Paternalism in law-making

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on February 28th, 2021, 3:04 pm 

I suspect most real 'nannying' goes on at a local level rather than nationally. The local councils will pass their so-called health and safety laws which are in many cases laughable.

For instance, kids playing conkers was banned by some UK councils. They didn't want kids climbing trees to pick conkers in case of injury so they bought in machines which would collect the conkers so the kids couldn't get to them first. Playing conkers in playgrounds was banned in case of flying shrapnel. Or they had to wear goggles.

Someone else else suggested banning them because of potential nut allergies... I jest not.

I suppose this sort of thing does actually make sense if you're a nerd. And it only takes one case for them to scream 'told you so'.

But such absurdities are usually enacted and enforced locally. You don't see the govt debating and passing national laws banning conker playing :-)

(Lots of validating links on request)
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby doogles on March 1st, 2021, 6:49 am 

Serpent, I know its off topic, but I can't help but reminisce with you on your personal history -- "My parents worked all kinds of hours. From when I was 10 and my brother was 6, we brought ourselves home from different schools; I gave him a snack, got him and our room cleaned up and prepped dinner-makings. No problem -- even his tantrums didn't offer much of a challenge until he got bigger. Even after a big fight, we had the mess cleared away and faces shiny washed in perfect fraternal amity by the time our mother arrived. Neither of us would jeopardize her trust! And we were hardly unique!"

Just to add to that, I notice the traffic volume at local schools these days and recall my early years by comparison. My parents had gone to work by the time we got up in the mornings. We were capable of getting our own weeties with sugar and milk for breakfast at a very early age. In fact, my 7-year-old brother had the job of walking me (about a kilometre) as a 5-year-old to school on my very first day. And on the several numbers of occasions when I took myself home, because school was not my cup of tea, the teachers sent my brother John home to fetch me back. We always walked to and from school, but all of the other kids were doing the same thing. No parents had cars, and no parents took time off from work to look after their kids or they would get the sack. That was in the 1930s/1940s. And it was the norm, as you suggested.

Those days are gone.

At least you agree that laws to ban the use of marijuana may be a bad paternalistic law (so long as users don't use and drive).

I took in your other points but responding to them would throw us way off topic and involve much research.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby doogles on March 1st, 2021, 6:55 am 

TheVat, one of the things we did not do in this thread is to define at the start what we meant by the word 'paternalistic'. I took it that it meant laws that were made simply to protect people from themselves -- essentially their own bad judgments. We also seemed to accept the term 'nanny laws' as meaning exactly the same. If we use that as a definition, then I can't see where allowing a man to kill his wife for adultery is protecting either of them from themselves. I agree with you that it presumes that the male has "judgment and a perspective of greater value than the female." We may just have to differ on the definition.

I agree also that drug laws presume people cannot control their using, and of course that is the case with addictive drugs (by definition). As I see it, one of the problems in law is in deciding who is using sensibly and who isn't. Some of our laws define the quantity of the various illicit drugs that require prosecution, presuming of course that users would possess limited quantities and dealers would have more.

That law I referred to in my last post allowing any type of sexual conduct between consenting adults in private -- 22.pdf (austlii.edu.au) -- was used to validate a Tasmanian homosexual male living with another gay male. It was apparently regarded as a test case.

In checking the literature on Latch-key children I find that my State, Queensland may have some of the most stringent legislation around. Apparently, the Queensland Criminal Code, section 364a, under the title “Leaving a child under 12 unattended,” stipulates “that a person who, having the lawful care of a child under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child during that time, commits a misdemeanour.”

If found guilty of breaking this law, the punishment carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment. I notice that it uses the term 'unreasonable time' which allows for some discretion on the part of the parent.

I would regard that law as paternalistic, but thinking of myself as a 12-year-old, delivering morning newspapers, and selling afternoon papers, since I was 10 years-old, it would have been restrictive. Then again, pedophiles seem to be everywhere these days. I cannot decide whether it is currently a good or a bad paternalistic law.

Serpent raised a couple of valid downsides to the over-protection of children. Times change of course.

