Friday, November 22, 2013

The tyranny of the State's good intentions...

C.S. Lewis (Nov. 29, 1898 - Nov. 22, 1963) from his essay The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment:
"My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely 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. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth."
H/T - Joe Rigney at NRO

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