Thought for the Day: Chesterton on the Modern Economy
It cannot be too often repeated that what destroyed Family in the modern world was Capitalism. No doubt it might have been Communism, if Communism had ever had a chance, outside the semi-Mongolian wilderness where it actually flourishes. But, so far as we are concerned, what has broken up households, and encourages divorces, and treated the old domestic virtues with more and more open contempt, is the epoch and power of Capitalism. It is Capitalism that has forced a moral feud and a commercial competition between the sexes; that has destroyed the influence of the parent in favor of the influence of the employer; that has driven men from their homes to look for jobs; that has forced them to live near their factories or their firms instead of near their families; and, above all, that has encouraged, for commercial reasons, a parade of publicity and garish novelty, which is in its nature the death of all that was called dignity and modesty by our mothers and fathers. It is not the Bolshevist but the Boss, the publicity man, the salesman and the commercial advertiser who have, like a rush and riot of barbarians, thrown down and trampled under foot the ancient Roman statue of Verecundia [which depicts Modesty].
G.K.Chesterton, The Common Man.