Stakeholder DNA

While sitting in a winery enjoying a local fruit of the vine, I struck up a conversation with a fellow sitting next to me.  He appeared to be in his mid-20s and spoke with a British accent.  As it turned out, he was a Pakistani.  I assumed, perhaps wrongly, he was a Muslim and wondered why he was imbibing an alcoholic beverage, but it would have been rude to bring up that issue.

It turned out he was in town on family business – or more to the point, his whole family was in town for family business.  The young man was considering marrying a local girl and his family and hers were discussing the matter.  Particularly surprising was the involvement of grandparents, aunts and uncles.  That seemed odd to me, but what the hell do I know about Pakistani kinship systems and mating habits?

As I reflected on it afterwards, however, it started to make sense.  After all, the young man shared DNA with his parents.  This was also true, to a lesser extent, of his grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  They were, in a sense, stakeholders in this young man’s choice of a mate.  Their DNA was contained in the young man’s DNA, which would be passed on to the young man’s children, so it was incumbent upon them to make sure that a suitable match was arranged.  Of course, the prospective bride’s family had the same interest.  The family discussions, as the young man described them to me, had the businesslike ring of a corporate merger rather than a romantic pairing off of two young people.  Of course, the trope in countless movies and novels is boy meets girl, not clan meets clan.  Clannishness might have been considered positive or at least normal once upon a time; now the word has negative romantic connotations, evoking images of the Montagues and the Capulets.

In modern western societies, it is assumed that marriage is an individual choice and that love is the primary motivation.  Even with more and more men self-medicating with red pills, it must be admitted that romantic love remains embedded in our culture.  In fact, a lot of people make a lot of money off it.  Romantic love drives jewelry sales, book sales (romance novels), candy sales (Valentine’s Day), wedding planning, honeymoon travel, cosmetics sales, and the fashion industry.  Even in an age of cynicism, love is love and love conquers all…except when it doesn’t.  In that case, one may revel in the martyrdom of love unrequited.  Romantic love runs the gamut from bliss to masochism.

Of course, if a modern western couple becomes an item, it is still customary to introduce one’s prospective spouse to one’s parents.  I seriously doubt, however, that a young man would approach his prospective father-in-law and formally ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  And I know the grandparents, aunts and uncles would not be consulted on the matter.  As likely as not, they would not meet the fiancé before the wedding day.

Also, if a father objected to his daughter’s choice of a mate today it would probably make no difference to her (unless the father was wealthy and swore to cut her out of the will).  Of course, given the reality of same-sex marriage today, there’s no telling how many fathers breathe a sigh of relief upon discovering that their daughter is not marrying someone else’s daughter.

With birth rates in the dumper today, it is understandable that parents of adult children are concerned about the family bloodline.  When birth rates were higher, it was pretty well assured that some if not all of one’s offspring would engender their own offspring.  Pity the only child today, forced to bear the bloodline burden all alone.  And if said child has announced that being a girlboss or going MGTOW or changing sex are more important than offspring, what can the parents do?  In a sense, it’s their fault.  They should have spawned more kids to tilt the odds in their favor.

Imagine how much pressure parents can apply in such a situation, then try to imagine how much pressure Pakistani parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts can apply!  Are they justified in exerting that pressure?  If this sort of piling on took hold in western society, it would open up a can of worms.

Suppose a westernized Pakistani college girl meets the old-school family of her fiancé and the subject of abortion comes up.  “My body, my choice,” won’t fly, as an aborted fetus bears the DNA of a lot of family members.  You cannot abort that fetus any more than you can renege on any sort of sacred trust.  The reply to the individualist existential question “Whose life is it?” is “Whose DNA is it?”

Speaking of stakeholders, how about the father of a child the mother wants to abort.  Half the DNA of that fetus was contributed by the father but he has no say in whether that baby is allowed to be born?  Equity, anyone?

Granted, it might be difficult for a modern Westerner to grasp this concept of shared DNA, as we are so hopelessly wrapped up in human rights and autonomy and equality and all sorts of other concepts.  An obligation to one’s clan is considered passé.  Have you ever heard someone refer to a relative as a kinsman?  I didn’t think so.  And describing a relative as a clansman evokes images of Birth of a Nation.

In truth, the clan is hardly the most repressive institution in the world today.  While unbridled individualism appears to be the new normal, that is illusory.  You have an obligation to the Big Clan, i.e., the state.  That could be your city, your county, your state, the fedguv, or some sort of global consortium such as the UN or the WEF.

This brings up an important difference.  In olden days you could walk away from your clan if there were some sort of irreconcilable breach.  It might result in hard feelings or regrets but it could be done.  Walking away from the state is another matter entirely.  Assertions of individual sovereign immunity will not be entertained in any court of law, and only rarely in the court of public opinion.

One wonders…what would happen if a Pakistani woman paid a visit to a sperm bank.  Would the donor have to undergo a vetting process from the family?  If a son had his choice of frozen eggs from an assortment of women, would his relatives stage an inquest?

Can we say that the Pakistani way is superior to the western version of romantic attachment over all?  Is mate choice by committee superior to mate choice by emotions?  Admittedly, the former is less likely to be influenced by rose-colored glasses.  Of course, marriages of convenience have always taken place, but could such cold-blooded rationalism ever become the norm in the west?  Can the head ultimately conquer the heart?  If so, should it conquer the heart?  Is it possible for the head and the heart to operate in synch?  Think of it!  The brain and the heart…two organs beating as one!

Of course, there is always the possibility that A.I./A.I. (artificial intelligence/artificial insemination) will take over and conventional human reproduction will no longer be needed and could conceivably be outlawed.  Think of it!  No more dysfunctional families!  No more awkward Thanksgiving dinners!  No more creepy in-laws!  No more nepotism!  And no need for Pakistani-style vetting!

In the meantime, does a thoroughly modern young couple want to have a flock of relatives sizing them up before they get married?  I don’t think so, but obligation goes both ways.  The relatives are more likely to support you in a rough spot if you have respected their wishes.  It’s great if people are there when you need them, but that means they will likely be hanging around when you don’t need them and would rather be left alone.  For every close-knit family you envy, there is one that makes you shudder and say to yourself, “Sure glad I’m not one of them.”

So what’s the answer?  Blue pill?  Red pill?  Black pill?

Where is Big Pharma when you really need them?


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