Control

Leg-iron’s writing a book – Panoptica – about a future dystopia in which everyone has chip implants which also act as purses, much like credit cards today. He’s having a bit of a job to keep one step ahead of reality.

Because the real world is almost there. And once we have a cashless society, it will be possible to look at everybody’s transactions, and see what they’re buying and where. There’ll be no hiding place. If you want to buy drugs or pornography or guns, you’ll have to do it with the chip embedded in your neck.

In principle, knowing what everybody buys could be very useful in finding out how an economy functions. You’d have a huge amount of data to look at.

But in practice, it would be used to control people. It would be possible for whoever makes the chips to intervene in what people buy, and block them from buying drugs or porn or guns. And, of course, that’s exactly what it will be used to do.

Because we live in a world full of control freaks.

Tobacco Control is all about trying to control people, make them quit smoking. Its name advertises the fact quite openly and unashamedly.

The climate change agenda is also all about trying to control people, and force them to shift to a “carbon free” economy in which there’s only any electricity when the wind blows (not too hard) and the sun shines (not too brightly, probably). I don’t know why they don’t call it Climate Control, because that’s what it is.

And the zero-democracy EU, with its mountains of rules and regulations, is all about control too.

It always puzzles me that there are so many people who want to control what everybody else does, right down to the way they tie their shoelaces. What makes them think that they know better than anyone else what’s good for them? I’ve never felt able to tell anyone else what’s right and what’s wrong. The most I’ve ever managed to do is to offer a few tentative suggestions.

But these people seem to think that, somehow or other, they have been blessed with uncanny insights into everything that nobody else is capable of. And there they all are, with their smoking bans and their windmills and their European superstate (and soon their cashless money).

I think they’re all fools. I think they’re all complete idiots. And nothing that they do will ever work.

Their smoking bans don’t work. Their windmills don’t work. And their European Union doesn’t work either. And when they bring in their implanted chip money, that won’t work either.

And none of it works, because they don’t know what they’re doing. They have no real understand of society (smoking bans) or energy (windmills) or politics (EU) or economics (money in chips). And, in fact, it’s really only because they don’t understand anything that they’re so desperate to take complete and total control of it all. Their desire to control grows directly in proportion to their monstrous ignorance.

My father used to sail small yachts. He knew how to do it. He knew how to trim the sails, and hold the rudder, and lean out over the side to keep the boat from blowing over. I didn’t have a clue how to do it, but I trusted my father. My mother didn’t have a clue either, but she didn’t trust him. So when, one afternoon, we were all out sailing in the Saco de Sao Francisco in Guanabara Bay off Niteroi in Brazil, the wind came up suddenly and the waves mounted rapidly, my father just trimmed the sails and ran before the wind, and laughed at my mother lying wailing on the floor of the boat, as I sat with my feet dangling over the bow, clinging on to the forestay, and enjoying the sheer thrill of it all as we bounded over the waves.

If it had been left to me to take over, I wouldn’t have known what to do. I would probably have taken down the sail, and dropped the anchor. And that might have been the wrong thing to do. Because with the anchor dropped, the waves might well have started breaking over the boat, and flooded it and capsized it. Or, once anchored, night might have fallen. Most likely, in my ignorant attempts to take control, I’d have done the wrong thing. And maybe paid for it with my life.

As it was, my father just ran before the wind until the boat ran up onto a beach, where we sat out the storm until we could sail back. He knew what he was doing. He’d been in the situation several times before, and knew what to do. He let things happen, and he laughed while they happened. He didn’t shout orders to everyone. He didn’t declare a State of Emergency. He just sat in the back of the boat, with one hand on the tiller, and the other hand on the ropes, and ran before the wind.

And my mother panicked.

And what we’re seeing with all these smoking bans and windmills and Eurostates are a whole bunch of stupid, ignorant people panicking and doing the stupid, ignorant sorts of things that people do when they’re desperately trying to gain control of something that they don’t understand. If they really understood it, they wouldn’t panic – they’d just sit in the back of the boat laughing as they ran before the wind.

There’ll be no end to all this control freakery until us humans actually understand the world we’re living in, and what we can do in it, and what we can’t do. And since, in my opinion, we know next to nothing about almost everything, we’re going to be seeing a lot of these panicky controllers for a long, long time to come, unfortunately.

