Brown Family To File Challenge To The Criminalization of Polygamy In Utah

As reported by The New York Times and National Public Radio, I will be traveling to Salt Lake City today to file (on Wednesday) a challenge to the Utah statute criminalizing bigamy and cohabitation. The lawsuit will be filed on behalf of my clients, the Brown family. The Browns are featured in the TLC program Sister Wives as an openly polygamous family.

The lawsuit will be filed in federal court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday and we will be available for questions at 1 p.m. outside of the courthouse.

The Plaintiffs are Kody Brown, Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, Meri Brown, and Robyn Sullivan.

As in past cases, I will have to be circumspect in what I say after the filing of this action. However, we are honored to represent the Brown family in this historic challenge,” said Professor Turley. “We believe that this case represents the strongest factual and legal basis for a challenge to the criminalization of polygamy ever filed in the federal courts. We are not demanding the recognition of polygamous marriage. We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs. This action seeks to protect one of the defining principles of this country, what Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the right to be left alone.’ In that sense, it is a challenge designed to benefit not just polygamists but all citizens who wish to live their lives according to their own values – even if those values run counter to those of the majority in the state.

The following is the statement from Kody Brown, which will be the only statement at this time on the filing:

Statement of Kody Brown:

“There are tens of thousands of plural families in Utah and other states. We are one of those families. We only wish to live our private lives according to our beliefs. While we understand that this may be a long struggle in court, it has already been a long struggle for my family and other plural families to end the stereotypes and unfair treatment given consensual polygamy. We are indebted to Professor Turley and his team for their work and dedication. Together we hope to secure equal treatment with other families in the United States.”

We will post the complaint as soon as it is docketed by the Clerk of Court.

Jonathan Turley

156 thoughts on “Brown Family To File Challenge To The Criminalization of Polygamy In Utah

  1. It would be interesting to see a State legalize polygamy, just so we could see the experiment run. But I think the outcome would be terrible. Assuming a natural sex ratio of about 50/50, the result of widespread polygamy would be a lot of men unable to find mates. The inevitable result of Kody Brown having three “sister wives” in addition to his one “legal” wife is that somewhere there are three men who won’t get married.

    Sexually frustrated and lonely men tend to get into trouble. That’s bad for a society. It ratchets up jealousy and resentment against the men who are “hogging” the women. I don’t see any way in which polygamy can be anything but erosive of the rough social equality which is one of the bases of what we think of as the American way of life. I can live with a great deal of economic inequality. I don’t begrudge Donald Trump his yacht, hist private jets or even his serial marriages. But I’d be very pissed off if he started keeping a harem and I couldn’t find a woman to marry me. Multiply that by a few million plural marriages and you begin to see why the State has an interest in keeping marriages one-to-one.

    This is different, by the way, from gay marriage, or the privacy issues decided in Lawrence v. Texas. Boiled down, Lawrence was only about the State trying to regulate what prong could enter what orifice. Polygamy is rather about long-term relationships, publicly proclaimed and practiced in the open where other people’s interests are affected. Polygamy reduces the pool of eligible mates; gay marriage, by contrast, deprives no man of the potential for finding a willing mate.

    Historically polygamy has only existed in highly unequal and patriarchal societies. This may not be inevitable, but I would like to see an example, anywhere, of a polygamous society that was relatively high in equality. Maybe this could happen if plural marriages were truly plural – say, 3 men married to 3 women. Good luck with that, though. I doubt the men could handle the negotiations it would require to be “brother husbands.”

  2. Good luck, professor Turley. The right of private contract in a “free” society should be so obviously self-evident that a lawsuit should not be necessary.

  3. This would mean full employment for all the divorce lawyers in the country! Imagine trying to settle the dispute between spouses (spice? :) ) when one, or more, of them want to dissolve the union with one, or more, of the rest.

    I may go to law school yet!

  4. Bruce,

    There’s a large difference between a culture of institutionalized polygamy and a liberal democracy decriminalizing cohabitation and bigamy. How many married couples do you know that would suddenly start living with another person if it were legalized?

  5. This will be an interesting case, particularly since it will squarely pit the notion of marriage as a civil contract against marriage as a sacred institution endorsed and protected by the state. Should the Browns prevail, we will absolutely see demands for legal recognition of polyandrous relationships as well, although they are much less common. In addition, statutes regulating the dissolution of marriage, alimony, child support and visitation will require substantial revision.

    It is also inevitable, of course, that religious fundamentalists will condemn the suit as a predictable consequence of the legitimization of gay marriage.

    And if you’re reading this, snuggle bunny, my interest in the topic is purely that of a lawyer committed to civil rights.

  6. Good luck on the case and may civil rights prevail, JT! Polygamy, while a practice I’d never engage in for a variety of reasons, should be allowed as a decision between consenting adults, a contractual practice and a practice of religion. The Constitution should come first as polygamy infringes upon nobody else’s rights as long as voluntary and between parties otherwise able to enter into marriage.

    I’d also like to say “good save” to Mike Appleton.

  7. I can only second the well wishes and pro-Constitutional sentiments of the other posters. The good fight is where you find it and this fight goes straight to civil rights. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  8. Bruce,

    the privacy issues decided in Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence did deal with the criminalization of sexual behavior being practiced by consenting adults in their own bedroom.

    I see no principled difference in Brown and Lawrence to the degree sexual behavior in the privacy of a bedroom is being criminalized.

  9. Some brainiacs need to stop, read and realize that this effort has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the LEGALIZATION of polygamous marriages. These people just want to stop being classed as felons.

  10. It was lawful so long as it was a Territory…The women even had the right to vote on matters concerning territoriality issues…..But when the US wanted to take it over….Plurality of marriages and the Women lost the right to vote…..

    I still think that they should be able to do what it is what they want to so long as the parties are consenting and willing…..what you have and where it gets wrong is when you have the Warren Jeffs of the World…..

    But then…we have the GOP running and ruining lots of things…the D’s are just as bad…..

  11. My wife and I watched the first season of the show and decided we hated the Brown Family. That being said we both believed they had every right to their lifestyle. i’m proud JT that you are supporting them in this case and I wish them/you an important victory, for us all. By the way for those that think this will reduce the availability of available women, please remember if a win in this case sets a precedent polyandry will also be permissible.

  12. I expected to hate the Brown’s and was ready to. I watched the show and I saw a loving family. Who raises their own children – pays their own way and is not hurting anyone. So – I hope they win, and people just plain leave them alone.

  13. I am a Canuck and was wondering what, if any, the constitutional underpinnings of banning polygamy are. It seems, to the casual observer at least, that the US Constitution broadly advocates for civil liberty.

    Here in Canada our constitution is more concerned with the rule of law and order and I think the law banning polygamy is threatened.

    The quote from former Prime Minister Trudeau “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation” to my mind at least, captures the prevailing sentiment up here.

  14. “It seems, to the casual observer at least, that the US Constitution broadly advocates for civil liberty.”

    You’d think that, wouldn’t you? And yet in case after case after case, the highest court in the land repeatedly says that’s not so.

  15. I rather like the wording Catullus chose.

    Never having watched the program, I have no comment on the personalities involved other than to agree with Catullus on the principle.

  16. I don’t care if you wish to marry your sisters, the problem is that only one of them files a “married” status in their Tax return, the other 6 or 10 (with 6 to 10 children) who wish not to work, cheat the system by claiming a “single parent” therefor – Food Stamps – Welfare and many other government resources are drained by these Mormon Cults. Unless they willing to change the tax code regarding this type of groups, I will say that it is wrong and not fair to all hard working tax payers

  17. How is the Brown family different from Hugh Hefner and his multiple girlfriends all living together? This isn’t about legal marriage. It’s about the State trying to criminalize the private living arrangements of consenting adults.

