Force

This US election is getting crazier and crazier, and darker and darker.

In an article in response to the firebombing of a Trump campaign office, I read today:

As dramatic as this story is, it should not surprise us at all. As I often tell people, “The Left only understands force.” Force against America’s Constitutional limitations and the balance of power. Force against morality and the natural law, such as by “redefining” marriage, deconstructing gender, etc. And, most obviously, force against its opponents.

Is that true? Is force the only thing the Left understands? It reminded me of a Labour party activist that I knew many years ago, who responded to my attempts to assist a struggling theatre company by saying that he’d “see if he could twist a few people’s arms” inside the Labour party to get them to help. It rather shocked me that he felt he had to twist people’s arms to get them to do anything (although he was speaking metaphorically, of course).

Smoking bans entail the use of force. Smoking bans are an example of mass arm-twisting. Smokers are to have their arms twisted until they stop smoking. It’s now become arm-twisting on a global scale. You have some sort of ideal society in mind – a “smoke-free” society, in this case -, and you just twist people’s arms until they conform to the ideal. And if arm-twisting doesn’t succeed, you just ratchet up the level of violence until it does succeed, as Rodrigo Duterte is doing.

Which reminds me of the time, also many years ago, when I decided that my Lambretta scooter needed its engine de-coked, because I thought its exhaust was a bit too smoky. The single cylinder two-stroke engine was attached to the frame by a hinge, and held up by a long bolt that ran through the engine casing. I managed to pull out the bolt, and drop the engine down onto the ground, and remove the head to reveal the single piston. After I had de-coked the piston (which actually turned out not to need de-coking), and put the head back on, I had a big struggle to raise the engine back up, and push the bolt back through. I’d managed to get the bolt half way through the engine casing, but it wouldn’t come out the other side. I decided that with a little bit of force, I could drive the bolt through. So I got a hammer, and started whacking one end of the bolt. And eventually, after quite a lot of hammering, it finally slid satisfyingly through. But when I went round to have a look at the other end, I found that the lug on the engine casing through which it the bolt was supposed to have slid had broken clean off. I had broken the engine casing. I had done irreparable damage. I had completely wrecked my Lambretta. I never rode it again. All because I did something to it that didn’t need doing. The engine had been working perfectly well before I set about it with my hammer: it was just a bit smoky. And the only way I could go anywhere after that was by bus or train.

It’s the same with smoking bans. They also are applying force to society (which is a sort of engine) to make it stop smoking. And they think they’ve succeeded, because they’ve managed to “drive the bolt through” and force smokers to comply. But they’re going to find out, when they finally take a look, that they’ve really only succeeded in breaking society, and have done irreparable damage to it – snapping the bonds that held it together just as effectively as I snapped the bonds in the aluminium casing of my Lambretta with my hammer. And all because they did something to it that didn’t need doing.

The antismoking zealots haven’t actually taken a look at the other end of the bolt they’ve been hammering on. And I suspect they never will. But I’ve taken a look, and I drew a picture of what I thought they’d done to society (right).  They’ve broken it. They’ve driven smokers out of it. They’ve shattered communities and broken friendships, and they’ve bankrupted pubs and cafes and clubs. And many of those broken communities and broken friendships will never be repaired, and many of those bankrupted pubs and clubs will never re-open.

The zealots will never look at what they’ve done. Or they’ll never admit that they did it. They’ll always blame the closure of the 16,415+ UK pubs on something else. Anything else but the smoking ban that drove their smoking customers (who were in many cases their best customers) out of UK pubs. They’ll blame the recession. They’ll blame supermarkets. They’ll blame anything they possibly can.

In fact, I think the global recession has been in part caused by the wave of smoking bans that has swept over the whole world over the past decade. For as smokers have stopped spending money in the pubs and restaurants and cafes and clubs and casinos from which they’ve been evicted, they don’t spend it elsewhere. They stay home, and stop spending. They buy cheap supermarket alcohol instead of going to pubs like they used to. And when a quarter (maybe half in some countries) of the population stop spending money, there’s a sharp reduction in demand for almost everything. Business dries up everywhere.

The antismoking zealots in ASH and the WHO and the RCP are never going admit that they did all this damage. They’ll carry on claiming that their smoking bans have been a “great success.” They declared them a great success on Day One, simply because smokers didn’t revolt. But sooner or later some other more clear-eyed people are going to see what happened, and take steps to rectify it, to the extent it can be rectified at all.

