Libertarianism and Marriage
Libertarianism and the Institution of Marriage
I am against a marriage institution, my dear friend. but first, let’s understand why I am against. To explain this, first, let me separate the idea of marriage and the institution of marriage.
marriage: a long-term agreement between couples. the conditions are up to the people. It can be written or verbal.
marriage institution: the state endorses this agreement and grants them a privileged status.
There is a historical rationale for the state to snoop on these things: single people, especially single men, pose a problem for the state. If they repeatedly have children from someone, the problem of inheritance increases. or more inclined to crime or opposition. If they do not do any of these, the population is aging and social security systems cannot function properly because they do not raise children this time.
(China is in trouble for these reasons, for example. As a result of years’ one-child policy, there is an additional 33 million male population).
But I am against to the state getting so nosed about marriage. Financial facilities (tax relief, credit facilities) for married couples mean that singles subsidize married people. Moreover, childcare assistance is additional to these facilities. is this reasonable? I think not, despite the reasons I mentioned at the beginning.
But the moral part of the situation is even worse. Because the official definitions of marriage for states, for historical reasons, bring along a moral / religious judgment. And this is a huge problem.
The fact that they are so reactive to gay marriages is exactly related to this. The states located in the West are supposedly liberals, so why didn’t they allow it in a snap? Isn’t the whole foundation of liberalism that mature people can contract freely? Those states market themselves as if they were a objective and secular notary, but they do their most important notary mission as a religious functionary. Llike an extremely inconsistent religious functionary…
For example, a man who has a criminal record from beating a woman can marry freely. Despite being a sin, a woman/man who has repeatedly cheated on her husband or his wife can remain married. But two men or two women, whose registers are clean, no matter how exemplary they are, they cannot get this title. If the state was a rational actor who pursued its own interests, it would encourage second-type ties to create a more orderly society.
Gays may be a small part of the population, but this effect applies to everyone ( maybe not in our country right now but globally speaking) : consider singles’ exclusion in society after a certain age or the restrictions of women who are widowed. The “values” that lead to these are approved and legitimized by the seal of the state. Then people expect the prosecutor of this state to ask for the account of the girl who was killed because she lost her virginity before marriage. Like a self-eating snake.
What is the alternative? Instead of entering into a tripartite agreement with the state and gaining “no harm from this” status with a stamp on its monopoly, different foundations can issue their own certificates according to their own values.
In this way, both those who want to “formalize” their cooperation will be happy, and this diversity will destroy the existing binary system. In other words, the married-single classification that corresponds to “normal-abnormal” weakens.
(Of course, the state cannot be completely excluded. For example, it must be the last authority in inheritance cases).
You can find a more detailed version of these ideas in Thaler’s book called “Nudge”, which won the economy nobel last year.