a question about paternalism - "Heil Health" (for the intellectuals here at SDMB)

Here are two interesting articles on the net
“Heil Health”, by Pierre Lemieux

“Author’s Protest”, by Robert N. Proctor
I have a question for those who are interested:
**What kind of liberalistic arguments are used to reject a paternalistic position in the two articles ? **

Are you looking for us to do your homework for you?
What’s a “liberalistic argument”, anyway?

For that matter, what’s a “paternalistic position”?

To quote from one of the web pages cited:

If innocent, this is a rather startling misconception about the relationship between the history of science as an academic discipline and the social sciences. Given such, it’s perhaps less of a surprise that Lemieux completely misconstrues Proctor’s excellent case study.

I think we must take a look at their motives:

"After reading The Nazi War on Cancer, the careful reader will be well positioned to understand why fascism requires strong public health policies. For the fascist State needs “valuable human material” - or, as we would say today, healthy “human resources”. Nazi slogans reported by Proctor are more explicit than what present-day crusaders would dare to employ: “Your body belongs to the nation!” “You have the duty to be healthy!” “Food is not a private matter!” Again anticipating today’s health fascists, the Nazis’ National Accounting Office outlined the so-called economic costs of smoking. Erwin Liek, sometimes called the father of Nazi medicine, thought that curing cancer required moving from “care of the individual” to “cancer prevention on a large scale - for the entire people” "
This is paternalism. Not in the strictest sense though.

POWER_station, what are you getting at? I have to confess I don’t know what this question is all about. And frankly, it seems more of a GD than a GQ.

I read through the articles you linked to (and I actually had Proctor for an honors History of Science class when I was at Penn State) but I don’t see what they have to do with your questions.

I have trouble responding seriously to anyone who would say the following:

“Of course, there is a difference of degree (emphasis added) between the Nazi tyranny and the quiet administrative tyrannies under which we now live, but perhaps future observers will wonder how, at the end of the twentieth century, an apparently normal life could coexist with the accelerated onslaught on our liberties.”

Pierre Lemieux’s review of The Nazi War on Cancer.

I still haven’t gotten a response to my questions:
What’s a “liberalistic argument”?

What’s a “paternalistic position”?

Is POWER_station trying to get us to do his homework for him? The OP sounds exactly like something assigned by a college professor. POWER_station hasn’t told us anything at all about what he thinks.

Can we just invoke Godwin’s Law and say that any argument that starts by comparing someone to the Nazis is flawed from the onset?

Have you read Proctor’s book? I can’t see how you can consider answering the question with reference to Lemieux’s review of the book, and Proctor’s response, without making reference to the book itself!

My instant knee-jerk-but-educated (History and Philosophy of Science degree) reaction from five minutes of looking at the texts cited, is that Lemieux is looking for reasons to say that public health implies fascism, and is being quite disingenuous in his blatent misconstruction of Proctor’s case study.

But if your bolded and burgungied OP question is indeed assigned by a college professor - as Kamandi and I both suspect - I don’t think the professor will be interested in knee-jerk reactions or ill considered positions. Read the book! It won’t take you long. Think carefully about the discipline of History of Science. This will require some background reading, either from your own notes or from the library.

kamandi writes:

> What’s a “liberalistic argument”?

For that matter, since when is there a word “liberalistic”?

liberalism vs. paternalism

John Stuart Mill was a liberalist and argumentet against paternalism. The western society seams to have been more paternalistic before.

“neither one person, nor any number of persons, is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years, that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it”

“I do not want to go along with a volunteer basis. I think a fellow should be compelled to become better and not let him use his discretion wheter he wants to get smarter, more healthy or more honest”
General Hershey
The point with the two articles (“Heil health” and authors protest") is to locate “liberalistic” argument used to reject a paternalistic “attitude”.

Yeah, that’s great, kid. But what do you think?

This doesn’t look like a GQ to me. GQ is for factual answers to direct questions. It looks like you’re polling us. That belongs in IMHO.

When is your paper due, anyway?

Mill is usually described as a liberal. And the reason why there is no such word as ‘liberalistic’ is because ‘liberal’ can also be used as an adjective.