I have a friend with whom I frequently argue all manner of politics and philosophy. He’s a broadly left-wing liberaltarian: Progressive by instinct, Conservative on a few issues (and more every year) as a natural result of maturity and Conquest’s first law.
We recently sparred on the topic of monogamy and traditional sexual mores. Originally we were trading emails about the nature of The First World War. I pointed him towards Hoppe, and he took issue with the following claim by HHH:
“In the U.S., less than a century of full-blown democracy has resulted in steadily increasing moral degeneration, family and social disintegration, and cultural decay in the form of continually rising rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and crime.”
Specifically, he asked me:
“Why is our current society morally degenerative? Do you believe it is more moral to have a wife and children from the age of 22 and stay in the relationship for good or ill till you are dead? If so, why is that more moral than the life we live now? Am I immoral for not following the churches teachings regarding marriage and life? If so, from your own non-religious perspective, why? In his view are you yourself a moral person?”
Our basic disagreement is not over what happened in the 20th century: Extra-marital sex, divorce, and promiscuity all became more accepted, and thus common. Duh. But my friend – and many like him, as his views are as mainstream as they come – thinks that these developments are positive. There are downsides of course, but overall, the feminist/sexual liberation movement has been a force for good in the 20th century western world.
I believe the opposite. The breakdown of traditional marriage has been catastrophic; easy divorce has wreaked havoc on millions of families; the ubiquity of hookup culture has created a generation that will struggle to create the tight familial bonds that came easily and naturally to previous generations. My friend asks if I think it’s better for people to get married at 22 and stay in that relationship until they’re dead. My answer is yes. The benefits of the sexual revolution are so clearly outweighed by the costs, I can’t see it as anything but a disaster. Even if not for me, personally.
Which brings us to my friend’s next question:
“In his view are you yourself a moral person?”
He refers to my proclivity towards manwhorishness. Though I advocate (anonymously, and in the private consul of close friends) for a return to traditional sexual mores, the life I lead is not a shining example of those principles in action. I have failed to be the change I want to see in the world. In conversations with girls I want to bang, I am a non-judgmental, grrl-power, sex-positive feminist, wantonly celebrating the depravity and freedom of the 21st century sexual marketplace. Free love, man.
So in a hypothetical conversation with Hoppe – or any of the other traditionalists I respect, such as Dalrock, Athol, and Grerp– how would I justify being a part of the problem, and partaking in the pleasures of a system that I agree is harmful to our society and those within it?
Maybe I’m just rationalizing my good fortune – truly, a hamster lives in each of us – but I think that each young man’s choice to eschew society’s diktat to marry and provide for unworthy women will accelerate the implosion of the current sexual marketplace. The status quo can only persist for as long as men are wiling to indulge the women that previous generations of men would have considered undateable. The “moral” men who are wifing up shrill, obese, used-up thirty year olds are just creating incentives that ensure more will follow in their lumbering footsteps.
Yes, part of me thinks that chasing slooots is a noble act of great political significance. Fuck off all right? It helps me sleep.
Another auto-interpretation of the contrast between my beliefs and actions is that my soul is really, truly, congruently that of a monogamous man interested in lifelong marriage – I just don’t know it yet because I haven’t met a woman worth the investment. Get married for life? Sure. Show me a woman my 25-year old Grandfather would have been proud to marry, and maybe I’ll feel the same way. Alternatively, time-warp the young old man into 2011 and show him a world of party-girl 20-somethings just looking to get laid and hang out, and 30-something diamond-hunters with sagging muffin tops and triple-digit partner counts, and I think I could quickly persuade him of the wisdom of my ways.
Anyways. To get back to the original point of this post, which I had to scroll up and check just now, it is completely logical for young men to bemoan the sorry state of marriage and traditional families, while doing their turgid best to fuck everything that walks.
Young men interested in marriage today have two choices. They can wait, and hope, for new laws and new women. Or, in a noble act of self-sacrificial contrition, they can cast ourselves on the funeral pyre of marriage, and put their wealth and freedom at the tender mercy of one 21st-century woman’s flighty whims. Me, I choose to wait. And even though I think lifelong monogamy is optimal from a societal perspective blah blah blah, I’m waiting for inspiration before I settle down.
How long will I wait? Ball’s in your court ladies. As long as sex is cheap and easy, and marriage is anything but, the dick and the door are all I’m willing to offer.