  18. Treelow,

    I’ve no doubt they are good, loving parents and probably one big happy family. Mr. Brown, however, strikes me as egotistical and his wives as too subservient to his egotism. Not my particular cup of tea, but i wish them well in their fight, I’m just no longer interested in their TV show.

  19. Polly G. Amist,

    I am devoted to one woman as a preference not an ethic, but as I’ve stated I wish the Browns well too. My question to you and please understand it is in no way a disparagement, is why don’t more people in your community come out and back them? They seemingly have taken on the fight of the polygamous community alone. I know there are many thousands of polygamous families in the US, why not band together, because right is on your side?

  20. stardustcloud:

    Your points are well taken. But in the event the courts were to throw out the ban on polygamy, your concerns could be dealt with legislatively, and undoubtedly would be.

  21. Mike Spindell 1, July 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Neal Horsley jr,,

    If Jerry floats your boat, I wish you two well.

    ——-

    So do I… :-)

  22. Mike S.,

    That’s his mule Jenny. I’m sure it was just a typo but you wouldn’t want Neal to become even more confused by adding homosexual marriage into his already confused false equation. :)

  23. Gene H.,

    lol… Jerry, Jenny… By the time one turns to mule… well, I’m not sure that it would make much of a difference…

  24. When I saw the title, I thought it was “Litle (sic) Jenny the Mini Mule Gets …”
    Naked… Turns out she’s getting “raked”… (It was a long night at work…and it messes with the mind… :-) )

  25. “That’s his mule Jenny.”

    Thanks Gene,

    My astigmatism’s been acting up lately. No typo I just read it wrong. My apologies to Mr. Horsley. Though either way, if she/he makes you happy,
    Mazel Tov!

    Perhaps though I’ve gone too far and will now be considered an enemy of PETA. So I’ll say it isn’t animal cruelty as long as the mule has an orgasm.

  26. anon nurse,

    I’m sure you are right. I’ve always been of the opinion that once you start looking outside the species for dates, that’s probably a good indication that you should really just stop dating altogether. It clearly isn’t working out for you in that scenario no matter the gender.

  27. I enjoyed watching “Start Trek Enterprise” which featured a “Denobulan” character which practiced “polyamory”, which was typical on his planet.

    The true value of science fiction is that it provides an opportunity to explore ideas that would be outrageous in today’s here-and-now world, but in the contrived future where anything is possible we get to come face-to-face with some disquieting scenarios.

    Basically this boils down to the fact that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander too. Any man that craves multiple wives should naturally expect each of those wives to have multiple husbands as well. This leads to a “family” with not just lots of kids, but lots of brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws too.

  28. Gene H., :-) (…and “mule” should have been plural in one of my previous comments, but that leads me to think about multiple mules for the taking… best to quit while one is ahead… or behind… or whatever… Clearly in need of sleep…)

  29. Mike Spindell,

    I would submit that “right” was also on the side of women, blacks, gays, atheists, etc. That doesn’t mean anyone is keen on possibly losing their job, alienating family, risking having their children taken from them, or even being the subject of uneducated and lewd assumptions. In many states (like say, Utah) there is even a looming threat of prosecution. Yes, more people need to speak up but I don’t begrudge them for their silence given the price they may be asked to pay.

    DigitalDave,

    You bring up the other point I was going to make about “why do people always assume it’s the man who would have multiple wives but not that the wives would have multiple husbands”. Thank you.

  30. “We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations” Really!?! They went on a reality TV show, therefore it is no longer private!

  31. For those who want to read an extended argument against legalizing polygamy, very interesting article by Stanley Kurtz in The Weekly Standard here:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/266jhfgd.asp?nopager=1

    I disagree with most of the political views expressed in The Weekly Standard, but by no means all. The shrill voices of the far right tend to make liberals forget there is a such a thing as a responsible, principled and intellectually rigorous variety of conservatism. (Would there were more of it!)

    I find Kurtz’s views on polygamy persuasive, although I disagree with his stance that gay marriage puts us on a slippery slope that inevitably leads to legalization of polygamy. If there is a slope, it isn’t steep, and it isn’t slippery. The cases are distinguishable. Gay marriage as it is currently developing is monogamous; it does nothing to disparage the ideal of faithful pairings. Gay marriage does not affect the pool of willing mates available to heterosexuals (unless you want to argue that things were better 40 years ago when repressed homosexuals felt compelled to enter opposite-sex marriages).

    Kurtz’s essay has much to say about the recently-ended HBO series, Big Love. Writing in 2006, Kurtz seemed worried that the popular show, by glamorizing the “good” polygamy practiced by Bill Henrickson and his three wives, would aid the cause of those arguing for legalization of polygamy. Perhaps he needn’t have worried. If you watched the show you’d have noted how exhaustingly difficult it was for the Henrickson family to simultaneously uphold the principle of plural marriage and the equal status of women. (Not to mention all the jealousy and infighting.) I find it interesting that the show’s creators (a gay male couple, BTW) only resolved the tensions between the sister wives by having Bill get killed in the final episode. Sure, it gave the series a neatly wrapped conclusion (always a good artistic judgment), but I can’t help feeling that subconsciously the writers knew there could be no happy ending while the patriarch stayed in the picture.

  32. Jonathan, you looked good on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer tonight, Tuesday, 7-12-2011, on the 6:30 p.m. EST nightly news. Lean, Mean, Fightin’ Machine. Go get’em. Frank

  33. Regarding Jerry/Jenny: I’m one for informed consent, I’ll bless the union when Jerry/Jenny writes the blawg a post all atwitter at the prospect :-)

    As to the actual case, I wish the Professor luck in the matter.

    A lifestyle that is built on a paternal foundation and requiring submission by women to their family patriarch isn’t my cup of tea no matter how many wives are involved.

    I feel sorry for any female child raised in that culture because it seems to me to train the child to limit her view of her true potential. But I’m not the marriage police and don’t think marriage police have any role to play in a free society beyond sorting out things like taxes, divorce, child custody etc.

    Utah needs to stop supressing the impulse to marry, as should the rest of the US, no matter who wants to marry.

  34. I’ll bless the union when Jerry/Jenny writes the blawg a post all atwitter at the prospect :-)

    I needed that… Thanks, lottakatz. :-)

  35. Personally, I find polygamy misogynistic and fraught will all manner of ethical and practical dilemmas. I find the women subservient to the male and believe it harkens back to a time of harems and male domination. I believe there are legitimate government interests in protecting young,impressionable and often low self-esteemed women who may consider this arrangement. I would regulate the practice to insure intelligent choice rather than making it criminal conduct.

  36. JT I know you will do your best to present your case. I hope you get a nice paycheck to support your family and pay lots of taxes with new corporate jets. The 50% of americans who pay taxes are proud of you.
    As for the premise I think this “we ain’t hurtin’ nobody so what’s your problem” idea is rubbish. If consenting siblings want to screw each other and promote double recessive chromosomal lefties for our collective medical system (to be) to spend extra tax dollars on … you can count me out for support. Same goes if one screws one’s children with same results. (I suppose if they are good lookin’ then we might give you extra points for that, eh?) So these people seem (repeat SEEM) to be a sweet bunch of aces, right? I haven’t seen it nor will I. But this show SOUNDS like that drippy bunch of pablum on Sundays where the Sears proponent finds their “Queen for a Day” and builds them a beautiful house because they are “deserving”. BS I say. It’s just another show that grandma’s with agendas love to watch to remind them how great or rotten their life is. Nice family? Charlie Manson had a nice family with consenting adults … mostly. How did that turn out again?

