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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Props Yo

You know if you go to the CNN elections website and look at the results for president, Missouri is still uncalled. That’s 11 electoral votes…WHO’LL GET EM! McCain has the edge!

Heh heh heh…Anyhow, aside from president, Senators and House Representatives, other things were being voted on too. There were a bunch of ballot measures with endearing titles such as Prop 102, Prop 4, Amendment 48, question 2, and initiative 1,000. That’s a big initiative.

Since I have the floor of a blog more popular and credible than mine, I’ll take this opportunity to whine about a pet peeve of mine. The definition of marriage and the government’s involvement in it.

In California, the proposition of contention was a ban of gay marriage. In fact, a ban on gay marriage was on the ballots in three states and a ban on homosexual adoption in one. All passed including the one in super liberal land also known as California. What’s even more shocking to me than the fact that the bloody thing passed is that as the African Americans voted 90% in favour of electing a coloured president thus moving their civil rights movement and quest for equality further, they voted away the rights of an existing oppressed minority by a majority of 70% among their own race. While blacks favoured a black president overwhelmingly, they also supported abolishing the rights of married gay couples in the great majority.

Even more than simply defining marriage, prop-8 also determined whether or not gay couples would have access to the same rights and benefits that heterosexual married couples do.

There are so many things wrong with prop-8 that I can’t even really go on to list them. That would make this one heck of a boring entry and heck, I’m already sounding pretty dry. So far there has been no mention of fat people exploding at a distant fast food joint or rabid kittens intent on dominating Vancouver Island. I’m sorry but I’m not even going to mention those…again.

Prop-8 was well funded on both sides. Religious zealots and wing nuts urged their congregations to donate money to take away the marriage rights of gays lest we all catch their evil disease. Flower arrangers and truckers that normally keep to themselves for reasons best not mentioned at a truck stop diner rose to the defence of their brethren and hoped to defeat the measure that would rob them of the most basic rights enjoyed by married couples. Simple things such as inheritance rights or death benefits resulting from the loss of a partner.

History was written of course and prop-8 passed as a state constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Of course this will see its day in the courts and the amendment will be declared unconstitutional federally and gays will get the right to marriage back but my own position is that prop-8 was a great idea…it was just completely misguided.

Here’s the straight dope on marriage. The word “marriage” is a religious term. It’s not a term that is only linked to civil law and in fact finds its origins in religious tradition and institutionalized acceptance of god and divinity. That was then…and for some reason, we dragged it into now. Now, marriage is an interchangeable term and that creates a lot of confusion and havoc. Marriage may as easily refer to a civil contract between two people as it may refer to a divine endorsement of the relationship that exists between two people. It is because of this interchangeable nature and solid connection to millennia old religious traditions that when two men are married, a god bag who can’t get over a badly interpreted part of some dusty old book will get upset. You can never make gay marriage acceptable to all because the state is handing out a license that strongly implies (if not outrights confers) a religious endorsement for a relationship.

The state needs to get out of the marriage business and prop-8 in California should have been asking whether or not the state should even be involved in giving out marriage licenses as opposed to domestic partnership licenses. You can never escape the religious connection to the term “marriage” and so you can never make this a dispassionate issue of civil law. People of all types are deserving of equal treatment as human beings, that much is simply true. To solve the inequity that exists regarding homosexual couples wanting the same rights and responsibilities that come with being married, the government should immediately stop conferring “marriage licenses” to people and give them something like civil union licenses or something.

If you read my blog, you’ll know that I hate the government and would like to see it one day disappear from this wonderful thing we call the planet earth. In the meantime though, I think it would at least be a step in the right direction if we could only have people stop demanding that the state define their relationships.

Ask yourself for just a second, do you really need the government to define the relationship you have with your significant other via a term with undeniable ties to religious tradition?


Noelle said...

Gay marriage stuff aside, it's the penultimate paragraph of this post that makes me curious. I read and hear a lot of conservatives who say they are in favor of no government. And I get how you could want that, it's against human nature to want no authority. But for the life of me, I can think of no successful civilization or society that functioned without some sort of governing body.

