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Hooray for Hockney!

Absolutely no need for me to comment further on this. David Hockney speaks eloquently for all Libertarian smokers like myself.


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    Cool. I’m often surprised by Hockney. Maybe I just expect a Northern, gay, artist to be a raging Leftie. I don’t know.

    His “disbelief” in the dangers of second-hand smoke sounds a bit weak – there are good reasons to think it’s a load of baloney – but the rest is excellent. You should have posted a few choice quotes…

    As you might have noticed, the consumption of antidepressants is on a steep rise as smoking declines, and we have no idea of the long-term effects of that.

    Exactly. And ordinarily, the prodnoses would be all over this.

    You should remember also that you are not running a school, I am not a schoolboy and I prefer to prescribe for myself some medications.

    Bravo! Hockney for PM!

  2. john in cheshire says:

    Mr H is one of my heroes. And I love his Art.

  3. RAB says:

    “You should have posted a few choice quotes…”

    Well I’m learning about this Blogging thingy all the time Sam. If I had written the above for the MSM when I worked for them, I would have quoted chapter and verse to make my point. I wouldn’t have been interested in comments until they turned up in the editors postbag a week later.

    But with this blogging thing I find it can be best to just let the commentariat loose on the original piece without prodding them too much, and then they just choose their own bits to highlight and comment on, er… just like wot you just did ;-)

    But there’s always room for a bloody good rant or a Fisking when called for it, eh?

  4. Ian B says:

    The whole anti-smoking crusade depresses me. But it is also a very clear example of what I was trying to convey in that other thread, in which “civil society” is the driving force behind government expansion (as with all Temperance movements, which are a major part of the Proggie vanguard). These organisations of mean spirited citizens gradually increase their influence over the government, until it does their bidding, colonising it both ideologically and literally physically by getting “their” people into positions of power in the State.

    I soemtimes think Lloyd George is the key historical figure here, the man who thought the Great War was a rather good thing as it provided a good cover for his social ideas to be implemented (not least watery beer and taxes on “sin”). But Lloyd George did what he did because he believed what he did, and that was due to his civil society background, in Methodism, Social Purity, etc. This is why I think Libertarians often get the cart and the horse the wrong way around. Government is just an institution. It’s the people in it that make it what it is. You can’t personify “The State” itself. “The State” has no goals, no ideals, no purpose. It is just a mechanism.

    We have anti-smoking laws because of decades of work by “civil” organisations. Of course they have tapped into government money and patronage, but the State didn’t go looking for them. They went looking for the State, just the same as other organisations who want to expand State power to force us to rely on wind turbines, or ban rude pictures, or save the moonbats.

    In the Anglosphere in particular, the State is whatever “civil society” wants it to be. That is why we have to focus on the cause of the problem not the mechanism. We have the State we have because of two centuries of salvationist civil organisations- saving souls, saving drinkers, saving smokers, saving children, saving whales, saving the planet, saving women, always saving something. We lost our liberty in this and countless other ways because those “advocates” changed us from a society of people who mind their own business, to people who mind everybody else’s business. We won’t get a smaller State until we can halt the great salvationist crusade.

  5. Sam Duncan says:

    Good point, Ian, and you’d think as Libertarians – individualists – we’d understand this more readily than collectivists.

    On the other hand, the state is the interventionists’ tool. It amplifies their power: without it they have almost none, so for liberty to prevail it must be taken away. I can’t ignore the argument that what is wrong for one person to do – steal, browbeat or bully – is just as wrong, if not more so, for a group of them. Whether they do that as a street gang, an organised crime family, or a state is irrelevant: the solution is to break up their instrument of power.

    What I’m trying to get at is that a smaller state isn’t an end in itself: it’s a means to the end of cutting the prodnoses down to size. So it’s not either-the-state-or-the-crusade, or about prioritizing the crusade over the state: they go hand-in-hand. We need to attck both, simultaneously.

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