    I remember a book called “the naked ape”. I really don’t know if it has been trashed by now or not. However the author made a great case for humans evolving physiologically into monogamous relationships as a family unit. I personally believe in this. Oh, is it OK to run around like dogs in heat and jeez we can die any minute so … anything goes! But SHOULD WE ascribe to this tenant? Should we promote and enforce the boundaries that we try to instill into our kids? No? Then there are no boundaries, just like there would be no laws if they are not enforced. Then what happen to all us lawyers?

    We’ve met the enemy and he is us.

  37. Prof. Turley, How can the Browns have STANDING to bring suit against the State of Utah when they now live in the State of Nevada? I hope you’re successful and encourage “the right to be left alone.” It just seems to my non-legal-trained mind that the State of Utah would file a Motion to Dismiss based on lack of “Standing” by the Browns of Nevada.

  38. Anything that begins with the author’s citations to news articles about the author is authored by a jackass and a narcissist, if I do say so myself.

  39. Well little “john” we happen to like the professor. But sir, with all due respect….and I do mean with all due respect, if you don’t like this site you are welcome to go to any other site you wish….and I wish you would…well, I am going to be selfish and say most everyone on her wishes you would….

    The rights to be free to read something also means the rights to not be forced to read something….so please do not read this again….and you sir will not have your dignity insulted…Thank you….

  40. Tom,

    Federal District and Circuit Courts serve many states….So, what is the problem with standing….I think Utah is part of the 9th Circuit CofA….but then again…You said you were not schooled in the law…

  41. Speaking for myself as a behavioral profiler and analyst, I am comfortable in saying that someone who comes into another person’s blog and unloads a gratuitous personal insult such as the one just before AY’s comment, is more likely than not, a jackass and a narcissist, if I do say so myself.

  42. further brief review of the post reveals that the author has referred to the author in the third person, which is a signature sign of jackassery / narcissism.
    And, for those who worry that I am making myself unhappy by wallowing here, I can assure you, I am rather enjoying myself.

  43. Well, “Anonymously Yours,” I do try to understand the law. Just because a Federal Court covers many states, as the 9th includes Utah, I fail to see a “NEXUS” that ties the Browns in Nevada to Utah State Law that gives them standing to challenge Utah’s law. Especially since, as they are not in Utah’s jurisdiction, they are under no threat of prosecution by Utah. Your explanation still doesn’t explain why a Nevada resident has any cause of action – especially in Federal Court – against the State of Utah. Unless, perhaps, they might claim more than $50,000 in damages (the Federal threshold for interstate suits) because they felt compelled to move to Nevada due to the fact that Utah was INVESTIGATING them and, possibly, considering charges. Again, I hope the Browns succeed (as you might suspect).

  44. Tom Green,

    The nexus of Federal Court interest is in the nature of the claim itself, namely that criminalization of polygamy violates the the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. There may be other refinements once the complaint is posted, but as the case rests in Federal law, Federal Court is proper jurisdiction for that reason and for diversity.

  45. anon nurse,

    Really cute video. Me and my ex-wife used to live next door to a kid with a Boston Terrier named Oreo. He used to come visit us all them time. They’re great little dogs. Lots of personality. He’d play with our dog, but the cats were having none of it despite Oreo’s efforts.

  46. Best wishes Mr. Turley.

    When people no longer have to hide their relationships the public will be exposed to numerous successful polygamous families. They will see for themselves that these families are not that dissimilar from their own. It would be nice if the government wasn’t in the “marriage” business at all but simply registered unions between consenting adults as they see fit to form them, much like a businesses which can have a president and one or more vice presidents.

    @ Bruce: I can only assume that you argue from ignorance. Using your logic it is easy to see that all the extra women that don’t have a husband due to gay marriage would be picked up by men practicing polygamy and everyone would be happily married! Problem solved! Think about your argument for a minute…if you can’t find a girl it is more likely due to character flaws than anything else. Polygamy would give a single girl the opportunity to marry the man of her choice…even if someone else found him before she did – no more need for affairs – no more politicians, businessmen, and preachers to be reviled when they take additional wives instead of sneaking around hiding their relationships and eventually destroying their careers.

    @ stardustcluod Legalizing polygamy actually solves most of the “abuse of the system” issues.

    @ Thomas: It is interesting that a man can “live in sin” and have children with as many girl friends as he desires without concern for any legal persecution, yet if that same man wishes to legally take responsibility for his wives he becomes a criminal.

    @ Neil: Marriage is between consenting adults. No mention anywhere that I know of indicates that polygamy and bestiality are related whatsoever. Why are those opposed to polygamy so determined to link it with homosexuality and bestiality when there is no connection at all? Are they that desperate for a legitimate argument?

    @ mespo: There are numerous ways a polygamous family can function just as there are numerous ways monogamous marriages function. Don’t think all polygamous families mirror the Browns. When polygamy is decriminalized it is likely that many successful and happy polygamous families will emerge from the shadows and people will be surprised to find that most of them are just normal people like everyone else.

    @Geeba: WOW…ummm…wow…siblings screwing each other…screwing your own children…running around like dogs in heat…I thought the topic was about polygamy not incest, and fornication. Polygamy does not encompass any of the things you brought up…try again, next time sober.

    It is always interesting to see the emotional outbursts and the typically ignorant ranting comments by anti-polygamy folks. If only they realized that it did anything but cause others to respect their opinions.

  47. Prof. Turley: an interesting cause – good luck with the case. I wanted to know what, if any, connection you have to Utah and/or Mormonism. I ask only because you seem to cover a number of Mormon news items, and it would be interesting to understand if your history influenced your decision to take this case.
    Thanks!

  48. Dearest Scarecrow, I believe you missed the main point of JT’s argument. I’ll use small words. His point is that it should be ok for people in a “family” to do as they please. Let me quote JT’s statement way up there in the beginning of this blog:

    “We are not demanding the recognition of polygamous marriage. We are only challenging the right of the state to prosecute people for their private relations and demanding equal treatment with other citizens in living their lives according to their own beliefs. This action seeks to protect one of the defining principles of this country, what Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the right to be left alone.’ In that sense, it is a challenge designed to benefit not just polygamists but all citizens who wish to live their lives according to their own values – even if those values run counter to those of the majority in the state.”

    So it’s not just about polygamy. It’s to say “my behavior, no matter how aberrant to convention, needs equal protection.”
    So who’s the sober one now? I’m glad I was one of the bloggers you found to be interesting. I suggest you might sharpen that attention span. I say this in all doo-doo respect.

    And let’s face it. JT’s doing this for the $$ and to see the car crashes in court. He really doesn’t believe all this kaakaadoodie. Be real.

  49. Geeba…I didn’t miss anything, and my comments about your incoherent rant had nothing to do with Professor Turley’s statements, it was directed solely at you. I find it interesting that Professor Turley chose you to be his spokesperson on this matter…or were you simply taking personal license? It has always been my observation that Professor Turley has been very capable of expressing himself quite succinctly. If someone was to speak on my behalf without my permission I would be quite incensed.

    When you make unintelligent incoherent statements such as “I hope you get a nice paycheck to support your family and pay lots of taxes with new corporate jets.” and then go on a rant that is essentially irrelevant to the blog you are going to receive a little criticism. (I hope I didn’t inadvertently use any words that are too big for you)

  50. “And let’s face it. JT’s doing this for the $$ and to see the car crashes in court. He really doesn’t believe all this kaakaadoodie. Be real.”

