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The Tyranny of Utility: Behavioral Social Science and the Rise of Paternalism

The banality of tyranny revisited

I notice an unusual number of visits from academic servers and assume the intellectuals at the Battle of Ideas have been reading what I said about them, while disdaining to comment. So be it. I can understand the community around this blog must seem strange and hostile to visitors from such cosy, intellectually monochrome, worlds.

While I briefly have their attention, however, could I ask them to read this old post from four years ago? I was then still living in Russia (I left for China at the end of 2009). I think it's to the point and should give them more pause for thought, perhaps, than my crude hammering at them in the past few days.

It's vain and probably against netiquette to quote myself, but just by way of a teaser to persuade them to follow the link;

Next time you hear an appealing abstraction weighed against the interests of an individual or a family, please picture a man making barbed wire to imprison his uncle or my neat little secretary typing a death list. They served abstractions too.

I love and have faith in my fellow men, even the ones I believe have fallen into dangerous, wicked error. If I could save a few such influential people from repeating some of the worst mistakes in history, my life would not have been in vain. Here's hoping.

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