Sunday, March 01, 2009

Prohibition redux

In the province of Ontario, the smug capital of Smugland, aka Canada, my second country, it is now illegal to smoke in a car if you have a minor in it. The police can stop you and fine you.

Now it may not be nice or wise, etc to smoke in the car with...well, anyone who is not a smoker. But is it really the proper role of the State and its Police to invade this area of human choice and behavior?

Is there any limit at all to what the State can enforce on you for your own good or to protect "the children"?

This is not a rhetorical question. On the question of alcohol, where we now only have moral rhetoric campaigns, zoning laws, increased liability for bartenders (!) and lots of anti-DUI campaigns, we once had a constitutional amendment, a frikkin amendment to the constitution of the United States forbidding anyone to drink! Remember how well that one turned out.

Since all health care in Canada is paid for by the taxpayers (ratepayers, they call them), how you conduct yourself becomes an interest of the State, no? If a smoker or a meat-eater or an obese person or a skydiver is more likely to be a drain on the already overtaxed system, is it not simply fair to the rest of the population, the virtuous, to prevent them from their bad behavior?
Why not make certain foods illegal, too? Really, I am not kidding at all.

We all know about the Muslim religious police in Iran or Arabia, the Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Laughable, no? But it they showed up here
as part of Healthy Lifestyles Legislation or Child Protection, etc...? Who would resist them?

In Marxist countries, few left now, the State owns everything. Everything. Because the State owns the means of production of goods and services. In the half-assed denial-based Marxism of the liberals, the State increasingly controls the services, which it pays for by taxing the goods.
The net result is similar. If my taxes pay for everyone's services, then shouldn't I have a say in how people live and thus access those services? If you think I am joking, have you never heard an evangelical non-smoker angrily denounce tobacco users for driving up the cost of medical care for all of us? Since we all feel that we fund the State, which provides us with so many of our essential services, then we all own the State and the State has the right to tell us all how to live.

It is an irony that Canada, with great effort and fanfare, liberated itself from any ties to Britain when it created its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms...and since then the limitations on freedom have jumped exponentially and show no sign of stopping.

De Tocqueville was right.

And what happens is the people forget a time when their behavior was not so regulated and totalitarianism comes closer. What's next, fined for smoking during Ramadan?


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