May 16, 2006

"I propose a regime of free love."

A political campaign in Cyprus:
A strapping man with piercing blue eyes, [Costas Kyriakou] draws on ideas from Plato and Christian apocalyptic scriptures for his ideal city-state where people live in communes and share everything....

"The men will see it as a system of free love, the women as a matriarchy ... they will be able to carry the sperm of the most handsome men, and give the child her name."
For this idea of Utopia, he's nicknamed Utopos. Presumably, he himself is one of the "handsome men" he's talking about.


Dave said...

Clearly this dude didn't see the movie Easy Rider.

Great movie, great music, ubt man were those hippies dirty! No way I want to be part of a commune.

Consider, as well, Stalin and Mao's experiments in collectivization.

Ricardo said...

It's amazing how appealing these ideas seems on a purely philosophical level, until all the realities of life come home to roost. And the ideas always seems to be born in the head of some charismatic guy, and then seeded into the minds of the young and impressionable. Spahn Ranch, Mount Carmel Center, Jonestown, and uncountable others all started like this. And yet, they still keep coming.

Dave said...

"It's amazing how appealing these ideas seems on a purely philosophical level, until all the realities of life come home to roost."

Precisely what I felt upon reading Das Kapital.

But then I read Capitalism and Freedom (whos eauthor is no relation to me) and saw the light, as it were.

HD_Wanderer said...

Handsome, charismatic men always think this is a good idea. Those of us who are neither... Not so much.

Bruce Hayden said...

Dave has a good point about Milton Friedman. The only book I put in the same category is "The Road to Serfdom" by F. A. Hayek (and that book is even older and still applicable).

Blondie said...

I would just want to know who decides who these "handsome" men are and who gets in?

Aren't men of the Mediterranean usually pretty hairy? :)

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that this idea isn't going to work in the end is that it ultimately requires that those of us who don't fall into the category of preferred sperm donors would have to help support his kids.

Monogamous mating was bred into us in order for women to have help in raising their kids. Males are far, far, more likely to help take care of their own kids than those of someone else. After all, what is in it for us guys? Raising kids is hard work and can be quite expensive. DTL the other day was bragging here that he had already saved up for retirement - primarily by chosing not to have kids.

So, if this were to become the norm, those of us not chosen as sperm donors are going to lobby quite hard to eliminate all sorts of family support, ranging from public education, through special tax rates, welfare, etc.

Bruce Hayden said...


Obviously, the women would decide. After all, they are the ones who would have to do the deed with the guy, and then carry the baby to delivery, and raise it for the next couple of decades.

Ann Althouse said...

Wouldn't it need to be some sort of system where the whole group supports the children and the women choose the most attractive men (to be the sperm donors)? Everyone pays into the public treasury and then spending from the pot supports the children. Women can either keep the childrearing money and stay home with their children or pay childcare workers with the money.

Men have no rights or obligations with relation to the children. They simply work, form what relationships they can, and try to be attractive enough to the women.

What's the problem? (Other than all the jealousy and violence and selfishness that always screws everything up.)

knoxgirl said...

"...where people live in communes and share everything."

His ideal city state = my vision of Hell

"Sporting a black bandana, jeans and sandals"

This is someone who's trying *too hard*. Is he really advocating for handsome men... or handsome dorks?

Dave said...

Bruce: raising kids is a huge expense for which most people don't seem prepared.

Or, rather, people don't like to think of their kids as a cost, because such dehumanizes those kids.

It is to the parents' detriment that they cannot conceive of their children as costs

SteveSC said...

The problem here is the same as all "from each as they are able, to each as they need" societies, except squared. If we divide the men into four groups by their payoff in the society (women have a different payoff matrix here), it is clearly unstable.

The first group is favored by the women, and gets more economic support than they put in. They are probably happy and this group is likely to grow in size.

The second group is favored by the women, but puts more in economically than they get. This group will probably stay in the society, but there will be a tendency for members of this group to move to group 1. After all, why put out more effort when the payoff is not there?

The third group is not favored by the women, but gets more economically than they put in. They may not be happy about it, but as long as they can 'mooch' off the rest they will likely hang around hoping for some women to take an interest.

Finally, the fourth group is not favored by the women, and also put in more economically than they get. Why should they hang around? They have no offspring to support, no love interests, no economic benefit. This group is seriously unstable, and most likely will quickly leave or move into group 3.