I’ve been reading about Hitler’s war on Russia for the past few days (Kursk, by Lloyd Clark). He was another control freak. And he was probably a control freak because he was actually a rather ignorant man who’d only ever risen to the rank of Corporal. And there he was, in command of a huge army fighting its way into Russia. And his response, as the situation worsened, was to take ever tighter control of everything, right down to the movements of small units all along the front.

He never went on holiday during the war. He never said, “Right! I’m off to South Tyrol to walk the dog for a couple of weeks. Do your best to keep the Russians at bay. Byeeee!” No wonder he couldn’t sleep. No wonder he became an old man inside a couple of years. And no wonder he ended up losing his war.

It’s probably the same with every dictator. They’re probably all profoundly ignorant little men whose response to everything is to seize control, clamp down, and commit appalling atrocities in the process, and leave a trail of devastation in their wake as they lead everyone to inevitable disaster, because they really haven’t got the first clue what they’re doing.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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18 Responses to Control

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    Like you, Frank, I’ve never been able to understand this driving need to control other people. I just don’t see any point in it. Quite apart from – as you rightly point out – it being impossible to control every tiny facet of the lives of every person on the planet at all times, it’s always seemed as if the desire to control something is, in and of itself, an admission of the controller’s complete and abject failure to win people round to doing things “their way” by any other means. It’s a bit like physical violence. The moment someone throws a punch or lashes out at another person, that’s tantamount to admitting that they haven’t got any decent arguments left in their reserves through which to persuade someone else round to their way of thinking. It’s the ultimate admittance of total inadequacy.

    And so it is with political control by the authorities or their minions, like ASH. After 40 years of “persuasion” and “education” about the supposed dangers of smoking ASH and their cohorts were fast coming to the realisation that fewer and fewer people were actually taking any notice of them, that the holes were starting to show in their already highly-suspect propaganda, and they had tumbled, in the public’s opinion, from their pedestal of “concerned individuals with important information to impart” down to the level of “hectoring nannies with nothing better to do with their time than nag people.”

    So, what was their reaction? Was it to accept that their already-fragile arguments had finally been shown up as the lies and spin and manipulation that they had always been, and to retire gracefully – content in the fact that at least some people had been duped into doing as they were told and giving up smoking? Or was it to resort to the political equivalent of violence, through the political equivalent of “bringing in the heavy mob?” I think we all know the answer to that. The moment ASH and Co began to demand legislative action by the government was tantamount to their admitting that they were fast being rumbled and that further lies would be the end of them if they didn’t get their Big Friends to sort out the remaining stubborn smokers for them.

    Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that so many of the new “anti” groups have cut straight to the chase – missing out all the tiresome and lengthy “information” and “advice” and “education” stage, and going straight for the jugular by demanding that the Government should “do something about …” It’s probably the biggest indicator that there is that the arguments against their own pet “hobby horse” are no stronger, factually, than were the arguments of the anti-smoking campaigners of yore. So that, effectively, they’re admitting defeat almost before they’ve even really got started. Insistent demands for immediate legislative action and restrictive regulations about anything, accompanied as they always are with inflammatory language like “epidemic” and “crisis” and “premature death,” must surely therefore be the biggest reason of all for nobody taking the slightest bit of notice of any of them. Ever.

    • Budvar says:

      Never understood the “Violence never solves anything” and the “People who use violence are illiterate knuckle dragging morons” thing. It patently isn;t true, The thing with dealing with the petulent is (regardless of age) to have them believe you will hurt them. There’s always the odd one or two who require a little negative reinforcement, but word invariably gets aroundas an example to others. It doesn’t usually take long.

      • chris says:

        So you won’t be too upset when somebody decides it’s OK to use violence against you or a group you belong to.

        • Budvar says:

          Think back to the school bully. There was usually 3 ways to deal with him, 1, Sit around with like minded friends singing “Kumbaya”. That always worked out well. 2′ Be one of said bullys lickspittals, but no guarantee he wont pick on you one day if your tribute becomes a little lacking. And 3, Hit back as hard as you can, ideally drawing blood. Doesn’t matter whether you win, lose or draw, he’ll leave you alone for the most part as there’s always easier targets, and if you’ve blooded him, there’s always the chance that next time he will be beaten, and as with all bullys, once that happens, their reign of terror is over.

        • chris says:

          Q: What do you call somebody who deals with people by “having them believe you will hurt them”?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The UN has become the bully on the block……….If we cant buy you off via IMF,WORLD BANK etc then we will destroy you via are arsenal……not saying some rouge nations dont need it but its being used on everyone now with the ultimate goal of a one world government headed by socialists.

