Rorate Caeli

"Abolish the Patriarchy"? -- It's Actually Gone, But We Should Return to It - by Roberto de Mattei

 Why We Must Return to the Patriarchy

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
December 2023

After the murder of a young woman, Giulia Cecchettin, last Nov. 11, Italy has discovered that it is threatened by the "patriarchy." The title of a dossier in the Nov. 24 La Repubblica newspaper is eloquent: "Feminicides: stop the slaughter." The thesis, which is the same one spread by the mainstream media, social media, and all kinds of influencers, is that there is a massacre of feminicides and the responsibility must be attributed to the still dominant culture of "patriarchy." We need to fight patriarchy to stop violence against women.

Patriarchy was a social system that enshrined the authority of men and the division of roles within the family. With the exception of the present time, paternal authority has always been regarded as one of the invariable elements of the social order, necessary for all peoples and in all times. For centuries, the father exercised in the family the role that the sovereign exercised in political society (the very word fatherland is derived from father) and that the Pope, the "Holy Father", exercises in the Church. As recently as fifty years ago, this was still the Italian family model: the father had to lead the family and provide for its financial maintenance, the mother took care of the home and the education of the children, who were numerous. The family unit often included grandparents, custodians of a tradition that was passed on from generation to generation. 

This social system was destroyed by the cultural revolution of 1968, and by what followed it: laws such as divorce, abortion and, in Italy, especially the law on the new family of April 22, 1975, which decapitated paternal authority, abolishing the legal pre-eminence of the father, contributing to the disappearance of authority and identity in Italian families.

Among the ideologues of '68, we also remember the theorists of "anti-psychiatry," such as David Cooper, author of a book reprinted several times by Einaudi, significantly titled The Death of the Family. This was the belief that began to spread in the late 1960s: the imminent and inevitable extinction of the family institution. In that essay, Cooper proposed to erase the paternal role by replacing it with the fraternal one, thus hoping for a paradoxical society of brothers without a father, or rather of brothers because they are murderers of the Father: as had happened in 1793 with the assassination of the King of France, as Nietzsche hoped by prophesying the assassination of God the Father. 

The process of democratizing the Church, society and the family is one and the same. The destruction of the family was to rely particularly on the "liberation" of women. Feminism claimed to abolish the distinction of male and female roles, destroying the natural vocation to motherhood and womanhood. The claim to the "right" of abortion and contraception was advanced as a woman's right to self-determine her body and sexuality, freeing herself from male authority and the "burden" of motherhood. The masculinization of women has been matched by the demasculinization of men, promoted in full force by fashion, advertising, and music. Gender theory is the point of arrival, but the slogans against the culture of patriarchy that resonate today have their origin in feminist demonstrations such as the one that took place in Rome on December 6, 1975, animated by some 20,000 women, who chanted slogans like this one: "No more wives, mothers, daughters! Let's destroy families!" 

And the family has been destroyed. The authority of the father has been dissolved, gender roles have been suppressed, and all family members -- father, mother and children -- suffer a profound identity crisis. The patriarchal family no longer exists in Italy, except for a few happy islands. And in these few islands that rather than patriarchal we should call natural, the wife respects her husband and the children respect their parents, and the woman is not killed, but is loved and respected. The murderer of Giulia Cecchettin is not a child of the culture of patriarchy, but of the 1968, relativist ,and feminist culture that permeates the whole of society today and for which everyone is responsible and victim at the same time. 

But the crisis of the family goes beyond the end of the patriarchal family. Italy is on its way to being a society of "singles," with no more families. According to the latest CENSIS [Italian Center for Social Studies] report on the social situation of the country, in 2040 only one in 4 couples, or 25.8% of the total, will have children, and families composed of one person will be 37%.  34% of Italians will be elderly and lonely. This is because today not only the family is in crisis, but the very existence of the couple. Not only are people marrying less and less, and giving birth to fewer children, but they are also living together less, because they shy away from the idea of having any responsibility to a partner or companion, whom they are afraid to have too long close to them.

The so-called feminicide is not the result of the old patriarchal culture, but of the new anti-patriarchal culture, which confuses ideas, fragilizes feelings, destabilizes the psyche, deprived of that natural support that, from birth, the family, with its points of safety, paternal and maternal, offered. Man is alone with his nightmares, his fears, his anxieties, on the edge of an abyss: the abyss of emptiness into which one falls when one gives up being what one is, when one abandons one's immutable and permanent nature as man, woman, father, mother, child. And if everyone is talking about feminicide, no one is talking about a far more extensive and widespread crime: that of infanticide, committed every in day in Italy, Europe and the world, by fathers and mothers who exercise the utmost violence against their innocent child, even before he or she sees the light of day.

A society that kills its children is condemned to death, and the breath of death, in all forms, not only that of feminicide, is increasingly felt. Life, the restoration of society, is possible only by regaining the natural and divine model of the family. To stop the madness that destroys our society, we must return, with God's help, to the patriarchal family model, founded on the authority of the father, the head of the family, and on the sanctity of the mother, who constitutes its heart: united both in the task of procreating and educating children to make them citizens of heaven. The alternative is hell, which already begins on this earth.