Against the empire

I have a couple of recent pieces at Crisis Magazine, both on the need for institutions that are not simply subordinate to the mixture of global markets and public bureaucracy that dominates more and more of human life. The more recent one considers private property and family life in that connection, and the other the Church.

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27 thoughts on “Against the empire

  1. “The Radical Meaning of ‘Gay Marriage’ ” is a sobering article. I would add that appropriate human connections are no longer by law whatever people decide they are. They are only what five judges say they are, regardless of the will and votes of the people. The natural self-sustaining family in the liberal view has no rights the state must respect and the people as a whole have precious little voice in this matter that the courts feel they must respect.

    I recommend the second article as well, particularly the paragraph that begins with “The normal centers for the development and maintenance of independent views are independent institutions….” We have recently witnessed the weakening of the ability of the people, let alone the churches, to stand up to the diktats of the courts.

  2. What “gay marriage” does is bring the attack on the family to a new level by destroying the basis of marriage in human nature.

    Or, it strengthens the institution of the family by allowing people to participate in it who formerly could not.

    Sorry to be obvious.

    • Not obvious at all! You remove the features of an institution that give it an intrinsic function that makes it socially fundamental, and that is supposed to strengthen it because if it’s less distinct there will be a few people who might find some use for it who otherwise would not.

      Are there examples where something like that has worked?

      • Gay families seem to work just fine in my experience, with or without the legal status of marriage.

        You remove the features of an institution that give it an intrinsic function that makes it socially fundamental,

        It would be a lot of work to unpack all the unwarranted assumptions in that statement.

        1) Extending marriage to gays doesn’t remove anything from the institution of marriage.

        2) It doesn’t change the “intrinsic function” of marriage. Gays who just want to schtup aren’t going to get married; the ones who want to get married want to for the same reasons that straights do.

        3) If anything it seems to make marriage more “fundamental”. The fact that marriage is (somewhat surprisingly to me) so important to gays is a reflection of how fundamental marriage is, and reinforces it as a basic pillar of society.

        Why is it better for society to restrict gays to skulking around in bars if they would rather form stable households and relationships?

      • I have no idea how anyone is “restricting gays to skulking around in bars.”

        Extending marriage to gays means marriage is no longer the union of two persons that by natural function gives rise to new life and therefore involves a host of mutual obligations and becomes a fit object for public definition and support. Such a change takes something away from marriage.

        As you note, though (the “somewhat surprisingly to me”) you don’t understand why marriage matters.

      • “As you note, though ( … ) you don’t understand why marriage matters.”

        That’s because he thinks gay “partnerships” constitute a “family.” Reminds me of one of our State Legislators, who wrote last year of his daughter and her frozen eggs as “families like my daughter.["daughter" in the singular]” Sheer stupidity in both cases!

        “I have no idea how anyone is ‘restricting gays to skulking around in bars.’”

        No sh_t! That was my first thought when I read that idiotic piece of “logic.”

      • I know many gay couples with children, and it is beyond question that they constitute families, without any scare quotes. Your tortured medieval logic doesn’t pull much weight against observed reality.

        Re my earlier remark about being surprised that gays wanted to form families: 30 years ago, gays were thought to be radicals, interested in at least escaping from bourgeois respectability if not destroying it. Nowadays it looks like they in large part just want to form families, buy houses, and become boring members of society like everyone else. That is a bit surprising, but it is obviously a reflection of the strength of the institution of the family, not an attempt to weaken it.

      • A_morphous…

        Your claims only constitute “families” because you are applying the same “liberalism” to family as you have applied to marriage. You seek a radical autonomy that has you simply demand/assert/claim that words and their meanings can and therefore must conform to your desires.

        All that we are saying here on the other side is that these “acts of liberation,” in very explicit instances, are not so. The Logos will not amend to your complete liking and it need not be “liberated” so that it shall be limited by those that rebel against it.

        Remember, you are trying to impose a “liberation” that “equally” oppresses (limits reality) ALL with your understanding that such imposition is good for us all.

      • Two maiden sisters living together, their housekeeper, and a foster child they’re looking after could function as a family. The term can be fairly open-ended. That’s why we hear about crime families, extended families, the Manson family, etc. The question though is whether it makes sense to classify a relation between two men or women as a marriage. And on that point it’s not “tortured medieval logic” to consider the natural functioning of male/female unions.

      • You seek a radical autonomy that has you simply demand/assert/claim that words and their meanings can and therefore must conform to your desires.

