There is nothing new except what has been forgotten. – Marie Antoinette
The highest divorce rates in the world are in economically and industrially developed regions; since the primary socioeconomic rationale for marriage has always been support and protection of women and children, obviously a woman whose sole source of support was her husband’s income did not have the option to leave him if she became dissatisfied, because her need to survive outweighed all other considerations. Indeed, it can be shown that in most periods of history, women with their own sources of income (heiresses, tradeswomen and whores) divorced at much higher rates than poor women did; they had no economic incentive to remain in marriages with which they were unhappy. This has been noted before and analyzed to great exhaustion, but taken alone it fails to point to the true reason for the high modern divorce rate.
In preindustrial times the family was the basic unit of government; even the king was a sort of father over the extended family of his kingdom, which at the earliest times actually was his extended family. The title “sire” clearly reflects back upon this role of his. Each family’s economy contributed via taxes and levies to the economy of the local noble and to the king, who thus derived their upkeep from taxes just as modern governments do. More recently, however, the size of the population, the increased preeminence of ideology over personality, and the unifying and organizing ability made possible by modern means of transportation and communication have combined to result in the depersonalization of power. Power has been removed from the hands of individual rulers and spread out over entire organizations, and even though there are powerful personalities within each organization, the power ultimately rests in the organization itself rather than in any individual. A political party or other power-holding organization is itself an organic entity, a superhuman “being” deriving power from its myriad members like Hobbes’ Leviathan, but as an inhuman entity it has motivations different from those of a human. Our ancestors were ruled by human men with the desires and needs of human men, while we are ruled by inhuman collectives with their own needs and desires. Both types of rulers have one thing in common, however; they both desire power above all else, and will do anything necessary to acquire and retain that power.
Female sexuality is perhaps the most powerful social force known; what men will do for the privilege of sexual contact with a sexually attractive woman is nothing short of incredible, and what women will do to satisfy their sense of intimacy is only slightly less so (I use the term “sense of intimacy” because in most women this impulse is more complex than that of men and may encompass children, sexless physical intimacy, spiritual devotion to a cherished belief system, etc). In the past a poor or low-born woman might raise her status through her sexuality, either by conventional whoring or by long-term arrangements such as becoming the concubine or kept woman of a wealthy man. And because both individual men and governments cannot help but recognize this, control of female sexuality has always been an important factor in the control of a society as a whole, usually with repressive results for women.
As if female sexuality alone were not powerful enough, consider the formerly-inevitable consequences of that sexuality; female control of child-rearing and the earliest socialization of children is another source of enormous power. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and because both religions and modern totalitarian states recognize this they have both worked diligently to usurp the control of such socialization from women. It must also be recognized that in every society in history (with rare exception) adult women have outnumbered adult men by a significant margin, so any entity, whether human or collective, which is to hold power for very long must control women, whether overtly or covertly, via repression or via conciliation. The critical error made by neofeminists in their constant prattle about the “Patriarchy” is their assumption that the mechanisms of power and control are consciously created and maintained by men and for men, which is a fallacy. Institutions are inherently sexless; they can be made up of men, women, machines or any combination thereof without making any difference in their motivations or behavior. All organizations, no matter what their constituency, wish to survive and grow, and will obtain that end by any means necessary; since the most powerful social forces emanate from women it is women who must be controlled in order to control society, even if those in power are mostly female.
Most people are confused about why modern marriages fail because they misunderstand what marriage really is in the first place. Once this is understood, it becomes obvious that the institution is alive and well; it has merely changed into a form most people fail to recognize. Contrary to what most modern people like to believe, marriage is and always has been primarily a socioeconomic arrangement; the most basic motivation for any woman is the acquisition and retention of security for herself and her children, and only after that basic need is met can she pursue any higher motivations. In the past, a woman married in order that she and her children would be provided for and protected, and love or sexual passion had little or nothing to do with these considerations. Historically, marriage was almost never for love; it was a social arrangement designed to ensure that women and children were protected and provided for. Men who could support and protect a larger number of women and children married more women and fathered more children, and the arrangement worked; the woman was guaranteed security for herself and her children, and the man was guaranteed as much sexual variety as he could afford. Women (or their parents) sought out whichever man they felt could best provide for them: They “married up” whenever possible. Men who were less able to provide got the less desirable women, and women who either could not or did not wish to marry still could gain male support via some form of whoring; only those with no prospects whatsoever and a psychological aversion to any form of harlotry attempted to subsist on the meager wages available to women through “honest” work.
