The Conservative Party’s Philosophy

In a recent article Daniel Hannan wrote:

Would you go an hour out of your way to get £100 discount on a £300 dishwasher? What about going an hour out of your way to get a £100 discount on a £12,000 car? If you’re typical, you’re much more likely to have answered yes to the first question than to the second. Which, logically, makes no sense at all. Either an hour of your time is worth £100 or it’s not. If the trade-off is in your interest – and, for most of us, it is – then you should make it both times. If you happen to be a hedge-fund owner or a gilded public-sector princeling, then you might rationally say no both times. But there is no sound basis for saying yes to one and not the other.

Hannan goes on to say that the Conservative Party’s leaders believe this kind of thing and base policy on it.

There are many differences between the decision about what dishwasher you should buy and what car you should buy. Many people drive their car to work, so their income depends on having a car that works. A dishwasher saves you some time when dealing with dishes, but if it breaks down you’ll still be able to pay for accommodation and food. So the cost of getting the car decision wrong may be a lot larger than the cost of getting the dishwasher decision wrong. So a person may stick with looking at cars from dealers he trusts rather than go looking for £100 off on a decision that could cost him thousands of pounds if he gets it wrong. So Hannan hasn’t given any reason to think actual decisions made by real human beings are irrational.

Hannan doesn’t mention the fact that according to his own theory politicians are irrational since they are human beings. So politicians should not be trusted to make decisions either according to this theory. And yet, somehow, politicians are fit to make decisions not only about their own lives, but also about the lives of their subjects.

The Conservative Party is run by technocrats who believe they know how you should live your life better than you do. The Conservative Party is opposed to individual liberty because its leaders think you are unfit to make your own decisions. That is part of why they are dragging their feet on Brexit. It also explains their contempt for freedom of speech, and their imposition of bad policy like plastic bag charges. And that’s why I won’t vote for the Conservative Party. I have respect for individual liberty, they have contempt for it.

About conjecturesandrefutations
My name is Alan Forrester. I am interested in science and philosophy: especially David Deutsch, Ayn Rand, Karl Popper and William Godwin.

One Response to The Conservative Party’s Philosophy

  1. Yeah he’s analyzing a hypothetical scenario – where you have discounts with literally no downside other than 1 hour of time cost – and then he’s assuming it corresponds to real life, even though it doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: