The Perilous State of the Family
As I have previously written, I’m generally supportive of same sex marriage and have not been shy of making the case that those of a traditionalist, social conservative stance should also be so. I will not go into too much detail here, not wishing to be repetitive, so if you wish for my musings on the matter in full I would suggest you consult my previous post on the subject. In short, given that traditionalists are correct in arguing that family is the rock of society it is something that should be encouraged amongst all people. Deny gays and lesbians the right to marry and you simply are encouraging a lifetime of commitment free hedonistic pleasure seeking, which we have far too much of already in this soulless day and age. Commitment, family and children should be encouraged for everyone in society, and doing so only strengthens social values.
It should come as no surprise that I am not exactly appalled by the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in the States that has legalized same sex marriage across America. Now, I am rather ticked off about the manner in which this was achieved, as it is yet another example of judicial activism and legislating from the bench. For all its flaws, the best argument for democracy is that it is supposed to reflect the will of the populace. If we are going to allow a court to dictate what the laws of the land will be in spite of the popular will, then we might as well go back to the royal courts of old and bow down before the supreme will of the sovereign. Regardless, that is a question of procedures. I might be put off by how the matter has been resolved, but at least it finally has been resolved. Gay marriage is here my friends, so we might as well move on to other things.
And move on to other things we must. This fixation on same sex marriage amongst the social conservative movement has blinded it to a much graver threat. I grit my teeth everything time Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee prattle on about how gays and lesbians getting married will undermine marriage and the family out of sheer exasperation that they fail to realize that marriage already has been undermined. The evidence is plain to anyone with eyes to see.
Divorce is at an all-time high. Marriage is at an all-time low. Look around the inner city slums of most urban areas and you’ll find single mothers with five or six different children by five or six different fathers. Families that do exist are increasingly non-functional, with parenting being outsourced to daycares and nannies. An entire generation has been born and come of age with monogamy, commitment for life, and the traditional nuclear family existing outside the norm as something quaint that their grandparents did.
The effects of this are already being felt. We can see it in the extended adolescence of today’s youth, with the mid to late-twenties having become the new mid to late-teens as young people increasingly prioritize materialistic instant gratification over career, homes and families. Self-esteem has supplanted self-respect. Ambition and the need to build something for oneself have been replaced by living in the moment and the desire to “find oneself”. Sleep around, get wasted, and party on for tomorrow we die.
Monogamy has become boring as instead pop culture glamorizes one night stands and playing the field. What gets far less attention has been the effects of this. The chickens of the Sexual Revolution have come home to roost, and they are not pretty. A study in Britain determined that teens are having sex at increasingly young ages, and this has become especially true for anal intercourse. The main source of data for this came from doctors and health clinics, which have seen a spike in young girls (and by young we are talking eleven, twelve and thirteen) being treated for injuries stemming from the fact that due to their young age they are just physically incapable of accommodating such activity without harm. Another study found that young women increasingly
face peer pressure to make out without one another in club and party settings, with an overwhelming majority reporting feelings of emotional and psychological discomfort as a result. Congratulations, dear progressives, you’ve spent decades demanding that all traces morality and values be expunged from the public sphere and this is the result. Spend long enough telling people that anything is permissible, and eventually you will have the situation where everything is just expected. Patriarchy is no more, and now pornography is the guide to relationships. We now face the very real possibility of an entire generation being incapable of forming healthy relationships with one another because they simply have no conception of what a healthy relationship is. Are you happy now feminists? You got what you wanted but I imagine you may no longer want what you’ll get.
This should be of concern to our dear social justice warriors as well as reactionary members of the Old Right such as myself. One interesting factor in the decline of the family is that it has not occurred across the board. Increasingly it has done so along class lines. The upper-classes still do get married, have children and conform to traditional family values, and the effect of this is that it has helped solidify class privilege. Children of the affluent are far more likely these days to come from stable homes, have parents they are somewhat involved in their upbringing, and the effects of this greatly amplify their own future educational, employment and life prospects. Another recent phenomenon is that marriage is increasingly being solidified along class lines, a trend that has only grown as women achieve parity with men in the fields of work and education. When lawyers, doctors, and businessmen were all men, sometimes they would marry their secretaries or the cocktail waitress at the bar they would frequent after work. Today professionals marry other professionals of a similar socio-economic background. Combine this with the increasing influence that inheritance has on the accumulation of both property and capital, and the class system starts to look an awful lot like a caste system.
Now why should this be of concern to me, you may ask? After all, to a High Tory reactionary such as myself the emergence of a new aristocracy, with wealth and power handed down from father to son in perpetuity, is a good thing (as aghast as it may leave some of my friends amongst the progressive plebs). But a society where a small upper class cling to the old values of marriage and monogamy, while a vast underclass remain locked in poverty under the weight of hedonistic pleasure seeking and soulless material consumption is not good for anyone. A populace of individuals cut off from all sense of community, family and interpersonal connections and wallowing in man’s baser instincts would be highly volatile and inherently unstable. The empty void of nihilism has an unpleasant habit of being filled by truly ugly creations, as people tire of living with the assumption that everything is pointless and flock to charlatans and demagogues seeking to cynically harness the power of the mob to their own benefit.
So my message to my fellow social conservatives is to wake up. Stop trying to save the stables and instead recognize that the sodding house is on fire. Family is the embodiment of the covenant between those passed, those living, and those yet to be upon which all civilization is based, and it is in danger. The danger is not that a man may now get hitched to another man, but that the institution itself may disappear from public sight altogether. We owe it both to ourselves, and to the ancestors who built this society we live in, and our children who are not yet born, to do everything we can to preserve it. Stop fighting phantoms and instead confront the broader picture, as unpleasant as it may be to look upon. If not, we may well live to regret it.