Tuesday 27 September 2011

Nature Has Nothing On The Power Of Governments

In yesterday's article, the supranational state's intentions were laid out by Dr Judith Mackay. You are to be told what to eat, drink, and not smoke, and you must comply or be hit with crippling "taxation, taxation, taxation".

You may think that this is a trifle unfair. We are, after all, supposed to be living in free societies where personal choice is cherished.

So how is this discrepancy to be tackled? Governments want - demand, in fact - that we shun products which we enjoy for the sake of their arbitrary decisions for our health. However, we - in overwhelming numbers - would prefer not to, and may feel rather empty and miserable if we did.

Fortunately, politicians have an answer for the problem. You see, they are in charge of nature itself now.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of the National Restaurant Association on Monday that Americans need to “adjust” their tastes so that they like the kind of food the government believes they should eat—and “we have to make sure that what we do is create the appropriate transition.”

“You know, as we deal with this issue of reducing sodium and sugar, it sounds simple to do, but you all know better than I do, it’s not as simple as it sounds,” said Vilsack.

“It’s going to take time for people’s taste to adjust and they will adjust over time, but it will take some time,” he said. “So, we have to make sure that what we do is create the appropriate transition."
Is he really saying that our tastes must evolve to fit in with government health policy?

Yes. I think he is.

Doesn't that say a lot about how politicians view their importance in the world as opposed to ours? Governments worldwide have now ceased arranging themselves around how their employers (we, the public) wish to live, but instead expect the exact opposite - for us to change our lifestyle, and even our genetic make-up, to suit what they (our staff) have pronounced.

Anyone else feel they've inadvertently walked through a wardrobe into some strange fucked-up parallel universe?


Pat Nurse MA said...

You only just noticed? I've been on the other side of that wardrobe for 10 years now. It's nice to know I'm getting more company in there everyday though.

Frank Davis said...

Anyone else feel they've inadvertently walked through a wardrobe into some strange fucked-up parallel universe?


nisakiman said...

Same as Pat Nurse and Frank Davis.

George Speller said...

Nope. Narnia wasn't that bad, even under the cruel reighn of the White Witch.

Incidentally I believe CS Lewis would have had a thing or two to say about the present regime. Many of his books have libertarian threads between the lines.

George Speller said...

oops! reign.

Twenty_Rothmans said...

>strange fucked-up parallel universe

Imagine if you were a generation older. This strange universe is curiously familiar to me already.

They ratchet their ideas up - I think DP knows the technical name for it - where're they're absurd to begin with but concessions are allowed to them over time until they take over.

Affirmative action, for example, started by women.

Anonymous said...

Young trendy Mothers deprive their babies of ANY salt or sugar in their diets as the health visiting nazis have demanded.
No wonder when the kids first get a taste of a bar of chocolate or a big Mac they find them so tasty that they don't want to stop eating them.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone else feel they've inadvertently walked through a wardrobe into some strange fucked-up parallel universe?"

I feel like I'm going through some kind of elaborate test.

If I can only keep a firm grip on what is real and what is preposterous, the screens will eventually part and I will be back in the real world.


Little Black Sambo said...

This is all about denormalization.

smokervoter said...

I sensed we were in for trouble when I first heard Michelle Obama drop the term 'lifestyle overhaul' during an early interview for her obesity initiative. This Vilsack character joins a long list of extreme Healthists put in place by this administration.

Lysistrata said...

'Some party hack decreed that the people had lost the government's confidence and could only regain it with redoubled effort.

If that is the case, wouldn't it be simpler if the government dissolved the people and elected another?'

Bertolt Brecht

Anonymous said...

I love (not) this new way of describing extortion and blackmail - "nudging" and "encouragement". There's nothing encouraging about blackmail and extortion, which is exactly what this "taxation, taxation, taxation" really is.

Anonymous said...

Re George Speller's comment about Narnia (27 September at 1812)and its creator, perhaps he was thinking of C.S. Lewis's comment: 'Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.' ('The Huamnitarian Theory of Punishment' 1949).

Anonymous said...

CS Lewis, in another of his books, in talking about growing power of the state taking away peoples' rights, was literally appalled writing about a man owning his own home and land but not allowed to build an outdoor shed, not without local council approval. Imagine if he was alive today to see someone owns their own land but not allowed to smoke tobacco on it, or soon to eat a burger, consume salt, opt out of state required mandates, not w/o government approval (which will never be forthcoming, not from the current government). He'd be doubly appalled I think.

Anonymous said...

273 comments already at that link - and most of them very much against government overstepping its power and telling people what to eat, drink, smoke, etc. - and yes, one comment makes reference to "first they came for your cigs". So it may be this type of topic matter is high up on a great number of peoples' minds today, that a lot of people are finally starting to sit up and take notice, now that it's going to affect a lot more than "the smokers" alone. I hope when it comes time to repeal, adjust, amend or do away with unnecessary government interferences and petty dictatorships, the smoking ban will still retain top priority as matter of insuring the rest of the prohibitions are never taken up again. Repeal the smoking ban and it would result in no more interferences of the other sort which follow head on heels from smoking bans.

Anonymous said...

Another thought, if I may, about C.S. Lewis. Is it possible to imagine him with his Inkling friends, including J.R.R.Tolkien, standing outside their local, the Eagle and Child, in St. Giles, Oxford, to smoke their pipes? But I fear independent thinkers have been bred out of Academe and the BBC, which bodes ill for freedom.