    In 2004 Professor Turley stated:

    “The First Amendment was designed to protect the least popular and least powerful among us. When the high court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence vs. Texas, we ended decades of the use of criminal laws to persecute gays. However, this recent change was brought about in part by the greater acceptance of gay men and lesbians into society, including openly gay politicians and popular TV characters.”

    …and went on to say:

    “I personally detest polygamy. Yet if we yield to our impulse and single out one hated minority, the First Amendment becomes little more than hype and we become little more than hypocrites. For my part, I would rather have a neighbor with different spouses than a country with different standards for its citizens.”

    I would suggest that his motives might be a little more honorable than you have indicated, and that he is interested in defending what he believes to be a constitutional right. I hope that is real enough for you.

  51. Geebe Geeba,

    “Sister Wives” cast and D.C. law professor Jonathan Turley head to federal
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/post/sister-wives-cast-and-dc-law-professor-jonathan-turley-head-to-federal-court/2011/07/12/gIQARr0JBI_blog.html

    Excerpt:
    Turley is not asking the state to recognize polygamy, just challenging its right to prosecute lifestyle choices. “I have long argued against these type of laws that criminalize private relations between consenting adults,” he told us. And yes — he’s representing the Browns pro bono.

  52. Scarecrow:

    I’m sure you are correct that there are a range of polygamous relationships from the functional to the truly dysfunctional. To that extent they sound like non-polygamous families. My point was simply that this arrangement is a trap for the naive,lonely, and those with low self-esteem. Hence my call for education and regulation to make sure the choice is truly a knowing one. I support no burden on the right to associate, merely that those in need of protection from the unscrupulous be protected to the largest extent we can.

  53. Does the state have regulation and education requirements for non-polygamous relationships? Wouldn’t that be an equal protection violation? Would you support education and regulation requirements for gay relationships/marriages? Or straight relationships/marriages? Isn’t that kind of intrusive?

    I’m seeing a lot of concerns that these forms of relationships might be bad for women. Perhaps they are. Though women tend to be hypergamous by nature and in this respect different than men (those who believe in evolution and evolutionary physchology should know what I’m talking about). Now that feminism has given women more mating/dating options young women seem to be naturally forming these polygamous relationships as part of their dating/mating strategy as they pursue the highest value alpha males since the alpha males don’t really seem very compelled to any sort of “committment.”

    No one has brought up the one party that will definititely lose out if these sort of relationships are legalized: the beta males, who will be left without mates.

    That alone is a good reason to keep this issue as a policy issue that should be decided as part of our democratic process and not foreclosed due to Constitutional shenanigans.

  54. Polylogism is the doctrine that there is not one correct logic, one correct method of reasoning necessarily binding on all men, but that there are many logics, each valid for some men and invalid for the others. The polylogist divides men into groups, and holds that each group has by nature (or creates for itself by choice) its own distinctive method of inference based on its own distinctive logical laws, so that the inferences that are entirely logical for one group are entirely illogical for the others . . .

    On the polylogist view, there is no common or universal logic to serve as the objective standard and arbiter when men disagree. There is no way for members of opposing groups, with opposing views, to resolve their disputes; it is useless to appeal to facts or to evidence for this purpose, since the minds which engage in the process of reasoning obey different rules of thinking.

    In the Nazi version of polylogism, . . . there is Aryan logic, British logic, Jewish logic, etc., and these give rise respectively to Aryan truth, British truth, Jewish truth, etc . . . . The movement that first launched the doctrine of polylogism in a culturally influential form [is] Marxism. Aware of the fact that communism cannot be defended by reason, the Marxists proceeded to turn the fallacy of ad hominem into a formal philosophic doctrine, claiming that logic varies with men’s economic class, and that objections to communist doctrine may be dismissed as expressions of “bourgeois logic.” Thus, vilification of an opponent replaces analysis of his argument . . . .

    Actually, polylogism is not a theory of logic—it is a denial of logic. The polylogist invests “logic” with the character of a mystic revelation, and turns logic into its antithesis: instead of being the means of validating objectively men’s claims to knowledge, logic becomes a subjective device to be used to “justify” anything anyone wishes..

  55. Whoops I just noticed the topic was polygamy and not polylogism.

    My bad sorry for the intrusion.

  56. Wrongway:

    “I have a bit of dyslexia, thus the moniker wrongway”

    I think you may be being a bit too hard on yourself. But in any event, you may have taken the “wrongway” but you got to the right conclusion.

  57. whoops again. That is a quote from someone else and so it should have ” at top and bottom. Wrongway strikes again, my bad.

  58. I would imagine Wrongway Feldman’s comment does strike too close to home for some posters since “polylogism” was a term coined by Ludwig von Mises who used it to describe other political and economic philosophies that he disagreed with and thus committed the error of polylogism himself. An error compounded by von Mises insistence that laissez-faire capitalists deserved to be left to their own devices which in effect creates a polylogistic system based upon class. That objectivists also love the term should come as no surprise as their pseudo-philosophy is intimately tied with the idea of übermensch and untermensch. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, if one accepts the logic of Jefferson, precludes any political (or economic) system that seeks to make some men more equal than others no matter what their rationale might be.

    Good comment, Wrongway, albeit a bit misplaced.

  59. kderosa wrote:
    “No one has brought up the one party that will definititely lose out if these sort of relationships are legalized: the beta males, who will be left without mates.”

    According to the evolutionary fairy tale you so obviously believe, wouldn’t that just be called “survival of the fittest” and therefore a good thing?

  60. Don’t sweat it, PolyDoc. Another thread here shows that a truckload of be’s have been spilled on the highway. Maybe yours was just following the swarm.

  61. mespo727272 wrote, in response to Scarecrow:

    “My point was simply that this arrangement is a trap for the naive,lonely, and those with low self-esteem.”

    Oh, you mean like those battered women who go from one abusive monogamous relationship to another?

    IMHO, any man, monogamous or polygamous, who abuses women and children, should not be allowed near any civilized person other than their prison guards.

  62. We would love to see this law ended and want to know how to help. Is there some kind of account to donate to help the Brown’s legal fight?

  63. PolyDoc wrote:

    IMHO, any man, monogamous or polygamous, who abuses women and children, should not be allowed near any civilized person other than their prison guards.

    PolyDoc,

    Look no further than the the U.S. government. I trust that you’re including those individuals, as well.

  64. “Yes, more people need to speak up but I don’t begrudge them for their silence given the price they may be asked to pay.”

    MASkeptic,

    I agree. My question was asked out of curiosity, rather than condemnation.It
    took courage for others to fight for their rights in the past and it will take courage for those whose rights are currently abridged to wage the needed battle.

  65. I hope the lawsuit includes a claim based on freedom of speech. In some ways it’s a more powerful argument than religious rights. Utah law makes it a crime for a married person to “purport to marry” a third person. If, say, a married man, with his wife’s consent, forms a committed relationship with another woman, that alone is not a crime under Utah law. But Utah law makes it a felony for him to publicly state that the otherwise lawful relationship is a marriage. That’s unconstitutionally criminalizing free speech.

  66. “If you watched the show you’d have noted how exhaustingly difficult it was for the Henrickson family to simultaneously uphold the principle of plural marriage and the equal status of women.”

    Bruce in Jersey,

    As another avid watcher of “Big Love” I did see how hard it was for them to follow their path, without disparaging the equal status of women. However,
    the problem was not plural marriage per se, but the doctrine under Mormonism in general that only the man can act as “Priestholder” and ultimately his is the final say. When Barb has her epiphany the whole situation became untenable. Bill also was more than a bit of an ass and brought disaster on the family.

