The Empire Must Have An Emperor

Dick Puddlecote:

Adults and children should be instructed by the Government to halve the amount of sugar they consume and eat almost twice as much pasta, potato and other fibrous foods, an official report is expected to say this week.

Back in the 1960s in the UK, tower blocks and town planning was all the rage. The idea was that if towns were rationally planned, they’d be a lot better places to live than if they grew unplanned, higgledy-piggledy fashion.

I haven’t heard much about town planning recently. But most of the carefully-planned new town always struck me as utterly soulless, and most people seem to prefer to live in the unplanned,  higgledy-piggledy places that pre-date the planning era. So now we have carefully-planned low-rise developments that try hard to look like they’re unplanned,  higgledy-piggledy places.

And now we have lifestyle planning. And it’s essentially the same town planning mentality addressing itself to a new problem, having failed to solve the older problem.

And whether you’re doing town planning or lifestyle planning, when you’ve drawn up your plans, you’ll need to be able to put them into practice, of course. In the case of town planning in the UK, that meant the compulsory purchase of land for the new towns. And the word ‘compulsory’ indicates that compulsion had to be used to override any resistance. And of course the same will apply to lifestyle planning: people must  be forced to comply with the plans that the planners have made for them. There are the planners, and there are the planned for. And the former must exercise top down control over the latter. For otherwise what’s the point of planning?

It occurred to me today that once you have a bunch of planners making plans for everyone else, then you have a bunch of people who are perfectly prepared to compel others to comply with their plans, and who will be equally prepared to compel each other to conform with their plans. And so there must always eventually emerge a Chief Planner to whom all other planners become subordinate.

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s town planning or lifestyle planning or European Union planning, once all concerned are agreed that coercion is necessary to put their plans into effect, then they are also all agreed that coercion will also be necessary to produce unanimity among the planners in support of one plan, and one planner.

When, for example, Soviet revolutionaries took over in Russia in 1917, they naturally started producing Five Year Plans. At first they seem to have been more or less all equals, but eventually they threw up a Chief Planner firstly in the person of Lenin, and then Stalin. And all who disagreed with the Chief Planner were purged until there was complete conformity with the wishes of the Chief Planner.

We’re seeing the same processes at work today in the EU, where coercion is being used to extract the required conformity from Greece. But behind the scenes, in the corridors of the EU parliament, one may be in no doubt that coercion is also being used among the supposedly-equal ‘colleagues’ just like in the Kremlin circa 1920. And if the EU doesn’t disintegrate, one must expect a Chief Planner to emerge in due course. This will be a new dictator or tsar or emperor. The EU empire must have an emperor. And he (or she) will most likely be the most ruthlessly coercive planner of all.  And of course lots of people will be ruthlessly purged in the process.

In fact, we can see the same process at work everywhere, with increasingly coercive proposals to enforce top-down lifestyle plans and environmental plans and any number of other plans.

Anyone who engages in this sort of planning is essentially someone who believes in coercion – in imposing their will on everybody else. Town planning, lifestyle planning, and European Union planning are all inherently coercive in nature, because they all entail forcing other people to comply with a plan.

The plans never work, of course. The planners are never able to see very far into the future, or to foresee all the consequences of their plans. And the planners are almost invariably blinkered and dogmatic. And so disaster is more or less inevitable.

But none of this ever seems to deter anyone from making ambitious plans for everybody else. For it seems blindingly obvious to all concerned that if you want to create a ‘better world’ or a ‘just society’ or a ‘sustainable economic model’, you must first have a Plan.

Yet once you have started Planning For A Better World, you are on the road to totalitarianism and dictatorship.

Advertisements

About Frank Davis

smoker
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to The Empire Must Have An Emperor

  1. Frank Davis says:

    WSJ

    ATHENS—Europe’s ultimatum to Greece, demanding full capitulation as the price of any new bailout, marks the failure of a rebellion by a small, debt-ridden country against its lenders’ austerity policies, after Germany flexed its muscles and offered Athens a choice between obeisance or destruction.

    • Reinhold says:

      after Germany flexed its muscles and offered Athens a choice between obeisance or destruction

      No, not “Germany”.

      No.

      Not on my behalf.

      • Rose says:

        That’s the whole problem, Reinhold, ordinary members of the public are rarely if ever asked their opinion on any matter however important.

        • Reinhold says:

          We are just too stupid, aren’t we?

          That’s why we leave it all up to the Fair, and the Strong, and the Wise (a quote from the Doors – I thought it fittingly was from The End, but it’s not).

        • Rose says:

          I think it’s more that we have commonsense, empathy and they know exactly what we would say about it given a chance.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Whats next Germany/ EU Invades Greece and takes what as payment,they have nothing!

      • Bemused says:

        Except islands and newly discovered oil reserves.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Id say Greece has been explored to no end for oil and natural gas deposits all over its land and ocean areas thru the years. Whats an island worth if it still falls under the control of Greece and all its problems. An island by itself identified as a soverign country is another story.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Kinda like when France marched into Germany and took over the industrialized part of Germany when Germany couldn’t pay war reparations……….

