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How marriages seek to sustain kinship, caste, race, class; 'control' property, inheritance

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* 
In the Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare defines relationships as marriage of true minds, where sovereign individuals love each other to overcome all impediments in life with the tempest of unchanging will. These voluntary, organic and humane ideals are institutionalised and domesticated to comply with the requirements of patriarchal, religious and capitalist cultures in different continents.
The moral philosophers have also engaged with the idea of marriage and its role in the transformation of society. The political philosophers look at marriage and question whether the institutions like state, society and family involve in the matters of love, sex, intimacy, marriage and reproduction.
The idea of modern marriage continues to draw its ideological lineages from all the major religions. Augustine’s treatise on the good of marriage (de bono coniugali) consists of three benefits: fidelity (fides), progeny (proles) and sacrament (sacramentum). These ideals are not very different from the idea of marriage in Hinduism and Islam.
These three benefits are also central to patriarchal capitalism in terms of institutionalisation and domestication of sovereign individuals and communities. The moral unison between the Christ/god and church/ temple/ mosque/ other places of worship continue to be the foundation on which both marriage as an institution and marriage as a process stands in 21st century. The modern state also gets involved in this civic, religious and moral process of regulating romance between two sovereign individuals.
From polygamy to monogamy and from love marriage to arranged marriages, there are considerable variations of marriage in different stages of history. Marriage as a form of relationship was codified and institutionalised to sustain kinship, caste, race, class and property based social and economic structures to control inheritance, share resources and domesticate labour power.
The state codifies such ideas and practices as laws of marriage both in its civil and communitarian forms. Both serve patriarchal capitalism with few aberrations. Modern marriages continue to preserve and promote caste, race, gender, sexuality and class based social, economic and political structures and institutions, where elites circulate without any hindrances to their social, political and economic privileged hierarchy.
The reactionary communities, state, patriarchal capitalism and its religious brethren continue to destroy the organic relationships based on love, friendship and marriage. The rise of private property, gender division of labour and division of space are pillars of patriarchal capitalism, where gender inequality, exploitation and dominance of men over women are three direct outcomes.
Patriarchal capitalism transforms marriage merely into biological fetishism tied with asocial moral and religious values
Patriarchal social, political, religious and cultural institutions and processes help such system to expand worldwide as a natural phenomenon. Families, peer groups, schools, colleges, universities and states normalise such processes of institutionalisation and domestication of relationships, love and friendships and transforms it into marriage. In this way, marriage has become a sacred institution in during 21st century.
Marriage can be a voluntary or permanent social and cultural requirement, a religious sacrament, a legal unison and contractual obligation, a relationship based on mutual support and civic need, that patriarchal capitalism denies to sovereign individuals.
Patriarchal capitalism transforms marriage merely into biological fetishism tied with asocial moral and religious values. Such Manichean dual values shape patriarchal marriages which continue to naturalise servitude and codify social relations based on dominance and inequality in the name of family honour. 
Men and women accept, participate and perpetuate such ideals in the name of family, society, community, culture, tradition and religion. The capitalist system reinforces and reproduces such a system to control labour (female labour in particular) to expand its empire of profit.
There is no scope for emancipation for women and men within the institutions of marriage and patriarchal capitalism both in its essentialist and normative sense. True love and marriage or any form of liberated relationships flourish in a society without patriarchy and capitalism. Patriarchal capitalism is an enemy of love, marriage and true relationships.
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*University of Glasgow, UK

Comments

Anonymous said…
There are ideas about anti-social elements, deconstruction of a disciplined society and disregard to human values.

The ideas in this article are confused by themselves.
On one hand, it quotes Sonnet 116 of William Shakespeare and on the other hand there is no idea of a life-long relationship or commitment, honesty and clarity of thought and character.

The society faces the crisis of good human beings due to this monopoly of such careless and irresponsible people in the society. There is the danger of orphans without their organic parents, love, care and emotions in future generations if such ideas will be practiced.

One hand he is against patriarchy and another hand the author himself supports it by his dominating nature as he supports wanton and careless behavior to left relations in the name of freedom of will.

If freedom will be defined like this, then one can slap or drag anyone anywhere or anything else. There will be no social security.

Love is a pole star, but one can change the shoes from one human relationship to another by throwing the previous (so called) loved one when he gets a new chance??!! Where is respect to female or each other in such dangerous ideas ?? Human beings are not objects to throw away after using. There is no courage and confidence to face life together forever due to misdeeds in the name of freedom.

Don't mislead the society; otherwise this earth will be a land of sorrows, diseases and misconducts.

Anonymous said…
The author is biased with certain ideas which is dangerous for the society. Free of will sometimes generates carelessness and irresponsible humans. Love is not only for sex or physical pleasure for some moments. Love is beyond physical relations; therefore it's forever and it find it's success with marriage as there is responsibility and respect for each other, for each other's family, society, country and globe. A Civilized Society grows, families sustain and human race exists due to marriage.

Whenever a male (sometimes female can do also) does a similar routine behavior and talk with a female for conjugal pleasure and when do not find everything for granted, then he throws away the female like an object irrespective of her emotions, mental state or situational urges. And Is not it patriarchy, misdeed, illegal behavior and violation of human values and rights if he ignores when the later one needs to connect for some good talks to heal???

What type of society does the author present? The property of a father or mother comes authomaticalically to their children. If he does not wish it, then he should not marry and enjoy a careless and irresponsible life when there will be none of his own one day!! Who does deny? It's a selfish fashion to do contract relations with girls one after another by objectifying them. A betrayal character searches always new conjugal relations without the stability of mind and thoughts. It's a dangerous and heinous idea which even not seen in animal species.

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