Revealing comment

The Guardian hosts a debate between our very own Julie Novak and Simon Copland on libertarianism and “queer” communities. Julie makes some good points, Simon Copland less so.

One argument was particularly jarring (emphasis added):

Much of this structural oppression is imposed by the state; marriage being a perfect example. Marriage, as an institution, has not only been oppressive for women, but through social pressure promoted by a religious and state apparatus it also subtly reinforces a particular set of sexual and relationship rules.

This sort of oppression is common – from marriage and the military, to regulations about sex work and how we define our gender. It is for this reason that it is ironic that many libertarians focus their energies on marriage equality, instead of the abolition of marriage itself.

Who needs enemies with friends like that?

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56 Responses to Revealing comment

  1. Mrs Beardsley

    Now that’s a queer comment. She must be slightly off Center to think that is fair comment. Wednesday.Tango. Foxtrot.

  2. duncanm

    Why would a libertarian need to argue for the abolition of something that is voluntary?

  3. JohnA

    Mrs B, I think
    Whisky.Tango. Foxtrot. goes better, don’t you? :-)

  4. Mayan

    When people ask me for my view on same sex marriage, I suggest that the Marriage Act be repealed for the simple reason that giving control of a social institution to the state is inherently dangerous to the institution. The push for SSM may seem innocent, but if the state can alter its scope and nature once, it can do it again, and in ways that are not necessarily good, such as extending it to polygamous unions.

    Furthermore, adding to the state to marriage and extending it to include SSM has the potential for interference with the practice of religion. Yes, I know the SSM advocates say this will never happen, but such intrusions have begun in Denmark, although one could argue that a place with an official church was always going to run into trouble.

    Having witnessed a couple of examples egregious misuse of the Marriage Act to take advantage of the benefits that flow to those named on the piece of paper blessed by the all-powerful hand of the state, I wonder whether merely managing to appear to meet the requirements of the Act is useful to the application and administration of other laws.

    On the other hand, I am a supporter of marriage as a social institution and as a religious rite.

  5. A Lurker

    So why abolish something that the homosexual lobby have been breaking their necks to get? Unless that is the intent – to bastardise, debase and cannibalise an ancient institution so much so that it holds no worth and no meaning, and thus, in time decays away into something irrelevant.

    These activists must really hate Western culture and human traditions – and as I read on that excellent morality link that someone earlier provided earlier today on the Open Thread – it calls to mind “the moral vacuum that actually exists at the heart of society”.

    Moral vacuum indeed – and I think I know where in our society that desire for nihilism can be found.

  6. coz

    ‘Queer’ theory is anti-feminist, and there is no consensus in LGBT, just a censorship of different opinions to give the false impression of unity. I’ll have a closer look at the article another day, not in the mood for Grauniad gumph atm.

  7. Mrs Beardsley

    Doh. #ios7 #spellcheck #noglasses #oldfart

  8. Craig Mc

    I’m pushing for a ban on heterosexual marriage.

  9. David

    I’m pushing for a ban on everything. If we are going to go totalitarian lets do it properly. Of course that means banning the banning of anything. Logical i’n't it?
    :-)

  10. manalive

    “The first class antagonism which appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamian marriage, and the first class oppression with that of the female sex by the male …”

    (Simon Copland).
    “Monogamian” my dictionary asks ‘did you mean Mongolian?’.
    This debate is a symptom of boredom, of the West’s cultural exhaustion that signals decline.
    There are far more important things at stake.

  11. Talleyrand

    Death to all fanatics – Malaclypse the Younger.

  12. stackja

    What about the children?

  13. cohenite

    how we define our gender

    Fuck me; if you have a dick you’re a man and if you haven’t you’re not.

  14. Alfonso

    Ah, Pooftas…..a dying breed.
    Simple maths.

  15. blogstrop

    The term libertarian is an unfortunate one, having so many overtones of successive cliques whose aims were (to be brief) sexually anything goes, and disdain for the establishment, whatever it was at that moment in time. It end up sounding like a moveable feast of the self-appointed intelligentsia.

  16. coz

    mm Libertarianism is Crowleyism (do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law BS) pretending to be a political movement.

  17. Ellen of Tasmania

    Marriage, as an institution, has not only been oppressive for women,

    Stupid in the extreme. How are all the single mums doing in our country today? If you trash marriage then kiss good-bye to any hope of a small government in this democratic country, because women will be voting for a husband-government to care for them and their children.

