Why is government paternalism wrong?

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
This plays into the naturally intelligent ruler type. People like Frederick the Great or Joseph II come to mind, they were not corrupt and were benevolent but this type of ruler is extremely rare, as such the ''good man tyrant'' is almost impossible to get.
Well exactly, as the main Greek point was really that power corrupts. Even if you start with a demonstrably good man, you eventually don't end with one. Hence, rule of law is the way to go.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
That your post was just low quality. You were comparing freedoms away from poverty and hunger, which are what the world, NGOs and charities are attempting to ameliorate and reduce, to freedom from nasty beer.

You may be free from reality TV by not watching it, free from nasty beer by not drinking it, etc...
No, but that discussion is mixing positive and negative freedoms.
Positive and Negative Liberty (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Part of the package here is that freedom CAN mean that someone is allowed to screw his fellow man with impunity if some way.

In political systems looking to try to make society not just free, bur fair and equitable, that tends to be a problem of oversight, unanticipated developments that can be exploited and where the legislative process to curb excesses has not kept up. But the principle tends to be that no one has a right to demand freedom of action to harm, hurt or exploit his fellows, since they have as much right not to be harmed, hurt or exploited.

And then you can cue the music for the massive political discussion about how far either freedom of individual action is supposed to be allowed vs how much power the state should have to curb the actions of some in order to protect the interests of all.

But if you enact a situation of exploitation by one group in society of other into law, that is how privilege (literally "private law") tends to work. Someone or some group is given privileged status to exploit, or for that matter rule over, some other people.
 
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Oct 2012
820
Most people are probably dissatisfied with a balanced diet. As I said before if you use innate desires as a yardstick on which to base what is good, then a lot have different ideas of freedom base on their desires, and if people are inherently depraved in nature, or are not inherently good in nature, then those desires should not have the presumption of desirability.
So how do you choose those inherently good natured paternal leaders? Using a microscope or just people who support balanced diet and are against horse sex? You must first prove that such people exist.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
It depends on what the social utility function of a society is?
HAHAHA!

Ni shi shen me ren?

Are you seriously suggesting that there is an actual "utility function" in society? What are you going to suggest next, that it's just a matter of finding the point of tangency between the indifference curve and society's collective budget constraint?

In all honesty, you create good discussions. You push your arguments to it's logical extremes, that is great for debate :)
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,357
T'Republic of Yorkshire
That your post was just low quality. You were comparing freedoms away from poverty and hunger, which are what the world, NGOs and charities are attempting to ameliorate and reduce, to freedom from nasty beer.

You may be free from reality TV by not watching it, free from nasty beer by not drinking it, etc...
Actually, my point was that YOUR post was low quality. You dug out some random things and stuck "Freedom from" in front of them, as if that was meant to mean something deep and revealing. Simply sticking "Freedom from" in frnt of something does not make it a freedom.
 
Nov 2014
416
ph
HAHAHA!

Ni shi shen me ren?

Are you seriously suggesting that there is an actual "utility function" in society? What are you going to suggest next, that it's just a matter of finding the point of tangency between the indifference curve and society's collective budget constraint?

In all honesty, you create good discussions. You push your arguments to it's logical extremes, that is great for debate :)
Have you heard of the term utility function and Pareto optimal solution in economics? In fact the utility function of a given country can be mathematically derived but the calculus math is beyond my pay grade.
 
Oct 2012
820
Actually, my point was that YOUR post was low quality. You dug out some random things and stuck "Freedom from" in front of them, as if that was meant to mean something deep and revealing. Simply sticking "Freedom from" in frnt of something does not make it a freedom.
Indeed. Never understood that kind of argument. You can find such "freedoms" in a decently run prison.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
Have you heard of the term utility function and Pareto optimal solution in economics? In fact the utility function of a given country can be mathematically derived but the calculus math is beyond my pay grade.
You sound like my Microeconomics textbook. Yes I am very familar with these "facts" (more like autistic nonsense). There is no way yet devised for a "country's utility function" (also? What is a utility function? Can you prove it's existence using a microscope? If anything these kinds of a priori assumptions you make where you treat unduly complex economic jargon as if it's a real phenomenon, rather than a poor attempt at a gestalt of the real world) to be mathematically derived. There is no way to "find" - make up would be more accurate - a utility function for a given country without making lots of arbitrary and baseless reductionist generalizations about people's preferences.

Utility functions are made up, and completely useless. I strongly dislike them. Applying economic models to non-monetary phenomena is often dangerous, and far too easy a trap to fall into in my view - nothing is so stupid in the modern world some economist hasn't at some "prooved" it to be true...

Besides, even if all this was possible - which it isn't - then you are still ignoring the fact that what is "Good policy" at one point in history or for some is not necessarily so at another point in history. Things change, societies change. This "Father" is going to have a really hard time calibrating society's utility function, no? Why not let people do this on the lowest possible level instead, so you minimize information assymetries and create a more fluid, adaptable state of affairs. Seems a lot wiser to me.
 
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YouLoveMeYouKnowIt

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
4,574
Canada
Actually, my point was that YOUR post was low quality. You dug out some random things and stuck "Freedom from" in front of them, as if that was meant to mean something deep and revealing. Simply sticking "Freedom from" in frnt of something does not make it a freedom.
Actually freedom froms are freedoms.

Having a freedom to vote doesn't mean you have more liberties if you are dirty poor, your children are hungry, prone to disease with horrible living conditions and pollution.