Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Is having fewer kids (intentionally) "decadent"?
Jedediah Purdy, of Duke University Law School, has an interesting perspective on Huffington, “Against ‘Decadence’, Fewer Kids, Better Future”, link here (from Feb. 12, 2014). He is responding to an earlier New York Times op-ed by Ross Douthat, “Don’t Mention the Decadence”, link here. This seems to respond to earlier papers, about ten years ago, concerning “the Natural Family” by social conservatives like Carlson, Mero, and even Rick Santorum. Carlson and Mero specifically sees today’s yuppies of riding on the sacrifices of parents of “other people’s children” or OPC.
I’ve always perceived old social mores as a kind of “great equalizer” (like, as we said in Army barracks at Fort Eustis back in 1969, the razor). That is, the idea that sexuality should always risk procreative responsibility (a Vatican idea) does spread risk around, and demands that everyone learn to “love” with some degree of “complementarity”, and not take the 3rd-down punt of “upward affiliation” (a favoroite term of George Gilder – the “he can do better than that” problem). Needless to say, with an aging population needing eldercare, and with cultural pressures related to inequality (and the indignation it spawns), family responsibility can precede heterosexual intercourse.