More Archiving

And, if I have understood her correctly, that Heather MacDonald thinks the poor could use a little more sexual self-discipline, though no one seems to have much of a plan for how that might be imposed.

See, now that’s the problem right there. Effective social change is not imposed. We cannot force anyone do to anything.

Note: when I say this, I do not mean that it is possible but cannot be permitted. I mean that it isn’t possible in the first place.

If you’re still looking for someone or something to fix all the broken parts of society, you’re already on the wrong track. Everyone fixes themselves. Some members of the poor may restrain themselves, some may not. The key is not to interfere with the natural rewards and punishments of reality. Do not lay a heavier burden on those who act wisely, and do not lift the burden from those who act foolishly.

6 Responses to “More Archiving”

  1. Who are you quoting?

    We can force people to not do things by locking them up or killing them. We can often induce them to do things by threatening either of the previous actions if they don’t.

  2. “We can often induce them to do things by threatening either of the previous actions if they don’t.”

    People can still do those things. Threats are often effective at getting people to choose to act in the way you wish, but the choice is theirs.

    One of the dangers of using coercive social power is the tendency for the user to forget that ‘coercion’ is an illusion and the power is dangerously fragile.

  3. ‘coercion’ is an illusion

    • If I hold a gun to your head and threaten to kill you unless you do a particular thing, you have a choice: you can do the thing, or you can refuse.

      The purpose of the threat is to make doing that thing more appealing than not doing it, but it doesn’t necessarily succeed. It may well be that you’d prefer not to do it, even if your death is one of the consequences.

      You’re not forced to do one thing or the other. That would require directly hacking into your brain, and then the thing carrying out the action wouldn’t be ‘you’.

      You cannot be forced to do anything. But we soften our judgment of people who give in under threat of negative consequences, and speak of their being forced to act. Inaccuracy in language is a close friend of self-delusion.

  4. I think you’re using a non-standard definition of coercion. It’s frequently acknowledged that there is still a choice, but it’s like Sophie’s Choice.

  5. I don’t agree with that, either.

    How can a choice be coerced?

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