[Paleopsych] Policy Review: Jennifer Roback Morse: Marriage and the Limits of Contract
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Mon Apr 11 22:06:18 UTC 2005
Policy Review, No. 130: Jennifer Roback Morse: Marriage and the Limits of
[She used to teach in the economics department at George Mason University.
An example of a woman who had a big dog when she needed a baby, she was
more transformed by having one than anyone I know. And she looked much
lovelier. She has returned to her Roman Catholicism. I have not actually
read the article yet, but if it's like her book, I am almost entirely in
agreement. Moses and Solomon were early sociobiologists.]
Jennifer Roback Morse is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution,
and the author of Smart Sex: Finding Lifelong Love in a Hook-up World,
and Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work,
both from Spence Publishing.
Marriage is a naturally occurring, pre-political institution that
emerges spontaneously from society. Western society is drifting toward
a redefinition of marriage as a bundle of legally defined benefits
bestowed by the state. As a libertarian, I find this trend
regrettable. The organic view of marriage is more consistent with the
libertarian vision of a society of free and responsible individuals,
governed by a constitutionally limited state. The drive toward a
legalistic view of marriage is part of the relentless march toward
politicizing every aspect of society.
Although gay marriage is the current hot-button topic, it is a
parenthetical issue. The more basic question is the meaning of love,
marriage, sexuality, and family in a free society. I define marriage
as a society's normative institution for both sexual activity and the
rearing of children. The modern alternative idea is that society does
not need such an institution: No particular arrangement should be
legally or culturally privileged as the ideal context for sex or
The current drive for creating gay unions that are the legal
equivalent of marriage is part of this ongoing process of dethroning
marriage from its pride of place. Only a few self-styled conservative
advocates of gay marriage, such as Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Rauch,
seem to understand and respect the social function of marriage.
Marriage as an institution necessarily excludes some kinds of behavior
and endorses other kinds of behavior. This is why the conservative
case for gay marriage is so remarkable: It flies in the face of the
cultural stampede toward social acceptance of any and all sexual and
childbearing arrangements, the very stampede that has fueled so much
of the movement for gay marriage.
This article is not primarily about gay marriage. It isn't even about
why some forms of straight marriage are superior to others. Rather,
the purpose of this article is to explain why a society, especially a
free society, needs the social institution of marriage in the first
place. I want to argue that society can and must discriminate among
various arrangements for childbearing and sexual activity.
The contrary idea has a libertarian justification in the background:
Marriage is a contract among mutually consenting adults. For instance,
libertarian law professor Richard Epstein penned an article last year
called "Live and Let Live" in the Wall Street Journal (July 13, 2004).
In it, he treated marriage as a combination of a free association of
consenting individuals and an institution licensed by the state.
But the influence of the libertarian rationale goes far beyond the
membership of the Libertarian Party or the donor list of the Cato
Institute. The editors of the Nation, for instance, support gay
marriage but do not usually defend the sanctity of contracts. This
apparent paradox evaporates when we realize that the dissolution of
marriage breaks the family into successively smaller units that are
less able to sustain themselves without state assistance.
Marriage deserves the same respect and attention from libertarians
that they routinely give the market. Although I believe life-long
monogamy can be defended against alternatives such as polygamy, it is
beyond the scope of a single article to do so. My central argument is
that a society will be able to govern itself with a smaller, less
intrusive government if that society supports organic marriage rather
than the legalistic understanding of marriage.
A natural institution
Libertarians have every reason to respect marriage as a social
institution. Marriage is an organic institution that emerges
spontaneously from society. People of the opposite sex are naturally
attracted to one another, couple with each other, co-create children,
and raise those children. The little society of the family replenishes
and sustains itself. Humanity's natural sociability expresses itself
most vibrantly within the family. A minimum-government libertarian can
view this self-sustaining system with unadulterated awe.
Government does not create marriage any more than government creates
jobs. Just as people have a natural "propensity to truck, barter and
exchange one thing for another," in Adam Smith's famous words from the
second chapter of The Wealth of Nations, we likewise have a natural
propensity to couple, procreate, and rear children. People
instinctively create marriage, both as couples and as a culture,
without any support from the government whatsoever.