Force doesn’t work. It may seem to work, but the use of force always has unforeseen consequences, not always at the point where the force is applied.

And since the Left always set out to improve society by the use of force – either the force of arms or the force of law – they always end up damaging society. They always end up with broken Lambretta engines. And that’s why the Soviet Union and Communist China and Castro’s Cuba, and even the post-war semi-state-controlled, or “mixed”, UK economy were all economic basket cases to one degree or other. The same happens when the Right uses force, of course. But hands-off, laissez-faire capitalism always works better than top-down state control. It works because it’s not being forced to do something it doesn’t do naturally.

But the Left never seem to learn this lesson. They’re always trying to take control. They can never leave things alone. They can never just let things happen.

The Right – the traditional, conservative Right – are trying to preserve something that already exists, while the Left are always trying to create something different. And that means the Left is always engaged in destroying what already exists in order to replace it with something else. So the Left must always use force. And in general the Right need not use force. The Right only need to use force when they’re resisting the Left.

So, yes, maybe it’s true: The Left only understands force.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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20 Responses to Force

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    “I think the global recession has been in part caused by the wave of smoking bans that has swept over the whole world over the past decade.”

    Indeed. I think I may have put this link in here before, but this is an excellent article outlining exactly how smoking bans kick-started the whole thing:

    http://cleanairquality.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/worldwide-economic-meltdown-and.html
    (Sorry, still can’t do links!). Written a while ago, but still as relevant today as it was then.

  2. Roobeedoo2 says:

    It’s all government, Frank…

    *Clicky, can get me that ted talk on it, please…*

  3. Frank, that’s a creative and thought-provoking diagram, but in my own opinion/estimation I’d change a few things:

    1) I’d somewhat increase the proportion of smokers in recognition of the “hidden” smokers out there, the straight-out “secret smokers” as well as the “Oh, I’m not really a smoker!” dabbler of a few a week social smokers. Arguably the “dabblers” who have now, under pressure, become actual nonsmokers would be a slice of nonsmokers whose lives have been disrupted to some extent, and some to a great extent.

    2) I would take another sizable slice out of the “unaffected nonsmokers” to represent the biz owners and workers whose lives have been hit by the bans, as as well as the social nonsmokers whose social lives have been disrupted through the alienation of friendships and loss of formerly enjoyed social circles.

    Overall, I would put the proportion of isolated/disrupted people at closer to 25 or 30% rather than the 10% or I believe your pie indicates. As you note, I’m sure there are many out there who don’t even realize how their lives have been disrupted. E.G. one of their regular bridge group no longer comes after continuing on for a few weeks after the host declared a “No big deal, just step outside to grab a smoke.” policy early one September evening; or one whose fave pub closed “because of cheap supermarket alcohol… oh… and maybe a bit because of something called a smoking ban that really didn’t have much impact itself of course.”; or one whose St. Paddy’s and/or New Years parties have been cancelled the past few years “because they’re just not that much fun anymore — I guess we’re all just getting older and not enjoying sitting around chatting over tea ‘n crumpets the way we used to…” etc,

    The damage is incalculable, not in terms of it necessarily being “immense” (though it may well be) but in the sense of it likely being impossible to objectively calculate. The questions, survey pool, measurements, presentations, degree of impact per variable etc etc etc… all of those things would vary wildly depending upon the orientation and underlying beliefs/biases of the researcher (and of course, in the case of the funded antismoking researchers, the size of their paychecks for producing desired results.)

    Still, it would be great to see at least some attempts at the university level by researchers willing to work out of their own pockets on such stuff.

    – MJM

    • Frank Davis says:

      The ISIS survey asked about 400 smokers about the impact of the smoking ban on them. So the results were based on the figures we had from them. Clearly all the people who smoke but don’t think of themselves as smokers wouldn’t have responded to the survey (Although I did have one woman he said “I don’t smoke” while she had a lit cigarette between her fingers, such is the depths of denial). And we weren’t asking non-smokers about the impacts of the smoking ban, although a handful crept in, and were quite vocal

      So you’re probably right that there are a lot of hidden smokers who were affected. And also right that non-smokers were affected. It’s just that the survey was of smokers.

