In line with its smoking ban, Amsterdam has discovered the joys of Puritanism and is expanding policies by which "undesirables" are to be eliminated. In the Newspeak that passes for the official language in too many countries these days, authorities vow to celebrate freedom by prohibiting behavior that once defined personal liberty, all in the name of hygiene. The famous Dutch brothels and dope-selling cafés are in the crosshairs now just as the bars and restaurants that used to pack in the customers were prior to the imposition of a nationwide smoking ban.
Recently we highlighted a huge demonstration against the Netherlands’ smoking ban. Thousands of freedom-loving citizens traveled to the capital to demand an end to the wildly unpopular smoking ban. When faced with popular disapproval the elite can respond in one of two ways. The governing class can either listen to the people and rein in its excesses or it can dig in its heels and expand the scope of its oppression. It looks like the once pragmatic and urbane Dutch politicians have decided to pursue the latter course, proving once again that addiction to power and control easily countermands oaths of office. The people have the power to correct this abysmal situation. They must now exercise that power with great force.