A commenter at Oz Conservative makes some important points about marriage. What we think of as the traditional family, a husband and a wife and a couple of kids, was essentially a postwar invention. As this commenter points out
“the definition of marriage changed in the Anglosaxon world under the influence of atheisim and liberalism from one of an intergenerational social institution to a personal relationship. It is this transformation and reduction of the primary social institution of society to a mere personal relationship which is the greatest causative factor in the collapse of Western civilisation.”
He goes on to add
“The former institutional framework was devoted to the preservation of culture, values, tradition, religion and wealth and the transmission of these to the next generation.”
I think this is quite important. The nuclear family is an aberration, and a dangerous one. The nuclear family of the 1950s was certainly better than the morass of immorality, lust and selfishness into which we have now sunk but it was fundamentally flawed. It was a device for enhancing consumption. It created more household units, and each of these household units required a house, a car, a refrigerator, a dishwasher and a host of other consumer goods.
It was good for the economy and bad for civilisation. It reduced marriage to a formalised version of shacking up together. Marriage was no longer about duty, or responsibility, or maintaining tradition, or ensuring the future. Marriage was now a vehicle for sexual gratification and romantic Hollywood-fueled fantasies. When combined with increasingly easy access to divorce the results were catastrophic. Now you could not only have sexual gratification and romantic fantasies, you could have an endless cycle of instant sexual gratification and starry-eyed but doomed fantasies.
The reality is that neither sex nor romance can form a firm foundation on which to construct an actual family. And a family is not a transient arrangement between two autonomous individuals. It is an ongoing institution. Your family existed before you were married and it will continue to exist after you are dead. Marriage is not a pairing of two atomised individuals pursuing short-term pleasure. Happiness is, or should be, something much deeper - the sense of a life well-lived, of contributing towards something that will live on after one’s death.
And (as this commenter points out) once you accept marriage as a mere sexual arrangement then you have no basis on which to oppose homosexual marriage, polygamy, or any depraved arrangement that the mind can conjure up. On the other hand if you adhere to the idea of marriage as being part of a larger institution of family life then it immediately becomes obvious that two homosexuals living together do not in any way, shape or form constitute a family.
Easy no-fault divorce, the contraceptive pill and the misguided decision to remove the social stigma and legal disadvantages of de facto relationships combined to sound the death knell for the family but the nuclear family had already fatally undermined the actual traditional family.