        Well, in the master/slave dialectic between words and myself, I’d rather be the master, it’s true. I am a writer, and making words mean new things is my stock in trade. Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty satirized those who claim to be total masters of meaning, but those who enslave themselves to words seem just as laughable. Those people don’t realize that words and concepts are human constructs with interesting and divergent histories; they don’t feel words and meanings as dynamic and alive, but static, mechanical, and dead.

        So yeah, the meaning of “marriage” is changing. I’d suggest learning to deal with it rather than whining.

      • …the meaning of “marriage” is changing.

        The meaning of pseudo-marriage is changing, but the real meaning is not. Some people understand that marriage has a fixed nature because man, women and God have fixed natures, and some people do not understand this. We of the Orthosphere understand.

      • Speakers of English are changing what they mean by the word ‘marriage’, but that doesn’t mean that the concept that the word currently refers to is changing. Nominalism VS Essentialism again.

    • Which begs the question of what is family and who is forced to recognize it and by what authority. If family is just a voluntary association, then we should leave the government out of the matter entirely. Which sounds pretty good, except that children don’t fare so well in a libertarian world of private contracts between adults, and women typically wind up on the losing end of a pure power equation, e.g. in the selling of eggs and the renting of wombs.

      “Women and children first” is likely to fall by the wayside in such a world. In the event of a divorce, men will have equal claim on the lifeboats and the strength to take the best seats. Marriage will increasingly be about who gets the benefits in court, and the primary legal focus of marriage will be getting government benefits and the increasingly anticipated alimony.

      Treating women as fungible with men does them no favors as it ignores their unique vulnerabilities, e.g. men can impregnate women, but not vice versa. Feminism has thus led to the feminization of poverty, and integrating women into the ranks of the military has led to a scandalous incidence of rape.

      Until roughly the last century, family primarily meant the extended multi-generational, naturally self-sustaining family, which took care of itself fairly well without government intervention and which predated both church and state. The overweening state, even a state that pretends to help the family, is the enemy of the natural family, which is a rival power center, just as it is the natural enemy of the church. I am reminded of Milton Freidman’s quip: If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.

      • children don’t fare so well in a libertarian world of private contracts between adults

        Hey I actually agree with you there. But I have no idea what that has to do with gay marriage. Half the point of the campaign for SSM is that family law grants married couples unique privileges for good reasons (that is, it is an area of society with different rules from the libertarian pure free market), and it is unfair to withhold those privileges from certain classes of people.

    • If one is a bona fide self-annihilator — to which the homosexual is the premier self-annihilating archetype — then one cannot bring this self-annihilating “nature” into a creative union-forming institution and expect to strengthen said institution when rather than repudiating one’s self-annihilating ways, one asserts that his degenerate ways are the very reason to be included in the creative union-forming institution.

      In short, it is pure lie to think that the radical homosexuals seek “marriage” in order to strengthen marriage. PURE LIE. Many of us still remember what these radical homosexuals claimed many, many years ago when they obtained the “right” to sodomize each other. They told us how crazy we were for riding that slippery slope and asserting this decision would open the path the “gay marriage.”

      Anyone can predict the outcome of Liberalism and therefore it’s up to the radicals to lie, lie, lie about these inevitable outcomes.

    • 1) Extending marriage to gays doesn’t remove anything from the institution of marriage.

      Actually, there is the question as to whether extending marriage to gays can be done without actually radically altering the legal institution itself.

      To understand this it would be necessary first to understand that a promise must contain an objective obligation which binds one to perform a certain deed which does not leave the option of its performance to the person making the promise. Imagine if one makes a promise or contract which goes, “I promise such and such goods and services to you provided I feel like it.” In contract law, this is known as an “illusionary promise”, a promise which doesn’t contain any real legal promises or obligations, and as such, a promise which the courts cannot enforce and will simply ignore.

      In the case of marital promises, the promise must be a likewise objective obligation which cannot be dissolved except on objective grounds. Thus, for example, in the past, adultery, abandonment and physical abuse was among the very rare grounds for divorce, outside of which the courts will enforce the marital contract and cannot and will not dissolve the obligations so made. Thus, there cannot be a “I promise to be married, provided I feel like it/am happy/want to”, etc, otherwise that would simply turn a marital promise into an illusionary promise.

      The problem with gay marriages is simply that it has no objective definition of adultery or consummation. The law does have a very specific and precisely cringe-inducingly explicit definition of adultery (penetration is penetration is penetration…), which gay sexual relations simply lack. Thus, a martial vow to maintain sexual fidelity simply has no legal or objective meaning when there is simply no objective meaning as to when is this promise kept or violated.

