April 18, 2002


SOCIAL ENGINEERING FOLLOW-UP: As promised in a parenthetical remark below, I'll give a rough outline of why I think social engineering is wrongheaded. This is a theme I'm sure I'll develop more fully in a longer piece some day, but here's my basic thesis: any time you use a distant authority to advance a social goal-- I'm thinking of the Federal government especially, but the principle might apply in certain large and diverse states-- you're playing with fire, because you legitimize the use of that distant authority to achieve social goals, and not everyone has same goals. This is the genius of federalism; you don't have to outlaw porn shops in San Francisco, nor do you have to allow them in Great Bend, Kansas. Upset that unstated covenant, and you might not like what happens when the dust settles. (As I said, more on this in the future.)

Posted by John Tabin at April 18, 2002 01:23 AM