Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gay Marriage, Start With Why, and The 100th Monkey

Something weird happened on Facebook three or four weeks ago. 
It seemed like EVERYONE came out in favor of Gay Marriage Equality. 
If you are a FB user, you probably saw icons like this one, with an "equals" sign symbolizing equality.  Apolitical, religious, non-confrontational friends (yes, I do have some) were all using it. 

The Libertarians have been there for a long, long time. 
Check this out, from the 1972 party platform:

The Democrat party finally put something about Marriage Equality in their platform this year.  The Republicans are kinda dipping their toes into the water. 
So what happend? 

This is from the I-Change website.  I think I first heard it in a Jorene Taylor-Swift sermon several years ago.  It's called "The 100th Monkey". 

The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years. In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkey liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.

This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists. Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable. Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes -- the exact number is not known. Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes. Let's further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

THEN IT HAPPENED! By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them. The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice: A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea...Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes. Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.
I don't know if I'd go that far with it, but it seemed like gay marriage equality, after spending about 40 years in the Libertarian Party Political Wilderness, was just suddenly there. 

Here's something else that sorta ties in.  I've been reading "Start With Why", by Simon Sinek.  In addition to teaching about why leaders and businesses waste a lot of time and effort on the Who, What, Where and When (before getting to the all-important "Why"), Sinek has a great chapter on who is most likely to understand Why and change his behavior. 
Who is most likely to sleep in front of a store to get an iPhone? 
Who is going to purchase a new Bluetooth with only one new feature compared to his old one? 
Who is going to fly Southwest Airlines at his own expense, when his employer is willing to pay 100% of the ticket on a rival airline?

This chart is called the Rogers Adoption/Innovation Curve.  Please note the divisions. 
IMHO, the Libertarian Party was an innovator on the Gay Marriage Equality issue.  A lot of rank-and-file Democrats were Early Adopters. 
Joe Biden and Barack Obama finally finished "evolving, and became part of the Early Majority about 20 minutes before the tipping point. 
The Republican party will finish its hand-wringing and become part of the Late Majority sometime next year.  Hide and watch. 
The Laggards will go to their graves opposing Gay Marriage Equality. 

 Here are some other issues where I believe the Libertarian Party will soon be joined by Early Adopters. 

*Expanding School Choice
*Military Downsizing
*Eliminating Nation-Building, And Defending OUR Borders
*Reducing The Size Of Our Military
*Neutering The Federal Reserve
*Lowering Import Tariffs
*Ending Crony Capitalism
*Legalizing Marijuana
*Ending The Drug War

Think of all the reasons to stop waiting. 
Come be with us.  It's fun to be first!! 


Sean O'Hare said...

A large group of like minded people get together and form a club based on their morals and beliefs and call it "The Exclusive Boy/Girl" club. The rules of this club are that male and female members pair off, live together and raise children. This club has been in existence throughout the country for centuries. All of a sudden an upstart group decide that they want to be members of this club, but don't qualify because they are disinclined to fulfill the most basic rule of membership - pairing. So they decide to set up a rival club. Rather than agree to call it "The Exclusive Boy/Boy Club" they decide to hijack the name of the existing club and simply flout the rules. They did this on the grounds that they were Libertarians. They maintained that the original club had no rights to the name they had used for centuries.

MingoV said...

Actually, an early club was boy/girl/girl/girl. This occurred simultaneously with another club: boy--brother/girl. Polygamy was a legitimate form of marriage millennia ago. So was forced marriage of a widow to her brother-in-law. Circumstances change. Behaviors change. Definitions change. And there always are those who oppose change regardless of its merits.

Sean O'Hare said...


As far as I'm concerned there can be as many different clubs as you like and people should be free to join any club that will accept them. However in my neck of the woods (England) the "Exclusive Boy/Girl Club" has been established for centuries with the same rules of membership. Had the rules of membership not been what they are I and many others would not have become members, but would have founded a different club altogether.

Anonymous said...

Ah but the prime purpose of"Exclusive Boy/Girl Club" was procreation
And you stopped that more or less.
So you are in default.