As a capitalist and believer in individual rights, one of the things I notice a lot today is just how many people do not trust individual decision-making. Now, I do not mean that they criticize other people's decisions or disagree with them -- in a free society, you can disagree with anybody about anything. I mean that they distrust other people's free, private decision-making so much that they want the government to intervene.
Interestingly, most people don't think of themselves as advocating government interference with people's private decisions. However, if you ask them the right questions, you will find that they tend to fall into one of several categories that all want the government to intervene in individual decision-making in some way: nannies, moralists, technocrats, and progressive/socialists. Though the categories tend to overlap, they are useful in thinking about some of the reasons people want to call in the government to take over parts of people's lives.
By the way, before I get started, just to avoid straw-man arguments like "well, you just want 12-year-olds to have sex with dogs", there are three philosophical limitations that apply to decisions made by individuals or between individuals:
- The decisions or agreements are made without fraud or physical coersion
- The decisions are made by adults (the very definition of adulthood is the legal ability to make decisions for oneself)
- Decisions and areements don't violate the constitutional rights of others
That being said, here are examples of the government interventionism of nannies, moralists, technocrats, and progressive/socialists.