It must not be imagined, however, that love as we know it is a modern invention; it merely had nothing to do with marriage. A look at the love stories of ancient and medieval times (and even many modern ones), in which the female character was often married (or in modern “romantic comedies”, at least claimed) and the male almost never was, supports this. In other words, once a woman’s basic needs were met by marriage, she was then psychologically free to pursue her higher needs for love and intimacy, whether inside or outside of her marriage. In some societies this situation was more or less acknowledged or else actively ignored by the men; in others the woman had to go to considerable lengths to disguise the affair, with dire consequences if she was discovered. Even in societies like that of the Arabs, where the men in power took great pains to ensure the fidelity of their wives, the poor-but-interesting men were more than happy to assist those wives who wished to engage in extramarital liaisons, and because of the need for secrecy the husbands saved face. Even in situations like this everyone could profit: The husband got the social prominence deriving from a large family and access to as many women as he could afford; the wife got security from her husband and intimacy from either him or her lovers, as she desired; the children got security and an illustrious name, and the lover got the sexual favors of a woman to whom he would otherwise have been denied access.
It is probably safe to assume that the vast majority of these affairs between married women and unmarried men were more or less short-lived; eventually the risk would outweigh the reward for one or the other and the affair would be broken off. No matter how brief or varied extramarital contact was, however, marriages tended to endure because the commitment to maintaining security for herself and her children was always paramount. In other words, though a woman’s source of security must be stable and enduring, her source of sexual and emotional intimacy could and often did change over time. Then, as now, more women wanted to marry those with power (either political or economic) for the reasons already stated above, and those with power of course wanted to marry as many women as possible for both sexual and social reasons. More wives meant more power on every level, and this has not changed and probably never will. What has changed, however, is the nature of those in power.
For those with power are now inhuman entities, namely corporations and collectivist governments, and it is they whom many women now seek to marry. Because these entities are inhuman, their needs and desires are different from those of human men, but no less focused on women. The “wife” of a corporation provides some form of work rather than sex, and in return receives the sort of security once provided by husbands, namely income (even during pregnancy and old age), medical care, etc; a faithful “wife” is rewarded with higher pay and benefits. Similarly, a collectivist government has many “wives” which it attempt to support through social programs and attempts to protect through legislation. The fact that it does such a poor job of both only means that most women will seek to marry a better provider first; only those women with low standards and poor prospects “marry” governments. And although sex is not part of the reward for these institutions, they demand fidelity in their own fashions: The United States government stops supporting mothers who marry mere humans, and companies give their best positions and income to “career women” who give their all to the company rather than “cheating” with a family.
Once this parallel is recognized, the reason for the high divorce rate in industrially and economically modern nations is self-evident: The true “husbands” of most women in those countries (in other words, their security-providers) are the companies they work for or the governments whose social programs support them. Their relationships with those institutions, like the relationships of nuns with the Catholic Church, is a long-lasting and mutually beneficial one (nuns become “brides of Christ” and even wear wedding rings). Just as the wives of kings and nobles were actually supported by the taxes they levied on their subjects, so the “wives” of socialist governments are supported by taxes and the “wives” of companies by their profits. And just as the wives of polygamous kings often sought emotional intimacy with poor but interesting lovers, so modern women “married” to companies or governments often seek intimacy with mere human men who are poor but interesting when compared to their faceless and inhuman “husbands”. Like those extramarital relationships of the past, however, these “affairs” the “wives” of institutions have with human men are often short-lived and replaceable; lovers come and go, but the marriage endures. In other words, modern “marriages” are not the true successors to marriages of the past; they are instead the successors of what used to be called affairs, born of passion and the need for intimacy and usually transitory for that reason. The modern woman’s relationship with her employer, government, or organization, like that of nuns with the church, is the true equivalent of the traditional woman’s relationship with her husband, which may in part explain why those most devoted “wives” of industry and government, the neofeminists, attack their unfettered and independent whore sisters just as vociferously as the “respectable” married women of the past ever did.