I must admit I was initially confused by the introduction of HB245 to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places, as well as its easy sailing through the legislature. After all, tobacco is the most dangerous drug known to man, and this non-tobacco smokeless alternative has proven to be a relatively safe and effective tool to help people quit smoking. Why the urgent need to ban it?
A fellow Redditor recently illuminated this phenomenon for me, and it all makes sense now:
Smoking bans are not about facts or “the common good”. They are about political power, busybodying and social control.
Take for example the newly minted bans of e-cigs in many countries and many U.S. states. E-cigs are completely harmless (they use the same ingredients in asthma inhalers and faux club / movie “smoke”), do not leave any lingering odors, do not produce smoke, and effectively assist people in quitting smoking altogether (I haven’t smoked a cigarette in four months, and I was a pack-a-day smoker!).
Why would e-cigs be banned then? Whenever they gave a reason for banning them, every single stated reason is a fear-mongering FUD lie. But wait, sometimes they wouldn’t even give a reason — they just modified the definition of “smoking” to include vaping, as if altering some words somehow changed reality.
Which tells you the real reason they ban smoking or vaping. The real reason is quite simple: “I dislike what that man over there is doing, I want my preferences imposed on him by threats, and if he resists, I want him punished for that.”
People with the power to punish you for your personal decisions — and their authoritarian sycophants — can and will make bullshit excuses to punish you, because in the end, they control the guns. Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
The “war on smoking” (just like the war on drugs, and the war on alcohol, and all other “wars” that politicians and busybodies invent) is not a war on tobacco. It is a war on people.
The observable reality of this war, as with every single other war, is straightforward: “Do as I say, or give me money. You don’t want to give me money? No problem, we’ll drag you into a cage. You resist that? Fine, we’ll assault you. You resist that assault? We’ll execute you.” Every person who snitches / rats on you for doing something they dislike is your enemy, because he wants that evil to happen to you (and a coward too, because he wants others to perpetrate this evil on behalf of him).
I have noticed the same phenomenon among siblings of disciplinarian parents myself. Once a child sees the seemingly unstoppable force of a parent imposing his or her will upon them or their siblings, it becomes very easy and natural to call upon this power anytime a sibling does something the child finds disagreeable, offensive, or just annoying:
“Dad, make Billy stop whistling! Mom, make Suzie listen to me!”
When an element of pure force is an available tool, people tend to seek it by default to such a degree that they even forget peaceful methods exist. Those five dreaded words (“There should be a law!”) permeate our culture so pervasively that we cannot imagine life without them. We have lost the ability to deal peacefully and cooperatively.
The good news is that this ability can be relearned — or rather, retrained; hence the importance of educating people about voluntaryism. The more people able and willing to resolve non-violent conflicts with non-violent solutions, the more peaceful and prosperous society will be.
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Utah Liberty Alliance seeks to bring about a free society through journalism and activism, starting right here at home.
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