  2. Bemused says:

    Frank, you describe eloquently the gulf between individualism and collectivism. “For the greater good” must be one of the scariest phrases ever uttered.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Collectivism is a destructive ideology meant to destroy individual rights and responsibilities.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Macau Casinos Surge on Report Government May Soften Smoking Ban

    Bloomberg
    Casino operators surged in Hong Kong, with Wynn Macau Ltd. heading for a two-month high, after Macau Business reported the government may ease plans to ban smoking rooms on gaming floors.

    Wynn Macau jumped 5.7 percent as of 2:01 p.m. local time, as Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and Sands China Ltd. rallied at least 4.7 percent. The government may let casinos retain smoking rooms if they can prove the health of employees and patrons is protected, Macau Business said, citing Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng.

    Galaxy and Sands are the worst performers on the Hang Seng Index in the past 12 months as China’s corruption crackdown sent high-rollers elsewhere and the proposed smoking ban loomed as another drag on gaming revenues. The government’s proposed plan would ban lighting up in VIP rooms and eliminate the airport-style smoking lounges that are currently allowed on mass gaming floors.

    “It’s a squeeze, a bear-market squeeze, so anything can trigger it,” said Benjamin Collett, Hong Kong-based head of Asian equities at Sunrise Brokers LLP. The smoking-room report “indicates a softening of the government’s stance, and that’s positive enough to make you reduce your short position.”

    Gross gaming revenue in the former Portuguese enclave fell 36 percent in June from a year earlier to its lowest level in more than four years. High-stakes gamblers would look to reduce their trips to Macau by 17 percent and cut their length of stay after the smoking ban is implemented, Deutsche Bank AG said in a June 29 report, citing a third-party report commissioned by the city’s six casino operators.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/macau-casinos-surge-on-report-government-may-soften-smoking-ban

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Economics
    From your digest email

    What’s wrong with Greece’s economy?

    Edward Conway

    This is vastly oversimplified, but here goes:

    1. German economic policy: save money, keep very little debt, concentrate on making sure inflation stays low, export a lot to other countries. Also, the German government, labor unions, and employers work together to build a growth-centered business climate, and strikes, when the happen, are generally short term and orderly.

    2. Greek economic policy: generous pensions and welfare (paid for by borrowing money and a large government deficit), strong limits on economic activity (ex. very few business license permits issued in each industry, which makes competition difficult and raises the entry costs for new businesses). This leads to cartels and oligarchies controlling the businesses, and excluding any new competiti0n. Labor unions and big corporations see each other as enemies, and strikes and protests are common.

    This, by itself, is less of a problem: a strong German economy would lead to a strong German currency, while a weaker Greek economy would lead to a weaker Greek currency. The currencies would reach a new balance that reflected the situation of each economy.

    The incredibly bad move that was made was the decision to put Germany and Greece into a currency-union, where they share the Euro.

    Greece needs the Euro to go down in value because it has a large debt that can only be paid in Euros.

    Germany does not want inflation that would come from the Euro decreasing in value.

    Greece wants Germany to lend them more money, and allow it to continue to have high pensions, welfare, and a restrictive business environment, because these things prop up the Greek economy. Germany says no to all these.

    If Greece did not use the Euro, they could allow their currency to drop in value, but with the Euro they have no control over currency, so the choice becomes:

    1. leave the Euro
    2. pass a lot of rough austerity measures that hurt their economy and anger their voters
    3. Hope that Germany will renegotiate
    4. Default

    Under the old government, the choice was 2, and the government barely survived multiple votes and elections. The new government wants 3, but has indicated they might do 1. 4 is the worst case scenario that keeps everyone up at night, as no one knows what effects this would have on other Eurozone countries.

    https://www.quora.com/

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/68351/20150713/new-nano-catalyst-air-filter-can-clean-air-in-smoking-room-and-make-it-free-of-carcinogens.htm

    New Nano-Catalyst Air Filter Can Clean Air In Smoking Room And Make It Free Of Carcinogens

    Researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have created a new nano-catalyst filter that is capable of removing up to 100 percent of…

    • Joe L. says:

      Nice find, Harley. Assuming the claims from these researchers are true, here we have yet another litmus test for the agenda of the anti-smokers. If smoking bans were truly implemented in order to protect innocent people from the “dangers” of secondhand smoke, then there should be absolutely no reason why public establishments should not be allowed to permit indoor smoking as long as they install and properly maintain these new filters.

  6. Rose says:

    No smoking signs reminder to South Lakes businesses

    “Businesses in South Lakeland are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.

    Spot-checks by council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are still not complying with the legislation.

    The government introduced smoke-free laws in 2007, which made it an offence to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles.

    Managers of smoke-free premises have a legal responsibility to prevent people smoking and part of the law requires no smoking signs to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to the premises.

