Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quote of the day

Philosophers should consider the fact that the greatest happiness principle can easily be made an excuse for a benevolent dictatorship. We should replace it by a more modest and more realistic principle - the principle that the fight against avoidable misery should be a recognized aim of public policy, while the increase of happiness should be left, in the main, to private initiative.” - Karl Popper

I don't know whether Popper defines "avoidable misery", but in general I would agree with his assessment. I would add that the cost and efficiency of fighting the avoidable misery should be weighed between public and private sectors.

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