When I was aged about 8, there were roughly 30 other kids under the age of 12 in about a 100 metre length of our street and we were always outside playing games until well into the evening (1930s/1940s). There was no such thing as 'stranger danger' until after this time when people began to get motor cars. And there were also plenty of other kids walking in the same streets to our school. In one sense we were never lone targets.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby doogles on March 1st, 2021, 6:57 am 

Charon, that local law banning the playing of a game by children certainly sounds paternalistic.

But I have no idea about 'conkers'. What are they?
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 1st, 2021, 8:44 am 

Horse chestnuts on a string. Kid's game to see whose is the strongest by smashing one against the other.

http://projectbritain.com/conkers.html

http://projectbritain.com/conkergame.html

'The Australian game is called “bullies” and is played in a manner similar to the way the English play conkers.'

https://zippyfacts.com/what-is-conkers- ... come-from/
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 1st, 2021, 10:09 am 

In checking the literature on Latch-key children I find that my State, Queensland may have some of the most stringent legislation around. Apparently, the Queensland Criminal Code, section 364a, under the title “Leaving a child under 12 unattended,” stipulates “that a person who, having the lawful care of a child under 12 years, leaves the child for an unreasonable time without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child during that time, commits a misdemeanour.”

If found guilty of breaking this law, the punishment carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment. I notice that it uses the term 'unreasonable time' which allows for some discretion on the part of the parent.

I would regard that law as paternalistic


It's not paternalistic. It's a grave offence to leave a child without supervision.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 1st, 2021, 11:01 am 

I intended 'paternalistic' to mean the state taking on the role of parental control over adult citizens, to protect them from their own folly. Under this, I would include all the personal safety rules, like seat belt and helmet use and. I do concede a social-cost aspect to these laws, so I think of them as tough love.
Workplace safety*, food inspection and consumer advocacy are in a related but separate class: intended to protect the citizen from predatory commercial interests.
The banning of recreational substances, I consider an over-reach of paternalism: regulation is sufficient safeguard - but I think those laws are enacted with an unacknowledged political motive, where the enforcement targets one segment of the population, while another (the lawmaking segment) indulge in those same illicit pleasures with impunity.

* I shudder at the British construction and renovation shows. They seem entirely negligent by Canadian standards. Not even goggles or gloves most of the time!

Honour killing, domestic battery, harsh anti-abortion and anti-sucide laws, etc. I would class as patriarchal rather than paternal. Usually driven by religious dogma, they reinforce the biblical power structure.

More nostalgia, my little brother once shot my leg full rice with an air rifle that was perfectly legal for an 8-year-old to own. He wanted me to come down from the tree. It worked. Kid had a temper on him.....! Such was the generational solidarity of that time, I never told on him. He grew up to be an upright, law-abiding, conservative citizen; I'm the radical.
(PS I guess a little David could do serious damage with a string of conkers.)

Children have not always been regarded as a prized fragile objects to be wrapped in cotton wool and polished once a week. But The vat is also correct about the unravelling of community. I would add, too, the decline of the authority of adults over minors - even great big louts of 16 or 18 used to fear the wrath of the skinniest little bent grandmother.
It seems that now, the only adults to be taken seriously are the policeman and the judge.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 1st, 2021, 12:53 pm 

We seem to need paternalism being defined every five minutes. We know exactly what it means. There's no doubt at all about what it means. We should move on.

(of people in authority) making decisions for other people rather than letting them take responsibility for their own lives

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... ernalistic

(of governance, management, or behavior) based in a system positing that authority knows best; outwardly benevolent, but often in a condescending or controlling way

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/paternalistic

Someone who is paternalistic takes all the decisions for the people they govern, employ, or are responsible for

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... ernalistic

When someone in authority acts like they're your parent, making decisions for you rather than allowing you to be responsible for yourself

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/paternalistic

The issue is that any decent government does have a duty of care towards its citizens and will pass laws for the general good of all. Most people are content with that, recognising that many people need to be governed because they're foolish, thoughtless, dim-witted, immature, or otherwise irresponsible. Or criminal, of course.

The problem arises when it begins to feel like micro-management, intrusive, overly personal, and so on. But I'd suggest this doesn't happen very often and there are definitely those who are going to moan and complain about any little thing just because they like doing it...

Probably just the sort of people who require paternalistic laws!
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 2nd, 2021, 1:36 am 

...

I can only think, off-hand, of two laws that I remember causing consternation when they first came out. One was compulsory seat-belts and the other was a total smoking ban in pubs.

