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DonaldD
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20% of the population is not "very few leading men" by anyone's definition.

As to the tragedy of the commons - you might as well just google it.

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munga
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Donald-

It started with just the leaders, but yes, it spread as people realized that it eased lifestyles and made life just a little kinder to everyone. That twenty percent, however, didn't produce a situation in which you see any of the young men complaining there was no one to marry. So, I don't see how you are calling it too difficult. It also didn't produce a situation in which horrid people were attractive, as you seem to be suggesting?

tragedy of the commons- I don't see any stories in the time period of a rampaging wife, or horrid cat-fights in which they destroyed everything. I don't know how you can call a theoretical possiblity persuasive just because it can be imagined, when there are simply put many many years of data indicating that the theoretical possiblity was so low that no one ever engaged in it. Cannibalism could also happen. So could a cool-aid episode. Human nature will always, ever, be subject to finite resource needs- everyone needs to eat, heat, clothing. How does polygamy make it worse? And the fact is that everything could happen in any kind of family. How does that mean that we shouldn't provide legal protection to them all?

[ January 07, 2009, 12:50 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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DonaldD
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I'll just point out that a few hours ago, you were unaware that more than 2% of LDS were involved in polygamy and now you are claiming that a glut of unmarriageable men (at least 20% of the adult male population, possibly higher) had no negative social effects.

More to the point, thaough, are you really claiming that a glut of unmarriageable men in the modern U.S. would have no negative social effects?

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munga
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Donald, I still don't believe it. But I don't want to knock you on figures.

No, Donald, there would not be a glut if unmarriageable men, there would be a glut, maybe, of unmarried men.... maybe.

If there were not a strong religious tendency toward polygamy as there was in Utah, etc. it wouldn't ever have been even popular, and we've got years and years and years before women are less territorial and insecure enough to enjoy it. Think of Gina, her mindset is fairly typical. Even with polygamous women looking and being more secure financially and professionally, the Ginas of the world will not convert, not wanting to be demeaned. There will always be available women.

And in the end, life isn't a child's party, making everyone included in all things. Life is what we are willing to do, and what we are willing to give and take for. If some people want this, who is the civil law to take it away. If gay people want this, who is the civil law to fail to protect them equally? Families and bonds protect us all and our civil law should be engaged in that job.

[ January 07, 2009, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Everard
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"And in the end, life isn't a child's party, making everyone included in all things"

Umm. Didn't this start with your sister being unmarried?

"Families and bonds protect us all and our civil law should be engaged in that job."

I'm not sure that allowing polygamy would protect us all, primarily for the reasons Donald brings up.

Yes, many women would be uncomfortable in poly-marriages. But look at the types of marriages that a lot of rich middle aged and older men end up in. Women many many many years their juniors just trying to move up the socio-economic ladder. Hell, a popular reality show is "Girls next door," which is about Hugh Hefner's multiple girlfriends.

Unmarried men with no prospects for marriage is a bad thing. In the middle east, these guys blow themselves up for entrance to paradise where they are assured women.

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DonaldD
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The figures come from a reference book called the Encylcopedia of Mormonism on the Brigham Young University web site. One has to wonder what it would take for you to believe those numbers...

At any rate, your solution, as even you reluctantly admit, could lead to further reductions in some men being able to find mates. I have to ask why you want to skew marriage opportunities to further benefit women at the expense of men? Is there a reason why men are less deserving than women like your sister? This quite aside from the increase in crime and war that would likely result.

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scifibum
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I think munga is envisioning polygyny as an opportunity for women that otherwise can't find a mate...and as such, they won't really be removing opportunities for mating that otherwise were likely to be exploited by single males (i.e. if they aren't hooking up anyway then their single male counterparts are frustrated either way).
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Everard
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"I think munga is envisioning polygyny as an opportunity for women that otherwise can't find a mate"

Yeah. But thinking this is how it would work is delusional. I mean, unless you restricted it to people over 40 or something. Which kinda defeats any child-rearing purpose.

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DonaldD
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Well, yes - but I don't see where she is promoting the rules necessary to limit polygamy to only those truly otherwise incapable of finding mates: multi-year waiting periods, log books of attempted relationships, psychological work ups, etc. My problem is with munga's argument, and her inability to acknowledge - and thereby factor into her solution - the possibility of unintended consequences.
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scifibum
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How it works, according to the examples we have available, is that men with power (backed either by cultural momentum, charismatic influence in a closed community, etc.) accrue young women who have often been acculturated to view it as something of an inevitability, if not an honor.

munga I think is putting this in context of the more open, individual-rights-oriented modern western culture, and saying that only people who have exhausted other options are going to enter into something that is culturally repugnant (other than those who are already doing it such as Warren Jeffs's group).

