Chapter 12: Ruling Ourselves
Footnote: Marriage and its Destiny
Founded upon the Roman law of Famulus, marriage has reduced human society to a gas of inert binary molecules. Yet modern economic forces are pushing to sever even the tenuous bond of marriage to dissipate humanity into a socially celibate plasma of isolated atoms.
Young people, on reaching maturity, are supposed to mix socially with the intent that each should find a life-partner of the opposite gender. To some extent they mix socially at work, but this has limited success. Their social mixing is nowadays mainly in pubs, singles bars, night clubs, Internet dating sites or by whatever other means capitalism may devise so that it can profit from the process.
These commercialised environments have now all but eclipsed the once traditional places of social mixing like the village green, the community hut and the church. So where these traditional places still actually exist, none can offer today's youngster any more than a narrow socially-incestuous choice of potential life-partners.
Within this now fully commercialised social crucible, each young person eventually forms a close relationship with one particular friend and they go around together as a couple. Any who would two-time a partner is regarded as disloyal. The whole peer group thus eventually crystallises into couples.
Each time a couple realise they are not mutually suited for a life-long relationship, they break up and move on. This can often be quite a painful parting, as evinced in so many popular songs.
Eventually, each finds a partner who appears sufficiently compatible for a tolerable life-long relationship. Their bond grows ever stronger until they publicly declare the permanence of their relationship by getting married and establishing a home.
The whole peer group thus eventually segregates into little isolated brick boxes with their little self-contained gardens all ready for when the kids come along - lost in the endless square miles of suburbia that carpets the hinterland of Metropolis.
They all have their little jobs through which they toil to further the profits of their corporate masters in return for their monthly pittances, which are all just adequate to maintain their little self-contained homes and lifestyles.
In the past, people did not have to be so highly qualified in order to gain adequate income. On the other hand, they were railroaded by social pressures into traditional marriage well within child-bearing age. This strained the male-female relationship by forcing completely separate roles upon male and female. The male had to spend most of his time away from the home, working for a boss at corporate premises. The female, imprisoned in their suburban brick box, was burdened with the care and up-bringing of their children.
Skills became more and more specialised. The demands of the corporate job market forced these former pairs of young friends to take their skills to wherever their employers required them to be in order to further their careers as the financial load of a young family began to bite. These pairs of formative friends thus became geographically separated. Most would eventually lose touch with each other, destroying whatever communal links may once have bound their ancestors.
So, whereas a strong intra-marital force bound the members of each couple together within their little self-contained marital paradise, there was no comparable inter-marital force linking couples into a social network. Each was an amorically isolated entity - like a binary molecule of oxygen or nitrogen in the air - their lives and fortunes jostled relentlessly by the mindless yet powerful force of greedy self-interest that fuelled the socio-economic turmoil we call the job market.
Unlinked by a strong unifying force, nuclear families became adrift and isolated. They lacked an inherent propensity for socio-economic cohesion. They were not an integrated society. The precarious bond of economic brotherhood - as epitomised by the labour movement - has proven all too brittle to stand against the power of capital. Thus divided, these little domestic islands were defenceless against the ruthless economic exploitation of corporate hierarchies. They were just a pool of human resources to be used or discarded at will by industry and commerce.
Now people are freer and more educated. It has become the norm for both male and female to hold jobs. A couple could, in theory work together. However, this is rarely possible within a modern socio-economy. They find themselves forced to work in separate places for separate bosses. Their children, if they can afford to have any, are farmed out into the production-line world of commercialised child-care.
When men alone went out to work, families just managed to survive. When women also began to go out to work, everyone thought families would be better off. But market forces have simply soaked up their extra income and deposited it as extra profit into the laps of the favoured few, leaving families still barely able to make ends meet. So both are pressured to continually better their careers.
In professional jobs especially, career advancement can often only be realised by moving to a different place. The members of a couple can thus find themselves commuting to different cities. They meet only to eat and sleep. This can easily stress their relationships to breaking point. Such hapless couples are no more or less victims than their forebears. Their situation has merely uncovered and demonstrated systemic flaws that have always existed within established society.
The husband is continually harassed at work to improve his personal performance. Underneath is the ever-present covert threat of dismissal or redundancy. The wife struggles with her career, which she juggles with the need to care for their children. They would rather share this, but the husband's employers are intolerant regarding flexible time. She begins to feel neglected by her husband, who arrives home each night too stressed to do anything but gawp passively at the television. They do nothing together any more. They begin to live separate lives. Intimacy becomes a thing of the past. Both are permanently repressed and frustrated. The tension progressively mounts. Eventually the spring snaps. Both try vainly to assuage their frustrations through fleeting moments of covert adultery with colleagues, suburban neighbours, casual encounters or incestuous affairs with their in-laws or even their own children.
Their marriage is reduced to a mere economic convenience for raising their children. They are trapped in a prison of bland routine in which they live out their pointless lives vicariously through the characters of television soap operas through which their beliefs, loyalties and buying habits are skilfully moulded by the vested interests of a faceless elite.
Finally, their marriage breaks apart in acrimony with one of them taking a distant promotion.
Economic pressures today are forcing people to delay pairing off into marriage or stable unions. They are demanding that people study longer to attain higher and higher qualifications then spend many years amassing sufficient capital to start a home and finance children. In consequence, more and more people find themselves in their 40s or even their 50s still single and childless. By that time, it seems to become more and more difficult to find a partner. And the biological clock has run out. It is too late to have children. From the beginning, they were confronted by the dilemma of choosing between career and affluence or family and hardship.
The traditional nuclear family is thus being blindly eroded and destroyed by the very system that created it. It is causing society to degenerate from an inert gas of binary molecules to a formless plasma of isolated individuals.
The economic micro-structure of modern society is rapidly approaching the tipping point at which man and woman will be no longer be able to muster what society demands for them to marry, establish a home and raise and educate children. They are destined to live in isolation as singles, each in his or her own lush city condo. The only practical way for them to relate intimately will be through fleeting encounters and shallow torrid romances, like ships passing in the night. The woman will decide if and when to leave herself open to conception. Any resulting child will be raised and educated in a profit-motivated private institution of whatever quality its career-woman mother can afford.
The elite of the Earth will thus soon have finally created their ideal: a society of biologically reproducing social celibates over which their control will be ruthless, absolute and total.
Parent Document | © March - November 2011, Robert John Morton