Drivers said they felt like robots when, like good little citizens, they had to click their belt on whether they liked it or not. Many said they felt their movements were restricted physically by the belt and they could drive better without it. There was no argument that belts could save lives in a crash but nevertheless they felt it usurped their freedom of choice, comfort and initiative.

Then there were many who thought, as public houses usually provide a homely atmosphere where people can relax, forget their woes, meet their friends, etc, that it should be up to the landlords of each pub whether they should be non-smoking, partially smoking (separate rooms) or a smoking pub. But, again, they were told what to do and had to do it or risk fines and other penalties.

Now, of course, it's all accepted but you'd be surprised at the grumbling that still exists. I know personally of at least one advanced driver who feels inhibited by the strap across their body and frequently just arranges it to look good if the police are around.

And I've heard many people complain that the sight of workers congregating outside pubs, restaurants, offices, etc, especially in the cold of winter, is not a nice thing. And so on.

I'm sure there are lots more and better examples but it's probably one of those subjects to which there are no answers except specific ones.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 2nd, 2021, 1:44 am 

This is a funny little site but it's really quite good.

https://www.qcc.cuny.edu/socialsciences ... TONOMY.htm
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby doogles on March 2nd, 2021, 6:32 am 

Charon, thanks for that info about conkers. I'd never heard of it, and it's all the more interesting to hear from a non-Australian that the equivalent was played in parts of Australia with quandongs. I have seen horse chestnuts. My father was a 10-year-old English boy when he came to Australia with his family in 1912. He acquired some one time and roasted them over the open fireplace, but the word 'conkers' never came into the conversation.

My mention of a definition for the purposes of this thread only arose because of TheVat's use of 'paternalisic' in the case of a law giving a man the right to kill an unfaithful wife. It wasn't a real issue, but just a comment on why we might see the one situation differently. I appreciate your efforts in citing the various dictionaries, but I was thinking more of a specific one for the purposes of discussion in this thread. Most Acts of Parliaments write their own 'definitions for the purposes of this Act' at the commencement of such Acts.

Serpent has now provided one -- "I intended 'paternalistic' to mean the state taking on the role of parental control over adult citizens, to protect them from their own folly." That seems straight-forward enough to me.

If you use Serpent's definition, then the banning of playing conkers is only paternalistic if it applies to adults.

Like you Charon, I witnessed and experienced much annoyance at the seat belt laws when they originally came into effect, and I felt that the early restrictions on smoking were a bit rich when the early literature was bandying figures about that something like 6 people per hundred thousand were dying from lung cancer. Time, and more solid data on the risks, have changed most attitudes.

I think Serpent is correct in differentiating between patriarchal and paternalistic laws.

All up, we have not identified a significant number of bad paternalistic laws, and the tone of discussion seems to indicate that any such laws tend to be at local government level. Unless someone can come up with some blatant cases we can kick around, I feel as if we have just about exhausted discussion on the matter.

I must say that I've enjoyed the side anecdotes in this thread re Serpent's early life and about conkers etc.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 2nd, 2021, 11:25 am 

I can't say I consider these laws, or a government's power to pass such laws "bad" in any absolute sense. I just think that, as conscientious citizens, we need to pay attention and stop governments from overreaching the stated purpose of a law, or appending oppressive riders to the bill, or passing a law under false pretenses.

Here, I'm thinking of the regulations taken off business, and negotiating power taken away from workers under the false flag of personal liberty.

It's a good idea, too, to keep various areas of oversight under the auspices of specialized agencies, so that their mandate can be accurately defined, their ranks competently staffed and their authority appropriately circumscribed. For instance, I'm leery of any bureau named ATF(E) - alcohol and tobacco don't even belong together and certainly not with firearms and explosives --- especially when it's not even about public safety so much as taxation. The power of such an agency is far too broad, poorly understood and readily expanded - the potential for abuse is frightening. Even food and drugs no belong under a single umbrella: each category needs its own field.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 2nd, 2021, 1:20 pm 

Doogles -

Have you not heard of the Australian game 'bullies'? It's not chestnuts but I believe it's similar.

Forgive me if I don't play the definitions game. There's only one definition of paternalistic and I see no point in wriggling about it.