I think it would probably be self limiting in that cultural context.

Cultural acceptance would of course change the context and that is probably the beginning of a potentially slippery slope.

(I'd of course speculate that munga has an answer as to how to arrest progress on that sort of slope. But I better not indulge in a specific guess. [Wink] )

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Everard
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"munga I think is putting this in context of the more open, individual-rights-oriented modern western culture, and saying that only people who have exhausted other options are going to enter into something that is culturally repugnant (other than those who are already doing it such as Warren Jeffs's group). "

I think a close look at our society reveales that this wouldn't limit polygamy to "unmarriageable" women, but rather it would open up the doors for powerful/wealthy men to marry a whole stable full of very very marriageable women. (Stable used purposefully)

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munga
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Guys, I stick by my original premise-

1. All relationships should be protected by law.
2. All Americans should be free to form them without exclusion.
3. Women are very unlikely to really enter into relationships and families are unlikely to form them if the family weight gets too heavy.
4. I don't think there is anything repugnant about it, but I do think that there are a lot of women who are simply not cut out for sharing..... anyone or anything. Some would say that this is most women.
5. All society would benefit by allowing more individuals to pool resources (wages will increase).
6. The slippery slope was never hit. Even in Utah, where it was accepted, there was never a contingent of complaining men. There is no more reason to exclude polygamy than to exclude monogamy- after all a pair is far more powerful than singles, and they might take over society!
7. Ev, if you are really afraid that women might love the idea of communal strength, go ahead and invite some yourself. See what happens. I predict it is harder than anyone imagines, and a lot more work, to maintain people and family happily in large numbers and those who enter blithely into that will find themselves reaching equalibrium very fast, if not surpassing it and breaking up.
8. I've got sons too and would like them to be able to be happy, and as more serious men are sought because women are just a little rarer, that will benefit us all. Won't my sons become just a little better because women would like better and don't have to settle if they didn't want to? Wouldn't the marriage-material boys be more admired than those who want to just play the field? How is this bad for society, if the men who want to marry can do so, and the men who don't want to marry don't have as many women to abuse in their serial use of them? Women who don't want to marry will be few and they will be much liked by the men who also don't want to marry. Why is it improper for these to be given better proximity to each other?
9. I really don't think that women who just want to be stable-mares will be attractive to their prospective sister-wives. They'll be voted off the island before they ever get on. Women aren't stupid.

"And in the end, life isn't a child's party, making everyone included in all things"

Umm. Didn't this start with your sister being unmarried?

I'd like her to have a chance. If we dictate inclusion that is wrong. If we expand choices that is right.

[ January 07, 2009, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I think munga is envisioning polygyny as an opportunity for women that otherwise can't find a mate...and as such, they won't really be removing opportunities for mating that otherwise were likely to be exploited by single males (i.e. if they aren't hooking up anyway then their single male counterparts are frustrated either way).

I think it would be naive to think that poly-marriage would not work with the same dynamics as monogamy, i.e. the most eligible (according to society's standards) get snapped up while the also-rans have more difficulty. What changes? And what about the male also-rans, or the man who cannot afford more than one wife and loses status? It just shifts inequality around, doesn't eliminate any as far as I can see.

Since we were talking about the American frontier, isn't it conventional wisdom that women were a scarcity as it was, and having a lot of unmarried men roaming around contributed to it being a wild frontier? Would certainly support what Donald is saying.

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DonaldD
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Misandry much, munga? Seriously, a scarcity of women would actually cause men to improve themselves because, obviously, they need improving... men as serial (ab)users of women... you seem to hold the position that unmarried women are victims, unmarried men are irresponsible children, women in general are superior creatures and men (aside from the idealized 'leaders') need to be improved to even be worthy.

Your circle of acquaintances when you were growing up must have been quite... unique, to say the least.