    Responsible protest goes hand in hand with a full understanding and acceptance of the possible consequences of ones actions. MLK knew and accepted he might be killed. The Freedom Riders understood the danger of what they were doing. The Stonewall protesters knew the cops would break heads and so it goes. Bill was constantly being surprised by the blow-back from his actions, though much of results were foreseeable. This series was great tragedy and as usual with tragedy the hero is done in by his hubris.

  67. @Polydoc

    “According to the evolutionary fairy tale you so obviously believe, wouldn’t that just be called “survival of the fittest” and therefore [be] a good thing?”

    Are you saying that evolution is just a fairy tale?

    Why are you placing a normative judgment on evolution. Evolution either happens or it doesn’t, why does it have to be good or bad?

    My only point is that we can identify one group of losers which no one has mentioned if we returned to a polygamist society. And, perhaps they should have a say in it through the democratic process.

    @GeneH, you are confusing equality of opportunity with equality of outcomes. Jefferson was for the former, not the latter. Also, I don’t see how von Mises’ calling out of other groups for engaging in polylogism makes him a polylogist, unless you can shoe that he was many logics, each valid for some men and invalid for the others. I also don’t see how capitalism “causes” a polyogistic system based on class. As before in the other thread, you are extrapolating causation from, at best a weak correlation.

  68. I’ve always been too lazy and too much involved in life as play to be an Alpha Male. While I was good looking, for much of my life before marriage I never had a metaphorical pot to pee in, nor anything resembling high status. Yet I was blessed with the serious affections of many women and my wife is both beautiful and intelligent. The Alpha Male get the females works among Great Apes and it works for human males if one defines female desirability as beauty matched with a hunger for cash/power. For those of us not inclined to be “Alpha’s” respecting and honoring a woman as an equal, with the understanding that sex is about the pleasure of all parties to it, makes a guy pretty damned sexy to women of good taste.

  69. I’ve always been too lazy and too much involved in life as play, to be an Alpha Male. While I was good looking, for much of my life before marriage I never had a metaphorical pot to pee in, nor anything resembling high status. Yet I was blessed with the serious affections of many women and my wife is both beautiful and intelligent. The Alpha Male get the females works among Great Apes and it works for human males if one defines female desirability as beauty matched with a hunger for cash/power. For those of us not inclined to be “Alpha’s” respecting and honoring a woman as an equal, with the understanding that sex is about the pleasure of all parties to it, makes a guy pretty damned sexy to women of good taste.

  70. So what IS a typical human alpha male? A man who’d do anything to rise to the top of power? A man who’d cheat investors and taxpayers so he can accrue more wealth? A man who’d own a news organization that would do unethical things to get “news” about private citizens and public figures? A man who’d take steroids/do blood doping so he can perform better than his competitors? A man whose ego is so big he needs multiple wives to feed it?

  71. I cannot fathom multiple wives. They would have to be pretty compliant and not jealous. As for what goes on at my house, if I even broached the subject, there would be repercussion that would register on the Richter scale. I am married to a MacBeth. An insurance adjuster who had borne the brunt of her wrath once asked me how I managed to deal with her. I told him, “Every night when I go to bed, I remind myself that I am married to a woman who is descended from the guy who cut off the head of the King of Scotland.”

    “In a church.”

  72. polydoc:

    Not sure of the basis or intent for your comment. No one said that women can’t be abused in any sort of relationship (in fact I compared them in this regard not contrasted them), nor did anyone say that non-polygamous marriages shouldn’t be regulated either. Obviously, they are since a license and blood test are required in many states. I just find this relationship fraught with more difficulties than the alternatives given the number of humans involved and suggested an educational rather than a criminal course.

  73. Wikipedia has a good definition of alpha.

    The point is that females, due to their hypergamous nature, tend to be attracted to the alpha males. Males are not hypergamous which is why polygamist societies are much more prevalent than polyandrist societies.

    So, if you think that being an “alpha male” is bad, as you appear to, why would you want to reward them with legalized polygamy? One of the purposes of “society” or “civilization” appears to be to constrain the alpha males somewhat.

  74. The idea that a 3rd party (government) should decree what type of mutually voluntary relationship can exist between adults is ludicrous on the very face of it. The fact that so very many people have for so very long accepted the “authority” of the State in the area of “marriage” is equally ridiculous. All the problems occurring and/or envisioned stem from the so-called “rights” (privileges/status) that government awards those who are “married” per its definition.

    Government is the root of the problem, not the parties seeking contractual arrangements of their polyamorous (polygamous/polyandrous) relationships.

    Now for those who disagree – as did Scott Greenfield in his response to my comment at his blog http://blog.simplejustice.us/2011/07/12/turleys-many-wives.aspx#comment-11180379 :

    Those who “disagree” with “polyamorous (polygamous/polyandrous) relationships” will obviously not enter into them. In a society of full freedom (available actions) and maximum liberty (definitely not the current society), disagree-ers would simply Socially Preference against those in such relationships rather than have the option of seeking the “services” of others who are ready and willing to initiate physical force (government enforcers).

    A society of self-responsible individuals voluntarily interacting for the maximization of the lifetime happiness of each, all at the same time is not “utopia” – an impossibility based on facts of reality. Instead it is a very real possibility once fully understood and embraced by even a relatively small number but used as the basis of their interactions with *all* others, who will gradually come to appreciate, understand and reciprocate – or be shunned. (See selfsip.org for details of social order without rulers and their enforcers.)
    ——— end of twice submitted reply at SHG’s blog not published —

    While links are not permitted in comments to ScottGreenfield’s blog, here is the one I would have included above, “Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction” – http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/socialmetaneeds.html

  75. Mike S. you’ve always been one of my favorite commentators, my apologies if my reply was accusatory. After some soul searching I’ve also realized that you’re correct about the need for poly individuals to speak up.
    So:
    My interest in this issue is not academic; I am in a loving and long term poly relationship and could be prosecuted under Utah’s law if I were to ever travel there. I like to think I’m not the horrible person that has been described in some of the other posts on this thread.

  76. There are more poly family groups out there than people realize. And most don’t fit into a neat stereotype regarding living arrangements or relationship dynamics.

  77. “My interest in this issue is not academic; I am in a loving and long term poly relationship and could be prosecuted under Utah’s law if I were to ever travel there.”

    MASkeptic,

    I think that it is so brave of you to share that.

    “I like to think I’m not the horrible person that has been described in some of the other posts on this thread.”

    If you are the type of person who can get two or more others to fully love you and share your lives together, I can’t believe that you’re anything but
    a good person. The range of human behavior is in the direction of being infinite and yet we mostly have so much in common in the way we feel. Other than in instances of exploitation, force or coercion, we should all be free to explore our heart’s desires, in all their possible complexities. Those who dare to go against the opprobrium of so-called moralists who preach their own rules of conformity, are indeed brave and enjoy my respect. It is more than high time that these hypocrites of morality are shown for the tyrants they are. As I’ve quoted here many times from the minds of Confucius, The Buddha, Jesus and Rabbi Hillel:

    “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah [insert Gospels, Koran and or most other religious works and philosophies]; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”

  78. To the topic at hand,

    What mespo said. I can think of many personal perils of polygamy, but no valid legal reason for prohibiting the practice. Regulating it so the practice is not abusive to the weak or disadvantaged is another matter and open for debate.

    kderosa,

    Instead of trying to once again use a straw man to say that I was saying correlation is causation (your premise) when what I clearly said was correlation is correlation, why don’t you try not using straw men altogether?

    “Also, I don’t see how von Mises’ calling out of other groups for engaging in polylogism makes him a polylogist, unless you can shoe that he was many logics, each valid for some men and invalid for the others. I also don’t see how capitalism ’causes’ a polyogistic system based on class.”