Patriarchy is a male-dominated system which can certainly be reinforced with laws but there are no patriarchal laws (as there are paternalistic laws). Patriarchy and paternalism are two quite different things.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby TheVat on March 2nd, 2021, 1:55 pm 

I too enjoyed some of the reminiscence here.

Some nanny laws have become outmoded simply because the restriction is now encoded in nanny automobile circuitry.

The most common example is the seatbelt alarm - mechanics won't turn this feature off for you, so you would have to have nerves of steel to take a long trip with the car nonstop beeping at you. (or have some EE skills)

Another one is the newer cars with the breath analyzer -- haven't checked how widespread they are, but I know you can't drive them if your blood alcohol is over a specific level.

While these may not be paternalistic features in a bad way, I feel they have some negative psychological aspects for society and for people taking responsibility. A car is something I view as a transport tool that serves me, not the other way around. I feel it's up to me to use a tool responsibly and with an eye to the safety of others. In particular, I find it annoying to be doing a leg of a trip where I'm going to drive on a quiet street at speeds where a seatbelt isn't much value, and my car is this relentless harpy shrieking at me to put on the belt. If there is road ice, and/or high traffic conditions, or I'm moving faster than 25 mph, then I will exercise my own discretion and belt up.

Basically, humans don't like to be coerced into doing what they already are willing to do. And I think that aspect goes to the heart of an ethics discussion: are ethical actions which are inwardly directed of greater value, in the long run, than those which are coerced?

I also don't like car navigation systems predicated on the idea that I'm too stupid to read a map. What do you get when you have a tech infrastructure that assumes you're incapable of doing something for yourself? People who are somewhat infantilized, people who are incapable of doing things for themselves.
Map reading is a valuable skill and it's good for your brain. Should be part of everyone's cognitive skill set.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 2nd, 2021, 2:22 pm 

Well, we've been through that already. Not everyone is serious and responsible. What do you do with the idiots?

When you say 'I don't need to be told this! Whaddya think I am, stupid?' you're really only considering yourself.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 2nd, 2021, 3:42 pm 

TheVat » March 2nd, 2021, 12:55 pm wrote:Some nanny laws have become outmoded simply because the restriction is now encoded in nanny automobile circuitry.

Not just cars, either! Washing machines are a good example: they won't start unless the lid is locked.... and guess which component in the entire machine breaks down soonest? The worst example of all are those airplanes where the computer overrides the pilot's decision - those malfunction, everybody dies.
(We recently added the Science Documentary channel to our satellite service, and it's been regaling us with marathon marine and airline disasters.)

Basically, humans don't like to be coerced into doing what they already are willing to do. And I think that aspect goes to the heart of an ethics discussion: are ethical actions which are inwardly directed of greater value, in the long run, than those which are coerced?

I hadn't thought of it exactly that way, but - Yes, I think so. Better for the individual, in some cases, perhaps in most cases. Better for society, I'm quite sure. Because I think the chances of communal survival are improved by a populace willing, emotionally prepared and educated to exercise individual responsibility.
(Of course, that education must necessarily include an an understanding of our interdependency and regard for one's fellow citizens.)

People who are somewhat infantilized, people who are incapable of doing things for themselves.
Map reading is a valuable skill and it's good for your brain. Should be part of everyone's cognitive skill set.

Wholeheartedly agree.
It's not all down to the state, however: there is a wide, deep vein of self-interest on the part of the manufacturers. The less you can do for yourself, the less competent and confident you feel in navigating all aspects of your life, the more handy, convenient, labour-saving stuff they can sell you. And the more electronic circuitry your gadgets have, the more components will need replacing, since nobody in the world knows how to repair them. And so we head toward the dystopias of mid-20th century science fiction.
(That reminds me, I must remember to take a bit of tape when we go shopping in the new car tomorrow, to cover up the annoying dashboard warning light for one of those helpful reminders we chose not to pay extra for.)
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby TheVat on March 3rd, 2021, 9:18 pm 

charon » March 2nd, 2021, 11:22 am wrote:Well, we've been through that already. Not everyone is serious and responsible. What do you do with the idiots?

When you say 'I don't need to be told this! Whaddya think I am, stupid?' you're really only considering yourself.