The sexual urge is an engine of human sociability. Our desire for
sexual satisfaction draws us out of our natural self-centeredness and
into connection with other people. Just as the desire to make money
induces business owners to try to please their customers, so too, the
desire to copulate induces men to try to please women, and women to
try to attract men. The attachment of mothers to their babies and
women to their sex partners tends to keep this little society
together. The man's possessiveness of his sexual turf and of his
offspring offsets his natural tendency toward promiscuity. These
desires and attachments emerge naturally from the very biology of
sexual complementarity with no assistance from the state.
But this is not the only sense in which the institution of marriage
arises spontaneously. In every known society, communities around the
couple develop customs and norms that define the parameters of
socially acceptable sexual, spousal and parental behavior. This
culture around marriage may have some governmental elements. But that
cultural machinery is more informal than legal by far and is based
more on kinship than on law. We do things this way because our parents
did things this way. Our friends and neighbors look at us funny if we
go too far outside the norm.
The new idea about marriage claims that no structure should be
privileged over any other. The supposedly libertarian subtext of this
idea is that people should be as free as possible to make their
personal choices. But the very nonlibertarian consequence of this new
idea is that it creates a culture that obliterates the informal
methods of enforcement. Parents can't raise their eyebrows and expect
children to conform to the socially accepted norms of behavior,
because there are no socially accepted norms of behavior. Raised
eyebrows and dirty looks no longer operate as sanctions on behavior
slightly or even grossly outside the norm. The modern culture of
sexual and parental tolerance ruthlessly enforces a code of silence,
banishing anything remotely critical of personal choice. A parent, or
even a peer, who tries to tell a young person that he or she is about
to do something incredibly stupid runs into the brick wall of the
non-judgmental social norm.
State impartiality in a free society
The spontaneous emergence of marriage does not imply that any laws the
state happens to pass will work out just fine. And it certainly does
not follow that any cultural institutions surrounding sexual behavior,
permanence of relationships, and the rearing of children will work out
just fine. The state may still need to protect, encourage or support
permanence in procreational couplings just as the state may need to
protect the sanctity of contracts.
No libertarian would claim that the presumption of economic
laissez-faire means that the government can ignore people who violate
the norms of property rights, contracts, and fair exchange. Apart from
the occasional anarcho-capitalist, all libertarians agree that
enforcing these rules is one of the most basic functions of
government. With these standards for economic behavior in place,
individuals can create wealth and pursue their own interests with
little or no additional assistance from the state. Likewise, formal
and informal standards and sanctions create the context in which
couples can create marriage with minimal assistance from the state.
Nor would a libertarian claim that people should be indifferent about
whether they are living in a centrally planned economy or a
market-ordered economy. No one disputes the free speech rights of
socialists to distribute the Daily Worker. It does not follow that
impartiality requires the economy to reflect socialism and capitalism
equally. It simply can't be done. An economy built on the ideas in The
Communist Manifesto will necessarily look quite different from an
economy built on the ideas in The Wealth of Nations. The debate
between socialism and capitalism is not a debate over how to
accommodate different opinions, but over how the economy actually
works. Everything from the law of contracts to antitrust law to
commercial law will be a reflection of some basic understanding of how
the economy works in fact. Somebody in this debate is correct, and
somebody is mistaken. We can figure out which view is more nearly
correct by comparing the prosperity of societies that have implemented
capitalist principles with the prosperity of those that have
implemented socialist principles.
There are analogous truths about human sexuality. I claim the sexual
urge is a natural engine of sociability, which solidifies the
relationship between spouses and brings children into being. Others
claim that human sexuality is a private recreational good, with
neither moral nor social significance. I claim that the hormone
oxytocin floods a woman's body during sex and tends to attach her to
her sex partner, quite apart from her wishes or our cultural norms.
Others claim that women and men alike can engage in uncommitted sex
with no ill effects. I claim that children have the best life chances
when they are raised by married, biological parents. Others believe
children are so adaptable that having unmarried parents presents no
significant problems. Some libertarians seem to believe that marriage
is a special case of free association of individuals. I say the
details of this particular form of free association are so distinctive
as to make marriage a unique social institution that deserves to be
defended on its own terms and not as a special case of something else.
One side in this dispute is mistaken. There is enormous room for
debate, but there ultimately is no room for compromise. The legal
institutions, social expectations and cultural norms will all reflect
some view or other about the meaning of human sexuality. We will be
happier if we try to discover the truth and accommodate ourselves to
it, rather than try to recreate the world according to our wishes.
