Skip to comments.Social Liberalism as Class Warfare
Posted on 02/03/2014 12:53:19 PM PST by JerseyanExile
My Sunday column tried to take the ongoing debate over marriage and upward mobility in a slightly different direction, by prodding social liberals to acknowledge the ways in which their own ideological vision and its victories legal and cultural both have played a role in the married, two-parent familys decline. I dont think my argument has won many converts, but rather than respond to the responses right now I wanted to highlight one of the arguments that inspired the column in the first place: This essay from Steve Randy Waldman, which makes the case that marriage promotion as social conservatives often describe it is a destructive cargo cult, with altars and rings standing in for the runways and tarmacs that World War II-era South Sea Islanders allegedly built in the hopes of attracting military airplanes.
In both cases, Waldman argues, any causal arrow runs entirely in the other direction. Just as the airstrips dont actually attract planes that werent already headed there to begin with, rings and vows and weddings and cakes are the fruits of stable lives rather than their seed...
Along with the vividness of the cargo-cult analogy, what lifts Waldmans argument above the usual run of liberal writing on this subject is the way it incorporates a point that cultural conservatives are often more likely to make: Namely, that it isnt just a changing economy thats reduced the supply of solid potential spouses among the lower classes; its also a changing social landscape, in which the well-educated are more segregated from the less-educated, and marriage tends to ratify existing social hierarchies (all those two-lawyer and two-doctor and yes, two-journalist couples) more than it did a few generations back. (Indeed, by coincidence, there is new research on inequality and assortative mating out this week.)
(Excerpt) Read more at douthat.blogs.nytimes.com ...
Using Karl Marx’s ideas to help the middle class is like using Adolph Hitler’s ideas to help the Jews.
Broken families aren’t as likely to rise to compete in business.
The Billionaires Start Lining Up Behind Hillary Clinton
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