interests -Reply

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Thu Apr 13 13:40:34 MDT 1995


On Wed, 12 Apr 1995, Tom Meisenhelder wrote:
>
> I think jwalker is right but I don't like it.

Bit if he thinks that the concept of interests justifies paternalism he is
certainly wrong.

  Sure saying you know what
> is in some people/person's interests implies that they ought to do what
> follows and if you know their interests when they don't it may be that you
> could/should tell them how best to act --even if that action is not what
> they desire.  But then again don't we also believe that critical analysis
> and thought reveals to the analyst knowledge not necessarily seen by the
> actors themselves.  So do we just eat this special knowledge of ours or
> what?   Its possible that we must demonstrate its validity to those it is
> about but what if they refuse to accept it anyway?  Just thinking out
> loud.  Tom>

Well, what I do, if I remain convinced that I am right, iss to continue to
argue, exhort, propagandize, etc. And even if I had the power to make
peoiple do what I thought was right--to impose socialism, say on an
unwilling populace, I wouldn't do it. I'd still think it was in the
worker's interests, but thinking that does not give me the right to make
them do what I think is good for them. The short answer is, yes. If you
can't sell it, you have to eat it.

--Justin

>  >  >
> > On Wed, 12 Apr 1995, Lisa Rogers wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > >>> Justin Schwartz <jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us>  4/12/95,
> > > 09:02am >>>
> > >
> > > In the following Lisa Rogers says that talk about interests--what's
> > > good for you--threatens to justify paternalism. I think this is a
> > > mistake.
> > >
> > >
> > > >>>>It wasn't just me, I was responding to John Walker, but you have
> > > clarified the issue admirably.  I agree with you, Justin.
> > >
> > > Lisa
> > >
> > Well, I think Lisa was right to be antsy about talk of what's in people's
> > interest, once that's separated from what people actually (happen to)
> > desire.  It may be true that noting that something is in a person's
> > interest even though they don't think it is, isn't strictly speaking
> > sufficient to justify coercing that person to do that thing.  But that's
> > the sort of consideration people invoke when they _do_ want to justify
> > paternalism.
> >
> > What's more, interest-talk does seem to establish _some_ sort of case for
> > getting people to do things.  For if something's in your interest, then
> > it'd be good for you to do, have, or be that thing.  And if it'd be good,
> > then that sure _sounds_ like a reason, of some strength, to do it.
> >
> > There may be countervailing reasons, of course.  But they're not all that
> > easy to find and articulate.  As you note, Justin, Mill's case against
> > paternalism is epistemological, and hence it's contingent and
> > rebuttable.  I wonder if there's a better one.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > John D. Walker
> >
> >
> >      --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
> >
>
>
>
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