The orderers 10
A hundred years ago, when a workers’ paradise was about to be born in Russia, there was a joke which may by now have fallen down the collective memory-hole. It went like this:
Communist rabble-rouser: “Come the revolution we’ll all be eating strawberries and cream.”
Voice in the crowd: “But I don’t like strawberries and cream.”
Communist r-r: “Come the revolution you’ll bloody well have to like strawberries and cream.”
There is a type of human personality that believes he/she knows what’s best for everyone, and will go to any length to force everyone, “for their own good”, to do as he/she decrees.
People of this type often choose to be sociologists, priests, politicians or bureaucrats. They are always collectivists, always authoritarians, always a pain in the neck. Theirs is the stuff great despots are made of. And many gods. And a certain type of murderee.
Their deep ambition is to possess total power. Not one of your secrets left unexposed. Not one of your shelves or drawers unsearched. All your files downloaded. All your emails read. Your thoughts policed. Your actions monitored. Your words recorded.
They will tidy you into neat “housing-units”. They will count out the calories you consume. They will ration the energy you may use. They will decide how long you may live. They will tell you what you may know. They are merciless in punishment – they’ll trim off lone wolves and obstinate dissenters as fast as a barber will trim your neckline. They have no use for innovation, or for change of any sort. They grudge you leisure in case you use it for thinking. They know what work you should be doing and you’d better be doing it how and where and for how long they say.
(Doctors and army officers really do have to exert authority over other adults. They are exempted from this post’s otherwise sweeping condemnation.)
These order-imposers, these self-elected benefactors, these interfering meddlers just simply cannot mind their own business. They can see what needs to be “put right” and cannot rest until they’ve done it.
You can protest until you drop: “What’s it to you what I do? It doesn’t harm you! I don’t interfere in your life, so don’t interfere in mine! If you don’t like seeing me do it, don’t look…”
Still he/she will insist, “But don’t you understand, it does you harm. It’s bad for you. You must do this instead. I’m only trying to be helpful. I care what happens to you.” – “You” being all of us except himself/herself. As if we were all children.
Usually they are puritans. Occasionally one pops up who lusts for destruction speedily, and might even orchestrate chaos to achieve the perfect order of utter annihilation. Nothing is so tidy as a world cleansed of human life.
Whatever their particular way and final goal, they are the Enemy.
This is from PJ Media, by Joe Hicks:
If you enjoy having a Big Gulp along with your burger and fries, you’d better drink up fast if you live in New York City: do-gooder Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks you are too irresponsible to know what’s good for you. He believes super-large sugary drinks contribute to all sorts of bad health issues, so he’s determined to make you downsize whether you like it or not.
The mayor’s ban on these drinks could go into effect as soon as early next year, and would affect drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg’s ban is aimed at drinks sold only at movie theaters, restaurants, or from street carts, meaning you could still get your large-sized drink fix at convenience stores, supermarkets, or other retail sellers.
This isn’t Bloomberg’s first foray into the “nanny state,” or employing excessive state action to protect people from themselves by restricting freedom. Under Bloomberg’s leadership — and via an equally meddlesome and liberal city council — the city has banned trans fats from food preparations in restaurants (the ingredient that makes french fries, doughnuts, and other deep-fried foods taste so yummy) and has forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.
Bloomberg, in one of his most Orwellian moves, even banned donations of food to the homeless because the city didn’t have the ability to monitor these much-needed and welcomed gifts for things like fat, salt, or fiber content — a concern not typically voiced by individuals desperate for a meal.
Of course, the mayor’s rationale is the protection of public health. After all, there is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. However, who among us really believes regularly downing upwards of 32 ounces of soft drink is a healthy thing to do? And since anyone addicted to gigantic-sized soft drinks can easily ask for a second 16-ounce drink or find a nearby retail outlet, is this ban likely to impact obesity among people already making unhealthy decisions?
And what business is it of the mayor’s anyway?
For libertarians and conservatives, the far greater concern is government intrusion into our private lives. There can be no confusion about this: controlling the intake of food and drink is simply not a function of good government as outlined by the framers of our Constitution. …
The problem of meddling “I-know-best” bureaucrats obviously isn’t just an affliction local to New York City. In 2008, Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry succeeded in imposing a resolution banning any new fast food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South L.A. Like Bloomberg, her rationale was the disproportionate rates of obesity and diabetes among the largely poor, black, and Latino residents of her district. The racist, infantilizing message: poor minorities living in South L.A. are too stupid to make their own food choices. Her patronizing solution: experiment with their lives by forcing them to eat what she wants them to eat. …
If government bureaucrats can ban the types of fast food outlets available, manipulate the size and types of drinks we can consume, and regulate every aspect of food preparation, what couldn’t they attempt to ban? Some studies have suggested that red meat is “unhealthy.” Will Bloomberg next propose a measure limiting red meat intake to one steak per month? Will the nanny state do-gooders ban hot dogs, or force Americans to take part in government exercise programs like those promoted by the first lady? …
Now listen up. You gotta eat every one of those strawberries, no arguments.
But cream? Do you know there are 20 calories in just one tablespoon of cream?
It oughta be banned.
(Michael Ramirez cartoon from Investor’s Business Daily.)