Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Don't like feminism or gay marriage? Blame capitalism"

Stephen Horowitz argues that capitalism is responsible for same-sex marriage and feminism. He mentions the welfare state but in the context of "positive" transformation. The Left would agree that welfare has provided more choice for women but  I would argue that it left many women (and men) trapped in relative poverty with fewer choices than if marriage had held up. This article however mainly focuses on same-sex marriage, the emergence of which probably does have more to do with capitalism than the welfare state. In fact, in recent times, in NZ, social security worked against same-sex relationships when benefits for gay couples came under the same legislation as benefits for heterosexual couples in 'marriage-like' relationships. The groups who opposed that development argued it would split up gay couples - especially where one relied on the DPB and the other worked - as their income levels dropped significantly.

While the right resists same-sex marriage and the left thinks that cultural paradigm shifts are responsible for the transformation of today’s family, the fact is the creative powers of the market are largely responsible for the face of the family in the early 21st century.
Certainly, government regulation, including the welfare state, have influenced family life in the last four decades, but the long-run positive fundamental transformations are due to economic growth fueled by the market.

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