        • smokervoter says:

          Although I wholly appreciate what Jax is saying about the desperation involved in resorting to violence as a unworthy substitution for reason, in practice I unfortunately come down with Budvar’s observations.

          My first encounter with a non-smokers rights control freak ended in violence and I won it handily. I doubt if that control freak ever confronted another smoker.

          I’m not what you’d call a hothead or a bruiser who goes around with a hair trigger attitude waiting to be tripped. On the contrary I’m a “Do you mind if I smoke?” kind of guy with a very sunny disposition. I laugh at the drop of a hat rather than punch. Like I mentioned the other day, it bothers me that I might have unwittingly caused some asthma attacks back in the day. Of course, ventilation and/or smoking optional bars would easily have solved that problem, except for the obstinate objections of the control freaks.

          I don’t suffer control freaks well at all. I’ve had more than a handful of fisticuffs with them over the years. Sadly, as simian as it may be, there is no substitute for a good thrashing when dealing with hardcore control freaks.

          This D.H. Clark MD fellow who Harley has highlighted (down the page) has just thrown a punch in my direction as far as I’m concerned. He’s verbally and legally thrown me out of the local park unless I kowtow to his false notion of reality. I’d love to meet him at a party and challenge him to a 10-round boxing exhibition, Marquess of Queensberry rules, bareknuckle or gloves.

          My father used to tell me that the first time he tried to paddle (control) me as a itty-bitty toddler, I swung right back at him. And not just a light right jab either, more like a roundhouse right hook.

    • Frank Davis says:

      it’s always seemed as if the desire to control something is, in and of itself, an admission of the controller’s complete and abject failure to win people round to doing things “their way” by any other means.

      That’s a good point. But it’s it a different one from mine. Although both rest upon ‘inabilities’.

      In my approach, the controllers are unable to understand what’s happening, and they panic, and attempt to take control of unfolding events. But because they don’t understand what’s happening, and what should be done, they almost invariably do the wrong thing.

      In your approach, the controllers believe they understand what’s happening, and what needs to be done, but are unable to persuade anybody, and so set out to seize control. But the fact that they can’t persuade anybody may be because they don’t really understand what’s going on. If they understood, they would be able to explain. But because they don’t understand, they are unable to explain, and can’t persuade anybody.

      It’s a bit like that classroom situation that I’m sure that everyone is familiar with. A class of 20 or 30 pupils is being taught some mathematics – let’s say Euclid’s proof of the Theorem of Pythagoras. The proof is rather complicated, and let’s suppose that only one pupil understands it, and another five think they understand it, and the rest don’t understand it at all. When the class is over, and they all spill outside the classroom and start talking to each other, the ones who don’t understand the proof ask the ones who claim to understand it to explain it to them again. But when the ones who don’t really understand try to explain, they get a bit lost when they get to the parts of the proof that they don’t understand, and so they don’t manage to explain it properly. It’s only the one pupil who does understand who is able to explain the whole proof. And it’s the one who understands who ends up teaching the others. (This sort of thing happened regularly when I was at school)

      I think that, if you can’t explain something to someone, it’s because you don’t really understand it.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Sweden tells Greece to quit eurozone
    In remarks that will send Brussels, Berlin and Athens wild, Sweden says Greece should quit the euro to boost its economy

    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/1803/sweden_tells_greece_to_quit_eurozone

    weden’s Finance Minister has told Greece that it would be best advised to quit the Eurozone and revert to the drachma if its economy is to stand any chance of recovery.

    In remarks that are certain to cause consternation in Brussels and Berlin as well as Athens, Finance Minister Anders Borg said that abandoning the euro would probably allow Greece to “find its competitiveness once again” and “get itself back on its feet”.

    The minister’s remarks were quoted by the Swedish newspaper, The Local. He was speaking on the sidelines of a summit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Tokyo on Friday. Borg acknowledged that quitting the eurozone would be a difficult and complex road to tread but argued that, “it is difficult to see another that could work.”

    Sweden is a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone. Nonetheless, as a successful northern European economy its voice carries considerable weight across the continent. At a time of deep austerity in Greece designed to keep that country inside the eurozone, comments from a respected European finance minister clearly implying that belt-tightening measures are effectively an exercise in futility are unlikely to be well received by the country’s government.