      Of course one can simply attempt to get around this by defining gay adultery to mean whatever the parties want it to mean. But as should be obvious, the definition is simply subjective and lacks an objective meaning, and as such, would simply collapse into the problem of an illusionary promise, which is incidentally the same problem with no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce is a divorce which is granted as and when any of the party simply doesn’t want to be married any more, but it is obvious that a martial promise which obligation can be dissolved simply because you don’t want to be married is, for all intents and purposes, simply an illusionary promise, a promise to be married, provided I feel like it.

      Thus, a definition of gay adultery which is likewise so subjective, a definition which for all intents and purpose is simply, adultery is simply whatever I think it is or whenever I am unhappy with my partner, would likewise turn a martial promise into an illusionary promise, it is a promise to be married to one’s partner, “provided I am happy with him/her”, which is simply ultimately subjective.

      Thus, try as they might, they simply cannot by an act of will extend marriages to homosexuals without radically altering the institution. Thus, either (1) Gay marriages has no definition of consummation/adultery, and as such, does not contain the same promises or vows as heterosexual marriage, nor is it governed by the same rules or (2) You eliminate sexual fidelity from straight marriages and remove the adultery and consummation clause from heterosexual marriages.

      Cut the pie anyway you like, you gay marriages will never be equal to heterosexual marriages, for promises must ultimately be objective and not subjective, and must have its ground in empirical reality, not subjective fantasies.

    • Truth is not up for grabs; nor is it determined by popular vote. I’ll side with Cicero on this: “True law (natural law) is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions… It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws in Rome and Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and one ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.

    • [same-sex psuedo-marriage] strengthens the institution of the family by allowing people to participate in it who formerly could not.

      “Sorry to be obvious,” but with the exception of orphans, homosexuals have always been a part of their families; furthermore, all homosexuals have always been able to marry. It’s just that some (many?) chose not to, for any number of reasons (no sexual attraction to the opposite sex; alienation from normality; etc.).

      Of course, I use marry in the sense that it has always been understood, not in the perverted sense it has come to abused by those seeking to destroy our civilization.

  3. But if marriage is degendered, then the law must eventually conclude that men and women are fungible, which will work to the disadvantage of women. Either the law has to recognize that a male-female relationship is different from a same sex relationship or not.

    One of the key purposes of marriage and a good reason to privilege traditional marriage is to provide a just framework for the integration of the two halves of humanity, male and female, which must somehow unite for the survival of humanity. Degendered marriage is not a just framework for women because of their unique vulnerabilities and the inherent asymmetries of male-female relationships, e.g. men can impregnate women, but not vice versa. These vulnerabilities also exist due to the asymmetries of male and female biological clocks, the asymmetries of the economic marriage market, and the asymmetries of male and female neurochemistry and evolutionary drives.

    Or to put it another way, women won’t fare as well as men in a libertarian world of private contracts between adults or under a system of law that treats women as if they were men due to those asymmetries. Consider, for example, the selling of eggs and the renting of wombs and the exploitation that leads to. It is unjust to women to degender the law. However, degendered law is an ideal playground for rich, powerful, and well-lawyered men.

  4. “I know many gay couples with children”.

    Humor us: why would you “know” “many” gay couples? Define those terms, please.

      • Great article from Steve Sailer concerning the differences between gay vs. lesbian. The whole LGBTQPI is a quite strange affair.

      • Helpful? I found that article to be terrible. I get the idea behind it (“gay” men and “lesbian” women aren’t the same) and I don’t disagree with it, but many of the examples it used seemed to be straight out of some lame gay propaganda machine. Even when it actually came around to the essay part itself, my eyes were rolling. Parents can be proud of their “gay” kids in other ways than the passing on of their genes?? Huh?
        Say I was living under a rock all these years, but Sailer sounds like a fool if you ask me.

  5. Sorry, forgot to add this criticism in my earlier comment:
    The “pantheon of dead white european males” remark had my eyes on permanent roll…I do so hate it when moderns try to queer up the past.

  6. Two things of note from The Remnant on the recent queertastrophe:

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2013-A-CNN-Supreme-Court-Chicken-Veggies.htm

    Hilarious and satirical take on the SCOTUS debacle.
    And

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2013-0630-mccall-homosexual-marriage-vatican-II.htm

    A serious piece on the matter, the best part when it points out the terrible dissenting opinion, something that had me reeling when I first read it (Scalia’s in particular). This was a failure on both sides guys, both the scum that shot down Marriage, and the fools who dissented on the grounds of the divine will of the people!

  7. Pingback: America’s Deep Political Crisis — State of Globe

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