Progressive history is filled with people preempting the free actions of others. The example I point to most often comes from Thomas Sowell’s book The Quest for Cosmic Justice:
The fact that people were literally starving to death in the streets of Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s likewise lent urgency to the desire of Irish immigrants in America to get their families moved across the Atlantic. With the Irish, as with the Jews, most immigrants crossed the ocean with their passages paid by members of their respective groups living in America. So did many people from other immigrant groups. Some of the worst housing conditions were endured by Italian men, living up to ten to a room and sending money back to their families in Italy.
Reformers who reacted to the slums before their eyes, and to their own sense of social injustice, had nothing to force them to face the trade-offs inescapably faced by the people living in those slums. Even the fact that slum-dwellers often joined with slum landlords to physically resist being evicted by the authorities from housing declared “sub-standard” did not cause Jacob Riis or many other reformers to reconsider whether what they were doing was really in the best interests of the people whose interests they were ostensibly protecting. It is all too easy for people with more formal schooling to believe that they know better than those directly concerned.