Technology Created Marriage 2.0 (Not Feminism)

I’m going to somewhat overstate things in this post for simplicity and clarity, it’s theorycraft to an extent, but here we go lol…
The entire Marriage 2.0 edifice is driven by technology not ideology. For sure the ideology is there, but without the technology creating the environment to support the ideology, the ideology simply would have been nothing more than a handful of intellectuals thinking about possibilities rather than reality.
There are three primary technologies involved in creating Marriage 2.0.
(1)  Nuclear Weapons. Surprise! But think about it… nuclear weapons have essentially ended traditional warfare. Any war against a nuclear power simply cannot be won for fear of a last ditch “fuck you” strike that devastates both sides. To be sure military force is still used around the globe, but it’s far more targeted and focused. Yes we were in Iraq for eight long years, and yes good soldiers died in the line of duty, but it created vastly less casualties compared to 20th Century wars.
The entire point of invading Iraq was the fear they were on the verge of making nukes. By comparison, North Korea looks like it actually has nukes, so we won’t be sending troops there any time soon. See how that works?
In terms of sexuality though, this basic lack of war creates a “problem” in that large numbers of young males that would have been sent to war and killed in years gone by, never get sent. There’s a natural sexual imbalance in the the birth rate where 105 males are born for every 100 females. So from a cynical perspective, we can “safely” lose about 5% of all males from sickness, accidents, violence and war, and there would be still enough men to go around for all the women to have one.
Looking back to say the First World War, my home country of New Zealand lost around 2% of it’s total population. But all of that 2% was focused in the age 18-30 male cohort, to the extent that around 25% of all young New Zealand men were killed.
Or put another way, at the end of 1918, there were three young men for every four young women. That sort of extreme dynamic makes most women extremely happy to have any man, so they weren’t going to be terribly picky and were going to be appreciative about having one.
Now we have a situation where it’s probably only the prison population of young males keeping the sex ratio of young men and women in check. In plain English, if everyone makes it to adulthood, there’s going to be 105 men for every 100 women, so even with a perfect monogamy system, a small number of guys are never going to have a wife. As a result, women can be pickier about who they marry and there’s generally always someone willing to step up and replace a deposed husband.
(2)  Birth Control. This one is a no brainer so I’ll be short. It used to be that women who had sex got pregnant quickly, so that very much demanded that they extract commitment from a male before having sex with him. Women got married to have a sex life. Marriage was the ticket to safe eroticism.
Birth control pills of course changed all that. Now women could have sex whenever they wanted and with whoever they wanted, without fearing pregnancy. So it’s birth control that allows promiscuity and sexual experimentation, as opposed to marriage, which now actually appears to limit female eroticism rather than create it. So rather than make an early choice in mate and stick with him, women can now play the field for as long as they want and never settle down.
To be sure feminist thinking existed before the birth control pill, but it is only after the invention and easy availability of the pill that feminism truly launches into the mainstream. If all birth control methods disappeared tomorrow, feminism would wither away and be all but gone within a decade.
It’s really the feminist push that has rewritten marriage and family law to create no fault divorce, child support and custody law. It’s the reduced family size and ability for women to have careers and support themselves, that allows a family to be split up without everyone automatically ending up in grinding poverty.
So the short version is…. birth control allows sex to not be a socially bonding experience, where before it was a bonding one.
(3)  Computers. Everything, and I mean everything comes with some sort of computer chip these days. There’s been just astounding technological advances in every sphere since the 1960s all driven by the power of computing. I’m not sure the kids of today can ever really grasp the blistering pace of change that has happened. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with paper, pencil and dice… today I can play World of Warcraft and be online with 10,000,000 players. It’s utterly astounding technology we have these days.
The downside to computers is that they save labor, and in particular the labor of males. Entire industries have gone by the wayside, or overseas, in the staggering societal changes. Cars used to be made by men, now they are for the most part made by robots. Broken cars used to be fixed by men, now they pretty much just ask the computer in the car “Where does it hurt?” and replace that.
Traditional male jobs decline and are being replaced, or at least mostly replaced, with service industry jobs. The irony of unemployed guys addicted to computer gaming is painfully acute. In a general sense, men just don’t know what the hell they are meant to be doing anymore. Once we were warriors, now we work retail.
This decline in the traditional male income support role still hasn’t been fully felt as yet I don’t think. Most men truly believe that if they hold a good job, they should have a good marriage and a happy family. Good provider = good husband = good father. But when a woman can out earn her husband, it undercuts that need for a socially contracted agreement between a man and a woman.
So to recap….
Before Nuclear War, Birth Control and Computers… there were fewer males for a female to choose from, who she choose was a very serious life changing choice from the get go, and she would then become economically dependant on her chosen male for essentially the rest of her life. The untimely death of a husband a hundred years ago, essentially meant enduring poverty for his widow.
The entire point of the Marriage 1.0 agreement and law, was in no small part to ensure that a man could not simply leave a wife in the lurch with his children. When the choice for a woman is “stay married” or “poverty”, she would want the law to ensure the “stay married” part was going to stick.

