A disenfranchised population becomes an untrustworthy population, since it loses the habit of making its own decisions. The majority become childish in hundreds of ways, looking to the State as parent, complaining without displaying a willingness to any form of self-determination. The more liberty one has, the more indvidual responsibility is required of one to make rational, well-considered decisions in the context of one’s social and personal life. Most of us are educated to think we are not capable of this when, in fact, most of us are thoroughly capable but simply lack either the circumstances or the determination to test ourselves. An authoritarian, paternalistic State encourages us in this belief, by its actions as well as by its rhetoric. By its very nature it creates a morally enfeebled, child-like population. This population in turn ‘proves’ its inability to control its own fate and consequently ‘proves’ the need for the paternalism which created it in the first place. There is no fundamental difference between Tory and Socialist paternalism.
- Michael Moorcock, The Retreat From Liberty, 1983