department.

Indeed, he concludes that the “religious and moral attitudes and behavior Subscription11of the parents, still have ten times more influence upon the value behavior of the young than all the other ‘moral’ agencies put together” (Carle C. Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, ISI Books, Wilmington, Del., 2008, p. 196).


  • Fjslo

    Conversely, the family cannot substitute the state.  Both institutions have an essential role in a healthy society.