As Serpent's reply addresses, the consideration was not just myself but the overall impact of laws (or corporate marketing of helplessness) on the integrity and growth of a self-reliant adult mind. My sense is that the idiots would also benefit from an awareness that laws and clever machines cannot make their world a pillowy paradise. Lots of dangerous things still out there -- what happens to the idiot when they buy their first angle grinder and have been lulled into thinking everything has a safety feature that protects them? So long, fingers!
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 3rd, 2021, 11:05 pm 

edited but no warning notice - see post below.
Last edited by charon on March 3rd, 2021, 11:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 3rd, 2021, 11:22 pm 

Here's a piece that may have some bearing - https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-researcher-blames-social-conformity-not-leadership-on-covid-death-rates about national attitudes and Covid-19 death rates. The numbers are sobering enough. The explanation is incomplete. Worth wondering about.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 3rd, 2021, 11:36 pm 

Vat -

the overall impact of laws (or corporate marketing of helplessness) on the integrity and growth of a self-reliant adult mind


Well, I'm probably fairly self-reliant but I'm not sure that my mind is 'growing' or 'has grown'. I'm not sure what that means. It's pretty much the same as it's always been, I think!

I can certainly honestly say I've never thought 'such and such a law makes me feel stupid/helpless/dependent'. In fact, I can't say I think about the law at all. When I get in a car I belt up, I just do it, it's what you're supposed to do. If I HAD to think about it apparently it's pretty good at saving lives in a crash. But then so are air bags.

Um... I'm trying to think of other examples but I can't, I just don't have that kind of problem with life. I think I've only invoked the law once and on that occasion it was on my side. I can hear people thinking 'lucky' but I think it has far more to do with a sensible attitude.

So I have to ask myself if this whole thread subject isn't rooted in an ego thing, or an authority problem, or some sort of paranoia, or a feeling of being a victim, or... god knows what. You'd have to ask the OP :-)
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 3rd, 2021, 11:39 pm 

Serpent » March 4th, 2021, 4:22 am wrote:Here's a piece that may have some bearing - https://lfpress.com/opinion/columnists/dyer-researcher-blames-social-conformity-not-leadership-on-covid-death-rates about national attitudes and Covid-19 death rates. The numbers are sobering enough. The explanation is incomplete. Worth wondering about.


What's that got to do with paternalism?
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 3rd, 2021, 11:56 pm 

charon » March 3rd, 2021, 10:39 pm wrote:What's that got to do with paternalism?

Quarantine, masking and social distancing rules during the pandemic have been somewhat contentious; sometimes attacked as repressive to personal liberty, often cited as paternalistic. The outcomes in various countries closely correspond to the degree of popular compliance with these laws - i.e. where people's attitude was "Don't tell me what to do!" more of them got sick and more of them died. Quite a lot more, in fact.
I'm not sure whether the numbers say more about the Japanese people's individual common sense or their trust in the government acting in their best interest.
I just thought it was worth thinking about.
Thinking is, as always, optional.
So I have to ask myself if this whole thread subject isn't rooted in an ego thing, or an authority problem, or some sort of paranoia, or a feeling of being a victim, or... god knows what. You'd have to ask the

If you cared to articulate "ego thing" "authority problem" and "feeling of being a victim", I could respond with particulars. I do understand "paranoia" and can assure you it wasn't a factor.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 4th, 2021, 12:44 am 

articulate "ego thing" "authority problem" and "feeling of being a victim"


What do you think it means? Is 'daddy' really mollycoddling me by saying 'wear a mask against this deadly virus' or am I just being immature thinking I'm being told what to do?

Teenagers and rebellious people do this, don't they? You say 'Be careful on the stairs'. A sensible person will say 'Oh, yes, I will, thank you' but an immature, rebellious person starts thinking 'He's telling me what to do!'.

Surely you can see the difference?
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 4th, 2021, 1:25 am 

charon » March 3rd, 2021, 11:44 pm wrote:
articulate "ego thing" "authority problem" and "feeling of being a victim"


What do you think it means? Is 'daddy' really mollycoddling me by saying 'wear a mask against this deadly virus' or am I just being immature thinking I'm being told what to do?

Teenagers and rebellious people do this, don't they? You say 'Be careful on the stairs'. A sensible person will say 'Oh, yes, I will, thank you' but an immature, rebellious person starts thinking 'He's telling me what to do!'.

