Extreme Paternalism

(Though as Bryan Caplan points out, it might be better called Extreme Maternalism.)  In a comment on Friday, Michael Vassar suggested:

Why not simply extend the age of parental authority, or more optimally, designate a discrete set of "parental" authority types that individuals have periodic (annual) opportunities to review and to transfer to some other parental figure. Some sort of licensing might or might not be required for "in-loco parentis" candidates (and for biological parents, or perhaps not). The right to designate parental authority, as well as various reductions in such authority, might be gradually phased in with age, or as the result of various tests or maturity rituals, or possibly a combination of both.

This is very similar to a 1993 suggestion of mine, and both are attempts to find a minimal paternalism, realizing gains from decision review and veto, but retaining maximal flexibility and adaptation to individual variations.   

An opposite extreme would be extend paternalism to nations.  In civil rights, many argue national governments needed to overrule bad state decisions, for the good of those states.  So why not empower the United Nations to overrule what it sees as a bad decision by any nation, in the name of benefiting that nation?   

The reason for considering extremes is that simple arguments usually favor extremes. So you should either support an extreme, or find an argument complex enough to favor an intermediate position.  Why would national paternalism be a good idea, but international paternalism be a bad idea?

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