With the advent of those three key technologies though, women no longer were forced to depend on men for income, no longer directly required marriage to enjoy sex, and had a small oversupply of men to choose from. So when the choice for women turns into, “stay married” or “dump this guy and do something else more fun”, then they naturally want to change marriage law to allow that option. Thus Marriage 2.0 is born.

….okay Athol, so what’s your point?
To be sure, Marriage 2.0 does have it’s problems, and they are serious, but the game has utterly changed, and there can never be a return to Marriage 1.0 days. At least not without the complete loss of what amounts to all technological development since about 1900, maybe even earlier. The technology is driving the change in our sex lives and relationships. Not feminism or pop culture. There are no solutions whatsoever in the past to find for those concerned about the problems of Marriage 2.0. Simply none.
The solutions to the problems of Marriage 2.0 lie somewhere in the future, in whatever Marriage 3.0 is going to be. Whatever that Marriage 3.0 will be though, will also be driven by technology rather than ideology.
I am personally still trying to grasp what those technologies are going to be, and I’m for the moment sadly out of good ideas. However there is one very obvious technology we have available now that will unquestionably play a key role in Marriage 3.0, and that is paternity testing. Once you have a technology available, you simply can’t wish it away. So a prediction…
….within a decade a handful of states and countries will have adopted mandatory paternity testing laws. Within two decades it will be a standard law across all first world nations.
So hang in there, Marriage 3.0 is coming. Whatever the hell that is going to be.

Comments

  1. Technology has made feminism possible, then. Good post, Athol, it's an idea that hasn't been considered much, but there's something to it. The radical changes in technology over the last century have created the transitional Marriage 2.0, which is basically the world trying to adjust to technology. Marriage 3.0 looks like it'll be where the world lands for a long time.

  2. First time commenting, long time reader. Amazing post. Agreed. Technology is often understated in its effect on sexuality with discussions on feminism. Thank you for you insight.

  3. Quick point … your numbers are a bit skewed. According to the CIA World Fact book, the male-female ratio in the U.S. starts at 105-100 at birth, but is 100 to 100 between the ages of 15 and 64, i.e. the time in our lives when we engage in courting, sexual activity, etc.
    Throw in the prison rates you mention and the fact men will continue throughout those ages to die more often as a result of violence, suicide and accidents, and there there more available women than men. So, thanks goodness, we don't need a World War III just yet.

    Otherwise, good (if a bit obvious) post.

  4. And there will be a fourth technology in the not-so-distant future that will change things radically all over again: Easy, safe and reliable male birth control

  5. R. Bradley Andrews says:

    I have read you say that "we can't go back" several times. While I agree that we will never go back to past mythical times, it is amazing how much history tends to repeat itself. It really isn't that different this time, just the ways we perceive it.