Distinguishing between competing understandings of "natural freedom"
will clear up one source of confusion in this debate. Jean-Jacques
Rousseau presents a view of natural freedom quite different from the
modern economic libertarian understanding. In Part I of A Discourse on
Inequality Rousseau describes sexual pairing in the state of nature:
As males and females united fortuitously according to encounters,
opportunities and desires, they required no speech to express the
things they had to say to each other, and they separated with the
same ease. The mother nursed her children at first to satisfy her
own needs, then when habit had made them dear to her, she fed them
to satisfy their needs; as soon as they had the strength to find
their own food, they did not hesitate to leave their mother
herself; and as there was virtually no way of finding one another
again once they had lost sight of each other, they were soon at the
stage of not even recognizing one another.
Rousseau could be describing the modern hook-up culture, down to and
including the reluctance of hook-up partners to even talk to each
other. He seems to define "natural" as acting on impulse and "freedom"
as being unencumbered by law, social convention or even attachment to
Libertarians cannot accept these definitions. Being free does not
demand that everyone act impulsively rather than deliberately.
Libertarian freedom is the modest demand to be left alone by the
coercive apparatus of the government. Economic liberty, and
libertarian freedom more broadly, is certainly consistent with living
with a great many informal social and cultural constraints.
Rousseau specifically depicted a state of nature that is not only
pre-political, but nonsocial. Whether he intended this as a
description of some long-lost, pre-social time, or as a goal to which
the good society should aspire, his version of the state of nature is
surely unnatural in this sense: A widespread nonsystem of impersonal
sexual couplings has never occurred in any known society. In no known
society have the ruling authorities, whether governmental or informal,
been completely indifferent to the forms sexual couplings take, or the
context in which sexual activity takes place. Nor has any belief
system, whether religious or philosophical, ever claimed that sexual
activity is intrinsically meaningless, having only the meaning
individuals privately assign to it.
We now live in an intellectual, social, and legal environment in which
the laissez-faire idea has been mechanically applied to sexual conduct
and married life. But Rousseau-style state-of-nature couplings are
inconsistent with a libertarian society of minimal government. In
real, actually occurring societies, noncommittal sexual activity
results in mothers and children who require massive expenditures and
interventions by a powerful government.
Let me construct a hypothetical family to illustrate what I mean. In
contrast to Rousseau's mythical state of nature, my hypothetical
family occurs all too frequently in real-life modern Western
man and woman have a child. The mother and father have no permanent
relationship to each other and no desire to form one. When the
relationship ceases to function to their satisfaction, it dissolves.
The mother sues the father for child support.
The couple argues through the court system over how much he should
pay. The woman wants him to pay more than he wants to pay. The court
ultimately orders him to pay a particular amount. He insists on
continuing visitation rights with his child. She resists. They argue
in court and finally settle on a periodic visitation schedule to which
he is entitled.
The agreement works smoothly at first. Then the parents quarrel. At
visitation time, the mother is not home. He calls and leaves a nasty
message on the answering machine. They quarrel some more. She says his
behavior is not appropriate. He smokes too much and overindulges the
child in sweets. She says the child, who is now a toddler, is
impossible to deal with after visits. He quits paying child support.
The court garnishes his wages to force him to pay. He goes to court to
try to get his visitation agreement honored. The court appoints a
mediator to help the couple work out a solution. The mother announces
that she plans to move out of state. He goes to court and gets a
temporary order to restrain her from moving. She invents a charge of
child abuse and gets a restraining order forbidding him from seeing
Say what you like about this sort of case. You may think this is the
best mere mortals can do. You may think this contentiousness is the
necessary price people pay for their adult independence. You may blame
the mother or the father or both. Or perhaps you think this is a
nightmare for both adults as well as for children. But on one point we
can all agree: This is not a libertarian society.
Some libertarians might focus on the specific activities of the family
court, regarding them as grotesque infringements of both parties'
privacy. Agents of the government actively inquire into, pass
judgments upon and intervene in the most intimate details of this
couple's life. Or we might view the entire existence of the court
system as an outrageous subsidy to this couple, paid by the rest of
society. When the woman asks for the state's help in collecting child
support, the state provides this service at no charge to her. When she
makes a charge of child abuse, the state keeps the man away from her
and her child. If the charge is proven to be unfounded or frivolous,
the state does not require her to pay compensation for its expenses or
the man for his losses.
