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View Diary: Douthat is a Coward (16 comments)

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  •  What's striking (2+ / 0-)

    Is Douthat's belief that marriage is about procreation and child rearing.

    Until the late 18th century (when the application of exponential sequences was applied to projecting population growth) nobody gave a hoot about what anyone other than royalty, their court, and to some degree the merchant class did.  This applied even in the few situations where women were not relegated to property status.  Basically, it was about hereditary power, and once a "middle class" developed in the latter middle ages, inheritance of their property as well.  And it was very political.  Procreation mattered because if you pass political office and heredity down by bloodline, you need to establish who fathered who.  Between the late 18th and the late 19th century, industrialization and the theory of workers as economic actors (as opposed to property) meant that they were expected to do things to manage their bloodlines, too.

    There were two changes in the 19th century.  The first one was the result of women being treated as natural persons and not as property.  The second was the elimination of heredity as a primary means of conferring wealth and social status (and the reversal of the relationship between the two, e.g. one bought social status with money, not the other way around as the case was for royalty in the Middle Ages).

    Most social conservatives have not accepted any of this: the main determinant of conservatism in the US right now is where one came down on the side of the Civil War and women's suffrage.  There are analagous threads elsewhere in the world.  (In Britain, it's a direct import from the US.  In France, it is royalism.  In other parts of Europe, it is Catholic v. Lutheran v. secular.  

    Douthat is somewhat of an outlier, part of the tradition of conservative Catholic statism.  (We're far more capitalist/free-market than Douthat; out capitalist critique is based on outcomes  -- capitalism only works if it's well regulated, but mixed-economy regulated capitalism works brilliantly.)  while his critique is based on disruption of traditional values and heredity.)

    •  Sounds Like Official Catholic Doctrine to Me. nt (0+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 05:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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