    I would also argue that the modern sexual culture has a lot more root problems, which you even allude to in your discussion of the value of having a single mate for sex.

    The key question is if the family really is the building block of society. If that is true (which I believe so), then we will see our society soon fall apart the way our families have. We are made for lasting relationships and not having them will make a mess of a society.

  6. Hi Athol,

    Good points though quite a number of authors arrived at this conclusion earlier.

    What is your opinion regarding male birth control – assuming, as per the anonymous poster above, that it will be as easy, safe, reliable and reversible as the Pill? What do you think it will do to our society, the interaction between men and women and the institution of marriage?

    Also, regarding your prediction. Why? Why would paternity testing laws be mandatory? There are significant risks or costs and the benefits to a community as a whole are not exactly clear.

    Any such law would seem like a knee jerk against pro-feminism advancements in laws. And I doubt that those laws would be able to stand for very long without some compelling reason.

  7. We may argue about your train of thought – I'd argue it has always been women, not men, that were averse to staying committed in marriage – but I can definitely agree with your conclusion. There will be no return to Marriage 1.0 and no solution to the current mess, at least certainly not a legal or political one. This logically means we probably will end up living in grass huts or at least arrive at some other sort of societal collapse or huge civilizational shift. I find that much more likely than mandatory paternity testing getting signed into law, which has absolutely zero chance of happening. And there may not actually ever be a so-called pro-male cultural shift. After all, some societies in West Africa have been wallowing in matriarchal squalor since time immemorial.

    Höllenhund

  8. Hi R Bradley Andrews,

    Can we have lasting relationships WITHOUT marriage? Marriage as an institution is predicated on commitment to raise the next generation but it does seem to me that any number of "relationship configurations" can do that same thing with one big caveat.

    Note that raising a child takes more than just the two people in a marriage. It takes a large cast of actors; a little village of people. We used to have close knit communities of married couples who spent significant amount of time in a communal setting. We used look out for each other and our kids. Those bonds are loosening.

    Nowadays, we may not even know who our neighbours are – particularly those in urban spaces.

    The breakdown in communities and the shallowness of our relationships is probably not caused by the changes to the institution of marriage. It is more likely rooted to our technology addiction and consumerism "I want it, and I want it now" culture.

    That self-centered culture of taking the easy way out is more likely a key cause of the breakdown in marriages and in communities.

  9. My knowledge of the pharmaceutical sciences is close to nil so I have no idea how feasible it is technologically and it’s definitely an open question whether it actually will be legalized or not. My guess is that it will simply contribute to the current mess. With ’accidental’ pregnancies increasingly rare, the birthrate will collapse even more. Paternity testing has already eroded much of women’s natural monopoly on reproduction, and they will become even more stressed psychologically if this process continues.

    I cannot help but notice that the higher the level of technology, the more f*cked up people on average become psychologically. Contraceptives, online porn, paternity testing – all this hugely mess with our biological programming. The male desire for sexual variety and female hypergamy are no longer yielding the natural result i.e. young people becoming parents. Most people simply don’t know how to psychologically adapt to bachelorhood, spinsterhood, single motherhood, riding the cock carousel, caddishness etc., all of which are becoming more and more widespread. These people are basically mutants. Not to mention the fact that our drinking water is more and more polluted by chemicals which have the effect of female hormones – the urine of women who use contraceptives also contain such stuff, and they remain in the water supply even after treatment -, which is one reason why boys are becoming feminized. It’s all just a mind-boggling mess which makes me roll my eyes, get a beer and say 'f*ck it'. And the situation will not improve. Even Islam is becoming feminized. Eventually the human race will become an evolutionary dead end and go extinct. Birthrates are already dropping all around the world. No, that’s not intended as hyperbole.

    Höllenhund

  10. I was writing about the male birth control pill in the beginning of the last comment.

    Höllenhund

  11. Andrea Muhrrteyn says:

    A Proposal for defining the Feminist vs Anti-Feminist Problem
    http://tiny.cc/fem-proposal

  12. R. Bradley Andrews says:

    Savahn,

    One particular form (father, mother, children) has existed throughout history for humans. None have had the widespread success of that model, however much some claim otherwise.