    Von Mises logic is valid only for some – capitalists who desire not to be regulated or subject to governmental authority. It is not valid logic to all who consider “all men are created equal” as valid logic as a self-evident fact and a sound precept in formulating the rule of law. Your inability to understand that inequality of opportunity created by putting von Mises laissez-faire ideology into action was the result of the data you pointed to on that other thread is your problem. It is not as if you don’t have a history of shooting yourself in the foot with your own evidence.

    By designating a group that is exempt from the law, you create a class whether that class distinction is based on their profit motive or their skin color. Von Mises accuses others of ascribing to different forms of logic based upon their group affiliation when that is in fact what he himself did. His preferred group was unregulated capitalists. That you think that the correlation is weak when the logic of “exemption by definition creates classes” is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid. Weakness is merely your opinion. That exemption from the rule of law by definition will create distinct classes (in the most general terms, the lawful and the lawless), is indisputable and valid logic. Why? I’m glad you asked, because it comports with the mother of all logic, mathematics and symbolic logic. Once a distinction is made for special treatment purposes, a distinct class has been created. To suggest otherwise violates the law of identity.

    A is A or A is not A, however if A is not A then A must be X.

    A is subject to equal treatment under the law or A is not subject to equal treatment under the law, however if A is not subject to equal treatment under the law, then A is no longer A, but is rather X.

    If von Mises suggestions that capitalists deserve to be treated in a hands off manner concerning the law and regulation doesn’t create a special class of people that is based upon economic classism, then prove it. As a matter of logic, it most certainly does create a special class who is exempt from governmental oversight.

    Exempting one classification of people from the the rule of law, no matter what that distinction is based upon, is just as much a classist system as von Mises accused Communism or any other system he was critical of of being. An equitable system means no one gets special treatment although the very data you pointed to shows that the bigger the business the more special consideration they received. Since you so strongly endorse von Mises unregulated laissez-faire ideology and by your own evidence it acts to create an unlevel playing field in business, it becomes readily apparent that for all your talk of respecting equality in opportunity, respecting the ideals of Jefferson is merely lip service. The creation of monopolies and oligarchies are two of the traditional criticisms of capitalism but they apply even more so to unregulated capitalism. Unregulated capitalism leads to unequal and anti-democratic politics and markets in practice such as the oligarchy that allows big business to pay a lesser regulatory burden than small business thus putting greater economic burden on small business and restraining competition from the bottom up. You say you don’t want any cake, but the evidence points to you wanting your cake and to eat it too. Be for von Mises or be for Jefferson, but you cannot be for both without being hypocritical.

    It all adds up to more reasons not to take anything you say seriously.

  79. Kitty:

    “The idea that a 3rd party (government) should decree what type of mutually voluntary relationship can exist between adults is ludicrous on the very face of it.”

    *******************
    Come on now, Kitty. This happens all the time. Try marrying your brother. Also, would you really deny the government some say in protection of the elderly from manipulative children, predatory lending practices against the poor, inheritance, price gouging, and on and on. Should the court’s approve any manner of relationship so long as it’s “voluntary”? The law works at the extremes. This Brown case is about as extreme as I could imagine. There is a place for government here to do what all governments are supposed to do: Protect those who cannot protect themselves.

  80. “He’d play with our dog, but the cats were having none of it despite Oreo’s efforts.” -Gene H.

    Gene H.,
    :-) (Regarding the “Cat and puppy so in love” vid, I might have added a note about the cross-species angle that arose in this thread somewhere… I was tired, but not just randomly posting OT vids… Sure, I may have been looking for an excuse to post it…)

  81. GeneH, Give me a quote/cite for your premise that Von Mises was for 1. “unregulated lasisez faire” economics and 2. that only capitalists should be unregulated and not subject to goverment authority. They look like more of your strawmen.

    Also, you do realize that when you say “correlation is correlation” and not causation and “the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid” that you have contradicted yourself? Did you mean potential causal connection? But then how could that be vaild if you only have a correlation? And, if all you have is a potential casual connection, then the rest of that argument falls apart. Must be part of your polyogistic logic.

    Also, you would appear more confident in your arguments if you didn’t have to remind the audience in every paragraph of how you thinking you are “winning.” You are kind of like Charlie Sheen in that respect.

  82. anon nurse,

    I got your context perfectly well. I speak fluent sleepy poster. ;) It was still a really cute video. It has been a great hit around here today.

  83. “I speak fluent sleepy poster.” -Gene H.
    :-), again… Good to know. Happy that others are enjoyed the vid…

  84. kderosa,

    “do realize that when you say “correlation is correlation” and not causation and “the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid” that you have contradicted yourself?”

    There was no contradiction whatsoever as I then proceeded to demonstrate that von Mises assertion that business should not be regulated by government (the rule of law) was as a matter of basic logic (the rule of identity) creating a classist argument (the very thing he was being critical of). Also, if you’re going to quote me, I’d appreciate some greater accuracy than that slop above. The full quote was “That you think that the correlation is weak when the logic of ‘exemption by definition creates classes’ is rock solid, is quite irrelevant to the causal connection being valid. Weakness is merely your opinion.” You think the correlation is weak, but that is merely your opinion unless you have some method for defeating the logic of the law of identity. Logic is still logic. Von Mises ideology creates a classist argument because it is dependent upon two distinct classes – those who are subject to the rule of law and those who are not. That he then proceeded to use the term polyloggism to criticize the logic of others based on their logic being classist is simply irony. That he didn’t understand basic logic comes as no surprise as he also rejected the scientific use of empirical data in economic analysis. Then again, one doesn’t need logic when one is promoting ideology, just dogma.

    As for your love of Sheen-ster, me and my stable of Goddesses thank you, but you’re the one commenting on my winning. I’m perfectly content to let the audience decide. I didn’t say I won. What I said is that I don’t take what you say seriously. That would be because of the multitude of valid reasons you give to not take you seriously, such as your use of straw men, your inability to use basic yet lone advanced logic properly and your willingness to make up definitions to suit your ends (although that would partially explain why the law of identity poses such a problem for you). Also, I suggest you go re-read what I’ve previously said about you giving me orders.

  85. kderosa:

    I think you do yourself a disservice by writing that about Mike Spindell. You could say he is exasperating or cantankerous or even cranky.

    Just a thought and not a sermon.

  86. “The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature . . . . The law of identity does not permit you to have your cake and eat it, too. The law of causality does not permit you to eat your cake before you have it.”

    “To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the law of identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved.”

    “Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance.”

    “Choice . . . is not chance. Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation.”

  87. kderosa:

    then by all means carry on. It might help this reader if you would mention that Mike Spindell had said you were engaging in that with the Koch brothers or whomever. I believe he has accused me a few times as well.

    Thank you for clarifying.

  88. kderosa,

    My argument stands just fine, your opine to the contrary absent proof notwithstanding. That von Mises was against government regulation is evidenced by his and the Austrian School’s laissez-faire approach to the economy. Do you know what laissez-faire economics is? Laissez-faire economics is the proposition that transactions are are be free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes and tariffs. If one in business is exempt from regulation, taxation and tariffs, one in business is free from the rule of law. This is especially true given that taxation and the regulation of commerce are powers specifically reserved to the Federal government under the Constitution. Our very founding document allows for both taxation and regulation of business. That you reject this simple legal fact based on your ideology and cannot follow the rest of the logic is your problem.

  89. Whatever confuses you, please feel free to do your own research. There’s this terrific web service called “Google”. I suggest you look into it.

  90. @GeneH, I’m not confused, I know you are misrepresenting Von Mises views.

    You made an assertion. I challenged you. And, you failed to substantiate.

