Allan Carlson's strongest point in Conjugal America is that families are our best defense against totalitarian projects. He describes the various ways in which the Nazis, and the Maoists, and the Soviets tried to destroy the family, to make each person primarily an instrument of their various totalizing projects. And he does not spare the West's current totalizing project of "militant secular individualism," which he thinks may be the greatest threat of all to dissolve the family. Yet even that danger, he thinks, can be defeated. We are meant for marriage, meant for raising our children together. Some individuals won't and don't, but humanity will.
Carlson does not talk about the other great totalizing project of our day, Islamic fascism. In some ways Islamism, or salafism, is more powerful than the twentieth century's secular and pagan totalitarianisms because it aims to co-opt the family, rather than abolish it. Men and women are enlisted to enforce a strict patriarchy in their own families, as well as on other people's families. When the story of this time in Muslim lands is told there will, no doubt, be many horror stories of men ruling their homes ruthlessly, and, let us not forget, women piously assisting. But I think there will also be many stories of families making their home a safe haven against the various Vice and Virtue police all around them.