As to your original premise - look, this premise is neat, but (and aside from its internal flaws) it simply ignores those inconvenient detrimental effects. As for some of those flaws...
quote:
All relationships should be protected by law.
Not even you believe this, munga.
quote:
All society would benefit by allowing more individuals to pool resources (wages will increase).
An interesting, but debateable position: I would say that, past a certain point of security, additional resources being pooled would have no benefit to those outside the group. And there are cases (such as inheritance rules) where pooling resources is a net negative to society (although a net positive for the group.)
quote:
The slippery slope was never hit. Even in Utah, where it was accepted, there was never a contingent of complaining men.
An interesting opinion - but since LDS society in the 19th century exerted huge amounts of leverage over its members, since the most motivated young men with 'no prospects' wouldn't hang about when opportunites were available elsewhere, and since the practice of polygamy didn't hang around long enough to build up a proper resistance movement, that really isn't saying much.
quote:
They'll be voted off the island before they ever get on. Women aren't stupid.
What, like the LDS women who were divorced by their husbands for not acquiescing to additional wives? [Smile]
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DonaldD
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BTW - you misunderstood where I was going with the tragedy of the commons: to generalize the 'tragedy of the commons', it is the observation that people will almost universally choose actions that they perceive to benefit themselves immediately, even though in the long term (if everyone acts in that fashion) those actions will actually have a net negative effect for everyone.
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Gina
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Something else which doesn't bear on the civil argument but goes to the social dynamic: If polygamy gains more social capital, some people will exert pressure on their partners to accept it whether they like it or not. I know from anecdotal talk that this was a fear and concern of women in Turkey up until polygamy was outlawed- that their husbands would decide (usually about the time they got middle-aged or in the husband's midlife crisis) that it was time to get a new young wife. Munga speaks lightly of "picking up one's skirts and moving elsewhere," but that is never easy to do, especially when there are children and the kind of economic dependence that she also seems to envision.

Of course, married people will sometimes do this now, insisting on keeping their bit on the side. But it is considered illicit socially and has none of the vaunted "civil protection" that munga says should be open to all.

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munga
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Donald,

Hatred of men? Actually, I have had great men in my life- not exactly my own father all the time, but I've always had good men near me and I'm married to a man I adore- for which I am thankful. One of my dad-away-from-dad's was a closet homosexual at the time, and has been pressing for his rights since. I'd like to see him happy.

Actually, our contracts of any domestic nature- entwining of property, accounts, dependents, need protection of the courts. Every single one of them. So, I'm afriad I do believe that.

No, pooling of assets or reduction of expenditures increases everyone's available capital at large. This is the reason that we need a sound economic policy at the national level- because rise of the robots (actually that is a pooling of resources, in that case of the resource of a manufacturing facility) does mean that wages increase IF they are passed through to the workers, but if they are not in any way passed through, we are ensured an eventual path of destruction as all the money flows one direction.

And, that society was long enough- from the early 1840s until the early 1900s (families were still very much combined long after the legal stoppage) to prove the point of generations of men were not adversely affected. There were still prostitutes but they were a very very few and almost zero violence against women. Men weren't prowling the streets or complaining much that anyone can find.

The women who divorced their husbands (or in other words, first wives who had legally recognized contracts in the first place) could have stayed if they had wished, but they chose to leave. I think that is the best argument ever for legalization of polygamy so that every wife who wishes to depart can do so with full rights and protection of the law.

Donald, I kind of grasped that but I rejected the idea- most people make their marriage decisions wiht a long-term view. The commons here, was never ruined. If the tragedy of the commons had actually occurred anytime in early Mormon history, there would be some basis to really explore it, but as I can't think it did occur and since society as a whole was pretty darn good and women had their choice of men, and men were free to attract women, and all were pretty darn happy about that, I'm not inclined to dive into it too much.

Gina, do those wives in Turkey have standing for their contributions to the family before the law? If she leaves does she get half the business, even if she never stepped foot in it, because she supported him while he did? I doubt it- in Muslim society she cannot even have her children, and the reason there isn't much skirt to pick up and take is because marriage there is a pretty crappy thing. I love that we've gotten pretty darn fair and as equal as we know how to be in marriage law, here in America, and I would like to see it continue to improve.

[ January 07, 2009, 05:25 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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Kent
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Gina, in America we just divorce the older wife to get a younger one. Which is more beneficial?
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Gina
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Er, well having the bum move out is better than having him shack up with his honey in the next room.

But if divorce laws got more punitive, and did not permit no-fault divorce, then I suppose that would be the solution in polygamy cases too. But munga, why would a one-third wife get half of the assets?

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munga
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Never said she would, Gina, that is ridiculous contract law.

And they'd better not be stupid and the wives clearly have a financial voice as they are a "corporation" with "investors" at different intervals, which we handle all the time in civil contract construction. The rationale, of course, for taking smaller percentages is that they must believe the pie (value) has great potential to get bigger, somehow, with the new partner.

I regularly draw-up 6-way agreements and spreadsheets with contributions of every kind- intangible IP to land contribution, including fair-market value in-kind exchanges.

It's what lawyers live for, but it is also already standardized as something of a grandfather-case: the model form operating agreement with masteragreement. In other words, lawyers would love it, but as it's already been invented and perfected with a body of law and history behind it, they will be hard-pressed to explain why they, the lawyers, should get huge fees for it. You can download a basic contract on the internet for about 70 bucks for modification.

[ January 08, 2009, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: munga ]

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