[lit-ideas] Re: The continuation of Realpolitik -- a counterfactual

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 01:48:29 -0400

David: I heartily support the notion of "'curbing'...done in the
interests of human potential", but I'll also freely admit to being
something of a fascist (read advocate of benevolent dictatorship).

I am torn between the seemingly oppositional values of individual
freedom and that classic notion of the greater good.  Put simply, I'm
not sure we have the 'right' to behave selfishly when the price of our
actions is a denial of the basic human needs of others.

Eric: There's a difference between (a) the individual recognition that
one's actions are selfish and choosing to act differently as a result of
that recognition, and (b) being told by any self-appointed authority
that one's actions are selfish and being forced to act differently with
the carrot of "moral rights" dangled in front as a consolation.

In other words, "the greater good" is so frequently used to manipulate
opinion and action, that it cannot be trusted ex cathedra.

Remembering that the first law Hitler enacted was a ban on lobster pithing,

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