Friday, April 11, 2008


One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the ability of people to decide that things that have been part of quite stable, and legitimate societies is evil and should be stamped out. Whether it is eating dogs and horses, deciding professions at birth, making golden cows, homosexuality, or covering your face in a veil. People seem to have an inability to see that people living under different social orders are usually about as happy as any other one. Often the social order that came out ahead got that way not because it made its members happier, but because it militarily and scientifically crushed its opposition.

Watching the events in Texas makes me think of this. A large group of polygamists living much as people did for most of history. Now, it sounds to me like that group has a lot of really strange beliefs but the general model isn't unusual. The pattern of girls entering in arranged marriages with older more established men who already have several wives as soon as they are old enough to have babies has been repeated throughout history, and around the world. While it isn't as common as monogamy(or perhaps more realistically serial monogamy like it is generally practiced here), I feel safe in saying people evolved to get along just fine in this sort of society.

It is also about as against what most Americans believe people should be doing as you can get. The only real reasons we think this though are education being a requirement in modern society, birth control being easy to use, and the fact that we happen to live in a society that monogamy is the norm. Is there any reason to believe people in societies where these things are not normal are less happy though? I personally don't see any, although I have honestly never seen real study on the subject. My money is on the men who are on the bottom of the social order being less happy, and little difference in the rest. It clearly would be a model of society with a lot less of the social isolation that seems to happen in America.

It certainly is not the best model for a thriving industrial society. As it does not get much work out of a large number of its members. Does that justify storming the homes of those who don't feel like going along with that model of society though? My general view is to leave them alone. I am biased since I am not happy when the government wants to step on what I want to do. I therefore don't like telling the government to step on groups in society who are unpopular.

The best fix in my eyes is to legalize polygamy, but enforce laws about underage marriage, and forced marriage. This would make them follow the general habits of modern Americans enough that they would probably get accepted. Americans will always say that they were brainwashed into wanting to live that way, while failing to notice the same happening to us, but if swingers can be a mostly accepted part of society I suspect polygamists can too. Although it will never be common outside Mormon splinter groups, and Muslim immigrants. I cannot imagine just about any girl I know entering into that deal. I also don't think that there are many men capable of figuring out how to make that work if they were not raised around it. The reverse of two men marrying one woman seems even less likely if for no other reason than a shortage of bisexual men.

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