quinta-feira, 16 de abril de 2009

A ética do direito à escolha versus ética da liberdade responsável

The difficulty is, it’s mentally difficult to defend against regulating people’s behavior without slipping into actually supporting the behavior itself. And so it’s easy to find oneself celebrating Hummers to spite the environmentalists, celebrating cigarettes and fatburgers to spite the health regulators, and declaring we have no obligation to help the poor to tweek the social democrats.
And yet many of the ways in which some people choose to use their freedom (over consumption, fiscal irresponsibility, lacking any sense of responsibility for other members of the community) in turn create the demand for just the sort of massive society-shaping programs which as conservatives we oppose. If we fail to stigmatize (or even celebrate) the bad behaviors which we maintain people’s freedom to engage in, we create the environment in which people no longer see those freedoms as worth their cost.
I don’t have a policy recommendation here. I don’t suggest that we stop upholding personal freedom and distributed decision-making networks, nor is it possible to summon up a set of social stigmas from no where. But I do think that it’s important that, even while opposing top down solutions to social and political problems, we make sure that we don’t applaud choice simply because we uphold freedom. Somehow we must build a set of social judgments and stigmas such that we encourage people to use their freedom rightly. Otherwise we simply open the way for collectivist solutions which will try to use the blunt force of the law to regulate the most minute every-day decisions

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