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And locally as well - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
And locally as well
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sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: May 12th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I'm unconvinced by any argument that essentially says "we must save the poor uneducated masses from themselves" as it's coming very close to smacking of paternalism. If lack of education is a problem, we need to educate better, not route around the damage caused by it. People should have the freedom to act in ways that aren't in their own best interest, because we can't set ourselves up as arbiters of what that best interest might be.

Edited at 2010-05-12 01:23 am (UTC)
undyingking From: undyingking Date: May 12th, 2010 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
So are you opposed to positive discrimination under any circumstances? That's a perfectly reasonable position -- but not one I agree with. My feeling is that social groups who are systemically disadvantaged -- be that women, ethnic minorities, the poor, or whoever -- should be helped to overcome that disadvantage. I don't see that as paternalistic, but as humanistic.

we need to educate better, not route around the damage caused by it

You see, I would say that we need to educate better, and that until we have succeeded in doing so, we need to compensate for that lack. Your formula would be fine in the hands of a beneficent government -- but in the hands of a real-world one, it allows for nothing to be done other than the expression of pious hopes, and for the situation to persist.

I don't think that one can really talk about people's "freedom to act" when circumstances are heavily stacked against them being able to exercise such freedom.

we can't set ourselves up as arbiters

That also seems to me like a potential excuse for complacent inaction. Not that I'm accusing you of that, of course -- but you must be aware that it's just the kind of thing that reactionaries say when they don't want their current entrenched advantages to be threatened.

(But all this is me being a red-blooded socialist, so I would quite understand if you reject it wholesale :-)
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