This is not the posture of a night watchman state.
The state solicitude for the mother and her child is a direct result
of father absence. Without a father's assistance, this woman and her
child are more likely to become dependents of the state. The state
believes, quite reasonably, that it is more cost-effective to help the
mother extract assistance from the father than to provide
taxpayer-funded financial assistance. Aggressive programs for tracking
down "dead-beat dads" become a substitute for providing direct
payments through the welfare system as conventionally understood.
A radical individualist might argue that the state should allow this
couple to sink or swim on its own. If the man abandons her, tough luck
for her and her child. If she kicks the man out, for good reason or no
reason, tough luck for him. The social order simply cannot afford to
indulge people who can't get along with their closest and most
intimate family members. If the state would get out of the family
business or charge people the full cost for the use of its services,
fewer people would get into these contentious situations. People would
be more careful in forming their intimate childbearing unions.
But our current ideological environment makes this position
impossible, however much it might appeal to the radical individualist.
The political pressures for the state to intervene on behalf of the
unmarried mother are simply overwhelming. The welfare state is so
entrenched that singling out unmarried mothers at this late date is
not plausible. Given that reality, it is not realistic to expect the
state to cease and desist from all the activities of the family court,
no matter how intrusive or highly subsidized they may be.
Nor does the sense of financial entitlement exhaust the entitlement
mentality. Unlimited sexual activity is now considered an entitlement.
Marriage is no longer the only socially acceptable outlet for sexual
activity or for the rearing of children. It is now considered an
unacceptable infringement on the modern person's liberty to insist
that the necessary context of sexual activity is marriage with rights
and responsibilities, both implicit and explicit. It is equally
unacceptable to argue that having children outside of marriage is
irresponsible. Women are entitled to have as many children as they
choose in any context they choose. In this sense, children have become
a kind of consumer good. Choosing to have a child is a necessary and
sufficient condition for being entitled to have one. Given this social
and cultural environment, it is completely unrealistic to think that
we can muster the political will to deprive unmarried parents of the
use of the courts to prosecute their claims against one another.
Contrast this scenario with intact married couples. Not deliriously
happy married couples with stars in their eyes at all times. Just
ordinary, everyday, run-of-the mill married couples.
No one from the state forces them to pool their incomes, if they both
work. If they have the traditional gender-based division of household
labor, no one forces the husband to hand over his paycheck to his wife
to run the household. No one makes the wife allow him to take the kids
out for the afternoon. No one has to come and supervise their
negotiations over how to discipline the children. When he's too tough,
she might chew him out privately or kick him under the table. When she
lets them off the hook too easily, he might have some private signal
for her to leave so he can do what needs to be done.
The typical married couple has regular disagreements over money,
child-rearing, the allocation of household chores, how to spend
leisure time and a hundred other things. Every once in a while, even a
stable married couple will have a knock-down, drag-out, (usually)
private quarrel. But they resolve their disagreements, large and
small, perhaps a dozen a day, completely on their own with neither
supervision nor subsidy from any court.
A skeptic might respond to my example of the dysfunctional noncouple by
saying that their actions arise naturally from the society. Their
spontaneous actions are entitled to the same libertarian endorsement
as those of a married couple.
A sophisticated analogy with the market must go beyond a ritual
incantation of "leave us alone." Adam Smith recognized in the tenth
chapter of The Wealth of Nations that "people of the same trade seldom
meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation
ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to
raise prices." Smith understood that the "natural" tendency to cheat
the public must be checked by legal and social norms. The law must
prohibit some economic behavior. Equally important, the culture as a
whole must socialize people into accepting self-imposed limits on
their self-interested behavior. The need for laws and socialization
did not lead Adam Smith to conclude that the market is a mere social
construct that can be carelessly discarded.
Likewise, the observation that men and women alike sometimes fail to
live up to the ideal of lifelong married love does not prove that
marriage is unnatural. We must ask ourselves the question about the
family that Adam Smith taught us to ask about business: How can we
direct natural human motivations into socially constructive channels?
