Monday, February 1, 2016

Nudging is the New Soft Tyranny

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the “EpicTimes” news and commentary website on, “Individual Rights Must Be Preserved Without Interference from the Government.”

The fundamental issue facing society is that of the freedom of the individual versus political paternalism. Shall the individual be free to peacefully and honestly live his life as he chooses including interacting with others for mutual betterment, or shall the government presume to control and command in both great ways and small how he lives, acts and associates with others?

While “freedom” is touted on both the “left” and the “right,” in fact both “progressives” and too many political conservatives wish to use the government in various ways to make us live, act and interact with others in ways that they consider better or superior to our own choices and decisions in these matters.

The new term for such government meddling is called “nudging,” moving people in directions the intervening “experts” believe we should be pushed towards. Governments may not brutally command behavior like in the totalitarian states of the recent past. But they manipulate the trade-offs and incentives through fiscal and regulatory policy to “influence” our decisions, thus rigging the outcomes while all the time saying people are “free” to guide their own life.

This is the new “soft” tyranny that continues to threaten not just our freedom but also our failure to realize and appreciate just how controlled and manipulated we really are.


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