    Failure to comply with the laws is a criminal offence. Failure to display no­ smoking signs carries a fixed penalty notice of £200 imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke-free premises or vehicle, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.”
    http://www.itv.com/news/border/update/2015-07-13/no-smoking-signs-reminder-to-south-lakes-businesses/

    Obviously eight years on, smoking is not as Denormalised as anti-tobacco insist if they still have to threaten people with notices.
    How long do they intend to keep printing these notices? 50 years, a hundred? And why no other signs reminding us of things we are not allowed to do.

    As one church compelled to display one of these signs put it at the time –

    “NO SMOKING

    IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO SMOKE IN THESE PREMISES.
    Also there is to be no rape, pillage, murder, theft, kidnapping, rollerblading, ball games, trapeze acts, bathing in blancmange, fox hunting, bear baiting, hare coursing,hot air ballooning, driving of double decker buses nor any activity which patronized the congregation in the way our government forces us to patronize you by obliging us to display this ridiculous notice.”.

  7. garyk30 says:

    “increasingly coercive proposals to enforce top-down lifestyle plans and environmental plans and any number of other plans.”

    Sounds like they want us all to be in the military with govt approved and provided, housing, clothing, food, medical care, and the govt deciding which jobs we should hold.

    We as the privates and them as the officers.
    And they will fight over who gets to be ‘General in Charge”.

  8. Rose says:

    This says it all, really.

    No Break for Macau Casinos as Government Plans Full Smoking Ban
    June 30, 2015
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-30/no-break-for-macau-casinos-as-government-plans-full-smoking-ban

    Today

    Macau Casinos Surge on Report Government May Soften Smoking Ban
    July 13, 2015

    ” Casino operators surged in Hong Kong, with Wynn Macau Ltd. heading for a two-month high, after Macau Business reported the government may ease plans to ban smoking rooms on gaming floors.

    Wynn Macau jumped 5.7 percent as of 2:01 p.m. local time, as Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and Sands China Ltd. rallied at least 4.7 percent. The government may let casinos retain smoking rooms if they can prove the health of employees and patrons is protected, Macau Business said, citing Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng.

    Galaxy and Sands are the worst performers on the Hang Seng Index in the past 12 months as China’s corruption crackdown sent high-rollers elsewhere and the proposed smoking ban loomed as another drag on gaming revenues.”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-13/macau-casinos-surge-on-report-government-may-soften-smoking-ban

    And that’s just on the prospect of being allowed to keep smoking rooms.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Eric Garner’s Family REJECTS $5,000,000 Settlement From The NYPD

    New York City officials say that the family of Eric Garner just rejected their cash settlement offer of $5,000,000. The money was offered in order to settle a suit filed in the wrongful death of Garner, 43, after an NYPD police officer choked him to death for selling lose cigarettes in New York City.

    The Garner family is said to have refused the NYPD offer, saying that they will ask instead for a more punishing suit of $75 million within the week.

    That suit has to be filed by the 17th of this month, which is the anniversary of Garner’s death.

    Family required to file a suit by Friday – the anniversary of Garner’s death

    New York’s top finance official, Scott Stringer, offered the family the $5 million payout, if they promise not to sue the police or the city, according to the New York Daily News.

    Garner’s widow Esaw Garner, said there is no way they would let the NYPD get away with killing Garner and paying such a relatively small amount.

    Garner’s death made international headlines, after the NYPD put him in a chokehold over nothing other than selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner went into cardiac arrest and died in custody

    As in many cases of police killings, there is a federal probe into Garner’s death, being carried out by the Justice Department, but few expect any meaningful findings to arise from this investigation.

    Garner’s last words of “I can’t breathe” were yelled, gasped and choked out 11 times before he passed out. Those words have now become rallying cries in protests across the nation, standing up against police brutality and murder.

    http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/07/eric-garners-family-rejects-5000000-settlement-from-the-nypd/

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    KRUGMAN: ‘The European project … has just been dealt a terrible, perhaps fatal blow.’

    Paul Krugman is not a fan of where the Greek debt negotiations are going.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-on-breakdown-in-greek-talks-2015-7

  11. waltc says:

    Their right to engineer was based on the misunderstanding of a homonym. . They thought it was called Plan-it Earth.

  12. Joe L. says:

    “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

    – Woody Allen

  13. petesquiz says:

    “The planners are never able to see very far into the future, or to foresee all the consequences of their plans.”

    That’s because they are modern day soothsayers, only instead of consulting an Oracle or a crystal ball or some tea leaves, they consult scientific papers….except there’s very little science in them (if any!). So we’re left with governments in thrall to these prognosticators and doom merchants whilst we the people suffer more and more restrictions based on little more than whimsy.

    I’m constantly amazed at how far our civilisation hasn’t progressed from the Ancient Greeks – same old nonsense packaged in very modern looking ‘clothes’.

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s