Speaking of Mike Lotus’s America 3.0 speculation, in it he places a lot of weight on the importance of family structures in American development, citing the “absolute nuclear family” of western England and northern Europe as highly influential. He may be right but I’m not convinced. Although I grew up within such a family, my father did not. Quite to the contrary he grew up in what is called a famille patriarcale in a very extreme form and one that prevailed well into the 20th century.
The Schulers’ style of family organization is one that I have been given to understand is one that prevailed in traditional Switzerland, particularly in Canton Schwyz. In this style all of the family’s sons including married sons and their wives and children lived near to one another and the sons all worked for their father who held title to all of the family’s real possessions.
So, for example, my grandfather and his two brothers all worked for my great-grandfather Schuler. They owned nothing. They did not receive a salary for their labors. Grandpa Schuler paid the bills and saw to it that they had spending money. That situation continued right up until Grandpa Schuler’s death.