dA Modest Marriage Proposal - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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A Modest Marriage Proposal

by Christopher Chantrill
June 12, 2007 at 4:48 pm

IN BRITAIN the Law Commission is worried about the rights of cohabiting couples, writes Libby Purves.  It thinks they should have all the rights of married couples.

Why bother, wonders Purves?  Anyone that wants the rights of married people can get married.  Even gays can obtain similar rights now that civil partnerships are recognized under the law in Britain.  It isn’t exactly a secret that marriage tightens the obligations of sexual partners.

Women – who traditionally get the short end of the stick – should be aware that marriage is a safer basis for scaling down work to raise a family, and that if they eschew it or are denied it, then they had better make arrangements.

But the idea of automatically formalizing cohabitation rights gives Purves an idea.  Why not declare that any couple that has a child together is automatically married?

If the Law Commission really wanted to put a spoke in the wheel of feckless and exploitative lovers, it could simply decree that the birth of a child creates, ipso facto, a marriage – with all the property and pension rights which that implies. Imagine the terror, imagine the caterwauling of complaint – not least when chaps found themselves “married” to multiple women, and instead of the weedy Child Support Agency were faced with complex crypto-divorce proceedings and settlements.

That would really change the terms of trade, wouldn’t it?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


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Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


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[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


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James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


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Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill