S?ren H?jbjerg
Liberalism And Regulation Of Lifestyle


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Inmy search for material on the tobacco habit, I have frequently come accrossreferences to classical liberal values. One name that pops up regularly is theAustrian scholar Ludwig von Mises. At the risk of antagonising readers ofsocialist observance, I will delve into the writings of this classicalliberalist.

I am currently reading a paperback version of Ludwig von Mises's”Liberalism- The Classical Tradition”. With current day meddling in the lives ofevery citizen, I rather quickly came across a most interesting quote. It is fromchapter 1, section 11. Let me share it with you:

Whoever isconvinced that indulgence or excessive indulgence in these poisons [alcohol, morphine, cocaine] is pernicious is not hinderedfrom living abstemiously or temperately. This question cannot be treatedexclusively in reference to alcoholism, morphinism, cocainism, etc., which allreasonable men acknowledge to be evils. For if the majority of citizens is, inprinciple, conceded the right to impose its way of life upon a minority, it isimpossible to stop at prohibitions against indulgence in alcohol, morphine,cocaine, and similar poisons. Why should not what is valid for these poisons bevalid also for nicotine, caffeine, and the like"Why should not the state generally prescribe which foods may be indulged in andwhich must be avoided because they are injurious"


We see thatas soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in anyquestions touching on the individual's mode of life, we end by regulating andrestricting the latter down to the smallest detail.

Ludwig vonMises wrote those words in 1927, almost 80 years ago. How does that strike youas being prophetic"

In one of myearly pieces on the Forces web site, I commented on the fictionAL worlds ofAldous Huxley and George Orwell. As I saw it, we were closer toHuxleys engineered Brave New World than to Orwells brute and sinister 1984.

But when I readvon Mises's words I realize that this scholar was much more clear sighted thaneither of the two great celebrated authors.

Why not takethe time to read the whole section from von Mises's book, ”TheLimits of Governmental Activity”" Or better still, thewhole book!

Picture yourfavorite fake do gooder while considering the final words from the section on”The Limits of Governmental Activity”:

A free manmust be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than heconsiders proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as somethingdoes not please him, of calling for the police.

(Quotes curtesey of theLudwig von Mises Institute)






































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