We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
One of the grave errors of the modern mind – an error found in America in the presumptions, assertions, and actions of “Progressives” from Woodrow Wilson through Barack Obama – is the belief that society must, or should, be engineered. This principal belief naturally entails the subsidiary beliefs that the engineering must be done by the state, and that in doing its engineering the state must ignore, or even destroy, any forces of social organization that hamper state-officials’ social-engineering efforts.
A great deal of legislation and, especially, law in a free society is inevitably inconsistent with the blueprints of social engineers. And so, in their unreflective and unscientific presumption that society has no self-organizing forces, the social engineers are blind to the logic of the law and to the importance of legal processes. The social engineers therefore do not see – because their blindness prevents them from seeing – the benefits that emerge over time through the operations of decentralized, spontaneous-ordering forces. The social engineers’ designs and intrusions destroy, or at least severely weaken, these forces. But being blind to these forces, the social engineers are blind to what they destroy.
The Farm could invite a particularly creative regular hereabouts to opine at great, mono-paragraphical length on the purported benefits of rampant, politically-subjective Republican progressivism, circa 2016, primarily economic and with regard to trade: It appears that lumbering neocon globalism is not only not extinct, but in some bizarre neo-Rooseveltian, "conservative" reality has adopted engineering from both sides of the aisle.
This harmonious utopia-building one assumes owes to the ostensible right's interminable codependency on the left coupled with its own machinating, latter-day hubris at all odds with originalist principle.
Or as someone used to say all the time, "doing the work of the American people."
the flawed reasoning in that quote is too tangled to work through, it consists of assertions and simplifications and mild ad hominems that the author needs to believe are true.
the fact is, effective "self organizing forces" like trade organizations, energy conglomerates, trade unions, etc. run this country. society's "self-organizing forces" are resistant to change and usually support the status quo because, you know, they benefit from it. they created it.
and while some here may naturally argue that Jim Crow laws, for example, or child labor, or separate but equal, were positive goods, I think that sometimes social engineering can be the better route, where it is possible.
this is a nuanced issue, and (he's actually a law professor, I had to check because holy shi'ite he can't make an argument to save his life) Boudreaux glosses over these by preaching as his choir. I say this as one who is totally in favor of repealing child labor laws and allowing the vermin to work 60 hour weeks in salt mines. and who among you True American Patriots could agree with state-officials’ social-engineering efforts that desegregated the Army or removed racial barriers to voting?
Donny "The Bear Jew" Donowitz
Not all "planning" by government is bad. The problem is that it is a powerful tool that can be misused and the left often does just that. The engineer side of me likes order and logical planning while the politically conservative side of me dislikes big government and excessive rules and regulations. But I believe there can be a balance. We all are responsible to show up and have our voices heard and to be informed and vote. The reason the far left gets away with hijacking our government is because we don't oversee what our government is doing. To the extent it fails or becomes oppressive is our fault not the fault of trying to "plan".
The problem that almost all social engineering types have is that they ignore human nature when they plan our futures. Anyone or any group that ignores human nature will always get it wrong, and then they'll wonder why they failed.
It's why socialism always fails in the end - socialism is based upon the premise that people can be altruistic all the time. But they can't, no matter how much time the socialists try to make it happen. Every attempt to change that failed. Even the more draconian efforts to re-engineer human nature failed spectacularly. So what makes the social engineering types think they'll succeed when everyone else failed?