My copy of Michael McFadden’s Tobakkobacht arrived today. I haven’t read it yet. But I read the author’s preface, and in my view for that alone the book is worth every penny I paid for it. Because he writes:
…what is being done to smokers today is truly not that much different from what was being done to Germany’s Jews in the very earliest presages of the Holocaust, the period when virtually no one, either in Germany or elsewhere, would ever have believed in the possibility of what was to come.
That’s what I think too. And it’s what I’ve written in my blog many times. But this was the first time I’ve ever read it printed in ink in the one of the opening pages of a book that I was holding in my hands.
Even though I do not believe the “War On Smokers” will ever extend much beyond personal animosity and economic, housing, and medical persecution, I have been horrified to see such widespread acceptance of the growth of such persecution. It has been very disturbing to see it met with total complacency amongst a generation that, just thirty years earlier, was screaming high holy hell against any and all behavioral control by authority; the hippies who believed that all people should be loved and practically all non-violent behaviors should be tolerated and accepted as each and every individual was allowed to do their own thing.
I have seen the sea-change in attitude over those thirty years and I have seen how reluctant people are to stand up to authority, no matter how illegitimate, if it dons the robes of acting in the public interest, or for the children, or even just to save tax money.
I have seen people radically alter their views of reality, not because of any sound and rational argument, but purely because they have been hit, over and over and over again, with sound bite philosophies that come to be accepted without thought or question upon the hundredth unchallenged repetition.
I have seen people treat and accept treatment of friends and family members in ways that would have been unimaginable twenty or thirty years ago: tossing grandparents out onto snow-covered porches, evicting elderly patients from long-term care facilities, rudely accosting strangers who are engaging in “misbehiour” a dozen yards away in the open air, even teaching their children to regard certain sorts of folks as “dirty,” while training them to make nasty faces and fake coughing sounds upon the sight of such folks.
I have seen the majority of the population welcome extortionate taxation of a minority simply because they have been given an excuse to vote for taxing someone else without guilt.
I have seen people tossed out of homes they had lived in for years simply because they refused to change their lifestyles to be in accordance with a new fiat regarding their perfectly legal behavior, and I have even seen people threatened with the denial of needed medical treaments unless they agreed to adopt the current medical ideal and alter their behavior accordingly.
I’ve seen all that and finally, many years after graduating with a degree in Peace Studies, I have begun to understand just how subtly hate can be built up against a minority with almost no one objecting, and almost no one believing how far such hate can eventually go as it develops step by step.
And that’s pretty much my experience too. And over the past few years, I too have begun to at last understand what happened in Nazi Germany 80 years ago, and how it was done – because it is now happening all over again, more or less everywhere in the world.
I’d simply add that it’s happening all over again because the eugenic philosophy that underpinned Nazism never went away. It has remained the orthodoxy. And in its view the human race is to be improved, like a herd of cattle, by culling the weakest and sickliest and least desirable members of it. In Nazi Germany, those were, among others, the Jews and the Gypsies and homosexuals. The new undesirables are now smokers, drinkers, and fat people. And these are the ones who are now being subjected to exactly the kind of insults and smears and innuendoes that were used 80 years ago. And these are the ones who are now being refused jobs, homes, and medical treatment.
And, ultimately, this eugenic philosophy is inherently murderous in nature. Refusing people jobs and homes and medicine is simply a slow way of killing them. Tobacco Control isn’t trying to ‘help’ smokers: it’s trying to exterminate them. But this time, instead of herding them all into gas chambers, they’re setting out to gradually decimate their numbers in a multiplicity of small ways, all of which have the same end result.
And this is why there can be nothing to discuss with Tobacco Control, why smokers cannot engage in any meaningful debate with such people. There is nothing to discuss: This is a war. It’s a naked fight for survival. And the sooner the world’s 1.5 billion smokers wake up to this fact, the better.
And the more books like McFadden’s that explicitly and unhesitatingly point out how history is repeating itself, the better.
I don’t yet have a link for where to buy this book (mine is an advance copy), but maybe Michael McFadden can provide me with one.