Misconceptions of the Open Society
Is it necessary to be intolerant of the intolerant? Perhaps so; if we wish to preserve our liberal-democratic way of life, it makes sense to ensure those who would establish tyranny never achieve power. This is the theory put forward by philosopher Karl Popper in his ‘Paradox of Tolerance’ model. He argued that:
“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”
Popper was correct in his argument; we should be intolerant of the hateful and the violent, and I would argue many of us already are. But what does it actually mean to be ‘correctly’ intolerant in this sense? How do we limit our intolerance to those who truly deserve it, without restricting the freedom of the individual to choose?
Scotland will become the world’s first country to set minimum prices for alcoholic beverages, following a clearance for the law by the Supreme Court. Beginning in May 2018, vendors shall be legally required to charge at least 50 pence-per-unit. To put this into perspective, an average 750ml bottle of wine contains 10 units; Scottish vendors will thus be unable to sell bottles of wine for any cheaper than £5.00.
The idea behind minimum pricing is that the cheap, strong booze popular amongst alcoholics and teenagers will be less easily attainable, thus reducing alcohol-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths.
In reality, minimum pricing is likely going to do more harm than good.
Londoners rejoice! Your benevolent, all-knowing, all-seeing government has once again protected you from the horrors of convenience, cost-effective services, and comfortable transport.
Uber, a taxi service which allows for cheap and convenient cabs to be summoned straight from your smartphone, has been stripped of its license to operate by Transport for London (TfL), the city’s governing body on transport. Without the state, who would force us to use obsolete, overpriced black cabs?
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