Dissolving Society

For once, I was actually sitting in front of a TV set when Fiona Bruce announced on BBC1 6 o’clock news last night that the government were intending to introduce minimum alcohol pricing. A raddled ex-alcoholic was then interviewed saying how it would have worked to stop him drinking, and various pundits talked about “health”, and a supermarket manager said it was a bad idea. Somebody else said that “It’s probably never going to happen,” because there was a lot of opposition to the idea.

That’s what I thought about the smoking ban. It’s never going to happen, I thought to myself. Except it did. And so I think minimum alcohol pricing will happen too.

The idea has been floating around for months or years. There have been public consultations, during which people have aired their disagreement. Except nobody was listening to them. And now they’re going to introduce minimum alcohol pricing.

This is how government works these days. A few people decide some new measure – banning smoking, minimum alcohol pricing, whatever – and there’s a big show of having a public debate. But actually the decisions have all been taken in advance. The ‘debate’ is just a showcase to preserve the appearance of democracy. And when the new measures are in place, they are invariably a “great success” and “very popular”.

It’s top down control, masquerading as democracy. DP:

“The era of big, bossy, state interference, top-down lever pulling is coming to an end.” David Cameron, June 2008.

“No more of a government treating everyone like children who are incapable of taking their own decisions. Instead, let’s treat adults like adults and give them more responsibility over their lives.” David Cameron, February 2011.

I no longer see any difference between David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Herman van Rompuy, Manuel Barroso, and all the rest of them. They may as well all be the same person, with the same set of opinions. We are living in a one party state. You can vote for different political parties, but you will wind up with the same government.

But people don’t want to think this. DP again:

Now, Mr P Snr – an old-school lifelong Conservative voter – is completely against the idea too, but has an interesting theory which he appears to be using to reconcile his idea of a Conservative politician with the batshit crazy behaviour of the Prime Minister.

He is of the opinion that Cameron is such a master of manipulation; such a political genius, that this is all a ruse. He’s playing a game to appease the health lobby, in full and certain knowledge that parliament will reject it and he can be seen to have acted in a correct manner.

Yes, it’s wishful thinking but how do you expect a real Conservative to react when the leader of a party he has always kept faith with comes out with a policy that Old Labour would have recoiled in horror at?

No, you really don’t want to believe that David Cameron is simply another interchangeable member of the ruling politburo, and currently appointed to push forward the smoke-free, alcohol-free, carbon-free, one-size-fits-all, europhile agenda of the Party, do you?

It’s nothing new. When the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire under the sole personal control of Augustus Caesar, the Senate kept on meeting and debating. The appearances of the republic were preserved. But the real power now lay elsewhere. Politics became pretence and masquerade. Even the emperor acted his part: “How did I do?” Augustus asked, shortly before he died. “Did I play the part convincingly?”

And perhaps, when a political society becomes large enough and unmanageable enough, this is what always happens. The Roman Republic, with its Senate and elections, was probably well suited to manage the city of Rome. But once Rome’s dominion expanded to include all Italy, with colonies all around the Mediterranean, this form of government became too slow and unwieldy. Little rowing boats can be squabbling republics, but not ocean liners: big ships need decisive captains, because too much is at stake, and debate takes too long.

But when the general public, on whose behalf measures of one sort or other are ostensibly being enacted, are no longer consulted except through faux public debates and faux elections, while the real decisions are made elsewhere behind the scenes, political engagement must necessarily atrophy. What point is there in voting, if a vote carries no weight? You are either an insider, with connections to the real seat of power, or you are an outsider with no say whatsoever in the decisions that affect you. And most likely you will find yourself the latter.

And if you are a smoker in our current political order, you will be an outsider. And in fact, you will be quite literally standing outside. And you may even have been completely expelled from polite society. And you will have no voice, except what you can scrawl on walls with pieces of chalk. From DP’s comments today:

“We no longer associate with the very many friends we had in the pub. The pub closed and has been re-developed into a Tesco Express.

Our social circle and those of our many friends has been obliterated.”

In this manner, as political power falls into the hands of a few, and most people no longer have any say in their own lives – not even over the places where they meet to eat and drink and talk – society becomes atomised.

It is as if, once such a totalitarian state has been erected, the social foundations upon which it has been built begin to dissolve. And when they dissolve, they become liquid. And when they liquefy, they can flow very suddenly in any direction. And a previously stable society becomes unstable and highly volatile.

And that’s where we are right now. We are living in a society which is becoming atomised into a cloud of disconnected individuals, and also becoming correspondingly unstable.

Perhaps this is what the totalitarians intended, in order to make people more manageable. But I can’t for the life of me see how. Because people like me only feel complete and utter contempt for them. And we don’t listen to them any more. We have become less manageable. And we are set to become completely unmanageable.

