It may be the first word any baby ever says, as he tries to form a sound by flapping his lips: "Mama". It's a word that seems to transcend many languages. It must be pure music to the ears of the first-time mother, waiting to hear her offspring articulate a thought. And "Papa" follows fast.
Nonetheless, this blog is not about "Mothers' Day"; I have little patience for such creations of the greeting card industry. Birthdays, yes; those are times to celebrate an individual's progress in life. Christmas, okay, that's too heavily ingrained in our part of the human race to winkle out any time soon, and it does no harm for families to get together at least once a year. Wedding anniversaries pass muster too in my mind - but otherwise, no. Moms and Dads usually do priceless work, but it's done every day, not just once a year; and as for Presidents' Day, MLK Day, Labor Day, Vets' Day and the rest, I'll manage without. There's nothing I want to celebrate about Presidents, and the best I can do for Veterans is to help terminate government so that wars will cease and there won't be any new ones.
The value of two parents, each providing a different kind of support for the growing child, is well tested by the entire history of the human race - and of most animal species too. If one parent should die before the child has matured, it's everywhere seen as a tragedy; not just for the sorrowful, surviving spouse but also for the child. He or she will have to complete her development with one guide missing. It can be done and often is; but it's a tragedy anyway, because each contributes something unique.
Likewise a divorce is rightly seen as a major upset for the child, which often has an immediate bad effect on his progress in learning and may cause a huge emotional crisis that scars her for life. Divorce is preferable, arguably, to holding a quareling couple together when a marriage is effectively over, for that too provides an unhealthy environment for the child; but either way, my point is made: the ideal and the norm is for two parents, male and female, to do the job of raising kids together.
So, in the coming zero government society, will mothers go out to work? - that is, leave home daily and provide an employer with services for a salary to augment the family resources?
If they so wish, yes of course. Their choice, always. But (unless the husband is missing or disabled) there will be no obligation to do so, and my guess is that not many will so choose. Caring for the children, at home, will be so much more vital and rewarding, I think most will choose to stay there. Today, in contrast, there often is such an obligation.
It comes in part from the feminist movement, which has relentlessly blurred the distinction between the genders (latest triumph: to turn a once-masculine institution into the "Boy Skirts of America", so I heard) and has propelled ladies out of the home and into the work force, alleging falsely while doing so that they are underpaid. Not true, and never can be true except in a monopsony; if ladies were cheaper to hire than gentlemen, employers would rush to hire them and so equalize the rates. It comes also from the evil of taxation; to keep enough to live on, both Mum and Dad have to earn salaries, leaving the kids in the care of strangers regulated by the government for which those taxes pay.
That not to say there are no exceptions: sometimes, ladies do extraordinarily well in the workplace. While Nature equips them best to manage the home and family, a few have excelled in business. In the years before the merger Meg Whitman at eBay was a worthy rival for Peter Thiel of Paypal, and Carly Fiorina held her own for a while at the top of Hewlett Packard. A recent issue of Forbes highlighted some of the female American billionaires, as "self-made women."
Archists come in three flavors: evil, very evil, and utterly reprobate; and the Atlantic seems to have made a difference among female archists, with the milder sort to its East. In Britain, Boadicea led a doomed but valiant revolt against the Roman Empire, Elizabeth I presided over its settlement as a Protestant nation with a strong navy that knocked the Spanish Empire off its perch, Victoria reigned over 64 years of almost uninterrupted peace and a prosperity unprecedented in human history, and Elizabeth II hasn't done badly either - and for even longer. Margaret Thatcher, while a wife and mother, almost single handedly turned back the deadly tide of socialism which had swamped the country for six decades.
The strength of her leadership personality is conveyed by an apocryphal tale. It's said that after an intense period of discussion in Downing Street, she took some of her inner Cabinet (all males) out to dinner at a nearby restaurant. She ordered roast beef. The waiter asked "And for the vegetables, Madam?" Thatcher replied "They will also have the beef."
In America by contrast, it was a multi-decade campaign by women that brought about the disasater of Prohibition, it was the sinister Eleanor who pulled the strings behind an ailing and even more disastrous FDR, and latterly we have been saved by a whisker from suffering a Presidency by the Witch of Arkansas. The ZGBlog Political Women has more.
After E-Day there will be no more politics for women - or men - to wallow in, so Moms will have the simple choice of running the home or competing in the workplace; and sometimes both. Historically it has often been both; in the agricultural societies prior to around 1850 women worked the fields alongside men, though nobody pretended they were equally strong and they frequently brought their children along too - yes, to work, for no anti-child-labor laws prevented it.
I expect most will choose to run the home, for that is a division of labor the fits elegantly with Nature; and it's by no means a sinecure! Since my wife died I've had to try to take on her work, and Nature does not fit me for it at all well. She and I complemented each other.
Home schooling will, I expect, be the primary occupation of mothers in the coming ZGS. Education at home is phenomenally successful for the first half-decade of life, and there is no reason (except the obligations above, and the school attendance laws) why it should not continue for a further decade or more. This will be part of an enormous shift in occupation. About 40 million government workers will have quit, and at least the men among them will be finding productive alternative work; at the same time, I expect that around 25 million mothers now in the workforce will vacate it to manage home and children - so there will be a massive shifting around. A rising generation of far brighter kids will be the first fruits of the changes.