segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012

Quanto chega? [8]

"What intellectual, moral and political resources still exist in Western societies to reverse the onslaught of insatiability and redirect our purposes towards the good life? (...) How far should policy be pushed to realize these aims? The crux of the matter is the extent to which a liberal state is justified in interfering with individual decisions about how much to work and what to consume. Liberal economists and philosophers are strongly committed to non-paternalism, that is, to the view that individuals are the best judge of their own interests; or, even if they are not, that they should be free to make their own mistakes. Economists believe that people should be allowed to work as long as they want, and that what consumers want to buy ought to determine what is produced, because only that allocation of goods which satisfies the wants of individual consumers maximizes the welfare of the community. More generally, most modern liberals believe that any departure from 'neutrality' in these matters on the part of the state constitutes a violation of individual freedom. Our position may be described as non-coercive paternalism. We believe that state powers may be used to promote the basic goods, but only in so far as this does not damage the central good of personality. Our preference is therefore always for non-coercive over coercive measures. So what we propose below involves encouraging or discouraging certain kinds of behaviour, without introducing any new limitations on the individual's freedom of choice; indeed, our proposals are designed to increase the average individual's freedom of choice. [Policies suggested: basic income, reducing the pressure to consume, and reducing advertising.]"