Swarthmore College professor Barry Schwartz makes a great point about why there can be too much freedom – that is, if freedom is about choice, then the typical person is faced with too many choices for his own wellbeing: choices about cereal, insurance products, investments, computers, mobile phones. He is paralyzed by the mesmerising array of choices, and the promise of all these choices also – in a pretzel twist of logic – makes him disappointed in whatever choice he makes: with all these possibilities, he expects perfection, but invariably does not get that. Schwartz posits that it is material wealth that has led to this glut of choices.
Now, although he ends by talking about redistribution of wealth as a solution to this, what I took away was that sometimes, having a smart authority limit one’s choices (e.g. paternal governments) can be the way to go.
Another thing: I wish I could speak this passionately and intelligently.
Updated: After re-reading it and realising I did very little justice to the point Prof Schwartz made, I tried to clarify the first paragraph.