    It takes a family to raise a child, not a village. Though I won't argue the issue here, so feel free to disagree or argue against it.

    I still think the implications of this breakdown are only starting to be seen. Look how long it took for the financial system to start unravelling (we still have lots more to go). The family breakdown is a more recent event.

  13. Something else that has changed is the quality of medical care. Childbirth was a lot more daunting prospect even as short as 100 years ago, and there was more pressure to have large families because you knew it was very likely that not all your children would make it to adulthood. So while the men were off getting eaten by crocodiles or blown away on the battlefield, the women were dying in childbirth. It was not uncommon for a man who lived to old age to have married several different women, so that suggests more men were being eliminated than the women, but I think modern medicine definitely has had an impact on relationships.

  14. The key difference between marriage 1.0 and 2.0 is that under 2.0, men do not command the same 'ownership' of their children as they did under 1.0.

    If the only change made to divorce law was that men would be given automatic custody except in extenuating circumstances (i.e. the exact opposite of what happens today), marriage would revert back more or less to how it used to be (however, far fewer people would get married, and the reason for this is partly driven by the factors outlined in this article).

    Feminism is about state sponsored transfer of power and wealth to women. In this context, marriage is a mechanism for feminist empowerment. Feminists originally campaigned for women to have sexual freedom, and when this backfired on them by liberating men from having to be married to have legitimate (in the eyes of society) sex, they changed marriage and other wealth transfer structures to benefit women.

    The way that this was done by using the argument 'its for the children'. Wealth transfers both within and outside of marriage (e.g. child support) are based on 'child welfare', even though in many cases the amounts demanded of men are disproportionate to the actual costs of child rearing (worse, there is no accountability; why for example, is the primary child giver not required to give an account of what payments have been made to feed, clothe, and shelter children)

    The ‘its for the children’ argument however relies on women getting custody of the children in the event of divorce. This is the key to marriage 2.0. Ironically, the main (perhaps only) reason today for a man to get married is to have children, and the set up of marriage 2.0 means that often men lose (access to) their children in the event of divorce.

    The technology mentioned in the article certainly enables women’s choice – i.e. more choice in men as fewer die, more choice to have sex as the consequences can be avoided if the woman chooses, and more use of computers and machinery means that more jobs exist that don’t rely on strength and endurance which allows women to compete with men (further enabled of course by affirmative action in hiring and firing, as well as legislation that punishes employers if they prefer men even where the man is more productive than the passed over woman).

    But, and this is the key, those technologies mean nothing without the changes to marriage itself (no-fault divorce, presumed child custody to the mother, alimony and child-support that are a function of the man’s income rather than the child’s needs).

    The elephant in the room here btw is women’s suffrage: this one thing is what allowed for the rise of feminism, and the changes to the marriage contract. The technologies mentioned have been harnessed to further women’s empowerment (through directed feminist activities) but did not of themselves magically ‘create’ marriage 2.0. To argue that they did is to divert attention from the real architects of marriage 2.0, and worse, such arguments make it much harder to move on from marriage 2.0 to something saner for men.

  15. Athol, I'm going to partly disagree on causes, but it doesn't impact the discussion.

    I think the biggest change will be the emergence of Girl Game.

    Game is undergoing a schism between PUA Game and Courtship/Marriage (CM) Game. Similar methods, but very different objectives. But we are also seeing the emergence of Girl Game – a recognition that the current sexual culture is unsatisfactory for women, and that there are ways to do something about it. Which can be systematized.

    It will take time for Girl Game to take hold, as it directly contradicts feminist dogma. But I think it WILL take hold, as women who use it will lead much happier lives.

  16. Trimegistus says:

    Other technologies coming:

    As we learn more about the brain and how sexual/romantic attraction works at the molecular and neurological level, it's possible to imagine genuine, effective "love potions." In twenty or fifty years the solution to a happy and affectionate marriage may be sitting in your medicine cabinet.