But most likely they have no idea what they’re doing.

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20 Responses to Dissolving Society

  1. cdbro says:

    Consultation, Consultation, Consultation.
    Job done! – we’ll ignore the people but at least they’ve had their say!

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    I’m not entirely sure that DP’s old man isn’t right, in a way, which doesn’t in any way negate your points. Yes, I think that there are machinations behind the scenes (largely driven by the EU and bolstered by self-serving career politicians like Blair, Brown, Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and all the rest of the supposedly-representative scumbags), and I don’t doubt for a moment that each and every one of these treacherous slugs are absolutely determined to stick to the demands of their much-loved “common purpose.” But I think that how they do it is up to them. In Cameron’s case, in order to maintain his support in this country which is, after all, in his own career interests at the moment, then it’s entirely possible that all this minimum pricing – which runs contrary to EU law and is likely to be frowned upon and forbidden by the Eurocrats – is just a means of looking like he’s trying to be oh-so-tough in standing up to the EU, but then having his hand “forced” into simply raising the duty. All for the “good of the nation’s health,” of course, just like countless smoking-duty rises. It’s a win-win situation all round. The Government gets lots of extra bucks to waste, the plebs get pushed one step further down the road towards (effective) prohibition, Cameron gives the impression that he is prepared to fight Britain’s corner against Europe, and Europe is happy that Cameron is “sticking to the plan.”

    The real shame of it is that the vast majority of the gullible public will swallow it – hook, line and sinker.

  3. junican says:

    It is as if, once such a totalitarian state has been erected….

    The totalitarian state HAS been erected. But it has little to do with politicians. Over the years, ordinary politicians have been emasculated by the introduction of central choosing of candidates by the main parties. Voters should vote for anyone but a Libcondem candidate; UKIP if you like; an Independent if you like; anyone but Libcondem. It may be a slow process, but, eventually, the number of MPs who are not party apparatchniks will exceed those who are. That is how the Labour Party came to power in the first place. It is a pity that it allowed itself to be taken over by the Elite. What fools the Union General Secretaries were! They could have stopped it, but they were too taken by the idea of the Party being in power.

    The perfect example of the baleful ignorance of experts and politicians combined is the power industry. It is perfectly obvious that the correct way is to tell these companies that they must compete. Where they get the resources from is immaterial. Our competitiveness in the world depends upon it. Also, clearly, swingeing taxes on fuel must be done away with. They are nonsense!

    the energy of the planet is enormous beyond imagining. It is simply a matter of finding the way to tap it. Geothermal has to be the way, if only the safety and technical problems could be solved. Wind? Don’t make me laugh.

    Our political system stinks. One of the reasons is the dependence of Ministers upon advice. But who choses the advisors? It seems, as Tobacco Control has illustrated, that the advisors chose the advisors.
    One clear requirement is an independent incorruptible Statistics Dept. One which has the duty to examine any statistics presented as evidence to the government. Remember that the way in which statistics are used these day (epidemiology and climatology) are comparatively modern.

  4. Walt says:

    Yes, we are being (have been) atomized and therefore/ thereby weakened and dissipated as a political force. And stopping people from gathering in public places– where strangers can learn that they’re like-minded and not at all alone or helpless in their fury– is an instrumental part of the atomization and disempowerment. Shuttering pubs, then, works out well. Whether it was cannily planned for those reasons or simply turned out to be a useful consequence is almost irrelevant. The ongoing drive against social lubricants– the drinking and smoking and fish-and-chipsing that make almost everyone loose and outgoing (and keeps them goimg out)– will continue apace until, one way or another, we’re all monks in cells, illuminating parchments of ancient, secret cheeseburger recipes.

    The other wave of social atomization is also advancing. Picking off groups of us, one by one with successive and successful propaganda campaigns. So first the eaters and the drinkers hate the smokers, and then the drinkers and the smokers hate the eaters, and then the eaters and the smokers hate the drinkers, who in turn hate the drivers, the sunners, and the screwers. On top of that, the left already hates the right (and the other way around) and the poor hate the rich, with a battle of the sexes and the races being stoked.

    No man is an island? I wouldn’t bet on it.

    • margo says:

      Well said, Walt. But who’s doing this? Who’s at the top?

      • Barry Homan says:

        And why?

        • nisakiman says:

          Common Purpose, NWO, Agenda 21, call it what you will, it seems to be a deliberate plan to break society so that it can be remade into a low-expectation, low-energy, low-consumption, malleable and obedient socialist utopia, with the self-appointed men in grey directing operations to their satisfaction.

