Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vox Popoli: Treating the symptoms - (So the cause of of the failing institution of marriage continues?)

The Weekly Standard wants to repair the failing institution of marriage. But not at the price of giving up feminism:

To restore marriage, people must again observe the two main conventions that used to support the institution. First, adults should not form intimate ties for very long without committing themselves in some formal way to remain together for life. That implies not having affairs and not divorcing except in unusual circumstances. Second, children should be born and brought up within marriage, meaning with parents in a committed relationship, rather than with single parents.

The problem, of course, is that these conventions run afoul of our modern fetish for “tolerance.” Marriage and the family are now seen as a private realm where nothing—government, the community, even the private opinions of fellow citizens—should be allowed to pass judgment, let alone intervene.

But marriage isn’t only a private concern. One reason lower-income society is falling apart is that the decline of marriage leaves too few adults who are willing and able to help each other. Spouses who cannot get along within the family also cannot contribute much to the wider society. They have little to offer others in the joint work of building strong communities. Government and nonprofit bodies attempt to fill the void, but even they cannot substitute for families based on strong adult commitments.

Because of the social costs of nonmarriage, “tolerance,” while laudable, should not be society’s only goal. Instead, we should be working to strike a balance between free choice and the promotion of the stable, supportive environments that create the best outcomes for both children and adults.

Any return to marriage norms, however, must take into account the feminist critique. Two generations ago, wives were often subordinate to their husbands or blindly deferred to them. Most advocates of marriage today recognize that the institution can be rebuilt only if it is done so on more egalitarian lines. Husbands and wives must be partners, without either ruling over the other. This does assume, however, that the spouses can work out differences more openly than they often did in the past.

It's really rather striking the way that so many observers are concerned about the symptoms while determinedly clinging to the disease. It's like watching a doctor trying to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible while refusing to give him the medicine that will cure him.

Any return to marriage norms will require rejecting feminism entirely. Destroying marriage was, and is, one of the primary goals of feminism. Destroying society and Western civilization is merely a fortuitous bonus as far as feminists are concerned.