  17. Ian Ironwood says:

    Athol, while I agree with your premise, I think Industrialization led to a more dramatic social shift than nukes. Nukes didn't make the infantryman obsolete in war, it made him essential, and hundreds of thousands of young men still get slaughtered every year in conflicts around the globe. Your point is well-taken, however.

    I would take issue with how you classify marriage as 1.0 and 2.0. I think a more nuanced and helpful approach is to tie it to economic development. I recently did a 3-part post about it at my new blog, found here: http://theredpillroom.blogspot.com/2011/12/marriage-10-and-11-real-story.html .

    If you disagree, let me know. But if we're going to tackle the issue of marriage in a big way, I'd suggest we get more precise about it. Just sayin'.

  18. While I think you might have the broad brush-strokes right, there's a potential fly in the ointment.

    Our emotions and psychological expectations developed in the old world (where sex = maybe a baby, etc.), and just because the economics of sex have changed with birth control, more men, etc., our inner desires haven't changed, and are unlikely to change at the same pace.

    So the next technological innovation will have to be _Brave New World_ style soma so we'll all feel happy about this new existence.

    Crowhill

  19. Women flooded the workplace because washing machines, dryers and other female labor replacements made their primary work inside the home less important as well, and this was happening before computers.

  20. There is no marriage 3.0. There won't be. Men are checking out of marriage. There will either be some terrifying thing that resembles Orwell's writing, because the governments will take over reproduction to guarantee that there are workers to rule. The other option is a fall back to a modern marriage 1.5 that has navigated the issues you mention. Marriage as it is now is not a good deal for men.

  21. Athol,

    I disagree with your technology angle. Be careful (unless that's what you want) that you don't start sounding like Obama and his lament for buggy whips.

    Technology is efficiency. Technology makes things cost less. Look at computing, communications, and A/V. We've had extreme cost *deflation* in this arena, much of which did not even exist 30 years ago.

    My point is that technolgy makes life cost less; makes raising a family cost less; allows one to spend less on vital needs. So why are we (the whole globe) screaming in agony? Because the one arena which has not reduced its costs is government.

    The gummint vig never stops. In the US, the vig grows annually at 5-9% built-in! It relentlessly rakes one third to one half of all prviately created wealth each year. The biggest, horribleist lie is that it's OK, the G just taxes the wealthy. Wrong. Taxes trickle down just like the steel ball in a pachinko game into the poor's costs of food, clothing, shelter, and gas.

    Consider the marginal man (you can replace "family" with "man" and arrive at the same conclusion). If the vig is 25% instead of 33%, how many men are no longer on the wrong side of the margin? How about at 20%? 15%? 8%?

    The government grows because it is mandated to grow. And the single worst artifact of this growth is not the growth per se (and the resulting stragulation of the private sector). It is the fact that these obscene budgets seek out their own justifications. How? By inventing new classes of victims and dangers and causes.

    Aerican men (and women, and families) would not only survive but THRIVE in a country with the vig set at 2-5%. Just enough to fund a small, sensible regulatory apparatus, a military, and a part time citizen congress. That's it. We fall back to the original four executive departments of state, war, interior, and treasury.

    Athol, thanks for what you do.
    Brent Crude

  22. Ian Ironwood says:

    Women flooded the workforce because of the need for more light industrial workers in the face of WWI and WWII . . . but they were present in large numbers since the 1850s (just before the Civil War). With WWII, of course, this process became utterly irreversible as Rosie The Riveter proved that being a woman wasn't any real impediment to being a steel foundry foreman.

    The other factor was urbanization. It wasn't that women suddenly just had too much free time on their hands, but after WWII America was a far more urban than rural country, and an urban nation requires a far higher degree of monetization than a rural nation. The labor-saving devices did, indeed, save time at chores, but it was the need for more family income to afford an increasingly diverse array of expenses, combined with the high demand for light industrial and service labor, that pushed women into the workforce.

