Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Post-modern Liberty

Just an observation, it's not really a great idea for self-proclaimed libertarians to celebrate judicial activism. Assaults on the rule of law in the United States are not victories for liberty. The week didn't get off to a great start with the Supreme Court letting lower court gay marriage activism become the law of the land, and the post-modern confusion sprinkled throughout internet articles and comments by professed libertarians and conservatives in favor of the ruling is simply salt in the wound.

It might be fashionable in some circles to be libertarian and atheist, but I'd also like to suggest that it might be a good idea for the right-leaners in the crowd that incessantly insists on equating opposition to gay marriage with demands for government to cram Christianity down people's throats to kindly put a sock in it. Unless you are a leftist-radical, you're singing from the wrong song book. Thousands of years of human experience inform us of the value of traditional marriage. Cultures throughout the world and throughout time, Christian and non-Christian, have recognized the unique value of the role that the traditional nuclear family plays in propagating a stable and productive society.

Contrary to popular belief, judgement and discernment are not bad things. They are in fact necessary things in a free society where the people themselves are supposed to be the authority. It is unfortunate that such statements are controversial, but post-modernism has taught us that the only thing that may be judged is judgement itself (unless it comes from government). Too many younger libertarians have latched onto this idea in willful disregard for it's incompatibility with the very concepts of limited government they espouse. Strong traditional families have proven to be one of the most powerful enablers of limited government.

Laws are written to provide an identifiable benefit for society. They aren't written to express acceptance for a particular "lifestyle" choice, or to make people feel better about the behaviors they choose to engage in. The traditional family is the ideal arrangement for raising children to be well adjusted and productive members of society. "Ideal" is just another way of saying "best". In other words, it's better than the alternatives. That's a judgement, and it makes people uncomfortable, but this is the reason that the traditional institution of civil marriage existed in the first place - It provides a unique benefit to society. It's not because our government has been cramming Christianity down everybody's throat for 200 plus years.

Marriage as a civil institution is not going away. It is certainly in the process of being completely redefined, but the Utopian idea of government getting out of the marriage business isn't reflected in any potential near-term realities. Custody, adoption, estates, rights of survivor-ship, etc., are bound up in the civil institution of Marriage. The fact is that the government will become more committed to marriage as a civil institution than ever before, now that it has evolved into a lever for reshaping society. What has been achieved is to take something special, an institution that we have traditionally placed on a pedestal, and turn it into a relationship participation trophy. The achievement of the post-modern alchemists is to change gold into lead.

No comments:

Post a Comment