The Family Is the Soul of Both Society and the State

April 13, 2023


Chapter 6

Just as the family produces a profound interrelationship among souls that gives it a magnificent organicity, it also tends to overflow its own boundaries and project its influence onto several fields of human activity.

What fields of activity are these? It is normal for relatives to have affinities and, therefore, to have similar professions. This being the case, it is also normal for them to have mutual business deals. It is also normal that the family, in many cases, together become a unit of economic production within one or during several epochs.

As Frantz Funck-Brentano develops very well in his book The Old Regime in France, families in the past founded dynasties that lasted for generations and even centuries. Do not think I am talking about dynasties of kings, nobles, and ministers. I speak of dynasties of jewellers, artisans, professors, magistrates, artists, intellectuals, etc. These dynasties were a powerful aid in the development of European life before the French Revolution, and continued after the French Revolution in several areas. This family-oriented social fabric was a result of the personality of the family.

King Louis XIV

Funck-Brentano cites a very illustrative case of Maître Pinon, a woodcutter who lived during the reign of King Louis XIV of France (“Maître” was the title given to the elected head of an extended family community before the French Revolution).

The Pinon family had been woodcutters since the time of Charlemagne and they could prove it. So, when Maître Pinon had reached an advanced age, let us say 80 years old as I cannot remember the exact age, the king of France, through a special envoy, sent him some silver buckles, insignias, and a multi-coloured sash to be used on days of ceremony of the guild to which he belonged. The king also sent him an offer of the title of baron, as such a long and continuous fidelity to a trade had inspired the Sun King to elevate this man to the nobility.

Maître Pinon gave this most interesting response: “Tell His Majesty that I thank him from the bottom of my heart, but I prefer to be the first woodcutter of France than to be the last of its barons.”

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Similar family lineages also exit in Britain today. One such example is in Wiltshire, where a Maurice has been the local general practitioner since 1792, when Dr. Thelwall Maurice first set up practice in the market town of Marlborough. Succeeding generations of Maurices had cared for generations of the same families ever since—until the current Maurice, that is. Although recently qualified as a hospital doctor, he will not follow his father into the family practice. After 217 years, this will bring to an end Britain’s longest serving dynasty of GPs.

The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society, by Tradition, Family, Property Association. Pgs. 70-73.



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