Carol2000 keeps on saying:
We should be attacking their scientific fraud at every opportunity, and ultimately create or (our?) own opportunity with a lawsuit that calls on them to cease and desist, and which installs appropriate supervision over them.
Well, the first thing that springs out of that is the word ‘lawsuit’. Lawsuits are either expensive or very expensive. And that means that I personally always rule out lawsuits. I haven’t got the money. None of us do. So forget it.
Recourse to the law is for very rich people who can afford it. The rest of us have no access to law. But anyway, would it be very effective if you actually could prove scientific fraud in a court of law? The antismokers would just shrug and carry on as before. They don’t give a damn about science. They make it up as they go along. They have utterly debased science. Or will continue doing so, unless there’s “appropriate supervision”. But that needs even more money. Maybe even ten times as much money. So forget that too.
Look, we haven’t got any law. We haven’t got any science either. We don’t even have any political representation. Everything is utterly corrupt. The deck is completely stacked. And we haven’t got any money either.
All we have is ourselves, and what we can individually do. If change is to come, it won’t come from the top (the courts, the media, the government, etc.); it’ll come from the bottom. It’ll come from a groundswell from below, pushing upwards. It’ll come from the sum of individual small acts of defiance or resistance or complaint.
One small, individual thing that I personally do is to write this blog, in which I express my resistance to smoking bans and everything associated with them. It costs me no money, and not much time either. But I think that just keeping on “banging on”, day after day, is a way of keeping up a slow drumbeat of resistance to Tobacco Control. I didn’t think it mattered to anyone until I met Rick Transit at Stony Stratford, and he told me that it was very disturbing when I didn’t write anything. So now, even if I really have nothing to say, I’ll usually post something, just to add another small beat of the drum.
But that’s not the only small act of resistance I engage in. After Carol complained today that “no effective resistance movement has emerged”, I suddenly realised for the very first time that just sitting in a pub garden smoking a cigarette, like I was this afternoon, is also a small act of resistance. It’s a public demonstration of the continued normality of smoking, in the face of concerted attempts to denormalise it. And the band of smokers with me in the pub garden were a bunch of demonstrators, who may as well have been waving placards. They were just waving cigarettes instead. And these little demos are taking place all over England every day, unplanned, unorganised, and unconsciously. And they serve to give support to the other smoking demonstrators: it’s always nice to see somebody else light up. And if people hadn’t been doing this, and had done all their smoking furtively at home or in dark alleys where no-one could see them, it would have been very easy to extend indoor pub smoking bans to the outdoors as well, and for denormalisation to be more or less complete, simply because nobody did it any more. And that won’t happen while all these demonstrators show up every day to wave their cigarettes around.
Another small act of resistance that I engage in is the one where I mark a cross on a ballot paper next to UKIP, which is about the only political party offering a relaxation of the UK smoking ban. And doing that seems to have been causing a bit of an upheaval in recent weeks.
In fact, simply carrying on smoking is itself a small act of resistance, wherever it’s done. Because it represents refusal to comply with Tobacco Control’s insistent demands. Every single cigarette that’s lit is another small burning beacon of freedom.
We think of the French Resistance in WW2 as being a small and active band of resisters, blowing up railway lines and the like. But while there were probably relatively few people who actually carried out such attacks, they were without doubt embedded in an entire culture of passive resistance, in which there were people who could hide people and weapons, or maybe just provide food or shelter. In fact anyone who was not actively collaborating with the Nazi occupation was in some way resisting it, even if resistance took the form of being a bit slow serving them coffee.
Now of course these forms of passive resistance don’t serve to overthrow the oppression, or even change it very much. But they act as a drag upon it. And they serve to maintain a grassroot spirit of resistance. And without that foundational grassroot spirit, nothing in the form of an active and effective resistance can ever be built.
And so I am entirely concerned with encouraging individual, personal, grassroot resistance. Because it will only be when that grows and expands that anything else will start happening. For it seems to me that we have to start at the very bottom, not the very top. And starting with the science and the law courts is starting at the top. Resistance must grow from the bottom upwards. One day maybe it’ll be strong enough to contest the science in the law courts. But that’s a long way away. And so right now I’m not interested in proving anything to anyone, least of all in a law court.
In the past I’ve written about the resistance as being like a growing swarm of wasps. The individual wasps are more or less powerless, and they fly angrily in circles. And their anger and persistence raises other wasps into the air, and the swarm gets bigger and bigger, and angrier and angrier. And then, somehow or other, they all begin to act in concert, and fly off together to do something. And none of what they do is planned or organised, but is instead the sum totality of all the individual wasps’ actions.
And that swarm is growing. It’s getting slowly bigger all the time.
There’s nothing magical about such a process. It’s no more magical than the way countless trillions of water molecules float up into the sky and condense to form the fluffy white clouds I was watching this afternoon. There’s no plan, no organisation. It’s just an unfolding process with an underlying logic.
To re-iterate: We can’t fight the fraudulent science in courts of law because science itself has been corrupted, and the courts are corrupt too, and we have no money to waste upon such futile lawsuits anyway. We only have ourselves. And we should encourage private, personal, individual resistance in the face of barbarity. Because that is all we can do.