Libertarians who act like Montana polygamy is something to celebrate are showing they have an agenda and ideology that goes far beyond their stated political theory.
I think people should be free from political coercion to smoke tobacco if they want to do so. I think people should be free to own and possess firearms.
That doesn’t mean I would post news of an increase in lung cancer as great news that more people are using their freedom. If there were more guns accidentally fired in homes with an increase of gun ownership, I would accept that as the price for the Second Amendment, but I wouldn’t announce it as great news.
But here is Reason’s Facebook link extolling the attempt of a Montana husband and wife to add another woman to their marriage. It is accompanied by the exclamation: “It’s happening!”
Their article extols polyamory as intrinsically good while remaining fashionably politically correct about “polygamy.”
With the Supreme Court finding a fundamental right to government recognition of gay marriage, the fight against polygamy continues. It often relies on arguments about the character of 19th century polygamy—a very different beast from polyamory in 21st century America. Of course fundamentalist polygamous relationships exist today—they are not, however, non-violent relations between consenting adults, and such fundamentalist groups usually find themselves running afoul of many laws, the laws against polygamy the least serious of them.
I know no one at Reason will condescend to hear words of caution on this matter, but their rush to deconstruct marriage has little to do with political libertarianism. Whether right or not, the trio already had the right to shack up together. And they probably could have dealt with other issues like inheritance and child guardianship after death through an estate planning lawyer. They had libertarian freedom to screw their lives up as much as they wanted, and forever twist the upbringing of their children.
Homosexuals could practice all sorts of things legally, since the anti-sodomy laws were struck down. I’m sure there were some remaining issues that could have been dealt with legally without insisting that marriage be redefined. I’m not saying I would favor all such changes, but my point is that anyone can understand the definition of Libertarianism and see what was necessary according to its principles.
But that just isn’t enough for the people at Reason. The fact that the state recognizes a cultural and social institution called “marriage,” is some kind of affront to them. They hate it. It is just like they refuse to merely defend the political right of a male to mutilate himself and pretend to be a female, but rather celebrate the mutilation as some sort of adventure in human self-fulfillment and attack conservatives for refusing to use lying pronouns. They want the state to actively use the power it has gained over the social institution of the family in order to twist it beyond recognition. They are cheering for it.
Do they have any evidence that the family as a concept was such a dangerous thing? Typically, libertarians don’t only appeal to some natural rights theory but also point out that cultural prosperity comes with liberty. So what culture and economy has flourished and grown under a regime of “marriage equality”?
They have no idea because there isn’t one. They are all excited about the government shoving an unwilling society into a grand experiment.
Good luck backing out of it when the experiment fails.