I woke this morning with the very clear thought that smokers were going to become a very powerful global political entity. I’ve been thinking this for some while, but this morning I had a sense of real certainty about it.
For we’re living in a time when smokers have become a brand new persecuted minority, along with Jews and blacks and gays and all the rest of them. They used not to exist as a separate social group, but their persecution has made them into one. And that seems to be all it needs to acquire a separate identity: a little bit of persecution.
I suspect the same thing happened with Christianity some two thousand or so years ago. As far as I can see, Christians were rather fun-loving people back then, and the Christian agape was a bit like a happy pub, with everyone eating and drinking and having a party. And maybe Jesus was their guiding light, because he seems to have been a bit of a fun-loving guy who could turn water into wine. Such people are in great demand at good parties when the wine runs out. So perhaps Christians lacked any sort of social identity until Roman killjoys like Nero started feeding them to the lions. And it was only at that point that they started to acquire a separate identity.
Perhaps it was the same with Jews? Perhaps they never had their own separate identity until the Romans (once again) drove them into exile from their native land, and it was this act of persecution that created the Jewish people as a separate social group.
And perhaps the same goes with every other social group. I’m English, and the English are maybe simply yet another persecuted minority, whose principal disapproved pastime is to live in England, and try to keep it out of the hands of the French and the Spanish and the Germans and Dutch and Danes and Norwegians and all the rest of the peoples that surround us. It’s only when you have to defend some identity that the identity becomes real and actual, and complete with flags and legendary historical heroes (like King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table). And in fact Brexit is really all about once again having to rescue a British separate identity from the French and the Spanish and the Germans and Dutch and Danes and Norwegians and all the rest of the peoples in the European Union. And the French and the Germans and Spanish are in their turn separate peoples who have been shaped by their collisions with each other, just like the British have. And it’s the same all over the world. Because all over the world everyone is a little bit different, even if they are also all the same. And the globalists are a stateless superclass of people who don’t belong anywhere, and don’t identify with any place or people or culture, but regard the whole world as their home, usually from 10 km up in the air.
And these kind of rivalries are perhaps what act to create separate towns and cities. For in Britain cities like London and Manchester and Liverpool are not just different places on a map, but different cultures, and different rival cultures. And when Liverpool F.C. play Manchester United, theirs is the rivalry between two cities not very far apart from each other, in which a slightly different English is spoken, and a slightly different history written, so that they are distinctly Liverpudlian and Mancunian.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter if smokers are disorganised. It doesn’t even matter if they’ve been thoroughly routed as well. It is from such defeats that identities are forged. And smokers have been taking a tremendous hammering. Has anything quite like it ever happened before? Has any other innocuous pastime taken such a beating as smoking has in recent years, everywhere in the world? For that’s the astonishing thing about it: it’s happening everywhere, at the same time.
They’re never going to be able to stamp out smoking. They’re never going to be able to stamp out smokers. Just like they’re never going to be able to stamp out Christians or Jews or blacks or gays or England or Liverpool or Manchester. All they’ll ever succeed in doing is give all of them a sharper and clearer set of identities. And the persecuted smokers all over the world are going to form a new and separate social group that has been simultaneously bonded together all over the world, whether they wanted to be or not. For we’re all in the same boat, whether we’re Russians or Americans or English or Chinese, and we all have a shared experience of persecution and exclusion and vilification. And the Tobacco Controllers don’t have any sort of equivalent shared experience. They always get everything they want. So there’s nothing bonding them together, which is why they’re always holding all these stupid conferences (the latest one was in Switzerland, I think), in order to bolster their tenuous sense of self-importance.
I just wonder when the politicians are going to realise that there’s a brand new persecuted social group around, to set alongside Jews and blacks and gays and all the other persecuted minorities, and that it’s a social group with its own wish-list of things they want (our own pubs, reduced tobacco taxation, etc, etc.) For when Tobacco Control has gone, the persecuted smokers will remain, with their experience seared into their collective memory not just for the rest of their lives, but for the rest of human history.