Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Tyranny of Good-Intentions

I would welcome all to submit their favorite quotations on the subject of "Tyranny of Good-Intentions" in the comments section here.

"Probably more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out evil than by men intent on doing evil." ~Frederick Hayek

"The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes." ~Thomas Paine

"There's no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he doesn't want merely because you think it would be good for him." ~Robert Heinlein

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ~C. S. Lewis


  1. "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it." --Milton Friedman

  2. “The common excuse for those bringing misfortune on others is that they desire their good.” Luc de Clapiers de Vauvenargues (1717-1747)

  3. Most wars, after all, present themselves as humanitarian endeavors to help people. - Howard Zinn

  4. The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
    ~ Albert Camus

    The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
    ~ Albert Camus

  5. I'm going to take a somewhat different approach and supply a quote from the Introduction of "Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction". because it relates how/why major attention on the intentionally violational (harm-causing) individuals has been socially detrimental.

    "Another major reason why previous attempts to formulate better Processes of Social order have proven deficient is because the authors of such attempts directed their foremost concerns to the management of the most violent, immoral and inhuman members of society. Such an approach is no more likely to achieve an optimal state of Social interaction for those well-Intentioned, yet imperfect, individuals who form the vast majority of Society, than are teaching methods designed for poor students likely to achieve optimal results for the average (and definitely not the best) students. Since the Processes of Social order by which even the most well-Intentioned may best manage their relationships are not obvious, it is imperative that such Processes be determined to best fit the Social Actions of the well-Intentioned before they are then examined to see whether and how they will operate to best deal with the Social Actions of the relatively few individuals who would Intentionally refuse to follow such Processes. Such an optimal set of Processes for the well-Intentioned should be altered as minimally as possible and only where absolutely necessary to accommodate the conditions relating to Intentional Violators."
    (All capitalized words are technical terms; definitions available via links in the original.)

    The full treatise:
    This treatise with the twin-framework implementations of the Social Meta-Needs theory - The Natural Social Contract (a new conception with no relation to Rousseau's or anyone else's) & Social Preferencing - are envisioned as replacements for existing governments, all of which are described & regulated (in the US alone) via thousands of volumes & many millions (?billions?) of words enabling tens of thousands of lawyers to charge handsomely to serve as "gatekeepers" for the common folk. Therefore all of this is not a breezy skim-through read - a warning for those looking for & used to soundbites on which to walk away with, thinking that such bromides are really foundational and meaningful as a solution to serious social problems. Intellectual chewing is urged and public reasoned critiques, using quotes.

  6. Honesty love respect empathy hope and eye for a eye tooth for a tooth if I do it to somebody else then I'll get it returned its called karma fearing god and the abyss because of the Antichrist everybody goes to heaven as long as you call him god killers thieves he takes them all to heaven your Jesus (betrayer translated) is truly the ruler of all he double hockysticks wake up people change needs to happen now before anarchy And the whole world gets murdered by masseacure or one by one stop think take responsibility for the bad deed try to improve your life not by more sin but my example of reciving love by giving it first. Im surronded by evil but i try my best not to become it when you start a fire you will get burned rules of physics and karma we are all interconnected in society around the world wether we like it or not and just like any family we all share the same Home its small