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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Socienics

Arnold Kling has an excellent essay over at Tech Central Station entitled, "Fight Socienics". Kling makes an interesting analogy between early the twentieth century elite fascination with eugenics and the current belief of social good over economic freedom and coins a new word:
Socienics is seductive today, just as eugenics was seductive to the "enlightened classes" a hundred years ago. But we need to fight socienics. The presumption should be that our individual liberty is foremost.

Taxes and regulation that infringe on individual rights should have to climb difficult hurdles of Constitutional review, not be granted easy deference. The standard for sanctioning the taking of our property in the name of social good should be something far stronger than a city council's majority vote supported by a thin policy rationale. Instead, the standard needs to approach "beyond a reasonable doubt."

What I am advocating is a dramatic change in our political culture. Just as eugenics came to be viewed with revulsion, I am suggesting that all of the socienics projects that attempt to use government to achieve social improvement need to be questioned and challenged.
At a minimum, that's for sure.

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