    If you think that libertarianism lets everyone pretend that up is down and black is white then you won’t have much liberty and what you have won’t last long.

  18. Zaphod

    Fuck me; if you have a dick you’re a man and if you haven’t you’re not.

    What if you have something that sort of looks like a dick, and you have one ovary and one testicle – what gender, cohenite?

  19. johanna

    Marriage has always been about property and inheritance. It is buttressed by laws about tax and entitlements.

    If you read about poor people in cities in C18th and C19th England, for example, few of them bothered to get married. There was no point. They had no property, and nothing to inherit. Meanwhile, in Jane Austen’s world, it was very important, for the same reasons.

    Modern European history for more than 500 years was very much about who married whom.

    The mishmash we face now is that the role of marriage in property and inheritance has been compromised by easy divorce and rapacious lawyers. Just to add to the mix, de-facto relationships are now included.

    Marriage today is neither fish nor fowl. Why on earth any sensible gay person would want a part of it is beyond me.

  20. Bruce of Newcastle

    This is why the Marriage Act of 1961 should be amended to be the Civil Unions Act. Everyone then is equal under secular law.

    I don’t give a fuck if people enter a civil union with a rock or a snail or a goat. That’s their business. But the great religions have joint copyright on the term “marriage”, and the LGBTISCXHQWERTY lobby can find their own term for what they want to do to each other, inanimate objects and whatever can’t run away fast enough.

  21. Tintarella di Luna

    Marriage today is neither fish nor fowl. Why on earth any sensible gay person would want a part of it is beyond me.

    It’s about equality – they don’t want everyone equal they want everyone identical or they’re not equal. Well I need another 30cms so that I am no longer under-tall and equal with Jennifer Hawkins, well in height anyway. That’d do me.

  22. Tintarella di Luna

    But the great religions have joint copyright on the term “marriage”

    Mmmm yes I’m with you on that one Bruce, very well put in vivid language.

  23. stackja

    Tintarella di Luna
    #1319234, posted on May 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    But the great religions have joint copyright on the term “marriage”

    Mmmm yes I’m with you on that one Bruce, very well put in vivid language.

    The XYZ can have SSMarriage.

  24. Bruce of Newcastle

    Sorry Tinta, I’m a bit ornery tonight. If the left only wished to abolish “marriage” in secular law that would be fine. What they want though is to steal it for themselves and denature it. They have no empathy or regard for other people with different belief systems.

    The irony is the Muslims have quite definite views about what marriage is, and very definite penalties if you breach their laws in this respect. The lefties better not be caught in their flavour of passion anywhere near a Muslim. Even a greeting kiss is worth 50 lashes.

  25. mundi

    The point is, that if you act purely logically, you will start to discover that you make a lot of sacrifices to ‘memes’ (ideas passed from one generation to the next) at the expense of yourself and your well-being. Pretty much *EVERY* collective identity that you old makes you do things that do not benefit yourself, and some of which are very harmful.

    The collectives in question include:
    -Religions/God
    -Country / Nationality
    -Policitcal Parties
    -Sports team membership
    -Ethnic groups
    -Family
    and even…
    -Couple

    What you need to learn to do is seperate ‘collectives’ into individual facts/ideas, and follow only the ones that stand on their own merit, while throwing all the garbage away.

    If you do this marraige becomes basically a partnership

  26. Bruce of Newcastle

    Mundi – Half right. What you have missed out though is that we should have respect for each others’ views and closely held beliefs, wherever possible.

    Therefore since marriage is a concept which has millennia-worth of meaning to people with certain belief systems, the other people who wish their favoured conjugal relationships be recognised should respect this, by choosing a different name for their chosen state of arrangement. No one should railroad themselves over anyone else. That should be a core tenet of libertarianism.

    Picking a different word should be easy. Why doesn’t the left do so?

  27. .

    coz
    #1319183, posted on May 25, 2014 at 7:19 pm
    mm Libertarianism is Crowleyism (do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law BS) pretending to be a political movement

    Yes, and we drink blood and summon Iblis when we need help.

    I see the bottle has turned your fertile mind into the happy playground of Sherry Shriner, David icke et. al., coz.

    Seriously get help you freak and stay away from Purple Drank.

