Little Brother Is Watching You: New Paternalism on the Slippery Slopes

The “new paternalism” claims that careful policy interventions can help people make better decisions in terms of their own welfare, with only mild or nonexistent infringement of personal autonomy and choice. This claim to moderation is not sustainable. Applying the insights of the modern literature on slippery slopes to new paternalist policies suggests that such policies are particularly vulnerable to expansion. Accepting the new paternalist approach creates a risk of accepting, in the long run, greater restrictions on individual autonomy than have been heretofore acknowledged.