Opposites

At about noon on 1 July 2007, a complete stranger came up to me and said, “It’s not a free country any more.”

It struck me as being a profound truth that he uttered that day. And it remains as true today as it was back then. For Britain ceased to be a free country the day that smoking was banned, and it will continue not to be a free country while the smoking ban remains in force.

But that means that one day, when the smoking ban is lifted, or ceases to be enforced, it will become a free country again. And that will be a glorious day. It’ll be one long party. There’ll be bands playing and crowds cheering and people waving flags.

And that day will come, because that day must come. And it must come because Britain must become a free country again.

And after that glorious day, for a long time it will be a great pleasure to be able to sit in a pub and drink a beer and smoke a cigarette, which was once a freedom that was taken for granted, and which seemed almost inconceivable to lose.

But it is only when something is taken away that its loss can be felt, and the joy of its recovery can be experienced. It is only by losing freedom that its real value can be known.

The same applies to everything else. It’s only because we regularly experience darkness at night that we can appreciate the light of day. It is only because of the cold of winter that the summer is hot and sunny. It is only because we can experience pain that we can also experience pleasure. It is only because we begin with ignorance that we can acquire knowledge. We need these contrasts or opposites to experience anything. For otherwise there would be a perpetual sameness, in which nothing ever changed.

So the odd effect of smoking bans will be to make people appreciate freedom much more, and enjoy smoking much more. The best way for anyone to learn the value of anything is to have it – whatever it is – taken away. It’s what anyone who breaks an arm or a leg has brought to their attention: how wonderfully valuable arms and legs are.

To believe that smoking bans will never be repealed is like believing at sunset that the sun will never rise again, or as winter arrives that summer will never return, or in wartime that there will never be peace.

And also smoking bans always entail using the force of law. And whatever has to be forced must always meet with a resistance that seeks to return to a former equilibrium. And so, when smoking bans cease to be enforced, a former equilibrium will be restored. And the glorious day will come when, in some pub somewhere, somebody lights a cigarette, and nobody complains.

And also the war on smoking is an endless war that’s been going on in the Western world for over 500 years, and will no doubt go on for another 500 years. At times smokers advance, and at times they retreat. The present plague of smoking bans around the world will be inevitably followed, in due course, by their repeal.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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10 Responses to Opposites

  1. RdM says:

    Bravo! Frank!

    ““The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting any more.” Otto von Bismarck.

  2. RdM says:

    Further recent thoughts on Brexit &etc. from Malaga Bay, in case you hadn’t seen them:
    https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/cleaning-up-the-stables/

  3. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Anyone know where Junican is ?

    • Rose says:

      I was wondering that myself.

    • beobrigitte says:

      I was wondering as well. But in one of his posts he wrote:
      Other than that, I shall continue with my reasonably pleasant way of life. I intend to plant my baccy plants as usual around May and tend them lovingly through the summer. If my condition permits, then I expect the zot off to Magalluf at Easter as usual.

      At this point in time I expect Junican to prepare for his Easter vacation.

  4. waltc says:

    Anyone ever read Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom”? There’s also something in human nature that fears it. As to your essay, I believe Merkel is self-directed and knows what she wants with the same certainty as Glantz does. May, otoh, wants to be “thought well of” by all those people who think well of themselves (the Remainers) while half- ( no, eigth-) heartedly trying to fulfill what she reluctantly thought was her duty. Meanwhile, it seems the day England herself is free is a very long way off

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_Freedom

  5. beobrigitte says:

    And also smoking bans always entail using the force of law. And whatever has to be forced must always meet with a resistance that seeks to return to a former equilibrium. And so, when smoking bans cease to be enforced, a former equilibrium will be restored. And the glorious day will come when, in some pub somewhere, somebody lights a cigarette, and nobody complains.

    As an optimist and long term thinker I wish to celebrate that day soon and immediately declare every designated “smoking area” (all 2 square meters as the 5 anti-smokers will fit in there nicely ) as an “anti-smoking” area, where the anti-smokers can have their drinks. The very few non-smokers who hate the smell of a burning cigarette and who advocated better separated areas will get their wish, too, provided by our ever advancing technology.

    This day will come. No law lobbying required.

    • Barry Homan says:

      I like to imagine something similar. Every airport, for example, will have designated politically-correct safe spaces, where all the little narcisistic twits, SJWs etc will be corralled into – no chairs (because sitting causes cancer) no talking (in case someone gets offended or triggered) and a list of a few hundred rules posted, with a loudspeaker constantly reminding each person how they’re expected to behave – plus severe monetary penalties slapped on anyone guilty of the slightest infraction.

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