  28. tomix

    Sounds like Simon is saying that the aim is for the State to redefine marriage and then regulate it.

  29. .

    Therefore since marriage is a concept which has millennia-worth of meaning to people with certain belief systems, the other people who wish their favoured conjugal relationships be recognised should respect this, by choosing a different name for their chosen state of arrangement. No one should railroad themselves over anyone else. That should be a core tenet of libertarianism.

    No. That is rather lefty.

  30. Dave Wane

    Obviously marriage (or any other name that suits the arrangement), like any other contract, should be available to two parties who agree to a number of conditions and sign a contract to abide by those conditions – whatever they are. The state should never be the ONLY authority able to sanction a “marriage” contract, and indeed the state’s only role should be to provide the legal framework for all contracts between all people for whatever purpose.

  31. coz

    To the freak who tried to demonise me acoupla posts ago, you are not a known poster here. I think we all know what to make of that.

    Might be a bit long for people who are at the short attention span end of the evening but @ 1:53 ‘You see, it’s no good Montag, we’ve all got to be alike, the only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9n98SXNGl8

  32. .

    I don’t give a fuck if people enter a civil union with a rock or a snail or a goat. That’s their business. But the great religions have joint copyright on the term “marriage”, and the LGBTISCXHQWERTY lobby can find their own term for what they want to do to each other, inanimate objects and whatever can’t run away fast enough.

    What about ugly people?

  33. .

    coz
    #1319297, posted on May 25, 2014 at 9:01 pm
    To the freak who tried to demonise me acoupla posts ago, you are not a known poster here. I think we all know what to make of that.

    Fuck off idiot. The IPA, Australian Libertarian Society etc. have nothing to do with a cultist in the 1930s who made up a religion to slay pussy.

    You are a deranged fuckwit. Just go away.

  34. Bruce of Newcastle

    Dot, do you accept copyright? If not why not?

    There is a copyright war presently in effect between the Muslims the Christians and to some extent the Buddists. The Hindus do participate from time too. Sometimes its fought with language and other times with AK47′s. But all of these would band together to reject the gazumping that the progressives are attempting on the term “marriage”.

    Fuck off and get your own word.

  35. cohenite

    What if you have something that sort of looks like a dick, and you have one ovary and one testicle – what gender, cohenite?

    That’s an interesting question, not the least of its interest being whether sports should dominate or expand definitions of what is normal, which is basically what is being discussed.

    There is a Pacific Island where the boys are treated as girls until puberty and act like girls until puberty and thereafter manifest masculine behaviour. Biology dominates socialisation.

    Conversely there are examples of biological men with undescended testicles or some other genital disorder where they are treated as females and grow up adjusted to that socialisation. Biology dominated by socialisation.

    There is an element of the tail wagging the dog in gender politics; the vast majority have their bits and establish sexual norms which are not just a reference point but also a part of social stability.

    Those who aren’t so demarcated should not be subject to ostracisation or other, usually religious based, punishment but accepted in the social fold. But should they be given a significant social distinction which undermines the biological norm?

  36. .

    If you read about poor people in cities in C18th and C19th England, for example, few of them bothered to get married. There was no point. They had no property, and nothing to inherit. Meanwhile, in Jane Austen’s world, it was very important, for the same reasons.

    A good reason to make it solely contract law under some common law principles. If wealthy religious people want to get married under canon law for example, let it happen.

    Estate law is often predicated on marriage but has evolved to a point where marriage isn’t a trump card for lack of a better term (which is good considering the rules of equity often do in fact trump claims of vexatious ex spouses).

  37. .

    Bruce – a lot of my ancestors were probably common law husband and wife.

    When Adam delved and Even spun, who was the gentleman?

    Contract law has already been recognised for hundreds of years alongside state sanctioned marriage, as for canon law marriages, the idea of government in a house of god is profane.

    Contract law is good. Any whacko or barbaric religion won’t get a pass.

  38. Bruce of Newcastle

    A good reason to make it solely contract law under some common law principles.

    Exactly! All that is required is to call it a “civil union” for everyone. Then the religions can do their own thing and no one needs to concern themselves with that.

    That is why the Marriage Act of 1961 should be amended to be the Civil Unions Act. And the followup amendments likewise amended. Nothing else is required. Everyone is happy. There is no marriage in Australia except for those quaint people who want to call their secular civil unions by an archaic name.

