Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Republic of Marriage

Pascal Bruckner:
The couple is a little principality that votes its own laws and is constantly in danger of falling into despotism or anarchy.
Thinking about this, I believe that the existence of strong social norms is crucial for many if not most marriages. If everything is subject to negotiation, then the partners either exhaust themselves or, as Bruckner says, fall into despotism or anarchy. But if many things are done in the expected way, the amount that has to be fought over is greatly reduced. The expectations don't have to come from the society at large; for people who are hippies or yuppies or what have you, they can come from a small subset of society. But I think that models and expectations are crucial.

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