On my mind historically marriage worked like this: the man and a wife. The man has one or several mistresses, as many as he can pay for. And fucks prostitutes. The wife has two or more beta orbiters and might fuck the plumber. Wife and husband have sex once a year. The third son is not his.
So the marriage is a social facade and an economical arrangement, not a factual thing.
He’s completely correct. He’s also dead wrong.
In one sense, Yohami describes how marraige often actually is, and it would be ridiculous to assert otherwise. We all know of cheating spouses, cuckolded fathers, ignored and unloved wives, husbands who literally feel nagged to death, and the six wives of Henry VIII. Hell, even in the Bible, David raises all kinds of havoc to get with Bathsheeba and Abraham loans out Sara to save his own ass twice.
But is this what marriage really is? In another sense, isn’t marraige also something more? Does the human practice of marriage negate its ideal? Allow me to clarify.
Yohami’s comment demonstrates how factual truth can be inadvertently used to contradict the existence of any higher truth. I call the former A, and the latter G. The existence of one does not preclude the other, and keeping them straight is essential to understanding the correct way to bring the world from where it is to where it should be. To forget A is to live unproductively with your head in the clouds. But perhaps forgetting G is to accept stagnation and to miss the point of life entirely.
One way the left uses this error is in its denigration of the Founding Fathers. “All men are created equal” wrote Jefferson. Sounds great, but Jefferson was a slaveholder. He obviously didn’t really mean it. America isn’t so damn special. Our precious founding was based on a lie. We’re hypocrites!
I can’t look into Jefferson’s heart, and I know that neither Jefferson personally nor the American government during any period of its history has lived up the the Declaration’s AMACE (All Men…). And yes, obviously, Jefferson was a hypocrite. Score one for the haters.
But look at it from another angle. Obviously, Jefferson and the rest of the Founders should have freed all of their slaves right then and there. However, what if Jefferson wasn’t quite ready to do that, but he recognized his hypocrisy? What if he stopped his quill and said to himself, “You know, I really shouldn’t even say this. I think I’ll just start off by bitching about the King.”?
Would we be better off today? No. How much more difficult would things have been for Martin Luther King or Frederick Douglass? Probably impossible. If Jefferson had done the right thing, admitted he was full of crap and that what he was writing wasn’t real, America would be fucked.
Hence, the importance of the proclaimed Ideal, even if there’s no earthly manifestation of it anywhere whatsoever. Bold proclamations of what should be make it just a little bit more likely that we might somehow improve what is. Blacks were slaves then and have suffered far more than they should have. They’d be even worse off if Jefferson hadn’t been so naive.
The very nature of an Ideal, be it something ethereal like AMACE or more tangible like going to the gym six days a week no matter what is that it’s probably a bit beyond what can actually be accomplished. It’s what drives us, what improves us. It’s a great way for our friends to call us out on our own shit. (“You said you would…, and now you…”)
Instead of recognizing and Ideal for its inherent unattainability, many of us use the fact that we don’t live up to our Ideals to discredit the Ideals themselves. Because we haven’t lived up to AMACE, because so many marriages are crappy, we can throw out the very idea of either as harmful and evidence that it’s all a big pile of shit.
Buying into this lie is what keeps the guy who’s eaten perfectly healthily for three weeks to go on a pizza binge because he broke down and had a cupcake at work. Despire our extraordinary history, it’s why so many people of us see America as just another empire. It’s why we give up on politics because we’ll never be perfectly libertarian. It’s why we discount traditional notions of family as quaint and unrealistic. It’s also why modern marriage is more of a farce than it was when we were more “delusional”.
But, at least we can’t accuse a pornstar who’s banged four hundred guys before her twenty-fifth birthday of being a hypocrite. She doesn’t have any ideals not to live up to. (Besides, who are we to judge?)
I’ve swallowed the Red Pill. I know how people are, that chicks dig serial killers and that good girls sometimes aren’t. I understand that what goes up must come down. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Ignoring this is suicide. Objectivists and Christians can both agree that this here planet is NOT Heaven.
Still, I do know there’s something more than what we’ve got. I’ve met elderly couples who’ve been in love for fifty years and have raised six incredibly happy children and had countless grandchildren. I’ve felt the pride of achieving my goals even when I’ve failed to live up to my own standards nearly every step of the way. I’ve heard the voices of immigrants break as they tell me, “I love America” and the sexy Australian accent whisper “You’re the best” into my ear.
Indeed, like any regular reader of Rational Male or the Chateau Heartiste, I know we’re primates. A is A. Nevertheless, I will NEVER accept that we are only primates. Usually we’re louses, but sometimes we’re heroes; expect the former, hope for the latter. I suspect we might have some dark days ahead, but I also know that we’re had some damn good days, and we might even have some more.
I know I’ve got a few coming myself, and those days will be every bit as really as the crappy ones.