  91. Really? I’m misrepresenting his views? How would that be exactly?

    That he didn’t coin the term polylogism in his book “Human Action”, Chapter 3, Section 1?

    That he was a proponent of laissez-faire economics?

    You’re talking about the guy who said “What transformed the world of horse-drawn carriages, sailing ships, and windmills step by step into a world of airplanes and electronics was the laissez-faire principle.”

    Or that laissez-faire economics doesn’t promote that transactions should be free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes and tariffs?

    I suspect the truth of the matter is the underlying logic about the law of identity and what it says about laissez-faire economics, its necessary and subsequent creation of another form of classism and what that means to the rule of law is what’s bothering you.

    Just you saying “you’re misrepresenting” him without proof isn’t a rebuttal.

    You haven’t challenged any thing.

    If you can prove von Mises didn’t coin the term polylogism as a way to attack beliefs and theories he didn’t like, that he wasn’t a laissez-faire economist, that laissez-faire economics doesn’t result in classism, or that the law of identity is untrue, please feel free to attempt it.

  92. kderosa,

    If you don’t like the basic definition of laissez-faire economics as promoting that transactions should be free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes and tariffs? I’m not going to make up a definition for you. That’s your tactic. If he’s for laissez-faire economics, he’s promoting that transactions should be free from state intervention, including regulations, taxes and tariffs. “[T]hat only capitalists should be unregulated and not subject to goverment authority” ? If he says other things shouldn’t be regulated and subject to government authority is irrelevant.

    Again, you haven’t rebutted or challenged any thing.

  93. Actually, you are making up that definition, which is why I’m asking for you to substantiate it. If you can’t do it, well then you can’t do it.

    As to your second point, is does matter if he only believes that capitalist should be unregulated and every one else should be regulated. That’s a fairness/equality issue that I’ve never heard anyone advocated. Except for Marxist/fascist and other totalitarian regimes which “exempt” their own party members from the rules they impose on the masses.

  94. I’m making that up. Really. I actually got that definition in my college economics courses, but since you insist . . .

    “From 1970’s, however, the pendulum swung back to laissez-faire economics (renamed ‘market economy’ or ‘free enterprise’) and brought deregulation of business, and progressive removal of trade barriers, which is continuing.”

    http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/laissez-faire-economics.html

    “In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faire

  95. And by the way. if you’re regulating the market? Everyone gets regulated, including capitalists. So you point about “only capitalists”? Is still irrelevant.

  96. @kderosa

    Polygamy will not cause a huge population of men without wives to form due solely to polygamy. If a man is unable to find a wife it is likely due to his inability to attract one. There are roughly 6 billion people on this planet, approximately 3 billion of them are women – we have the Internet now so you can track them down. There is a large population of unmarried women…single w/wo kids, divorced w/wo kids, widowed w/wo kids. Many of these women have not found a man that they WANT to marry. What polygamy does is give women more men to chose from. In the countries where polygamy is practiced openly 2 to 5 % of the men have more than one wife. If anything polygamy causes men to become better men in order to compete for the available women. So put down the beer and chips, turn off the TV, start good eating habits and work out 30 minutes (or more) a day…guess what…yup…you’re going to get some attention from the girls, maybe not the girls you want, but then if you’re desperate for a wife pick one that wants you.

  97. :) well the comment was meant to be a little sarcastic…single girls are not hard to find (the “all these guys will be left without a woman” argument is so absurd in the first place)…there are millions of single women with profiles posted on the Internet looking for someone – but not too many of them are interested in a deadbeat.

  98. @GeneH, Now was that so hard?

    I’m curious, GeneH, why you didn’t cite Von Mises’s own definition from Chapter XXVII of Human Action:

    Laissez faire means: Let the common man choose and act; do not force him to yield to a dictator

    And if you read the entire chapter it’s clear that Von Mises was railing aginats the statist forms of government that were popular during the time in which the state did the planning and business merely followed orders. That’s a far cry from unregulated laissez faire, somethingthat has never existed anywhere in modern history I don’t see anywhere that Von Mises wanted completely unregulated anything and that some minimal regulation might be needed to assure competition. Like I said, it’s a strawman.

    Von Mises is not arguing that capitalists be exempt from all rules and regulations, but that all people should be free from government planning which is a very different thing.

  99. Scarecrow,

    You didn’t think my comment was sarcastic too?
    ;)

    BTW, are you suggesting that all “beta males”–whatever they are–are deadbeats?

  100. @Elaine, it is some of the alpha males that are the deadbeats. Some women are so attracted to the alpha traits, that they ignore the deadbeat traits. And, the violent traits. And that’s how we wind up with battered wives who refuse to leave their battering husbands. The beta males, most men, are merely the provider types that lack alpha traits.

    Do you know what evolution and natural selection actually are or do you invoke them merely as a talisman against creationism and the rubes who believe in religion?

  101. No Elaine, I was not suggesting that. However there are a number of them that are…well shall we say initiatively challenged. ;) did I just make up a new word?

  102. kderosa,

    Why did I use the widely accepted definition instead of von Mises? Because von Mises, much like you, liked to make up his own words. Just because he wanted to make up his own definition, it doesn’t does not mean that he was using the words correctly. As to his “railing against statism”, well of course he was against the state. He didn’t want to be subject to their laws as long as he was involved in a profit seeking venture. Laissez-faire economics is inherently anti-state. As for his definition? “Von Mises is not arguing that capitalists be exempt from all rules and regulations, but that all people should be free from government planning which is a very different thing.” Actually, it isn’t and yes he is. If your plan involves endangering or abusing workers and/or consumers, your plan is illegal. That’s what regulations do; define illegal behavior and create a prohibition on said illegal behavior through the creation of either negative or positive duties. If there are no regulations, there are no rules to prevent and/or define illegal actions and their punishments. If people in business don’t want to plan based on avoiding breaking the law or would rather just break the law because it’s more profitable than compliance, too bad. Our Founding Fathers intended to create a country of laws, not men. The net result is the same no matter how he wants to dress it up and sell laissez-faire economics; which in his case was dressing it up in the language of individualism when laissez-faire economics has a lot less to do with individual rights than it does with individuals avoiding culpability for their actions; be those actions criminally actionable or a civic duty such as taxes. You point to a difference without distinction.

    The straw man is entirely yours. His name is von Mises. As a student of human nature and the law, he is clearly delusional if he thinks the sole purpose of regulation is to create an level playing field for competition. That’s incomplete data. The role of regulation is also to prevent people from harming other people even if that harm is done in the name of profits. Again, you want your cake (a level playing field) and to eat it too (avoid responsibilities created by regulation if it cuts into your profits).

    Your economist of choice rejected empirical evidence and as such his ideas are not based on reality, but rather his belief of what he thinks reality should be. That makes the Austrian School a belief system, not a rational proposition. That he like all other snake oil salesmen wanted to dress up his product to make it is attractive as possible is not surprising. That, however, does not change the fundamental nature of the snake oil. At best, von Mises was naive and lived in a fantasy land where there were no bad actors and at worst he was a closeted corporatist catering to the sociopathic and/or the otherwise amoral with a pseudo-science belief he gussied up to look like actual economics they could use to rationalize wanting to be exempt from the rule of law. He was in short the L. Ron Hubbard of economics.

