Home > Miscellaneous Musings, Predictions > Arranged marriages and The Law

Arranged marriages and The Law

People don’t “get” anarchists.  I mean the genuine, Rothbardian, Hoppean, libertarian anarcho-capitalist style anarchists.

Let me give you an analogy.

Hundreds of years ago, most marriages in Europe were arranged.  In other words, the individuals to the marriage were not given the power to decide.  They were “forced” to marry by their respective parents.  Over the years this coercion was accepted and became a cultural norm.  There was no explicit physical “forcing” of the couple to marry.  Most young girls complied, too afraid to rebel.

However if, Romeo and Juliette style, young couples tried to breach the boundaries, they would soon learn how coercion would work.

Arranged marriages still occur in India and other parts of the sub-continent.  It’s accepted.  It’s cultural.  They say that chaos would occur if young people were able to decide for themselves.  This system creates order, creates certainty, allows the couple to plan decades ahead.  It’s ultimately good for both them and their immediate communities.  It reduces divorce rates.

There may be good, pragmatic reasons for the practice to continue.

But it’s still, at its heart, coercion.  It’s bullying.  And it’s morally wrong.

We in the West understand this and would never accept arranged marriages here.  It’s clear that in the West it would be considered “forced” – that’s why it’s call a “forced marriage” by some.

Consider the law.

Instead of transactions and decisions being made voluntarily, the parent-government steps in and writes a “law”.  The law is backed up by courts.  The courts are, ultimately, backed up by police.  In other words, by guns.

This arrangement is very similar to forced marriages.  We accept, increasingly, that decisions are taken out of our hands (town planning, health regulations, taxes, commercial law) and given to another entity.  We cower before The Law and accept.  Sometimes, it is argued that “we” make the laws through our elected representatives.  Of course, that’s rubbish.  I didn’t (and don’t) consent to lots of laws.  I want gold and silver as money.  I want the Federal govt abolished.  I want the central bank abolished.  I want free speech (no defamation laws).  I want drug use legalised.  I want all self-harm legalised.  I want social welfare of all kinds immediately abolished.  These things are never going to happen.  I am forced to comply.

But this is cultural.

Step outside the cultural box and you realise that, at its heart, this is coercion and intimidation.  For “our benefit”, sure.  But still, at its heart, coercion.

When will we break free of our parents and decide for ourselves?  When will Indian c0uples do the same?

Only time will tell.

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