The Métropolitain

Not yielding to the sum of all fears

By Kevin Mulvina on May 29, 2008

We live in strange times. In the forefront of conventional wisdom is the following notion: smokers are weak and dependent. Reality reveals however they may be the only ones in society not lead by the principles of fear. We looked at the risks and walked right through them. The impression we get nothing in return is absurd. We are the one group in society to be feared, even our opinions are shunned as connected to some industry which feeds only the supply of a product which is entirely legal to purchase and use.

The nanny nation comprised of the truly coddled and weak now fear even our scent. It prefers the smell and safety of burning oil products. It covets air miles cards and pays daily tithes to the banks. It seeks out chances to buy a prized product which sparks excitement because it includes the name “new”. A nation composed of people led to believe they will never die or succumb to disease if they yield to the sum of all fears.

The hopelessly naïve, by their own choosing, follow the hopelessly greedy. Those who demand we live as frightened mice. A measure of their lack of integrity is seen in their back door campaigns too fearful to ban tobacco in spite of an ability to do so. Far better to sell alternatively addictive gateway products and increase the overall market. Sold with endorsements from the state purse and of the very charity groups who created the science of smoker hatred. Cowards intent to sneak around creating science equating risk to cause and trendy phrases to undermine our consequence.

 While we laughed at their tactics, they were able to grow in popularity by conning others into supporting their vision of weak begetting weaker, as if that could make them stronger or more resilient.. Society battering itself until all that remains is a watered down version of what it once was: strong and audacious, brave and passionate. Canadians watch, with little voice and less recognition of their own humanity, while the new prohibitionists stumble around fighting over what will be restricted next. The measures of real risk, or reductions of real risk, are debates which remain out of bounds, less we start to see some cracks in the statocratic stats. Much better to maintain the more dangerous illusions allowing us to die off in silence, protecting only the science that can make us believe.

Smokers have among them the most inventive, the most creative and the most dynamic of personalities. Without them we would not have the art, music, literature, or philosophy that is the soul to society’s sinews. Those who chose to smoke seemed always to be challenging established norms and tore right through superstition and common belief. The aging process may well cut our longevity due to our choice but that is a choice we assume for ourselves. No one has a right to protect those who do not seek that protection. Helping little old ladies across the street can be seen as noble, unless that is not where she wanted to go, which could be defined as something much less than noble.

When we lived rejecting fear, life was a much more enjoyable ride. Living fast and dying young has its advantages. Those are choices freedom affords us all. And as Simone Weil has written, “Liberty, in its most basic sense, rests in the freedom to choose.”

Once smokers were a majority, now we are not. This constriction parallels the expansion of collectivist thinking. Our individual weaknesses seek comfort in communal “norms”. A mindset that has often been the  precursor to the downfall of great civilizations. Few in our society see little to oppose today. A prelude to the loss of all hope.

We are a dependant and weak people. Our leaders rise to the top by saying little and doing less. Running between the raindrops garnering status and privilege. Relying on the efficiencies of advertising that have now become the greatest threat to the consequence of our individuality. Power brokers grow their influence through slogans and soundbites. They want to be the will and the way. “We are all doomed by green house gases if we don’t change their ways”. “Globalization is inevitable”. “We don’t live in silos”. In fact we live in self-constructed cages of the mind imprisoning our states of consciousness. We fear speech, thought even assembly. People are encouraged to turn on each other for the slightest mater of “political incorrectness”. Subliminal Stalinism triumphant.

We smokers chose to live outside the rules of fear the illusionists sell. Smokers’ total numbers haven’t declined, only our prevalence in society has changed. The total population numbers have risen but our numbers have stayed constant. Surprised? Don’t be. This is just another reality check challenging ongoing convential wisdom. A real inconvenient truth.

Society is taught to rage against those who smoke, embracing traditional hatreds against non-conformists. But we make our own fun. We date the best people. We don’t live in fear. We live full and productive lives. The cowards dread every morning. The risk takers awake to seek out new challenges. Many among us have been robbed of dignity and honor being conditioned by deliberate government social engineering. We are told we are less than what we are. Spoken about as a disease which needs to be cured. The power of mass media often leads society to fight many straw men. Today we need to rage against the real enemy. Those leaders of coercive greed and their manipulative campaigns that imprison us in the politics of fear.