Tenshi, I've participated in circlejerking just like anyone. But let us please not turn this thread into one of them "Hey that group to which none of us belongs, sure sucks and is filled with stupid people" circlejerks. Very poor choice of topic for this thread, it's completely unfitting. The only plus point is that now I'm aware of a post where Randori asks to be shot. Possible future quoting fun to be had.
Vegedus wrote: in general, it has to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Agreed entirely and that goes for country wide policies, but since EM asked about paternalism in general, I'll explain how I feel about it in most cases.
Vegedus wrote:Interesting. Fundamentally, I believe humans are mostly stupid, instinct-driven animals
Our thought process starts similarily, but we reach different conclusions, I believe too much paternalism encourages people to embrace being stupid, instinct-driven animals, which is why I'm against it in most cases.
There are some exceptions such as the seatbelt enforcing, where the benefit is undeniable, but living in a country that has many paternalistic inclinations and which had an authoritarian government for 44 years I do draw a parallel between paternalism and the tendecy towards authoritarianism. Here's why I dislike it:
1) It leads to a populace that expects the government to make all the important decisions and expects it to save them every time they make a mistake. No, I'm not talking about reasonable stuff like free health care, so here's an example.Amber Gold was a company in Poland whose founder was previously charged many times with fraud, the company encouraged people, mostly old retired ones, to invest money in it, promising to multiiply it within 5 or 10 years with "smart investments in Gold and Platinum". The company was legal, but news bulletins and financial analytics warned that to gain the promised amount for its clients it'd have to invest the money in high risk scenarios. Of course the company eventually, 4 years after its creation, went bankrupt and its clients, mostly old people raised during the communist era, immediately demanded that the government repay them the full amount of their invested money. Because it was the government's fault that it was legal for such a company to exist in the first place, most people when asked if they read the warnings in the news bullentins that Amber Gold was a high risk gamble that's bound to collapse, said that they didn't think of reading such stuff or paid it no heed, since the company was legal so it had to be ok.
2) Paternalism can be abused and/or go hand-in-hand with outright lies. In the 80's the communist block had no colour television, and it was common knowledge the west had a colour tv in almost every home by now. The communist block countries didn't have the money/technology to produce colour tv efficiently on a mass scale, but didn't want to allow importing such goods, since it'd foster the belief that the west has it better. So they announced it to be scientifically proven that colour tv radiation causes cancer and that watching it a lot causes blindness, to explain why they "don't allow" importing such goods. This has consequences to this day, years after it has been proven to be lies I was next to an old lady in line at a supermarket, while she was explaining to her friend how she'll never buy an LCD tv because "The colours are more vivid, so they probably have an even higher cancer risk".
3) In the modern state and given the complicated world we live in due to the processes of globalization. the concept of national interest (raison d'État
) seems outdated and so more and more examples of paternalism are morally subjective decisions and/or the result of lobbying of interest groups. See British porn opt-in policy which is both morally subjective and the result of heavy lobbying. The political ruling class isn't exactly well versed in scientific questions and doesn't exactly have a tendency to aim for long term futuristic goals. So trusting paternalism to push humanity forward seems naive to me.