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Is Paternalism a necessity?
tycho
#1 Posted : Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:25:40 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
Quote:
noun
the policy or practice on the part of people in authority of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those subordinate to or otherwise dependent on them in their supposed interest.


Why do most wazuans appear to believe in it?
tycho
#2 Posted : Thursday, April 18, 2019 5:31:11 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
In the case of 'Democracy' we say that it's 'a government of the people for the people by the people...'

But then, who are these 'people'? Are they the electorate of the moment?

To me, these 'people' can only be an abstract entity on whom an electorate or part of an electorate projects certain ideas, and also an abstract source of introjecting ideas...

Therefore, a majority needs to safeguard a minority, and it's possible for the minority today to become tomorrow's majority.

The people are invisible and not subject to proof... 'The people' are hardly a 'scientific' entity.
Kusadikika
#3 Posted : Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:48:24 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/22/2008
Posts: 2,362
People are like clouds, they are only people when considered from a distance.

Suppose you had 2 persons at a spot where the 2 of them could see a cloud at a distance. Suppose one of them got on a miniature flying machine heading towards the cloud. The person on the ground would be able to see the other one getting closer and closer to the cloud and finally dissapearing into the cloud. The person on the flying machine may not have such a distinct experience. He may start out with the impression of getting closer and closer to the cloud but may not know when he enters it and neither will he have an experience of being in the cloud when he is in it.

A cloud only exists to an outside observer. There is no substance called cloud.
alma1
#4 Posted : Thursday, April 18, 2019 7:48:47 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 9/19/2015
Posts: 2,385
Location: hapo
To be honest, I have absolutely no clue what this topic is about.
Thieves are not good people. Tumeelewana?
Thitifini
#5 Posted : Friday, April 19, 2019 3:02:24 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 1/15/2015
Posts: 535
Location: Kenya
alma1 wrote:
To be honest, I have absolutely no clue what this topic is about.

I two_youSad

60% Learning, 30% synthesizing, 10% Debating
tycho
#6 Posted : Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:07:03 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
Thitifini wrote:
alma1 wrote:
To be honest, I have absolutely no clue what this topic is about.

I two_youSad


This is arguably one of the critical topics of our time. Since Robert Thaler and Cass Susstein wrote their book on 'Nudge theory' and governments got cosy on using nudges in their work, it has become increasingly important for citizens to understand whether 'paternalistic libertarianism' is a valid concept.

With the advent of 'internet of things' it's likely that most political, economic and legal ideas will be saturated with nudges. The implications are diverse and worthy of concern.

For example, even if GOK doesn't share 'Huduma' details with third parties, it's probable that they may use them to nudge people towards their wishes. Would that be ethical?

There are many other related issues....
tycho
#7 Posted : Saturday, April 20, 2019 12:09:06 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
Kusadikika wrote:
People are like clouds, they are only people when considered from a distance.

Suppose you had 2 persons at a spot where the 2 of them could see a cloud at a distance. Suppose one of them got on a miniature flying machine heading towards the cloud. The person on the ground would be able to see the other one getting closer and closer to the cloud and finally dissapearing into the cloud. The person on the flying machine may not have such a distinct experience. He may start out with the impression of getting closer and closer to the cloud but may not know when he enters it and neither will he have an experience of being in the cloud when he is in it.

A cloud only exists to an outside observer. There is no substance called cloud.


... Still digesting your thoughts...
tycho
#8 Posted : Sunday, April 21, 2019 9:57:10 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
Kusadikika wrote:
People are like clouds, they are only people when considered from a distance.

Suppose you had 2 persons at a spot where the 2 of them could see a cloud at a distance. Suppose one of them got on a miniature flying machine heading towards the cloud. The person on the ground would be able to see the other one getting closer and closer to the cloud and finally dissapearing into the cloud. The person on the flying machine may not have such a distinct experience. He may start out with the impression of getting closer and closer to the cloud but may not know when he enters it and neither will he have an experience of being in the cloud when he is in it.

A cloud only exists to an outside observer. There is no substance called cloud.


The conclusion doesn't seem to follow. Change in perception or perspective may not necessarily mean that the perceived object doesn't exist.

For example, is it plausible to say that a mirage doesn't exist because if you get close enough to it, it disappears?

Again some things may not be perceived easily yet they still exist...

Yet what you say sounds so familiar...
Kusadikika
#9 Posted : Sunday, April 21, 2019 3:06:51 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/22/2008
Posts: 2,362
tycho wrote:
Kusadikika wrote:
People are like clouds, they are only people when considered from a distance.

Suppose you had 2 persons at a spot where the 2 of them could see a cloud at a distance. Suppose one of them got on a miniature flying machine heading towards the cloud. The person on the ground would be able to see the other one getting closer and closer to the cloud and finally dissapearing into the cloud. The person on the flying machine may not have such a distinct experience. He may start out with the impression of getting closer and closer to the cloud but may not know when he enters it and neither will he have an experience of being in the cloud when he is in it.

A cloud only exists to an outside observer. There is no substance called cloud.


