Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The unleashed family

This is happening more quickly than I thought it would. A judge in Argentina has ruled that a woman can marry her stepdaughter. Why? According to the judge:
The Argentinian constitution guarantees all its citizens the right to procure their own happiness, which carries with it the right to be treated with dignity by the laws of the country in all areas of life, including marriage.

You don't have to be a genius to figure out that by this logic any kind of consensual marriage is morally justified. It not only justifies two women marrying, it also justifies a woman marrying her stepdaughter and it also clearly justifies a man marrying more than one woman. After all, if a man believes that marrying two or three or four women will make him happy, then he is exercising his constitutional right to "procure his own happiness," is he not?

Unless liberalism is overthrown as the state ideology it is only a matter of time before polygamy becomes legal.

The one virtue of the liberal approach to morality is that it is simple. If it is your desire, and doesn't directly interfere with the desires of others, then it is moral. The alternative is more "intersectional" and therefore more complex for the reason that reality itself has different dimensions, each of which needs to be ordered within a common framework.

For instance, someone might recognise his larger communal tradition as representing an important good and therefore believe that it is important to ask whether a certain action will harm or serve this tradition. He might also recognise the existence of qualities that are inherently good and take these as a measure of the rightness or wrongness of an action. Or he might recognise a natural telos (a purpose or end) to who he is as a man and ask whether his desires are rightly ordered to fulfil this telos or not. Perhaps he has a sense of the sacred in life; of his own higher or lower nature; of what is either noble or base in human conduct; of whether an action produces consequences that harm the individual or the society he lives in, for instance, by leading to crime or instability or poverty or ill health.

Human desires are wayward. We can experience contradictory desires during the course of a day. It is the task of a culture to discipline these desires within a moral framework, one which aims to raise us toward our higher spiritual ends, to fulfil our created nature/telos, and to serve the larger communal tradition we belong to, identify with and love. A society can be measured by the degree to which it gets this moral framework right.


  1. A good summary of Liberalism, its flaws and the traditional position.

    Of course as I've stated before, Liberalism isn't the core tenet of Leftism or there wouldn't be, as you say, Right Liberals.

    The core tenet of Leftism is run-away egalitarianism-univeralism-altruism. There's a small percentage (5%? 10%?) of people who take to heart the idea that we are primarily (only) moral beings. We used to shuttle such people off to convents and monasteries where they could do no harm but with the collapse of belief in supernaturalism these people go into policy positions where they can "make a difference". These people represent the much greater threat to civilization as their policies are ultimately suicidal.

    1. Yes, I agree, that left-liberalism is distinguished in part by its emphasis on the idea of equal outcomes. A right-liberal typically emphasises equal opportunity (by which they often mean that no one is barred from participation in the market). Most right-liberals can live with the idea that this market competition will then lead to unequal outcomes.

      The left, though, sees the unequal outcomes and assumes that this means that there must be systemic discrimination against some groups and systemic privilege for others. The system (patriarchy, whiteness) is rigged and has to be deconstructed to usher in the long-awaited for liberal nirvana of equal autonomy. In this left-liberal view, white males are the bad group resisting utopia as they are out to defend supremacy.

      I haven't heard the expression "egalitarianism-universalism-altruism" before but it does describe a certain mindset on the left.

    2. I strongly disagree with your charge against religious communities, most particularly the Roman Catholic Church. Don't try to land the blame where it does not belong and without a whit of evidence. Ironically, that is the left/liberal method, whereby they consider a smear a case proven. There is not a more reactionary institution than the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church and that included her nuns and monks. It is their abandonment of her principles and those of other orthodox Christian communities that has left now ignorant and unformed people wide open to manipulation by the universal and ceaseless propaganda of the liberals (be they right or left, they're all the same).

  2. Well, it is an expression I just made up because each word describes a different aspect of what drives this type person. I think many of them *do* believe unequal incomes come from unequal abilities but don't care. As they used to say "from each according to their abilities". The fact is they don't think it is anyone's fault that they have less ability -- surely anyone would choose to have more ability -- they just think it isn't fair. They, some of them, are lying about what they believe because it makes their case stronger for those who believe unequal abilities leading to unequal outcomes is okay.

  3. The "unleashed family" is an oxymoron. It is not a family at all but a mere contract which can be revoked at the will of one party according to shifting emotion or desire. This type of legal formality inevitably leads to incestuous marriage and polygamy. In order to be "equal" polygamy in the West will have to allow women to have several husbands.

    The ultimate aim is the enslavement of mankind into the totalitarian grip of the oligarchs.