          There was some discussion here a while back about the Frankfurt School, and the preconditions they laid out for a successful takeover of a society / country. Well, we have been steadily ticking the boxes next to their “to do” list, and the way things are going, my kids are going to find themselves living in Huxley’s Brave New World, where “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”.

          Yes, the lowest common denominator beckons.

    • Tom says:

      There is a group called Building One America that is said in many circles to be a key player in socially engineering the US in preparation for Agenda 21 implementation and one of the key urban areas in which advanced social engineering is being undertaken, including extreme anti-smoking, extreme health-fascism, extreme greenism, extreme leftist-one-partyism and other such things is the San Francisco, California, USA greater bay region under the leadership of the One Bay Area Plan, an offshoot of Building One America and hoping to set an example for the rest of the nation, and world, to follow, by making it “normal” in San Francisco and calling it a “raging success”. It is being implemented by pure tyranny of course and in order to normalize one-world UN Agenda 21 dictates, with SF and CA politicians very happy to accommodate the process, it being a single one and only one political party system at this point, overtly and in the open and with full public acceptance, perhaps out of fear or perhaps most people in disagreement have moved out and only the people supportive of Agenda 21 have remained behind or are being imported daily.

    • smokervoter says:

      “…until, one way or another, we’re all monks in cells, illuminating parchments of ancient, secret cheeseburger recipes.”

      Walt, you’ve got one hell of an under appreciated good sense of humor.

      Do you happen to remember when Burger King first came out with the 99-cent Whopper? I once existed for three weeks on a remodel project out in the boonies outside of Los Angeles on 6 Whoppers a day washed down with their large coffee (breakfast), their large 7-Up’s (lunch) and a six-pack of Coors beer (dinner).

      The work was exceedingly sweaty and strenuous, as is all carpentry work, but the Burger King diet got me through it all in fine shape.

  5. Tom says:

    I found an interesting quote from another blog-site today that by happen-stance comes from an original signer of the US Constitution, in which the 200 y/o quote makes a suggestion that the Constitution include a provision for “medical freedom” and goes on to say how if the medical profession is not reeled in, then in conjunction with other forces (today’s drug companies) will create an undercover dictatorship, using “health” as the cover-up, so society never thinks beyond the “goodness” and “health” the medical/drug cartel is providing – and instead quietly acquiesces to the dictatorship.

    Here is the link and part of the article and quote:
    —-

    http://www.oldthinkernews.com/2012/11/benjamin-rush-medical-freedom/

    By Daniel Taylor

    Health care reform is a hot topic today, as it has been for much of America’s history. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, warned in 1787 that medical freedom needed to be included in the American Constitution. Without this protection, Rush warned that the medical establishment would naturally progress – as many of mankind’s institutions do – into an oppressive dictatorship. His words, echoing from over 200 years ago, ring strikingly true today:

    “The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. … Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”
    —-

    This quote from Benjamin Rush in consideration of who he was might be of value in future online discussions or comments postings regarding the current state of medical/pharma/anti-smoker tyranny.

    • mikef317 says:

      Benjamin Rush would be welcome company for today’s anti-tobacco zealots.

      “Who can see groups of boys of six or eight years old in our streets smoking cigars, without anticipating such a depreciation of our posterity in health and character, as can scarcely be contemplated at this distance of time without pain and horror!” (Page 267.)

      http://medicolegal.tripod.com/rush1798.htm#tobacco-chapter

      • Tom says:

        Not a good source for quotes then. Looks like he tried to have it both ways, freedom/liberty for some things, no freedom/liberty for other things. So guess he’s not a good quotable source then either. Funny how even back then, 200 years ago, some would advocate smoking bans but wax eloquent about freedoms/liberties being lost, while contributing to the very same loss of freedoms/liberties they complain about losing.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Their will always be those who hate seeing others do something! Especially when it annoyz them!

  6. Frank I was just reading Gian Turci’s last article in Forces,written 3 years ago

    http://www.forces.org/Forces_Articles/article_viewer.php?author=Gian%20Turci

    Reading it is like it was written for today’s minimum alcohol pricing!

    Both of you write with the same spirit. Like fighters..And we need fighters in this war of madness..

    Wish we had him with us.May rest in peace..

    • garyk30 says:

      Indeed! Gian would have enjoyed this.

      You can’t make this up.
      The Regina,Canada high school, in the spirit of the season, put a video of a burning Yule Log on their football stadium scoreboard.
      Not surprising, a number of people called in that the stadium was on fire.

      Unbelievable thing is that, many of them reported smelling smoke. I suspect that those people are confirmed anti-smokers.

      By the way, what ever happened to the concept of politicians having a sense of ‘Honor’?

  7. Pingback: Medical Tyranny | Frank Davis

  8. Pingback: Liberal Vision » Blog Archive » Minimum Pricing: Battle lines are drawn

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