Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Polygamy vs Moderation

Truth Bearer dot org -- Polygamy as "Biblical"

So this is where "Freedom defined is freedom Denied" is leading us? As the corporatistas strive to divest themselves of any and all responsibilities towards keeping society running (removal of laws that require corporations to act responsibly), their individualist tools (too often liberals who wish for individual freedom from any and all responsibility for one's actions, less often conservatives warping their understading so as to grant themselves surreptitious forgiveness for their sins) seek out ways to expand personal actions permitted.

So now, having opened (and tolerated) divorce for thirty years and helped foster (some willingly, some not) the ability of women to earn their own keep without a wedding ring to identify them as accepted by society, we now have the development of a s0-called polygamy movement. One that's obvious for the rich, but with its Religious Arms, both Xian and not.

Sure, monogamy is the newer historical reality. However, the wisdom of the people usually leads to monogamy at least for the majority of the population. Those people who think themselves rich and powerful enough to have multiple wives are few and far between, and more often than not have brought trouble and strife to their surroundings by their selfishness.

Reason Magazine makes a congent arguement on why polygamy is frowned upon today based on simple social dynamics. In it, they focus on the men who would be left behind by the polygamy movement in their rush to satisfy rich (and powerful) men's wish for more than one wife. What's really intriguing is how a small proportion of men (10%, according to the article) could mess up a bunch of lives, all the while living WELL within the dictates of Muslim law (four wives, max, and only a very few of those doing the polygamy thing).

Of course, what they don't get into is why the women would put up with sharing a man.

Simply put, when you see a taken man, you see a man who has something. That guy has proven himself, the evidence of which is the woman on his arm (or nearby, who comes when he calls her name). If she could remove the other woman with said man, a smart woman would choose the taken man over the untaken man.

Now, presently there'd be few women willing to share the man, and any woman willing to share a man will likely figure a way to milk said man for as much as possible. But...if it turns out the wife of said man were willing to share him with the other woman, how many would join in the agreement?

Now, few would and they would probably be Fundamentalist Mormon Women (yes, they exist. Polygamy separates them from their mainline, monogamist bretheren) unable to see a world outside their villages. But imagine if, in twenty years, the idea of every third night with a man who'd be able to spoil you materially and let you work (or not) according to your wishes or whims was a better choice than all the attentions of a man who had to yet to be able to earn his full keep and whose future earnings didn't look that good. Would your average woman be willing to put her support behind such a lesser man, knowing that that lesser man may be a failure and that a man with two wives and enough to spend spoiling a third is hitting on her? And those who take the lesser man, would they wonder about life with the other guy?

That's the thing: Once Polygamy gets legalized and slides past that "Ewww, who'd want to share?" reaction, you're going to get female selection towards those men with a wife (or even more). And that means more men stuck without wives. Not the abusive, of course -- they'd probably be among those with multiple wives -- but the more conscientious men trying to make it, who need a helpmeet to make it and won't be able to do so.

And that's where patriarchy becomes, instead, gang rule. Few polygamous societies are democracies, for the wealth descrepancies that allow for one man to have multiple wives either call for constant war (to cull the excess men) or a police state (to criminalize and separate the unworthy men from the rest of society). Either way, any form of "equal rights" or "social contract" (I'll talk more about the latter concept at some point) would go by the wayside as those with multiple wives take measures to protect their investment from the men looking to prove themselves by whatever way they can.

Maybe this is where things stop going further to the extreme and start moderating. After all, there's only so far things can go before the social fabric starts falling apart.

And maybe from here, they moderate on all fronts. After all, you can't have high morals with dropping wages and the accompanying hopelessness in the poorer areas.

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