Tim Newman alerted me the other day to one of his old posts which is titled Why some countries are poor. His idea is that it is a lack of trust which separates poor countries from rich ones. He cites examples from Russia and Nigeria that demonstrate how a lack of trust hamstrings business development. I agree with his assessment and I think that this lack of trust contributed to my own feelings of alienation and loneliness when I lived in low trust countries such as Uganda.
Dalrock has a post up today about the effort to classify divorce as not being a failure. There has been an effort by progressives for some time to reframe the idea of marriage as being non-permanent. In other words, it is permanent unless something goes wrong, when it ceases to be permanent. If a man walks out on his family then he is “bad person” but if a woman walks out on her family then she is “empowering herself” while she goes off on her eat pray love journey of self discovery.
As much as I think that men’s rights activists are losers, it doesn’t make their core arguments invalid. The fact is that marriage is now entirely weighted towards the female advantage. Women initiate over 70% of divorces, they claim the lion’s share of the assets, they almost always get the kids, on and on it goes. It is against the law in some parts of the USA for a man to even request a DNA test of his children. If he does then he has committed a felony.
But what I realized a few days after reading Tim’s post was that the progressive march through the institution of the family has ultimately resulted in a breakdown of trust between the two parties to a marriage contract. A hundred years ago a marriage contract really meant something. It was for life. You had to make a go of it whether it was good times or bad, sickness or in health, that sort of thing.
Then about forty years ago we got fault free divorce, that they told us didn’t affect children at all, and it has been a downhill slope since then. The attitude of young men today towards marriage is one of disinterest caused by distrust. For men, the downsides far outnumber the upsides when considering marriage. Women in general are no longer good prospects for a long term business contract. They have been encouraged to put themselves first at every opportunity and to believe that they can “have it all”. It is to their material advantage to initiate divorce. Their only real downside is that they may have some trouble finding another husband, particularly as they get older. But this drawback hardly ever enters into their pampered little heads. After all, “the universe will provide”. That catch-all mantra sums up each and every selfish, irrational, and untrustworthy action initiated by women in the divorce courts. The reality is that it is their ex-husbands who will provide for the rest of their lives.
Which means that we live in a somewhat discombobulated reality, at least in high trust countries. While we still have high trust as regards to business and professional life, in our personal lives that level of trust has evaporated. It is truly a war between the sexes.
To that end perhaps men today need to adjust their selection criteria somewhat for a future wife. Top of the list will be how seriously she takes verbal and written agreements. If she is frivolous and untrustworthy with small matters then one can be reasonably sure that she will behave in a similar matter with regards to agreements of a more important and permanent nature.
The worth of a contract can be measured by how seriously its signatories take it and by the penalties in place for breaking it. Society and the mainstream media, egged on by progressives, have succeeded in making one partner to the contract free of almost any negative outcomes for betraying the marriage contract’s inherent trust while simultaneously encouraging the same partner to only take the contract seriously “as long as it’s worth her while”.
We would never accept this level of mistrust in our professional lives. Why we do so with our personal lives is a great tragedy.