Harley Price, an occasional Interim contributor, has an outstanding piece on his blog about free love. He notes that there is nothing “free” about modern libertinism:
Free love has been free only in that its proponents and practitioners have gotten away with it, imposing upon everyone else the burden of paying its enormous social costs. But that’s how social democracy works. The progressive sexual politics of free love—present mirth for which the bill is paid by others—and the progressive fiscal politics of the debt-ridden Welfare State—present mirth for which the bill is passed off to future generations–are not analogical by mere coincidence.
A friend of mine who is single has noted that it is difficult to date women who are looking for anything more than a temporary relationship because they are in essence married to the state; they do not need men in their lives because the costs of their behaviour is no longer shared by a significant other but by society. The Welfare State has replaced husband and father, because the latter’s role of provider has been supplanted by the government. If you take Scandinavian countries as models of welfare-statism (arguably a dubious proposition if you read David Brooks recent excellent column), this chart demonstrates how the state can serve as the primary provider to single-mothers: there is very little cost to not marrying in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. (You can mesh the facts provided by David Brooks, who argues that if you take into account tax expenditures and social spending the U.S. is not all that different from Europe, with the thesis of state as husband/father by observing that direct handouts to a wide range of people is more likely to affect behaviour than targeted tax incentives for (typically) higher income/higher educated individuals.)
Back to Price and the wages of sin which are made affordable by the modern welfare state and therefore proliferate:
What there has never been in history is a society in which fully forty percent of children have been born out of wedlock and raised by single mothers (who are often now themselves barely more than children); nor in which one abortion is performed for every three live births. These are breathtaking statistical enormities: moral and social affronts that no culture, however primitive or barbarous, would have tolerated—neither the ancient Greeks, nor the worshipers of Moloch. Along with rampant welfare dependency, AIDs, pedophilia, and pornography, they are the unique and signal accomplishments of our sexually enlightened age.
You can read the whole thing here.