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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Re: Re: Social engineering.

Liberal is believing in the right of the individual to try whatever he wishes, fall flat on his face in the process, and then figure out how to pick himself up again. It is simplistic, but before you get into discussions of how welfare can help, every individual needs to understand the first part before they start in on welfare.

You added a few wrinkles to social liberal that made me realize that I need to get my reference frame kit out. I use to hear social liberal and think "welfare" and now I hear "individual freedom".

This will not however make conversations with anyone here in the states easier.


Re: Re: Re: Social engineering.

A modern liberal is somebody who lives for others. You can recognise the others by their hunted look (© C S Lewis). The modern liberal genuinely wants to help people, by force if necessary. I feel that most desire for political domination comes not so much from the desire for power in itself but from the urge to simplify and tidy things up and have everybody thinking and acting in the same ways.

Re: Social engineering.

So far, there have been only two answers relating to the science of the question.

I don't doubt the validity of the social side of the argument but surely abuse of statistics is 'social engineering' ie getting conformity through misuse of statistics..

Incidentally, nudity is not illegal as was proved a while ago by some people parading nude in London. They were arrested on public order offences & then released without charge.

Whether they admitted those charges & were released on caution, I am not at the moment aware.


Re: Re: Social engineering.

Abuse of statistics, I suggest, is just lying. Social engineering is not always bad. The campiagn to abolish slavery was social engineering. I think the important distinction is between social engineering practised top-down by a self-appointed, self-regarding elite (Communism, the hunting ban), which always seems to involve industrial-scale lying, and the democratic process of truthful persuasion. To answer another point in this thread, most modern 'liberals' are illiberal. Unlike, say, John Stuart Mill, they think they have the right to ban something just because they dislike it or believe it to be wrong.

Re: Social engineering.

Democracy does, whether we like it or not, confer the right, even on liberals, to ban something just because they don't like it if enough of them don't like it. But I would expect liberals to tolerate a lot of stuff they don't like so that stuff they do which others don't like is likewise tolerated. The question is usually more one of where you do something than what exactly you do. If your dog craps on the street, it's rather difficult for me to avoid it. If your dog craps on your dinner table, that's none of my business. If you go hunting on private lands, I have to go out of my way to be affected by it - if I complain about it its because I'm casting around for something to be offended by. Even a liberal can legitimately call for the banning of dog **** deposition on the street - but not legitimately call for the banning of hunting on private land.

I don't need to affect statistics to dislike dog doo enough to want it banned. That the stuff is absolutely disgusting, even to dog owners, is enough evidence of harm. Statistics needn't come into it.

Re: Re: Social engineering.

No - a true liberal would never ban enything just because he or she didn't like it, or even if only one person in the world liked it and everybody else disliked it. This was Mill's point. He feared the tyranny of the majority. We only (he said) have the right to ban something if it does other people substantial harm (e.g. burglary, drunk driving), hence the need for establishment lying over the dangers of secondhand smoke; or if it involves people giving up too much of their freedom (e.g. slavery, addictive drugs).

Re: Social engineering.

Establishment lying would be needed if it were required to persuade gullible liberals to vote in order to pass bans on stuff. As it's an authoritarian socialist cabal "voting" to ban stuff, the lying is merely window dressing. I think they do the lying for the same reason as they do the banning - because they can.