The answer is to create a cultural and legal order that supports and
sustains lifelong married love as the normative institution in which
to beget, bear, and rear children. Random sexual encounters, dissolved
at will, are not socially responsible when children are involved.
When Adam Smith's modern follower Friedrich Hayek championed the
concept of spontaneous order, he helped people see that explicitly
planned orders do not exhaust the types of social orders that emerge
from purposeful human behavior. The opposite of a centrally planned
economy is not completely unplanned chaos, but rather a spontaneous
order that emerges from thousands of private plans interacting with
each according to a set of reasonably transparent legal rules and
Likewise, the opposite of government controlling every detail of every
single family's life is not a world in which everyone acts according
to emotional impulses. The opposite is an order made up of thousands
of people controlling themselves for the greater good of the little
society of their family and the wider society at large.
Social costs of private conflicts
Whether a couple loses the ability to negotiate, or whether they never
had it in the first place, the dissolution of their union has
significant spillover effects. The instability in their relationship
is likely to be detrimental to their children. The children of
unmarried or divorced parents are more likely than other children to
have emotional, behavioral and health problems. As these children
become old enough to go to school, they absorb more educational
resources than other children because the school has to deal with
lowered school achievement, poor school attendance, and discipline
problems. As these children mature, they are more likely to get into
trouble with the law, commit crimes, abuse drugs, and end up in jail.
These costs are more than purely private costs to the mother and
father. The costs of health care, schooling, and mental health care
are not entirely private in this society, no matter how much
libertarians might wish they were. In modern America, a child who
cannot behave in school is a cost to the local school district as well
as to all the other children in the classroom. A seriously depressed
person or a drug-addicted person is likely to make demands on the
public health sector. If the child ends up in the criminal justice
system, as the children of unmarried parents are significantly more
likely to do, he or she will be a significant cost to the state.
The demand that the government be neutral among family forms is
unreasonable. The reality is that married-couple families and
childless people are providing subsidies to those parents who dissolve
their marriages or who never form marriages. Libertarians recognize
that a free market needs a culture of law-abidingness,
promise-keeping, and respect for contracts. Similarly, a free society
needs a culture that supports and sustains marriage as the normative
institution for the begetting, bearing, and rearing of children. A
culture full of people who violate their contracts at every possible
opportunity cannot be held together by legal institutions, as the
experience of post-communist Russia plainly shows. Likewise, a society
full of people who treat sex as a purely recreational activity, a
child as a consumer good and marriage as a glorified roommate
relationship will not be able to resist the pressures for a vast
social assistance state. The state will irresistibly be drawn into
parental quarrels and into providing a variety of services for the
well-being of the children.
The naked individual
The alternative to my view that marriage is a naturally occurring
pre-political institution is that marriage is strictly a creation of
the state. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts notoriously asserted
this position. If this is true, then the state can recreate marriage
in any form it chooses. Implicit in this view is the decidedly
non-libertarian view that the state is the ultimate source of social
Listen to this self-described progressive bring the implicit
connection between the expansive state and the deconstruction of
marriage out of the shadows. Writing in the Nation in March 2004, New
York University Queer Studies professor Lisa Duggan addressed the
marriage promotion portion of welfare reform:
Women and children . . . (according to the welfare reform model)
should depend on men for basic economic support, while women care
for dependents -- children, elderly parents, disabled family
members, etc. Under such a model, married-couple households might
"relieve" the state of the expense of helping to support
single-parent households, and of the cost of a wide range of social
services, from childcare and disability services to home nursing.
Marriage thus becomes a privatization scheme: Individual
married-couple households give women and children access to higher
men's wages, and also "privately" provide many services once
offered through social welfare agencies. More specifically, the
unpaid labor of married women fills the gap created by government
This statement brings the statist worldview front and center. Under
this vision, the most basic relationships are not between husband and
wife, parent and child, but between citizens and state. The family is
not the natural unit of society. The most basic unit of society is not
even the libertarian individual, embedded within a complex web of
family, business and social relationships. Rather, the natural unit of
society is the naked individual, the isolated individual, standing
alone before the state, beholden to the state, dependent upon the
The libertarian approach to caring for the dependent is usually
described in terse form as "let families and private charity take care
of it, and get the government out of the way." This position is
sometimes ridiculed as unrealistic or attacked as harsh. But the
libertarian position, once fully fleshed out, is both humane and
The libertarian preference for nongovernmental provision of care for
dependents is based upon the realization that people take better care
of those they know and love than of complete strangers. It is no
secret that people take better care of their own stuff than of other
people's. Economists conclude that private property will produce
better results than collectivization schemes. But a libertarian
preference for stable married-couple families is built upon more than
a simple analogy with private property. The ordinary rhythm of the
family creates a cycle of dependence and independence that any
sensible social order ought to harness rather than resist.