  39. coz

    As someone who has never married, nor had children, nor benefited financially from relationships (as is frequently the case with people with disabilities), I find it burdensome financially to be expected to fund hetero divorces and custody matters, I do not want another lawyers picnic foisted on me through faux equality bullshit.

  40. I disagree with Simon Copland, but I think he speaks out of ignorance. He is simply repeating what he’s been told over and over, rather than doing some broader reading and a bit of really independent thinking.

    Given Simon’s current employment and occupational provenance, I’d say he’s used to trotting out the well-worn line that ‘marriage has always been oppressive to women’ because he CAN say that, as a man, and get murmurs of approval from every woman in his (self-selected) audience. This makes him feel good, and they all seem to like it as well, so naturally he believes it to be true.

    If he bothered to learn a little REAL history, he would soon realise that marriage in general, and in Western Europe in particular, had until recently developed into an effective legal and social way of protecting women, and the children they become pregnant with, from desertion and abandonment by feckless men.

    We have managed to undo that in the last few decades with easy divorce, with the results around us: sole parent families, almost all female-headed, form a substantial underclass of poverty in Australia. Fatherless children continue to underperform across a broad range of social indicators. Meanwhile, men, set free by 24 hour / 7 day contraceptive protection for women, do what they like, when they like, to whoever will let them, and then for some reason ‘refuse to commit’, much to their disappointed sexual partners’ surprise.

    The state has taken on the responsibility of protecting, feeding, clothing and otherwise providing for these fractured casualties of our commitment to deconstructing marriage. It has not done a good job. I’m not saying all husbands and fathers do a good job, but most of them can do a better job than the state.

    Until we find a proven, effective, and legalisable REPLACEMENT for marriage, I’d be a bit less hasty in demolishing it. In the meantime, women and children continue to suffer even more grievously precisely because our society does not value marriage any longer.

  41. PS Julie, I respect you both as an economist and a pushy broad, but we have to face some facts here: LBGTIQ people form a tiny minority of the Australian population.

    The 2011 Census produced a count of 33,714 same-sex couples in Australia. That’s 67,428 individuals. If we are generous and include the shy couples and the singles, we might just make it up to 80,000 with a good tail wind. (If we can’t count accurately, we can all just guess, and this is my guess.)

    That’s around the same number of people who listed their religion as ‘Jedi’ in the 2001 Census. I am all in favour of religious freedom, but I really don’t think we need to change marriage laws to accommodate Jedi, either.

    And as for whoever brought up the intersex thing, just fergeddabout it, because that’s an even tinier proportion of the population. Hard cases make bad laws.

  42. dover_beach

    Marriage has always been about property and inheritance. It is buttressed by laws about tax and entitlements.

    If you read about poor people in cities in C18th and C19th England, for example, few of them bothered to get married.

    I’m not sure this is actually correct or follows at all from your thesis since low marriage rates may simply have resulted from the large dislocations brought forth by industrialisation. Did peasants enjoy low marriage rates in medieval England? I doubt it. What about continental Europe? And even when we set this aside property and inheritance point to children given it is they that inherit the fortunes, or not, of the family line. So, it would be more accurate to say that marriage is all about children.

  43. dover_beach

    BTW, what Philippa said.

  44. Yohan

    For the uninitiated and ignorant, you must realise there are two distinct strands of Libertarianism.

    Left-liberatarian’s are the ones who obsess about gay marriage, want drugs and free sex uninhibited by social mores. But underneath all the anti-state bluster they are really just left wing cultural Marxists. Gender discrimination, anti-hierarchy, structural oppression and almost every PC trope you can think off they elevate to being of equal importance as fundamentals like the protection of property rights.

    Conservative or thin-libertarians are those who believe in property rights and utterly restricting the use of state violence against the individual. For example – gays can marry all they like, but the Catholic church sure does have the right to say no and discriminate against you, because its their property and their organisation.

    Having been in Libertarian circles since the 90′s let me tell you conservative Libertarians outnumber the left-libertarians by about 10 to 1. But with the rise of social media and online blogging, the later have become a vocal minority. In much the same way as normal conservatives do not bother with whining on Facebook like leftists do here in Australia, so it goes in the left/right split within Libertarianism.

