Steven Horwitz: Capitalism facilitated Gay Marriage

This event seems most interesting. If Steven Horwitz is right, it will really annoy the kind of leftist who loves to engage in identity politics.

From the IEA’s promotional text:

enhanced freedom with respect to family choices that has characterised the modern family and is celebrated by those on the political left, is largely a product of the economic system, market capitalism, which they often reject. At the same time, those on the right who are troubled by these changes in the family, including the demand for same-sex marriage, need to realise that such cultural changes are an inevitable by-product of the economic freedom they claim to celebrate.
Steven will argue it is capitalism that is the main driver of the evolution of the western family and the wider array of family structures, which characterises the 21st century, representing an increased cultural freedom brought on by the freedom to engage in capitalist acts between consenting adults and the wealth it brings in its wake.

Gay marriage, single parenthood, granny living separately are all things that require money to make happen. A traditional family home in under-developed India, for example, contains two generations including upto four bread winners, but the potential for extreme pressure to fall upon the shoulders of the oldest son, who shoulders the burden of being a financial safety net for both generations. This is changing and the blame for that is placed on the westernisation of their culture, but maybe India’s new found prosperity plays a stronger role?

Steven’s talk takes on 4 September 2012 on 6.30pm at the IEA (2 Lord North Street, London, SW1). LEt them know you are coming on by emailing or calling the IEA on 020 7799 8900


  1. India did see real deregulation (to a certain extent….) and this did indeed create economic improvement.

    However, the Indian govenment has sent out signals (for years now) that such things as education and income support for the poor will provided (“free”) by the government.

    If that is to be the future then there is clealy no point in the tradtional family (or in traditional communities).

    Pity that the idea (of the state providing education, health care, income support – all “free”) will lead to bankruptcy. Then it will be seen that it would have been better had the traditional family (and communities) not been undermined.

    I had hoped that India might avoid this fate.

    However, the West has not collapsed fast enough to provide the needed practical warning.

    As for rising wealth – wonderful if it real.

    Not so – if it is a credit bubble.



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