Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) wrote,
Paul Crowley

Let's start calling it paternalism.

I’m not one of those who think that paternalism is always wrong. I’m OK with laws that require the use of seat belts, for example; people aren’t too good at weighing up small unavailable risks, the cost of wearing a seat belt is pretty small for nearly everyone, and the rule saves a large number of lives for a fairly small cost in liberty. But I’d like to start calling it what it is; it’s a statement that we know better what is good for people than they do.

Prostitutes prefer it if their clients aren’t arrested. So if you’re going to advocate the “Swedish Model” in the interests of those currently working as prostitutes, please be upfront that what you’re calling for is paternalism. Don’t advocate this model if you’re not prepared to say, in terms, that you think you know what is good for those working as prostitutes better than they do.

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