    And anyone who believes we can maintain the present level of technological civilization without a profoundly large bureaucracy needs to strongly reconsider that proposition. One of the huge draws of women into the workplace was the need for clerical workers and typists to support the bureaucracy necessary to run WWII. As our technology grows, so does our need for regulation, control, and evaluation of a particular industry or set of industries, and that implies a large bureaucracy. That costs money. I'd like to think that it's worth it, however.

  23. Wow, Athol. Open a can of worms this morning, didja? :-)

    We all appreciate you and respect you regardless of how we got to be where we are. And regardless of where things are headed. You have a noble goal of increasing satisfaction of both parties in a relationship.

    Thanks.

  24. Andrea Muhrrteyn says:

    Confirmation:

    No Interest from Married Man Sex Life and readers to:

    Andrea Muhrrteyn (December 20, 2011 7:27 AM)

    A Proposal for defining the Feminist vs Anti-Feminist Problem
    http://tiny.cc/fem-proposal

  25. I'm not sure how this plays into the discussion, but my wife and I (both in our mid 30's, married 11 years) were discussing the other night how while our courtship was closer to how our parents got together, the dynamics of our marriage are much more closely modeled after our grandparents, from childrearing, to how we handle our money, to how we divide household chores, to what we each consider an acceptable relationship with people outside the marriage, to our willingness to overlook financial opportunities for the sake of family cohesiveness.

    We both have a great deal of respect for the marriage of our grandparents (happily married for 50+ years on both sides) vs. our parents.

    I think some people who feet like Marriage 2.0 made their childhood fairly miserable are willing to go to great lengths to give Marriage 1.0 a shot, even if the result is a sort of self-imposed version of it instead of one that carries legal and societal weight behind it.

  26. The MacNut says:

    It may turn out a two parent family is not as necessary as first thought. After all many single mothers today are raising kids without benefit of a father figure in their life, and while many such kids do turn out badly, many others don't.

    If the tech and societal changes that bought about Marriage 2.0 continue as they have, they may make marriage as obsolete as the horse and buggy. Future generations may see no value in marriage, with casual sex and single parenthood (by either gender, but primarily women) becoming the norm. And, shockingly, civilization will roll on.

    It may be that our grandchildren or great-grandchildren may find the notion of getting married about as quaint as we find the idea of going cross town on horseback. That may not be the kind of society many of us want to live in, but the way things are going, barring some major civilizational collapse, that may be the form of Marriage 3.0-namely no marriage at all, or at least a lot fewer marriages than even today. And even those few marriages may be expected to be temporary by all involved…

    and single parenthood (by either gender) may become the norm. And, shock of all shocks, civilization may roll on.

  27. MacNut, the problem I see with your theory is that the cost and pressure of raising children as a single parent is so high that most people will shy away from it. Let that trend run unabated for a few decades and you'll have a bunch of people growing old and dying with no family around them and no progeny to carry on their way of life. In the meantime you will have pockets of society where the traditional family was preserved, and they will re-emerge. At the end of the day the concept of family provides a sort of self-perpetuating strength in numbers that is hard to overcome through attrition, even as it loses mainstream popularity.

    It's hard to say exactly how it will play out, but many of the European countries have a head start on us going down this path, so we should watch closely how things unfold there.

  28. Mr. Nice Guy says:

    Have any of you read The End of Men http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/ by Hanna Rosin. Basically she is say that males can't keep up with females in the post-industrial world and are getting lazy. Many men are checking out and there is actually a deficit of available men for all those hard working women and they are less choosy then they used to be. A great read!

  29. Got news for you guys

    Marriage 3.0 is already here … its called government welfare & single mothers- the death of the family 1.0

    Marriage 4.0 Governmental Genetic profiling Test tubes & VR, & mass aborting of children with poor genetics – the death of the family 2.0

    Marriage 5.0 Erasure of gender through genetics & the rise of a genetic engineered slave race – the death of the human race 1.0

  30. Mr. Nice Guy, you're one of Lady Raine's fans, aren't you? Didn't you used to post under a slightly different handle?

