Paternalism is the ideology stating that the government should play the role of nanny state, deciding what is best for people and enforcing those judgments even when those people object and indicate a desire to pursue a different course of action than what the government requires. A paternalistic government seeks to do what is best for a person's own good, rather than for the good of others. For example, if a government arbitrates a dispute between two parties because one party believes that would be in his best interests, then that is not paternalism, although it could be a form of statism. But if a government arbitrates a dispute against the will of both parties, for the good of those two parties rather than out of concern for the need to protect the peace of third parties against the impact of an outbreak of hostilities, then that would be paternalism. Peter Suber writes, "Paternalism protects people from themselves, as if their safety were more important than their liberty."
- Suber, Peter. "Paternalism". http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/paternal.htm.