We are all born as helpless infants, in need of constant care. But we
are not born alone. If we are lucky enough to be born into a family
that includes an adult married couple, they sustain us through our
years of dependence. They do not get paid for the work they do: They
do it because they love us. Their love for us keeps them motivated to
carry on even when we are undeserving, ungrateful, snot-nosed brats.
Their love for each other keeps them working together as a team with
whatever division of labor works for them.
As we become old enough to be independent, we become attracted to
other people. Our bodies practically scream at us to reproduce and do
for our children what our parents did for us. In the meantime, our
parents are growing older. When we are at the peak of our strength,
stamina, and earning power, we make provision to help those who helped
us in our youth.
But for this minimal government approach to work, there has to be a
family in the first place. The family must sustain itself over the
course of the life cycle of its members. If too many members spin off
into complete isolation, if too many members are unwilling to
cooperate with others, the family will not be able to support itself.
A woman trying to raise children without their father is unlikely to
contribute much to the care of her parents. In fact, unmarried parents
are more likely to need help from their parents than to provide it.
In contrast to the libertarian approach, "progressives" view
government provision of social services as the first resort, not the
last. Describing marriage as a "privatization scheme" implies that the
most desirable way to care for the dependent is for the state to
provide care. An appreciation of voluntary cooperation between men and
women, young and old, weak and strong, so natural to libertarians and
economists, is completely absent from this statist worldview.
This is why it is no accident that the advocates of sexual
laissez-faire are the most vociferous opponents of economic
laissez-faire. Advocates of gay marriage are fond of pointing out that
civil marriage confers more than 1,049 automatic federal and
additional state protections, benefits and responsibilities, according
to the federal government's General Accounting Office. If these
governmentally bestowed benefits and responsibilities are indeed the
core of marriage, then this package should be equally available to all
citizens. It follows that these benefits of marriage should be
available to any grouping of individuals, of any size or combination
of genders, of any degree of permanence.
But why should libertarians, of all people, accept the opening premise
at face value? Marriage is the socially preferred institution for
sexual activity and childrearing in every known human society. The
modern claim that there need not be and should not be any social or
legal preference among sexual or childrearing contexts is, by
definition, the abolition of marriage as an institution. This will be
a disaster for the cause of limited government. Disputes that could be
settled by custom will have to be settled in court. Support that could
be provided by a stable family must be provided by taxpayers.
Standards of good conduct that could be enforced informally must be
enforced by law.
Libertarians do not believe that what the government chooses to bestow
or withhold is the essence of any social institution. When we hear
students from Third World countries naively ask, "If the government
doesn't create jobs, how we will ever have any jobs?" we know how to
respond. Just because the government employs people and gives away tax
money does not mean it "created" those jobs. Likewise, the fact that
the government gives away bundles of goodies to married couples does
not prove that the government created marriage.
A free society needs marriage
The advocates of the deconstruction of marriage into a series of
temporary couplings with unspecified numbers and genders of people
have used the language of choice and individual rights to advance
their cause. This rhetoric has a powerful hold over the American mind.
It is doubtful that the deconstruction of the family could have
proceeded as far as it has without the use of this language of
But this rhetoric is deceptive. It is simply not possible to have a
minimum government in a society with no social or legal norms about
family structure, sexual behavior, and childrearing. The state will
have to provide support for people with loose or nonexistent ties to
their families. The state will have to sanction truly destructive
behavior, as always. But destructive behavior will be more common
because the culture of impartiality destroys the informal system of
enforcing social norms.
It is high time libertarians object when their rhetoric is hijacked by
the advocates of big government. Fairness and freedom do not demand
sexual and parental license. Minimum-government libertarianism needs a
robust set of social institutions. If marriage isn't a necessary
social institution, then nothing is. And if there are no necessary
social institutions, then the individual truly will be left to face
the state alone. A free society needs marriage.
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