SODOM & GOMORRAH: Wait, I thought the promotion of feminism, gay marriage, universal education, etc. all had a nil or positive effect on marriage? It seems we were lied to.
A new Pew Research Center poll shows that only about half of US adults are married, which is the lowest percentage point the country has ever seen. Pew says that marriage has been “in retreat” for 40 years and that the recession has accelerated its decline. Marriage is less likely to play a central role in our lives and is less likely to impact our children’s perception of family.
Pew notes that 72% of adults were married in 1960. Since then that number has dropped to 51%. Adults in America are also putting off marriage, saying that they spend their 20’s trying to “find themselves” and have decided to marry at a later age. Cohabitation (called “living in sin” in the old days) and single parent households have become more common. Getting married and becoming a parent are increasingly being viewed as separate activities. In 2010, 40% of Americans said that marriage was becoming obsolete.
What this points to is another element of growing social atomization. First (at least to my knowledge) hypothesized by Aristotle, breaking up the social fiber of a society is the prerequisite to tyranny. The family has always been the basis of a healthy society. With its decline, people are less connected to each other, don’t trust each other as much, and have less loyalty to any existing community. Tyranny has been classicaly defined as the rule according to a person’s or a people’s self-interest rather than to a higher standard of good. Since the 1960’s, there has been an almost complete penetration of the tyranny of selfishness and social atomization.