    Höllenhund

  31. @hollenhund

    Well spotted hollenhund, mr nice guy, stealth feminist … fail

    @macnut

    "Marriage 3.0-namely no marriage at all, or at least a lot fewer marriages than even today. And even those few marriages may be expected to be temporary by all involved…

    and single parenthood (by either gender) may become the norm. And, shock of all shocks, civilization may roll on. "

    I call this marriage 2.5 – the death of the marriage contract …

    We see traces of this in mexico with the introduction of the temporary wedding licence …

    @Brett Crude

    "The government grows because it is mandated to grow. And the single worst artifact of this growth is not the growth per se (and the resulting stragulation of the private sector). It is the fact that these obscene budgets seek out their own justifications. How? By inventing new classes of victims and dangers and causes.

    Aerican men (and women, and families) would not only survive but THRIVE in a country with the vig set at 2-5%. Just enough to fund a small, sensible regulatory apparatus, a military, and a part time citizen congress. That's it. We fall back to the original four executive departments of state, war, interior, and treasury."

    Well said Brett … spot on

    Marriage 2.5 & the eventual death of the marriage contract is a government sponsored event

    Enjoy your marriages while you can ladies … the vast majority of you are now already single mothers …

  32. I disagree with your technology angle. Be careful (unless that's what you want) that you don't start sounding like Obama and his lament for buggy whips.

    I have no interest in a world without science and technology. Not only is it impossible to reverse the flow of science without the most brutal social control or catastrophic event utterly wrecking civilization (say a huge metor impact), I wouldn't want to.

    The way is always going to be forward.

  33. Ian Ironwood said… "Athol, while I agree with your premise, I think Industrialization led to a more dramatic social shift than nukes."

    Oh there's a ton of other factors at work no doubt, my piece was reductionistic, but eye catching. :-)

  34. The MacNut says:

    @Eric:"MacNut, the problem I see with your theory is that the cost and pressure of raising children as a single parent is so high that most people will shy away from it."

    But the proportion of single parents, especially mothers, is already ridiculously high, with so many women initiating divorces or having unprotected sex without considering those pressures, that they hardly seem to matter.

    And that's NOW. In the future, as more men refuse to marry and fewer women bother because they can get child support checks from the fathers (or any available man) and/or government assistance, single parent families may well become the majority. And under those circumstances, mandatory paternity testing WILL become the norm, as governments mandate passing the proverbial buck (and baby) onto someone other than them. Many men will dodge and weave to avoid having their money garnished, and the paternity test will become the de facto way to determine "who's the daddy" and therefore who's income should be garnished for child support.

    While all that's going on, might as well test the paternity of the relatively few babies being born to married parents, right? Yep, it'll happen.

  35. The MacNut says:

    What I've been trying to say in a rather long-winded way, is that a big part of the reason for Marriage 2.0 is that technological and societal changes over the last 50 years or so have made marriage unnecessary for basic survival, at least in Western countries. It's not even really necessary for child-rearing, especially in most Western societies where kids hardly see their parents anyway 'cause both are usually working to keep up that middle-class lifestyle (if they're lucky).

    With most kids spending most of their waking hours in public school and their after school hours watching TV and listening to popular music, child-rearing has mostly passed out of the hands of parents into the hands of the state and public media anyway.

    Essentially, women and men don't need each other anymore, so no wonder it's more difficult to keep a marriage together these days…

  36. Some more changes that will have tremendous impact on marriage going forward:
    1. Advances in virtual reality sex. The closer it gets to reality the less need for LTR for men.
    2. Legalization of Prostitution. One day, this will happen.
    3. Advances in artificial insemination will render men less necesarry.

