In a thoughtful response to me yesterday, Dmitry wrote:
“We should make life hell for them just like they made life hell for us. Many of them should be sent to prison. Some of them should even be executed.”. You know, Frank, there’ll be a lot of people who’ll be running around and saying: we didn’t know we were bastards, we thought we were saving mankind.
I think you have to know how to win and how to consummate victories. Look at the ugly way it was done to Germany after the WW1. By now I think the moral subjugation of Germans (in the West) after WW2 was no better. Somebody was a bad winner and created new problems.
While in the Easr of Germany… my father fought in the war, and later became a professional military. And he was visiting East Germany often, had friends there in the army, some of whom were at the Eastern front. He was always telling me: each has his own share of guilt, and in any case it’d be ridiculous to make Germans repent on daily basis for the past sins, generation after generation.
So, maybe, we should destroy the TC ideology, not the personalities? Let the bastards roam free and think about what they did?
There’s a lot in that comment.
Well, yes, we should try to avoid creating new problems. If Tobacco Control is to be demonised in the way that it currently demonises tobacco companies and smokers, we will simply end up with the mirror image of the present situation, and will have made no progress at all.
So perhaps we should destroy the Tobacco Control ideology, and not the individual actors inside Tobacco Control.
But how do you destroy an ideology? I’m not sure it ever can be done. They always seem to bounce back. Communism, socialism, fascism, Islam, Christianity: they all appear moribund at one time or other, but they always become resurgent shortly afterwards.
And that’s perhaps because ideas are immortal, and if they ever lose currency they’ll sooner or later regain it. Only people are mortal, and only they can die. So Marx and Mussolini and Christ and Mohammed are dead, but their ideas live on. And Christ always rises from the dead.
And the ideology of Tobacco Control is really just a dislike of smoking. It’s just the way some people are. Tobacco Control is a vast elaboration of a simple dislike of smoking into a global crusade against smoking, tobacco, smokers, and tobacco companies (and anything that looks like smoking, such as e-cigarettes). I don’t like celery. I never will like it. But I haven’t yet launched a global war on celery and celery-growers and celery-eaters.
There is no “ideology” of Tobacco Control. There’s nothing there. It’s a mild aversion that has been stoked up into an insane, out-of-control, global witch hunt.
But the actors inside Tobacco Control are real people. Deborah Arnott is a real person. So is Stanton Glantz. And Sir Charles George. And Sir Richard Peto. They’re all people who don’t like smoking. And they have combined together to eradicate the practice. There’s a whole army of them. And it’s a professional army. They are all paid professional soldiers. According to Guido Fawkes, Deborah Arnott earns £160,000 a year as director of ASH.
Perhaps Deborah Arnott thinks she’s saving mankind. In fact, I’m sure that’s exactly what she thinks she’s doing. That’s what they all think they’re doing. It’s where they get their sanctimonious moral certainty. “Sanctimonious” means self-righteous, holier-than-thou, churchy, pious, pietistic, moralizing, unctuous, smug, superior, priggish, mealy-mouthed, hypocritical, and insincere. Isn’t that exactly what she is?
She thinks she’s doing the right thing. But doesn’t everybody think they’re doing the right thing, all day, every day? When Jack the Ripper murdered Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly, did he think he was doing something wrong? Of course not. He was just ridding the world of a few prostitutes. He was performing a public service.
Same with Dr Harold Shipman. He was ridding the world of a few burdensome old people. He was performing a public service. He probably thought he should have been awarded a medal.
But other people did not agree with these people’s assessment of themselves. Most people think that Harold Shipman and Jack the Ripper were serial killers. And I think that Deborah Arnott is a very nasty, bullying busybody.
Harold Shipman and Jack the Ripper were lone figures. But Tobacco Control is a whole army of bullies. Deborah Arnott is a bully. Stanton Glantz is a bully. Sir Charles George is a bully. Sir Richard Peto is a bully. Smoking bans are intended to bully smokers into stopping smoking. They have no other purpose. And the “health warnings” on tobacco products are bullying messages instructing smokers to Quit Smoking Now.
And the bullies in Public Health, urged on by their success against smokers, have now extended their predations to alcohol, sugar, salt, fat, meat, soda, and carbon dioxide.
Bullies prosper when nobody fights back. And Deborah Arnott is prospering to the tune of £160,000 a year. She has every incentive to carry on bullying smokers more and more and more. And, unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what she does. And while she does it, she cloaks herself in a garment of smug, hypocritical, self-righteous do-goodery.
The bullies in Tobacco Control are winning because nobody is fighting back. They’re on a roll. They think they’re invincible.
But as soon as people start fighting back, the bullies in Tobacco Control will start losing. But to fight back, you have to get nasty. And most people don’t want to be nasty. Most smokers are very nice, friendly, kind, thoughtful people. And so they won’t fight back.
Dmitry wrote of his father who had become friends with some of his former enemies. But that was after the war. When the war is over, you can (and should) become friends again. But I very much doubt that Dmitry’s father was quite so friendly towards Nazis during the war. I’m sure that he fought them with all his might.
After the war is over we can begin to think about forgiving and forgetting the people in Tobacco Control, letting bygones be bygones. But the war is not over yet. In fact, the war has hardly even begun, because smokers haven’t started fighting back.
Tobacco Control must be destroyed. It must be completely destroyed. And I have said many times that it will be destroyed. But what happens after the war is a matter for those people who live in that future time. And that time is not now. Now is the time time to fight the bullies in Tobacco Control, and to fight them in every possible inventive and imaginative way, with all our might.