    Earlier this week, official figures showed Greek unemployment rising beyond 25 percent with the youth unemployment figure now at over 54 percent. The economy continues to contract rapidly with no sign of growth on the horizon.

    Many economists regard it is uncontroversial that Greece’s only real hope of recovery is to withdraw from the single currency and re-launch the drachma at a much lower effective exchange rate than the one the Greek economy is currently burdened with. This would boost important Greek industries such as shipping and tourism, transforming the country’s economic prospects.

    However, Brussels, and particularly Berlin, where Chancellor Angela Merkel faces continued controversy for authorising massive bailout packages for Greece, regard the euro as a political as well as an economic project and have predicted dire consequences for Europe should the single currency unwind. Chancellor Merkel has even raised the prospect of a return to armed conflict across the continent should the euro fall apart.

    With the rhetorical stakes having been set so high, remarks of the kind made by Finance Minister Borg tend not to be popular in such circles.

  3. waltc says:

    I wonder if, in your analogy, it’s we who should understand the nature of things (that control freaks have their day and then comes their night) and just, without panicking, ride ahead of the wind. In fact, I think we ARE riding ahead of the wind.

    @jax. Here’s a story that goes the other way around or sideways from your conjecture.. In the mid 90s, the US version of ASH, run by lawyer John Banzaf, sued OSHA (our workplace regulation agency) to get them to ban smoking in all workplaces. OSHA balked, saying there was no scientific justification for such a ban. Here’s how it turned out– as told in the following ASH press release:

    (Quote) “ASH has agreed to dismiss its lawsuit against OSHA…to avoid serious harm to the non-smokers rights movement from adverse action OSHA had threatened to take if forced by the suit to do it….developing some hypothetical [ASH's characterization] measurement of smoke pollution that might be a better remedy than prohibiting smoking….[T]his could seriously hurt efforts to pass non-smokers’ rights legislation at the state and local level…”

    According to ASH’s release, another major threat was that, if the agency were forced by ASH’s suit to promulgate a rule regulating workplace smoking…

    “[it] would be likely to pass a weak one…This weak rule in turn could pre-empt future and possibly even existing non-smokers rights laws– a risk no one was willing to take. As a result of ASHs dismissal of the suit, OSHA will now withdraw its rule-making proceedings but will do so without using any of the damaging [to Anti activists] language they had threatened to include.”

    This was “language” saying OSHA say no logical reason for an all out ban. Looking on the bright side, Banzaf concludes:

    “We might now be even more successful in persuading states and localities to ban smoking on their own, once they no longer have OSHA rule-making to hide behind.”

    -Source: -“ASH Nixes OSHA Suit to Prevent Harm to Movement.”
    www nycclash.com/OSHAAction.html#ASH.

  4. margo says:

    Trying to control by will or brute force can never work in the long term, because will or brute force can’t affect the inexorable underlying drive that compels the thing being ‘controlled’. People who train wild animals know that the best way is to learn the animal’s nature, work with it and use it to their advantage. Even so, they can sometimes get it wrong and the animal will bite back, demonstrating that all the careful training has not affected that underlying drive the least little bit.
    It’ll be the same with Climate Control (attempts to control climate). Apparently ‘They’ have been doing ‘weather modification’ for quite some time – I googled those two words and a lot came up. It’ll lead to trouble – probably already has.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    How about a good laugh:

    Physician lauds smoke-free choice
    October 14, 2012

    As a physician who counsels patients daily about the benefits of smoking cessation, I applaud the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living for its efforts to remove smoke from public areas. Smokers do not have a right to endanger the lives of those around them — family, friends, workers — anymore than a drunken driver has those rights. I would also like to congratulate the West Monroe Board of Alderman for choosing to create a healthier environment for members of the community by opting to make all parks in West Monroe 100 percent smoke-free! Our community will be safer and healthier without having to breathe secondhand smoke while enjoying our city’s parks.

    Not only does secondhand smoke claim lives, but there are serious potential health risks that exist because of secondhand smoke. Moderate exposure to secondhand smoke immediately raises the risk of heart disease, and prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke greatly increases the risk of developing lung cancer, asthma and emphysema.

    As an OB/GYN, I see firsthand the negative effect secondhand smoke has on pregnant women and their babies — increased chance of spontaneous abortion, still-born births, low-birth weight babies and other pregnancy and delivery problems.