Because I fall into the camp of people who think that human beings are flawed enough that we need government to keep progressing, I'm really curious, are there any examples of a time or place when things ran along smoothly without government? Not to say it's perfect by any means, but I don't think we function without it.

arcticgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

maby we are just to smart for our won good... and the good of EVERYTHING around us (hint hint: enviroment)

i'm pretty sure we didn't have a governement/governing people/person before the invention of writing...

Zach Bell said...

Noelle, think medieval Ireland. There flourished an incredible form of capitalism without government. Even monarchs were not governors of the masses in all cases and the common hierarchy was often stripped away from those who were found to be less than deserving of it.

Of course, power was consolidated and government came to pass as it has every where else. In a world today where slavery is considered unacceptable in the vast majority, I think a "voluntary" society devoid of government could sustain itself very well. You have to think of how we can utilize existing technology today in a world where there are no rules and restrictions aside from what happens to those who are productive and those who are deemed to be aggressors or parasites...and wow does that last word ever make it sound heartless.

Anyhoo, a lawless society doesn't mean there aren't rules. A lawless society simply means that no one is governed through force and coercion. I know this might turn a few people off ofthe whole idea but insurance companies play a very very big role in a voluntary society. Before you think that's terrible, think about the competition insurance companies would have. Imagine that for a second you decide to start your own insurance company because you think you can do it better...and you don't have to register for a business license, file a truck load of forms or can just get it running.

The key to a voluntary society is allowing unfettered free markets to exist and demanding accountability from each and every single sovereign human being that lives in it.

Noelle said...

I think that is an interesting point, but it only works in cases like medieval times when life was just a notch above survival mode. The other problem I see with an ideal government like that is that it only works when 100% of the people are on board with the idea. It's the same thing with Communism and other forms of absolute government. If you have a faction of the people who want Capitalism, government quickly gets totalitarianism on their asses.

I think that's why the majority of us think that Democracy isn't perfect, but it's the best system we've got. We got to try deregulation for a while, and that blew up in our faces, so now we'll try something different. We can have dissenting opinions, and the system still works.

Zach Bell said...

We never tried deregulation, only varying levels of selective regulation in the marketplace. When the United States had true deregulation in certain sectors for instance, those sectors flourished. The land of the free (yes, that's now an OLD saying rather than a relevant one in my books) was once also the land of approximately 8,000 private currencies, none of which were regulated. Those currencies performed very well and the fears of wild cat banking in fact never materialized. Despite that, fear alone was enough to regulate the currency sector and now...well now we just have endless credit creation under a monetary system that is mathematically impossible to sustain over the long term.

Another topic though. Back to the original one.

Absolute government certainly doesn't work but that's not what people like me seek. We seek absolute dissolution of involuntary governance. A voluntary society is not without government but it's certainly not the same as one would think of today. In a voluntary society, ,you would be governed by your employer in some respects, your insurance providers in others and your landlord as well perhaps in many others.

Voluntary society certainly can work I think because it's better than democracy in that it delivers absolute freedom rather that conditional freedom. I think that the price for accepting conditional freedom is the eventual loss of it as a historically observable cycle of government. Democracies are inadvertently perfectly designed to end in a government that represents the interests of the governors rather than the governed.

Your example of communism not working because of pockets of dissent (and the pockets grow considerably) is certainly accurate but not apt I'm sorry to say. You're comparing conditional freedom or no freedom to absolute freedom.

Also, I don't understand why you would say that voluntary society couldn't work today. While medieval Ireland was hardly a paradise, it was not exactly in survival mode either. In fact, the period I am thinking of (around 900 AD) was a period of wealth and very well observed social stability in Ireland.

I don't see why a voluntary society could not actually exist somewhere on this earth in the here and now. I find democracy to be frankly offensive. People expect me to operate within a system of coercion, mediocrity and corruption. Strike that, they don't expect me to, I am compelled to!

Democracy may be the best system we have but it's still terrible. Beyond terrible, it's simply counter-intuitive to the concept of free will and humanity expressing itself as it naturally may do. Democracy is simply about the tyranny of the majority by design and the tyranny of the minority in practice.