  37. As far as I can tell, men are already unnecessary for insemination due to the existence of sperm banks. Not that I'm bothered by this. One more reason why women may leave us alone with their baby rabies whining.

    Höllenhund

  38. Ian Ironwood says:

    Don't mistake a few outlying data points for a societal trend — remember, back in the 1980s everyone was screaming that by 2010 we'd all be getting artificially inseminated. The vast, vast majority of babies are born the Old Fashioned Way ("What do you mean, 'it broke'?!?") , and always will be.

    But those who look at government welfare as a replacement for a two-parent household are doing essentially that. The fact is that in our relatively wealthy cash-oriented society it's quite possible for one parent to provide enough income to raise a child or even two or three without recourse to the Dole. I'm sure we all know of single parents who substitute paid service providers for areas usually tended to by a spouse — my next-door neighbor is a single mom who adopted, and who makes a good enough living in real estate to hire a housekeeper and a lawn service to help maintain her home. And she does this without the aid of the government or a child-support check. Not every single parent is a welfare mom. Technology and a service economy offer just about any single person the opportunity for parenthood, if they can pay for it.

    Also . . . for those of you who emailed me about how fracking long my blog post on marriage was, here's the condensed version:

    Ironwood’s Economic Evolution of Marriage

    Version 1.0 Tribal Marriage (Subsistence economies)

    1.0 Tribal Marriage Hunter-gatherer economy
    1.1 Tribal Marriage Herder-Rancher-Fisher economy

    Version 2.0 Grain Agriculturalist economy
    2.0 Agricultural Marriage
    2.1 Religiously Sanctioned Agricultural Marriage
    2.2 Upper-Class Marriage

    Version 3.0 Industrial/Post-Industrial economy

    3.0 Serial/Single Marriage
    3.1 Culturally/Religiously Based Traditional Nuclear Family
    3.11 Hybrid Culturally/Religiously Based Traditional Nuclear Family
    3.2 Domestic Partnership Model Traditional Marriage
    3.3 Domestic Partnership Reconstructive Marriage
    3.4 Companionate Marriage (“DINK Marriage”)
    3.5 Perpetual Spinsterhood/Bachelorhood

    Sorry to hijack the thread. Now back to Athol, with more Game . . .

  39. Demonspawn says:

    Unfortunately, your theory is far off the mark. This is not the first time in human history that feminism has existed. I honestly doubt it will be the last. Both Rome and Babylon had quite a few measures of feminism before they fell. Babylon actually had laws for child support and alimony!

    What causes feminism? A mistaken belief in equality is what causes feminism. That liberalism generally rises in successful secular societies. Societies which follow patriarchal religions don't fall into this pattern, and societies which are still survival based are too busy working to consider equality as a "goal" to be pursued.

    Did Sparta have computers, nukes, or birth control? No, but it did have a bout with feminism which ultimately destroyed it (by reducing birth rates).

    Unfortunately, I just got a phone call and need to go, so I won't have time to finish this post as I planned. I suggest that you read "Sex and Culture" by J.D. Unwin and get an idea on the historical record of feminism. It is not a recent invention.

  40. Yup, Demonspawn captured a lot of the essence of what I was going to say.

    Technology is amoral: its effects can always be both good or bad (and usually both at the same time). The culture itself determines the direction it allows the technology to affect things. Atheistic leftism is insuring technology is largely moving us in a more negative direction while at the same time championing its 'goodness' and 'progress'.

    K_C

  41. It costs, by government figures, $250,000 to raise a child. This is not in defense of that figure but it should be widely distributed as the ramifications are unpleasant and vast.

  42. This post is BRILLIANT!

    Good work, Athol.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I believe that marriage is unnecessary. Since here in the States 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is simply a bad, expensive gamble.

    Put more simply, every relationship I have I ask the question: How would marriage improve what I have here?

    Answer: It won't. Sex will decline, he will get lazy, which will make me frustrated and resentful, which will make us make war, not love.

    If your dating relationship ain't broke, don't fix it with marriage.

    –Jaz71

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