I’m going to elaborate slightly on a response of mine to a comment by Lepercolonist:
On Joe Rogan’s podcast the guest, Brian Callen, stated that Sam Harris has only ONE smoker (Christopher Hitchens) on his rolodex of 1,000 people. The topic discussed was “living in a bubble.”
How many people have no contact with smokers these days ?
Good question. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it’s rather a lot.
Because the War on Smoking (and on smokers) has opened up a profound division in society, between smokers and antismokers. It’s a division that is always deepening. They have been taught to hate us, and we in turn have begun to hate them.
It’s a social catastrophe of the first magnitude. And it’s a global catastrophe. And its consequences are going to felt for many, many years to come.
And it’s not even as if the indifferent non-smokers in the middle won’t experience it either. Because they are finding themselves torn between the two sides, and they are being forced to back one side or the other. They’re always being forced to either sit indoors with their non-smoking friends, or join their smoking friends outside where they’ve been exiled.
I don’t have a rolodex, but if I did there wouldn’t be any antismokers in it. I don’t want to know them. In fact, I can’t know them, because we can’t comfortably share the same space or the same air any more. We can no longer co-exist.
The doctors in the medical profession who started the War on Smokers probably believe that a little discomfort for smokers is a small price to pay to rid the world of the scourge that they believe smoking to be. But they are never going to rid the world of tobacco. What’s going to happen instead is that the medical profession is going to be the principal casualty of this war. For when people realise (and they will realise) what a profound and lasting and bitter division in society they have created, they will turn on the doctors who worked so assiduously to conjure up this divisive war. And the medical profession will be shattered. Its prestige and standing will collapse.
I’ve remarked many times that I used to have a wide circle of friends, nearly all of whom I have now lost. They were perfectly good friends. I liked them, and they liked me. That’s how it is with friends. But the smoking ban took away the neutral ground where we used to meet. It took away all the pubs and cafes and restaurants where we used once to cheerfully meet up. And since those of them who’d become sufficiently terrified of tobacco smoke had already banned smoking in their own homes, it was impossible to meet them there either. And so I haven’t seen most of them for 10 years or more. I no longer know what they’ve are doing, or what they are thinking. They have become strangers to me, and I have become a stranger to them.
One of them was a very good friend of mine for many years. We used to go on holiday together. But when I found out that she’d been working in Tobacco Control, in one capacity or other, for much of the time I knew her, our friendship came to an abrupt end. For I realised that she wasn’t actually a friend of mine, but was instead an enemy. And now I hate her. The best of friends can very easily become the worst of enemies. And they become the worst of enemies precisely because they were once the very best of friends.
So far, there’s not been much real violence between antismokers and smokers. But I’m sure it happens – most probably between husbands and wives, or fathers and sons (i.e. between people who were once close to each other). But it probably also happens between complete strangers from time to time. A few angry words are spoken, and a punch gets thrown.
And it’s only going to slowly get worse. Because the two sides are only going to get more and more deeply estranged from each other, as they move further and further apart, and understand each other less and less.
And as the mutual hatred and fear mounts, the words will get angrier, the punches harder. And smokers will start to arm themselves. And antismokers will too. And there’ll be shootings. And deaths (there already have been).
I expect that at some point, one or two enlightened politicians (hard to find these days, i know) will realise that a very dangerous division in society has opened up, and they will try to reverse the slide. I expect that, almost overnight, the War on Smokers will come to an end. The propaganda war on them will stop. And there’ll calls for inclusivity and mutual respect. Perhaps even some pubs and cafes will be permitted to allow smoking.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this will have much effect on a population that has been so thoroughly brainwashed about smoking that they can only think of tobacco smoke as a poison worse than mustard gas. So even if governments try to counteract the process that they themselves set in motion, at the behest of the medical profession, the wider population will remain as divided as ever.
So I believe that the War on Smokers will come to an end, and an abrupt end. And it will come to an end not because antismoking doctors will call for it to end, but because people outside the medical profession will realise what damage the war is doing to the whole of society. The war will end for political reasons rather than medical reasons. But it will leave behind it a bitterly divided society. And the divisions that have already opened up will only continue to widen. It won’t just be that I will not know my former friends any more, but that I won’t think like them either. We will inhabit separate, mutually exclusive worlds. We’ll think differently not only about smoking, but about everything else as well.
I sometimes think that if the intelligence services (GCHQ, CIA, FSB) were doing their job properly, they would already be warning governments about this profound and deepening social division. It’s as much a threat to all of them as any state (e.g. North Korea) or religion (e.g. Wahhabi Islam) or political movement (e.g. Marxism). But there’s no sign of any awareness in them of what has been happening. The intelligence services seem to be as blind and complacent as anyone else. Their eyes are fixed on other threats. e.g. The Russians!!!
I have no contacts in the intelligence services. But I know that everything I write is readily available to them. And so I’d like to implore any NSA analyst who happens to be reading this to take what I’ve written here, and show it to the people upstairs, who usually have names like M or Q, and say: “Do you think we might have a little problem here? Do you think this is is something we ought to investigate a bit? Because I’ve got this guy called Frank Davis warning of an ever-deepening social divide, and imploring me to tell you guys about it.”
I think I know what will happen. M will glance through my essay, and toss it aside. And he’ll say, “Don’t listen to this kook. Our big problem is the Russians and the Chinese and the North Koreans and the Muslims and the Commies. It always has been, and it always will be.”
And then he’ll put his feet back on his desk and carry on watching the Super Bowl.