    Why didn’t I use his definitions? Because they are double speak and lead to the same place as the standard definition. Why don’t I take his propositions seriously other than to treat them as semi-dangerous delusions? Because I don’t take non-empirical systems seriously. A system without reason and evidence is a belief system which in turn, as pete points out, makes it a religion. Just so, I don’t take his followers seriously either. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit by and listen to his proselytisms and let them go unchallenged. You can shout “Xenu loves free markets!” all you want and that doesn’t change the fact that without proper regulation, free markets lead to the oligarchical tyranny of the wealthy and the corporate. Just like we see today where Wall Street criminals go unpunished for their roles in wrecking the economy and people’s lives for their profit motive as aided by deregulation. This country was founded upon a principle of avoiding tyranny no matter the source. As I said, you can’t be be for Jefferson and von Mises at the same time without be hypocritical.

    In summary, you have not presented a definition with distinction to prove I was incorrect in stating the nature of laissez-faire economics nor have you proved wrong the underlying logic of why it is detrimental to the rule of law, creates a polylogism by being classist and therefor encourages tyranny.

  103. @GeneH, the problem is that you don’t understand the “widely accepted” definition of lassiez faire. You, as is your wont, have extrapolated from the words to a ridiculous proposition. The distance between “not subject to laws” and “state controlled” is enormous. Your premise is faulty as all the conclusions you draw therefrom.

    I’ve given you what Von Mises’, in his own words, believed what laissez faire meant — free from Government planning and control, not free from all laws. Show me where Von Mises has stated that dangerous products athat injure people should be exempt from tort action or basic safety regulation. Or that employers who injure their workers shouldn’t be subject to tort action or basic safety regulation. Or where capitalists should be able to conspire to form cartels, trusts, and monopolies?

  104. Either you can be pro-regulation or anti-regulation. You can’t be both. Selective regulation is just another form of anti-regulation. Laissez-faire economics is inherently anti-regulation. He’s your savior. You defend him. Show me where it says he does favor tort actions and safety regulations. Show me where it says he’s in favor of any kind of regulation. Keep in mind that the following speech is against consumer product safety regulation using the specious reasoning that because government fails to provide perfect protection it should leave product regulation to market mechanisms. It’s found on the von Mises website. http://mises.org/media/5258 It’s pure and utter crap and the guy giving it clearly has zero knowledge of the law or its role in society and his knowledge of history is terribly distorted by considering everything in the terms of profits. And he sure does love him some profits. His story about Ralph Nader, the Pinto and automotive safety is particularly funny if you know the history of automobiles but in particular the Tucker (hint: part of the reason the big car companies were out to destroy Tucker is he was building a much safer car than they were).

    I’m about bored of watching you chase your tale for the day. If you say something worth addressing, I’ll address it later. If you don’t, I won’t.

  105. @MASkeptic — Thank you for your courage in showing a real face of polyamory to others here. I know it’s never easy to challenge people’s assumptions like this. I also know that education and awareness are crucial to freedom and fairness for all. Thanks for your contributions here.

    @Arlene S. — I do not personally know whether the Brown family has an individual defense fund. They may. I do know, however, that there are several funds scattered about the country for legal defense in cases involving polyamory or other sexual minorities. (I’ve obscured some links somewhat just so this comment won’t end up in moderation limbo–hopefully!)

    You can designate donations to go to the “Legal Affairs Department” of the Polyamory Society: https://www.bigbiz.com/polyamorysociety.org/contribute.html

    My understanding is that lawyer Valerie White runs a small non-profit called the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund. Her phone number is: 781-784-6114. The website appears to be down at the moment, but in case it’s just in limbo temporarily, here’s the address: www[dot]sfldef(dot)org/

    The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance is another organization that deals with cases such as these: www(dot)woodhullalliance[dot]org/

    There may be others, but to the best of my knowledge there is as yet no national or international clearinghouse for donations to a legal defense fund for polyamorous and/or polygamous cases.

  106. @GeneH

    Here’s the entire definition:

    Laissez-faire is synonymous with what was referred to as strict capitalist free market economy during the early and mid-19th century as an ideal to achieve. It is generally understood that the necessary components for the functioning of an idealized free market include the complete absence of government regulation, subsidies, artificial price pressures and government-granted monopolies (usually classified as coercive monopoly by free market advocates) and no taxes or tariffs other than what is necessary for the government to provide protection from coercion and theft and maintaining peace, and property rights.

    So it’s not no regulations or taxes. Taxes and regulations are always needed to provide for basic government functions, such as maintaining the peace, protecting against foreign invaders, and protecting property rights. Torts fall under property rights.

  107. Unluckily for you, I can’t sleep.

    “[T]he complete absence of government regulation” negates everything else you just said even if you bold faced it. “Complete absence” means none and a government cannot impose “taxes or tariffs other than what is necessary for the government to provide protection from coercion and theft and maintaining peace, and property rights” without regulations that both define the taxes, crimes and other prohibited activites. You’ve created a nice oxymoron though. It looks good on you.

  108. Here’s an angle for you who want to argue about alpha v. beta males, from my perspective as a public educator (docent) at an elephant seal rookery:

    An alpha male is one with a harem, which he successfully defends. Beta males also get to mate, by sneaking into a harem when the alpha is asleep or otherwise engaged, or by mating with a female when she is outside the harem.

    By extension, one could consider any human male who is married or has a serious girlfriend an alpha. One who engages only in casual, short-term relationships would be a beta.

    Not what you expected, huh?

  109. To Bruce: Did you ever stop to think or process the thought that you don’t have a woman because of your condescending attitude? If you really honestly think that polygamy would lesson you ability to find a woman I am afraid that I will have to inform you that……. “It’s your attitude, and or behavior that you display that is the problem.” Signed a non polygamist.

  110. Excuse me but how did this thread about polygamy turn into an economics argument? Oh…..Right……”it”…….did it again. To bowdlerize Bob, let’s stay in our own movie. Don’t feed the troll.

  111. KD, Phone your Momma, she needs you now. She has missed you since you came here. Please return at once, the Excalibur that you are using will die soon.

  112. This is my opinion on the matter, not that my opinion really matters. I am not Mormom… in fact far from it! I belong to a belief faction that would actually look very much down upon this lifestyle of choice… but I don’t always adopt a belief, or thought system, just because every one else does… I think for myself, and on this subject… am doing the same. If some states recognize same sex marriages, and all across this nation, males impregnate multiple women, and then leave them to raise the child/ren on their own, and several states advocate abortion, the murder of innocents in the womb… well, here is a man who is willing to step up and father his multiple children, husband the women the children are created with, and not getting abortions because they can never have too many children… this man genuinely loves his family, the women are all consenting, NO one has been forced into this situation, they are all consenting, willing parties in the arrangement. WHO are we to tell them they can’t be a multiple family when there are posers nation wide who beat their women they aren’t even married to, who leave fatherless children, and when there are women who abort their babies every day??? If it’s OK for them to do such horrible things, why cant it be ok for this man to just love his family, provide for them all, and have his more than one wife? I mean, personally, I can only handle one mate… lol! But hey, if he can take on multiples, more power to him!! And if the women are all OK with it and not trying to kill each other in jealousy… well, hey, even better! Here is a group of people providing safe, loving home for their children. SO WHAT, we don’t agree with it… we disagree with same sex marriages too. And with abortion, and with all the other crap… now I am just repeating myself…. you get the point… I think what he is doing is Way less wrong than all of that other stuff that I mentioned, and they are all legal in places, all across this nation… so, if people want to choose polygamy, I think it should be equally as OK… If they go to hell for it, that is between them and God. They are GROWN people… they know the difference between right and wrong. I say legalize it like all the other sins, and let them and God hash out the rest of the details… like whether or not it really IS a sin…

  113. oops and I misspelled Mormon… LOL And fyi, I do spell my name the same as Meri on the show… but I totally am NOT her… I would have killed Kody by now… lol chewed that man up and spit him right out again… I am a one woman man kind of gal…..

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