20.4.13

THE ALTERNATIVE TO COERCING UNINFORMED PEOPLE?

Don Boudreaux first counts the ways in which The Enlightened of various stripes fancy themselves able to Impress the Right Motions on the chess-pieces.  He then contemplates the way in which The Enlightened seek to expand their powers by the Consent of the Governed. "The more expansive is the scope of government authority, the more my life is subject to commands issued in part under the influence of people who read Us magazine."  Lynne Kiesling made the case for limiting what coalition-builders could do with the Public Power a few years ago.
Every individual has his/her own preferences, own view of the good life, own objective function. The “man of system” cannot know, cannot experience the wants, the needs, the social context in which each individual makes choices (individual and collective choices). To the extent that the imposed system creates an environment that does not honor the knowledge problem, it makes both the individual and society worse off. The “man of system” approach to institutional choice is not consistent with that epistemological constraint. Is this an argument for representative government, even with they “tyranny of the majority” problem?
Perhaps not, but taking away people's guns, or beer, or pressure cookers is Necessary and Proper to Producing A Better World.

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