Tuesday, November 23, 2004

When the nation-state becomes the nursery

Steve Gilliard gives voice to some of my greatest fears.

I'm opposed to legal paternalism, or what Gilliard calls the "nanny state." Adults should be responsible for their own actions. They do not require the intervention of the state or other actors to tell them what to do or what not to do. They can make their own decisions and suffer the consequences of those decisions.

This is where Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is prophetic. Unlike other dystopian novels (1984, The Handmaid's Tale, etc.), the fascist state in Bradbury's novel was the result of people's conscious choice. Culture became bland, vapid and boring because it was illegal to offend anyone.

I might have to reread it soon.