Surely you can see the difference?

Yes, I can. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 4th, 2021, 2:59 am 

Which means your attitude to these sorts of protective laws is quite different. You don't think 'They're telling me what to do and treating me like an imbecile'.

After all, what would you do in their place? Say you're a governor or legislator and Covid comes along, which it has. What would you do? Forget masks, lockdowns, containment, and all that? What would you do?
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 4th, 2021, 10:27 am 

charon » March 4th, 2021, 1:59 am wrote:Which means your attitude to these sorts of protective laws is quite different.

My attitude has been expressed. Seeing the difference between two statements is not the same as agreement that they sum up the entire situation.
You don't think 'They're telling me what to do and treating me like an imbecile'.

I think they are often over-protective, for one or more unexpressed reasons.
One reason is that a law has to be inclusive and universally applied. If it's meant to protect the most immature and irresponsible, it's annoyingly restrictive to those who don't need such protection. Some safety regulations are intended to protect people from irresponsible manufacturers and employers, but some are actually for the protection of corporations against lawsuits. Many of the laws considered too paternalistic are not for the protection of irresponsible individuals so much as protection of the public from irresponsible individuals. And some laws are presented as protective but are actually repressive in aid of a disguised agenda.

After all, what would you do in their place?

Something different in each situation, depending on prevailing conditions and my legislature's policy platform.
Say you're a governor or legislator and Covid comes along, which it has. What would you do? Forget masks, lockdowns, containment, and all that? What would you do?

As emperor, I would have locked everything tight last February, and then instituted five committees to figure out what to do about the resulting hardships, and kept it locked down until the infection was stopped.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 4th, 2021, 10:44 am 

As emperor, I would have locked everything tight last February, and then instituted five committees to figure out what to do about the resulting hardships, and kept it locked down until the infection was stopped.


And then been accused of heavy-handed paternalism while large sections of the populace held parties on the beach... etc, etc! Just like now!

From Sky News today:

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-mor ... s-12235713
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 4th, 2021, 3:03 pm 

charon » March 4th, 2021, 9:44 am wrote:And then been accused of heavy-handed paternalism

Emperors don't have to care what they're accused of.
while large sections of the populace held parties on the beach... etc, etc!

No, they would not. For one of two reasons:
If I'd been a heavy-handed ruler, they might whisper, but wouldn't dare defy my decrees. Indeed, they might be surprised and grateful that I let them hide in their homes, rather than forcing them to serve the economy.
If I had been a benevolent ruler, they would be in the habit of trusting that I made all decisions with their best interest as prime consideration. They would expect to be informed of the dangers, recommended precautions and what help would be made available.

The UK has had some wretchedly bad governance in the last half century. And one of the highest Covid death rates. The relationship between those two facts is not simply how badly the government prepared for and responded to the present crisis. It also proceeds from the habitual - deserved - mistrust of the people toward the government.
My citizenry would be far better versed in both civics and science, and far better equipped to face a crisis.
Serpent
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby charon on March 4th, 2021, 4:19 pm 

Sorry not to be more fun, but I don't see that an imagined scenario is a solid response to a factual one.

As I said before, I personally have never had a problem with laws, paternalistic or otherwise. I'm sure others do, like those people who keep getting targeted because of their colour, and so on.

If I had a motorbike I'd wear a helmet. I belt up when in cars. If a sign says No Entry I don't go there. Why complicate life? It's not worth it.
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Re: Paternalism in law-making

Postby Serpent on March 4th, 2021, 4:47 pm 

charon » March 4th, 2021, 3:19 pm wrote:Sorry not to be more fun, but I don't see that an imagined scenario is a solid response to a factual one.

You asked what I would do.
What actual governments do - and variously did do - depends on how sound their governing principles and policies are over time. The relationship between a people and its rulers is reciprocal, and the reactions of one to the other in an unexpected situation depends on the degree of trust the people have developed, which depends on the degree of competence, efficiency and good will the government has demonstrated.

As I said before, I personally have never had a problem with laws, paternalistic or otherwise. I'm sure others do, like those people who keep getting targeted because of their colour, and so on.

It's those "so on's" that cause problems. Lots of problems. For "those people", very serious problems.
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