As group 4 disappears, group 2 is left as the only men contributing a net economic surplus to the society. The 'tax' on them goes up and up, pushing more into group 1. The society gets poorer and poorer, until it finally cannot support itself and its children.

Alternatively, members of group 2 demand more rights and privileges to/for children, lovers, etc. As corollaries, there will be pressure to cast out members of group 3 and give privileges to group 4 (perhaps women will have a lottery to hook up with economically productive group 4 members to keep them in the society--which effectively moves them into group 2).

But presumably men in group 2 will not be indifferent to who they hook up with. And because the men can demand privileges, women will also be stratified, i.e., those who have desirable characteristics (whatever they are) will get more resources.

The end result is a society where men are stratified by attractiveness to women plus economic productivity, and women are stratified by attractiveness to men. (Note to feminists--this presumes, as in the example, that women have all the responsibility for children and take more from the economic pot than they put in. A society where women can be 'economically productive' would add economic stratification to women also). Seems to be pretty much what the general organization of real life is...

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Who could be interested in men who would debase themselves and become no more than breeding studs?

Tibore said...

"Who could be interested in men who would debase themselves and become no more than breeding studs?"

There's a Britney Spears joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite find it...


The Mechanical Eye said...

He ran in the presidential election of 2003, where he won 0.44 percent of the vote, the highest figure among a smattering of fringe non-party candidates.

Utopos disputes this. "I received 73 percent," he said.

This is the Bolshevik Theory of Elections. ("if we keep saying we're the majority, then we will be!").

I also hope this guy gets a website detailing his utopia. His ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to his newsletter.


Ron said...

What's the problem? (Other than all the jealousy and violence and selfishness that always screws everything up.)

Wow, Ann, that truly is an "Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?" kind of remark!

I propose a regime of free beer!

Dave said...

"Wow, Ann, that truly is an "Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?" kind of remark!"


I assume this is more evidence of Ann's sarcasm.

Daryl Herbert said...

Narrator: Gob was recently hired by the Bluth Company's rival, Sitwell Enterprises. And although he started off well...
Gob: 52% of the country is single. That's a market that's been dominated by apartment rentals. Let's take some of that market. I call it "Single City."
Narrator: ...his ideas failed to evolve.
Gob: It's, like, "Hey, you want to go down to the whirlpool?" "Yeah, I don't have a husband." I call it "Swing City."
Stan Sitwell: Let's get into some new areas, if you don't mind.
Narrator: But Gob continued to fine-tune his first one.
Gob: How do we filter out the teases? We don't let them in.
Gob: This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, man. Because you're living in Fuck City!
Stan Sitwell: You're fired.


One problem with his theory is that it would require not-so-hot men (who won't be fathering children) to still be getting some from the ladies. If they didn't get any, they would be deeply unhappy, and might even do things that would make everyone else deeply unhappy (like shoot them, or blow them up; see: Timothy McVeigh, Theodore Kaszynski, etc. etc.).

Why would a woman have sex with a not-so-hot man if she's already having sex with a hot man who's fathering her child (as well as a dozen other women's children)?

As I see it, there are only three ways to make such a system work:
1 - use gov't powers to require women to sleep with not-so-hot men (or at least set up economic incentive schemes towards this end; i.e. most women would have to sleep with not-so-hot men for financial support). This doesn't seem like, on balance, an improvement for the women from what they have now--it would make them less free.
2 - drug women to make them as horny (as often) as men, so they would have to settle for sex with losers (this would fit well with the free sex theme). But this isn't natural, it would make women less "free," and I don't think women would want it.
3 - use lots of prostitutes (domestic or imported). Again, this conflicts with the whole "free" part of the "free love" paradise.

SippicanCottage said...
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Steven said...

This would work.

Oh, it wouldn't work the way Mr. Kyriakou would hope it would. But it would destroy the Greek Cypirot economy and social order, causing mass migration to Greece and other EU countries.

And as a result, the Greek-Turkish conflict on the island would tilt more to the advantage of the Turkish Cypriots, which would pressure the Greek Cypriots to accept the UN-sponsored unification plan they rejected in 2004.

So, I have to say, win, Mr. Kyriakou, win.