sudden, and widespread. By way ofnexplanation, the French social philosophernLouis Rousel points to “thenbanalization of behavior previouslynconsidered illegitimate.” France, forninstance, has decriminalized incest exceptnin the case of minors who arenabused by someone with authority overnthem. On the other hand, Germanynand France are, in some ways, morentraditional than the United States.nFrance still has no provision for minorsnto get permission to marry from anjudge when their parents forbid it.nMarital fault still plays a role in divorcenproceedings. The French and Germansntend to hold on to a notion ofnmarriage as a community, a fact reflectednin their laws regarding the divisionnof property after divorce. Nevertheless,nit is clear that what the Frenchnlegal sociologist Carbonnier calls then”zone of horror” (from which absolutenprohibitions and taboos against crimesnlike incest emerge) can become a ratherncomfortable dwelling, as in the casenof sodomy in this country.nOne of the striking differences betweennAmerican law and the continentalnlegal codes of, say, Germany ornFrance, is the continental tendency tonprescribe ideals of family life, to benopenly ideological. The French CivilnCode of 1804 provided, at Napoleon’snpersonal insistence, that “the husbandnowes protection to the wife, the wifenobedience to her husband.” (In defensenof this proposition, the emperornis supposed to have exclaimed: “Womennought to obey us. Nature has madenwomen our slaves. A husband ought tonbe able to say to his wife: ‘Madam, younwill not go to the theater; Madam, younwill not see such or such a person.nMadam, you belong to me body andnsoul.’) The French Civil Code stillnreminds citizens that a “child of anynage owes honor and respect to its fathernand mother.” Similarly, the Swedesnhave decreed that parents may notnsubject children to “humiliating treatment.”nGlendon makes the importantnobservation that most of these prescriptionsnare without legal sanctions. Theynreflect ah understanding that the law isnmeant to instruct and educate.nBesides the “inexorable advance ofnideas of equality and individual liberty”nand the spread of “individualistic, egalitarian,nand secularizing” trends,nGlendon detects other nonideologicalncauses for the blurring of distinctionsnbetween marriage and cohabitation.nOne is that, as the law struggles to dealnwith the claims of unmarried cohabitants,nand to address the real injusticesnthat are perpetrated within such relationships,nit is easier to handle suchnmatters with rules that are already innplace, to wit, marriage laws, with thenunfortunate but predictable result thatncohabitation and marriage are treatednas more or less the same thing. Similarly,nthe rise of no-fault divorce was innlarge part due to the practical nuisancenof going through the legal motions ofn”investigating” grievances as the volumenof divorce cases became unmanageable.nThe law is not able to makenup for the absence of morality — atnleast not for long.nGlendon makes it clear that a radicalnindividualism has been thenchief culprit in the decline of marriagenas an institution. Marriage is no longer ansocial fact; it is a private, personal matter.nLikewise, sex is not a matter ofninterest to the community. This is thenlesson of Griswold: “if the right tonprivacy means anything, it is the rightnof the individual, married or single, tonbe free from unwarranted governmentalnintrusion into matters so fundamentallynaffecting a person as the decisionnwhether to bear or beget a child.” But,nof course, the decision to raise a childnaffects the whole society. Society has anlegitimate interest in the circumstancesnunder which its members begetnchildren — especially when society acceptsna certain responsibility for thosenchildren.nIt is no surprise that Glendon’s chiefngripe about the American system ofnfamily law is its treatment of divorcednwomen and their children, for it is herenthat the principles of radical individualismnand egalitarianism become obviouslyninadequate. We allow easy divorcenand aspire to post-divorce selfsufficiencynin the name of individualism,nbut we — unlike our Nordicnfriends — do not have the massive welfarenstate to provide for the inevitablenlosers in what is, after all, a very brutalngame. Consequently, the focus of mostnactivity in American family law is onnproviding for children stranded by divorce,nwho cannot be supported bynmothers who are without the financial,nprofessional, or psychological resourcesnnnto start new careers. Children are nownthe crucial factor in family law, becausenfamily law is, more often than not,ndivorce law. As mentioned above, it is^nthe unhappy family that attracts thenattention of the law. It has even beennsuggested that “the legally relevantndistinction in the future will be betweennchildless unions and thosenwhere children are being or have beennraised.”nA paradox that Glendon observes innmodern society is the rise of individualismnin families and the concomitantndecline of individualism in economicnmatters. The paradox is at least partiallynillusory, since the anonymity of ansocialistic economy is its own sort ofnindividualism — indeed the worst sort.nBlind to the legitimate social consequencesnof “private” relationships, ornat least unable to express them in ournlaw, we have derived utilitarian mechanismsnto provide for each other, as itnwere, by committee. Thus philanthropy,nkindness to strangers, takes thenplace of the charity (love of relativesnand neighbors) we no longer understand.nBut any true society is derivednfrom the family and other “intermediaryngroups.” Glendon agrees with EdmundnBurke: “to be attached to thensubdivision, to love the little platoon wenbelong to in society, is the first principlen(the germ as it were) of publicnaffections. It is the first link in the seriesnby which we proceed towards a love fornour country and to mankind.” Charitynbegins at home.nOf course, we are not simply blindnto the public significance of intimatenrelationships. There are those whonpositively deny their validity. OnenSwedish Minister of Justice, HermannKling, spoke of the need for the governmentnto “create a society wherenevery adult person assumes responsibilitynfor himself and does not allownhimself to be economically dependentnon relatives,” implying, it seems, that itnis better or more noble to rely onnstrangers {via the welfare state) than onnrelatives. The law in our own countrynis not simply blind to the importance ofnpersonal relationships; it works againstnthem. Glendon writes: “the law holdsnself-sufficiency up as an ideal, suggestingnthat dependency is somehow degrading,nand implicitly denying thenimportance of human intersubjectivity.”nJANUARY 1990/37n