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ラッセル幸福論 第13章
家族(松下彰良 訳)

The Conquest of Happiness, by Bertrand Russell

Back Next Part II, Chap. 13(The Family)  Contents (総目次)

 これは,もちろん,非常に重大な制限である。なぜなら,今日の家族の不幸の原因は,心理的,経済的,社会的,教育的,政治的というように,最大限多種多様である。社会の富裕層に関わるところでは,2つの原因が結びついて,女性たちに,人の親になることを昔よりもはるかに重い負担に感じさせている。この2つの原因とは,一方では独身女性が専門職につく道が開かれたことであり,他方では家事サービス(奉公人・家政婦・召使いによる家事)の衰退である。昔は,未婚女性の生活条件は耐えがたいものであったために,女性は結婚に駆り立てられた。未婚女性は,まず父親に,次に不承不承の兄弟に経済的に依存して,自宅で暮らすよりほかなかった。彼女には,日々を満たす職業も,また保護された家族の住居の外で楽しむ自由も,なかった。彼女たちには,性的な冒険をする機会もなければ,したい気持ちももっておらず,彼女たち自身,性的な冒険は結婚生活以外では憎悪すべき(忌まわしい)行為'であると深く信じていた。もし,あらゆる予防措置にもかかわらず,'下心のある魅力的な異性の手練手管'によって貞操を失うようなことになれば,彼女の立場は極度に哀れなものになった。それは,(オリバー・ゴールドスミス, 1728‐1774 の)ウェイクフィールドの牧師』の中にきわめて正確に描写されている。
Of all the institutions that have come down to us from the past none is in the present day so disorganised and derailed as the family. Affection of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the relations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both parties, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred a source of unhappiness to at least one of the two parties. This failure of the family to provide the fundamental satisfaction which in principle it is capable of yielding is one of the most deep-seated causes of the discontent which is prevalent in our age. The adult who wishes to have a happy relation with his own children or to provide a happy life for them must reflect deeply upon parenthood, and, having reflected, must act wisely. The subject of the family is far too vast to be dealt with in this volume except in relation to our own special problem, namely the conquest of happiness. And even in relation to that problem we can deal with it only in so far as amelioration lies within the power of each individual without alterations in the social structure.
This is, of course, a very grave limitation, for the causes of family unhappiness in our day are of the most diverse sorts, psychological, economic, social, educational, and political. Where the well-to-do sections of the community are concerned, two causes have combined to make women feel parenthood a burden far heavier than it was ever felt to be in former times. These two causes are, on the one hand, the opening of careers to single women; on the other hand, the decay of domestic service. In old days women were driven into marriage by the intolerable conditions of life for the spinster. The spinster had to live at home in economic dependence, first upon her father, and then upon some reluctant brother. She had no occupations to fill her days and no liberty to enjoy herself outside the sheltered walls of the family mansion. She had neither the opportunity nor the inclination for sexual adventure, which she herself profoundly believed to be an abomination except within marriage. If, in spite of all safeguards, she lost her virtue through the wiles of some designing fascinator, her situation was pitiable in the extreme. It is delineated quite accurately in The Vicar of Wakefield:
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from ev'ry eye,
To give repentance to her lover
And wring his bosom is - to die.