    It just so happens that many right wing Conservatives who want to slur and knock Libertarianism almost always portray it as the left wing variety, all about gay sex and drugs e.t.c

  45. dover_beach

    Maybe there is also a third-strain of libertarians which hold that you cannot square circles.

  46. Alfonso

    They can no more be married than they can choose to be Eskimos.

  47. Julie Novak

    I won’t say too much about that debate here, but to make a couple of points.

    First, I don’t understand who the line “who needs enemies with friends like that” is directed towards? It wasn’t me who wrote the statement drawing attention, it was the greenie Simon. I do personally support a separation of marriage and state, with the state getting out of everyone’s love lives, but I know and appreciate that marriage is a strong enough set of civil societal arrangements to survive the institutional separation I call for. Loving couples will naturally want to have their relationships recognised among their friends and within the local community; state or no state involvement. In other words, I’m not the one arguing for “marriage abolition.”

    Second, did anyone notice that Simon referred to Engels as part of his defence, the latter a noted homophobe?! Hilarious.

    The written debate was fun to participate in, but I came out of it all with my view reinforced that socialistic arguments that “markets/capitalism causes homophobia” is, in fact, well and truly bunk.

  48. MT Isa Miner

    cohenite

    #1319128, posted on May 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    how we define our gender

    Fuck me; if you have a dick you’re a man and if you haven’t you’re not.

    Cohenite, They don’t call some men “dickless wonders” for nothing.

  49. john constantine

    interesting thought, if the lefties need an increasing underclass depending on big government, and a pool of vunerable kids able to be brainwashed by the common core curriculum, then destroying the traditional flaws and all notion of marriage and family provides the lefties with compounding levels of cannon fodder.

    when gillard said she didn’t bring in gay marriage because she had worked her whole life to get rid of all marriage, that should have had us take a good look at the benefits that fester for the left in having to ‘raise taxes for the children’ and why the left desires to have an enviroment that says ‘there is nothing wrong’ with having litters of kids all paid for by the taxpayer, and having leftie brainwashers from the education system being the only part-functional adults in the kids lives.

  50. MT Isa Miner

    Those who aren’t so demarcated should not be subject to ostracisation or other, usually religious based, punishment but accepted in the social fold. But should they be given a significant social distinction which undermines the biological norm?

    Just like I don’t expect everyone to measure up to Steve Jobs fortnightly pay-checks or Angelina Jolie’s boobs there is a NORMAL expectation for men and women. The NORM is heterosexual life.

    The number of gays etc have stayed the same overall since governments have been measuring. Jesus H Christ you can’t jigger statistics.

  51. coz

    Wasted 5 minutes of my life reading that today. It just comes of as a couple of mozzers preaching to the choir in the Guardian mozzer cathedral. Mozzers or mozzies are people who promote all kinds of sex or sexual activity as inherently positive and these folks used to be known (and sometimes still are known) as sex pozzies (for their positive support of porn, prostitution, stripping, homosexuality, bestiality, transexuality, pedophilia, incest etc etc)

    So…I don’t see it so much as a libertarian discussion or an economic one but a mozzer love-in.

  52. Sinclair Davidson

    The “who needs enemies with friends like that” comment is directed at Simon Copland. That sort of thing undermines arguments for marriage equality.

  53. Simon

    Marriage equality is silly in the extreme, marriage was invented to iron out inequality between the sexes before we had democratic governments and individual protections. These idiots seem to want wear it as a badge and very little else. It’s sad but gay people are attempting to enshrine their individual difference to “normality” by doing something “normal” unnecessarily. I guess if you can’t create new people then the next best thing is to become a new “coupled entity”. It’s sort of like a birth certificate for their new life together. And why not, it costs nothing, proffers virtually no new social obligations.
    It’s not these guys destroying marriage as an institution it’s women, they don’t need it, it’s just convenient and when it ceases to be anything but a throw back they it will be them that creates a new more modern family unit.

  54. duncanm

    I think I align with many here – and have argued a similar case with people who want SSM.

    Get the government out of ‘marriage’ – call it a civil union and let any pair of people do it, regardless of sex.

    Let religious institutions perform marriages as is their will. They can include and exclude whomever they want. No state recognition comes with the religious marriage.

    I’m against SSM purely because it is designed to white-ant and destroy the institution of marriage, especially within religions. I detest the way the left attack religion (Ok, they don’t attack the nasty ones).

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