"In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born; that they are not superior to the citizen; that every one of them was once the act of a single man; every law and usage was a man's expedient to meet a particular case; that they all are imitable, all alterable." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Machiavellian Matrimony
Exclusive to STR
December 14, 2006
Not for me. Of course, as I close in on 38, I'm still a bachelor which means no matrimony yet of any kind. I doubt it's in the cards. Here's why:
If we analyze the institution of marriage (as all too few do, including a surprising number of anarchists) as distinct from the intense romantic emotions which are--or at least, in my view, should be--intrinsic to such a mutual agreement/arrangement/contract/decision (pick your preference; it's not my business to do it for you), we find two--and only two, in truth--characteristics applicable. Religious faith, and State sanction.
I here carry no brief for any parties who marry based on the first of those two attributes. As an agnostic, it would certainly possess no weight in any question I might have on the subject, but for those of faith it may. And if such individuals view their wedding as a "covenant before God" or anything similar, far be it from me to deride them for that belief. The atheists among you will undoubtedly equate what I have to say next as no different than that which I have just addressed, however I have--at least to my own satisfaction--put paid to that notion in a previous essay, "Anarchism: Atheism, Agnosticism, Or Faith?" And so . . .
What we have left is merely a State approval process (as witness, for that matter, any divorce proceeding). Blood tests, the purchasing of a "license," and the final State "seal of approval." How romantic, how touching. Personally (and I speak here solely in terms of my own sexual orientation and don't mean to disparage or exclude others), any woman who would need or want that kind of an abomination between us as a sign of love and commitment can skip me as a candidate. I know that kind of talk is not going to exactly endear me to the editors of Redbook magazine, or that loathsome buffooness Laura Ingram of Fox News Radio, but can you argue with the logic? Surely, as human beings, we are capable of being more elevated than that, even if Statism continues to permeate the minds and cloud the judgment of the vast majority of modern societies.
No, I've unfortunately not yet found that hot, sexy, twenty-something Anarchist bikini-babe who I want to carry home and spend the rest of my life with. Maybe I'm being grossly idealistic (though perhaps no more so than being an Anarchist in the first place). Maybe I'll meet her tomorrow. I do know that even if I never do meet her, it won't be for lack of trying, and I've already had quite a bit of fun along the way. In fact, I'm planning on having quite a bit more before my time is up. That much you can take to the bank.
For those of you who are married, I have not meant to offend, insult, or condescend. Merely to do what I hope I so frequently do when I proverbially set pen to paper: that is to get you to think in a new way, or look at something familiar from a different angle. After all, hey, who's your best man?