    According to a recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General, “secondhand smoke exposure poses health risks for children and adults.” In that same report it was stated that “cigarette litter is harmful due to the fact that filters are made with cellulose acetate, which is a non-biodegradable product.” Residents and visitors no longer have to worry about their children or pets ingesting such harmful products, nor will they have to breathe unhealthy air in the parks in West Monroe. Thank you to the West Monroe Board of Aldermen for making our parks a healthier environment for us all to enjoy.

    D.H. Clark MD

    Monroe

    http://m.thenewsstar.com/opinion/article?a=2012210150323&f=738

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank your gonna ”LUST” this!

    IMF Admits It Prescribed Wrong Medicine; Is IMF Short for I Must Fail?

    Wrong Medicine

    In terms of governments doing nothing for five years (as in no more stimulus) I am in agreement, if that is what Steen means (but I am not so sure that’s precisely what he means). Nonetheless, while were at it, let’s get rid of Fed meddling as well.

    As for the multiplier theory, the IMF is now saying it prescribed the wrong medicine. What was a .5 multiplier is now a range of .9 to 1.7. Anything close to or above 1 means austerity can never work.

    No doubt, Krugman will be crowing “I Told You So” over this, but there is not an Austrian economist anywhere that was in support of the massive tax hikes we have seen. Reduction in government spending was not the problem. Rather massive tax hikes and lack of badly-needed reforms was the problem.

    Certainly what we know is austerity cannot work “as implemented” but I
    said that years ago. We have seen massive tax hikes and few work rule
    and pension reforms. We needed lower taxes, less government, and massive work rule reforms (and still do).

    Blaming the problems on “austerity” will get a lot of sympathy from Keynesian clowns, but they cannot distinguish good medicine from cow patties.

    Mike “Mish” Shedlock

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

    http://www.favstocks.com/imf-admits-it-prescribed-wrong-medicine-is-imf-short-for-i-must-fail/15914599/?#038;#038;

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      More Amazing:

      Bernanke: Fed pumping ‘good for global economy’…

      http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/f1eb90e0-15f3-11e2-b6f1-00144feabdc0.html

      Romneys right Bernake has to go,he is setting us all up for a Global Depression.

      Pumping is the only thing keeping the EU alive !

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        What we need now is for policymakers to start producing credible forecasts which politicians cannot misuse. The IMF started this, so will the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England take note? Will the Congressional Budget Office in the US reduce its growth forecast? (See link for how this has been done in the past). Probably not, but the IMF’s admission this week is a game changer. You can’t save yourself to prosperity, not even in the eyes of central planners anymore! The IMF admission also proves what we have known for a long time: Macro stinks!

  7. Budvar says:

    Chris, for some reason I can’t reply under your comment, however, in answer to your question “What do you call somebody who deals with people by “having them believe you will hurt them”?”
    The answer is a man. A man who has a rather commanding presence and doesn’t take shit from idiots.

    Let me tell you a little about myself, I’m 50 now, and well past my prime, and play the doting grandad to my 2 year old grandson. I’m ex-para, I have a 20 year old son with a mental age of about 8 that I put down to the shit I received during sandbox 1.

    I live in a predominantly “muslim” area, and yes I’ve had do’s with them. I once got arrested for beating a local gangsta wannabe. I wasn’t down the cells 20 mins before one of the “local muslim community leaders” was at the station wanting to know why. It was commented on about how I had friends in high places, and let go with no charges brought. Nothing has ever been mentioned as to who it was, I have my suspicions, but it isn’t anyone who I’m close to, never really talked to, apart from acknowledging in the street. Come eid/weddings etc, there’s always a knock at the door with some kid with a pile of curry saying “My mum sent this round”.

    I was at college in the early 90s, I came back after lunch, and a gang of muslim teen were stood on the stairs. After the 3rd time I’d asked him to move, I grabbed him and threw him down the stairs. A neighbours kid about the same age came to the top of the stairs as I was going up. He said “Alright mate”. There was a bit of “Jabba jabba” on the stairs, after that, no more problems.

    My daughters were at college, and on the train home, local muslim gang was giving her some grief. One of the locals piped up saying “I wouldn’t mate” and went on to say “Her dad is big Budvar”, no more bother.

    I don’t go looking for trouble, but if it comes to my door, they find it. That’s what I mean by “having them believe you will hurt them”.

    • chris says:

      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. Apparently in my 50+ years of existence, I’ve missexd out on real manhood. But we can’t all be “alphas”, can we?

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