    • garyk30 says:

      The affected nonsmokers should also include the spouses/etc of the smokers that no longer go out because their mates do not go out.

      I know my wife is not happy about my loss of enthusiasm for dining out.

      • nisakiman says:

        Yes, it’s a bit of a chore if it involves being unable to sit at the table and enjoy a postprandial ciggie. I don’t have that problem here, but when we’re in Thailand I avoid going to air-con restaurants / bars, opting rather for outdoor tables (even if it’s nudging 40°C) where I can smoke. My wife (a non-smoker) would much rather sit in air-con, but she knows how I feel about it, so she never complains, bless her. She also knows I don’t like air-con anyway, regardless of the smoking issue.

        If we had a strict adherence to the bans here in Greece, I doubt I’d ever go out during the winter months. I’m not going to pay good money for the honour of standing outside in the cold and rain when I want a smoke.

  4. Simple math
    Today wafflehouse at 10 am ZERO CUSTOMERS
    Across the road at the smoking dive 17 cars.

  5. waltc says:

    Except they don’t care about breaking societies. In fact, that’s their goal; their intention. Break eggs to make omelets. (An omelet, btw, no longer consists of recognizably individual eggs, it’s a mushy collective. But that’s another story. ) How did Lenin remake Russia? Mao,China? Castro, Cuba? The way they see it, their utopian phoenix can only rise out of ashes. Evolution, through propaganda and “re-education”, takes too long and, though it can it be accomplished, the visionaries are impatient, inevitably deciding to “win hearts and minds” by burning the village, killing the livestock and shooting the rebels.

    • prog says:

      I think most of the useful idiots sincerely believe they’re striving to create a better society. They’ve been conditioned to believe this and no amount of reasoning will shift their opinion. For example, we ‘veterans’ have witnessed this time and time again with anti smokers. And if, though very rarely, their opinions do soften slightly it’s usually driven purely by selfishness.

  6. Clicky says:

  7. smokingscot says:

    Stephen Woolfe has quit UKIP, with some choice words and a claim that he was indeed physically abused by his ex-colleague.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14807096.Former_UKIP_leadership_contender_Steven_Woolfe_quits_party/

  8. melinoerealm says:

    Basically, it’s the americans who first begun to call their democrat party …”left”, but that’s because they have a well-known language disorder problem since several decades now. Unfortunately, many other people who insisted on reading us-blogs mimicked and spread the wrong term, without stopping for a moment to think.

    What is called “Liberal Social Democracy”, with its various parties, is NOT “left”. People like Clinton or Blair, are NOT “left”.

    Social Democracy was a term which became widespread after WWII, when the fascist/nazi model of governing had to be given another name to sound better. So “social democracy” was used instead. After the 70, a gradual “deregulation” (=impunity) of the financial sector begun, and this was called “liberal” (=that the financial sector parasites would be totally loose to do whatever they felt like, without any control, while they would be able to control all the others) – hence, the term “Liberal Social Democracy” came to being.

    The only relation between “Liberal Social Democracy” and the Left, is one of total hostility.

    PS: Americans have become the kind of people one wishes to kill by hitting them on the head with a dictionary…

    • Some French bloke says:

      the fascist/nazi model of governing had to be given another name to sound better..

      Indeed, labelling themselves ‘crypto-nazi banksters’ would display unprecedented, and un-typical, ingenuousness on their part! The ‘left = illiberal fuckwits’ misnomer has become a global plague (much like rampant anti-smoking itself).

      The result of stringent smoking bans has been the destruction of much social and individual potential – and opposing these two facets of the same problem only demonstrates the locutor’s short-sightedness and/or ideological bias. The ANTZ’s actions have been egregiously anti-social, since while one the one hand they had no qualms about crushing individual rights, on the other they never achieved anything in terms of public health or other social benefits, except in their fictitious, make-believe propaganda dimension.

  9. Reinhold says:

    Translated this (for the most part) into German in https://www.facebook.com/groups/NetzwerkRauchen/
    and eventually it will also appear on http://www.netzwerk-rauchen.de/frank-davis-auf-deutsch.html

    That’s nothing new, I know, because I did so some 240+ times before. What’s new is only that I now – following Lecroix’s example – mention it. :-)

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