Libertarian Marriage Nuttery

Marriage is all about reproduction. Without it, you’re left with the equivalent of an intimate handshake agreement on how to divide up the property when one or both parties gets bored. It is what makes homosexual marriage irrational. Two men cannot create a child together, so by definition they can never be married to one another. Marriage is a biological act, as much as a social construct. To divorce one from the other is to disconnect the institution from reality.

There are crazier modern fads, but it does tell us a lot about the people debating it. Arguments for changing public policy, the good ones least ways, contain knowledge of the current policy, its origins, its trade-offs and then the reasons why the new policy is superior. That allows everyone to agree to the facts in advance. The “good” arguments are basically an appeal to generosity to people afflicted with a terrible condition.

On the other hand, homosexual marriage advocates dispense with that and instead throw a tantrum, demanding you justify your opposition to their tantrum. It is a standard practice of the Left to use rhetoric to flip the argument on its head. Instead of the burden being on them to make the affirmative argument in favor of their cause, they force everyone else to defend the status quo to their satisfaction. They start with some form of “why shouldn’t homosexuals have the same rights as everyone else?”

In this regard, libertarians suffer from many of the same defects. They are not as egregious, owing to their fringe status, but they tend to do the same thing with rhetoric. This is most obvious with cultural items. They always retreated into the critic role, demanding conservative justify their position, rather than making the libertarian case for the issue. That way they can avoid having to defend their own position, which almost always compatible with the Progressive position. This Denninger post, for example.

Marriage is none of the government’s damn business.  It’s sad that it took the gay screamers to wake people up to this, but if it results in Oklahoma actually doing the right thing it will be about damn time.

Tell me this — why is it that you want the State in your bedroom? I don’t give a **** if you’re straight or gay, just give me one good reason why you’d invite the ****ing government behind your bedroom door.  Ever.  For any purpose.

But you do, and what’s worse is that if you actually honor a religious, that is, a sacramental marriage irrespective of what faith you follow you have sworn falsely before your God by having the pastor sign a state marriage license.

As with the Left, libertarians tend to violate the Chesterton’s fence principle. They have no idea why the rules and institutions were created. They seem to think they were either forced on us by some supernatural entity or sprung from random nothingness. The assumption is there is no reason for these things to exist, so they see no reason to not tear them down. Denninger just assumes that society, through the state, has no interest in marriage and that marriage licenses are immoral. He does not ask why they exist.

The libertarian argument on this issue is nonsense. This excellent post on matting patterns of medieval Franks illustrates that policing marriage predates Christianity and the nation state. Human populations have been keeping an eye on mating habits for a very long time, perhaps from the earliest times of human settlement. It turns out that humans have always known how babies are made and they noticed problems when babies are made between siblings or first cousins.

Other species have ways of dealing with inbreeding like the Westermarck Effect. The best way Mother Nature has to handle inbreeding is the defective progeny dies off quickly. Humans, having the ability to reason through these results, soon figured out that mothers and sons should not be mating. Whether a natural repulsion developed, followed by the taboo or the other way around, human societies have been policing the mating choices of its members since the beginning. Again, marriage is about reproduction, not sex.

In the Christian world, the church was enlisted in the war on cousin marriage long after authorities took an interest in it. It is not hard to see what human populations would worry about this problem. Every defect is a burden. If you get too many burdens, you end up using more extreme measures to remedy the problem. We know, for example, that human society has practiced infanticide to cull the defective from the population.

If you want to argue that this is no longer necessary in modern times, keep in mind that we are taking in tens of millions of people from places where inbreeding is still common. Then there is the urban and rural underclass where inbreeding is always a concern. If you don’t have someone policing the lower ranks, you will get a large low-IQ population in a few generations. Unfettered liberty works great for smart rich people, but it becomes increasingly problematic as you move left on the IQ curve. People have always known this.

Mating habits are a central concern of all human populations. Try this thought experiment. The world is wiped out by some plague and the remaining 100 people are all of child bearing ages, equally divided between boys and girls. What are the first priorities of the group? Obviously, the group has survival needs. Food, fresh water, fire, shelter and defense against nature are the first concerns. Organizing to solve these primary issues must happen if the population is to survive the first winter.

The next thing they will do is figure out how to handle the inevitable paring off, mating a child birth. Again, if they are to survive, figuring this out is at the top of the list. There is the issue of conflict over sex, but also the need to have a next generation. This is a A-level concern for the tribe, so it will require all of their attention, just the acquisition of food and water is a primary concern.

That’s why libertarians properly belong on the fringe. They are every bit as kooky as people lining their clothes with aluminum foil to keep the aliens from tracking them. What they believe and what they advocate are at odds with obvious reality. We general define insanity as a gap between perception and reality that cannot be remedied. That seems to be the case for libertarians.