The conclusion doesn't seem to follow. Change in perception or perspective may not necessarily mean that the perceived object doesn't exist.

For example, is it plausible to say that a mirage doesn't exist because if you get close enough to it, it disappears?

Again some things may not be perceived easily yet they still exist...

Yet what you say sounds so familiar...


Consider this. A man called Odhiambo is 35 years old, lives in Kibera and works in Industrial area. How many groups of people does he belong to? Here are a few:

Wapita njia - He walks to work
Abiria - Once in a while he takes a matatu
Wakaazi wa kitongoji duni cha Kibera
Wafuasi wa ODM
Wajaluo
Wenyeji wenye hamaki - A few times a thief has been caught in Kibera and punished
Wakatoliki
Vijana
Wakenya
Wanaume
Wapiga kura
Waafrika
Wafanyi kazi
Customers
Subscribers


When Odhiambo is at home and listens to news on radio talking about people like this does he recognize himself as one of those people? Those people do exist..... but only to someone who has defined a vantage point from which to observe human beings. You can create a people by creating a definition.
tycho
#10 Posted : Monday, April 22, 2019 8:57:55 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
I agree with you that creating classes or groups tends to create people. Though these new people appear to be secondary...

That brings us to a curious situation: for example, when a government says, 'this is for the good of the people' is it either engaging in violence by insisting that people adhere to their created classes-like for our friend Odhis. Or does it hope that people will accept classes that haven't been clearly defined?
tom_boy
#11 Posted : Monday, April 22, 2019 9:22:32 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 2/20/2007
Posts: 677
Politics needs to move away from politics of identity to where individuals are considered as distinct persons with unique preferences. This is the only way to achieve truely free society.

E. G, Labelling Odhis as a Jaluo puts him in a group that is ambiguos, undefinable and one that he may not even identify with.

It follows that libertarian paternalism is a good tool of governance in some individual situations but would be terrible in other situations. The huduma number is one of those terrible situtions.
They must find it difficult....... those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority. -G. Massey.
Kusadikika
#12 Posted : Monday, April 22, 2019 3:10:53 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/22/2008
Posts: 2,362
People groups are not permanent. They arise and disappear and mutate. Some are longer lasting than others like tribes and religion and when they last long enough create identities in their individual members.

Government has the means of violence but it does not necessarily have to use it. I think an even more effective way of shepherding people into groups is seduction rather than violence. Businesses do it all the time. 20 years ago there were no Membas but Equity bank came along and seduced people to become Membas. Religious leaders also draw followers by seduction although many also rely on the potential threat of violence in the form of hell.

So if Government determines something is good for the people, let it seduce them. If it turns out to be really good for the people they should freely go along.

Violence also has its place. Suppose that the Government has decided that a dam is good for the people and has managed to convince 990 people out of 1000 to move from their homes to a different place to allow for its construction but 10 vichwa ngumu guys are not persuaded and they insist on staying then a little violence could be used.

Another good strategy is to trick people. A good example is the decision by Government that it is a good thing for phone numbers to be traceable to individuals. If this requirement was there from the very beginning adoption of mobile phones would have been very slow because people are naturally lazy and suspicious of new things. Instead what happened is that mobile companies were allowed to sell as many sim cards as they possibly could to anyone who wanted one without any strings attached. Once everyone had a phone including some creative prisoners in Kamiti then the next step could be taken and that was to require registration or risk being switched off.
tycho
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:27:25 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
@Kusadikika, that's what nudge theory is about. And my question is, why is this the necessary thing for government to do?

A government can only work legitimately when it is consented to by the people. If 'people' are manufactured in the way you've illustrated then we are dealing with illegitimate governments, since consent demands consciousness of the situation, approbation of probabilities and finally choice.

tycho
#14 Posted : Tuesday, April 23, 2019 6:34:20 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
tom_boy wrote:
Politics needs to move away from politics of identity to where individuals are considered as distinct persons with unique preferences. This is the only way to achieve truely free society.

E. G, Labelling Odhis as a Jaluo puts him in a group that is ambiguos, undefinable and one that he may not even identify with.

It follows that libertarian paternalism is a good tool of governance in some individual situations but would be terrible in other situations. The huduma number is one of those terrible situtions.


Is recognizing autonomy and consent enough for freedom? And by the way, assuming that now consent is being manufactured, is the end of it freedom? How can we begin to understand how a government can enhance the freedom of her people?

Are we talking about SGR here? The new curriculum? If we make the foundations of state and government on the economy, aren't we losing it?
tycho
#15 Posted : Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:16:13 AM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 8,380
Location: Nairobi
Perhaps a clue to our question is offered when we consider the history of humanity and try to find the roots of paternalism.

In my opinion, Hesiod's description of the ages of Man is true and offers a way out. Paternalism is the desire of the elite to retain a status quo that aspires to the golden age of the beginning. The elite are paternal because of tradition.

If this is true, then paternalism can't be necessary since in the golden age no paternal relations existed.

The key to our times is the rediscovery of the golden age, even by Wanjiku...
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