In the spirit of the destruction of a time-honoured industry, antismoking operatives in the European Commission want to bankrupt the European tobacco growers by decreasing their subsidies. “The farmers and workers say the proposed cut of half their subsidies from 2010 will result in massive job losses across the industry.”
What wouldn’t one do in the name of epidemiological trash science, fanatical ideology and servitude to the pharmaceutical industry! This editorial is a comment on what has been preached from these pages since time immemorial: tunnel vision.
The world of tobacco is a big world that feeds many in many ways. It feeds the farmers, the manufacturers, the tobacconists, the couriers, the consumers; it even feeds state parasites with absurd taxation, and professional fraudsters who relentlessly promote antismoking campaigns with their health Nazi ideology. Tobacco is a veritable gold mine. But – like almost everything else today – the problem is political myopia.
As we are mainly involved in the science/rights issue of the tobacco wars, we do not claim to be experts in tobacco economics. But it does not take an expert to see the big picture – and the big picture is bleak. That is mainly due to the tobacco world’s own internal lack of vision and unity, as well as short vision and parochial attitudes.
For example, cigarette manufacturers are in eternal war with each other to gain tiny amounts of market shares. As even their own executives are convinced that they are making a “deadly” product, they don’t spend time to really get to know their own product. The end result is that they don’t defend themselves against the “public health” assaults but instead employ vast amount of resources kissing ass, hoping that the politicians will go “easy” on them. The antis, of course, enjoy that groveling immensely and race each other to create the latest antismoking fraud and smoker humiliation of the day.
The sub-world of the reseller is even more interesting. That world is just a few cubic metres in volume, and it is defined by a counter, a door and a rack of products that soon will have to be hidden from view. The reseller (AKA tobacconist) sits in it, patiently waiting for the customer to walk through the door. Even if that customer were then to be executed for possession the moment he leaves his store, what’s important is that the transaction has taken place. The tobacconist himself often believes that he is selling death, and so he does not care in the slightest about the rights of his customers.
The sub-world of the tobacco farmer moves along the same lines. His world is measured in acres, and he is only concerned with the profit he makes from the crop. He roars only when his wallet is directly in danger. Although what happens outside the boundaries of his land also clearly affects his wallet, that link seems to be too difficult (or too dangerous) to make, so it is better ignored all together. Like the tobacconist, the tobacco grower is too busy for such nonsense as freedom and rights. Junk science says that tobacco kills? “Well, I am not a scientist, the ‘authorities’ know better… if they say so, it must be true!”. Corrupt bureaucrats jack up the tax on cigarettes to the point that contraband takes their business away? “Well, increase the anti-contraband measures, for Pete’s sake! Transform the nation into a police state – see if I care – what’s important is that the profit from my crop is protected!”
All those components of the tobacco industry then combine their intellectual myopia into the most stupid (and deadly) focus of all: the refusal to defend the right of their customers to consume tobacco! But it gets even more tragic than that: their public representatives actually side and collaborate with health authorities. They neglect completely the fact that it is all based on a colossal scientific fraud. They don’t lift a finger against smoking bans and the demonization of smokers. They stay absolutely silent on the fact that the dangers of smoking are a conscious misrepresentation, thus they reject any direct action against the fraud. “My God”, they seem to think “are we crazy? We must be credible!” Credibility is, of course, to confirm the superstition that “smoking kills”, as “everyone knows” that! The fact that getting along with the fraud means, by definition, the eventual extinction of their industry does not even seem to cross their minds.
They don’t even seem interested in educating themselves. What’s worse, they want to be “in good” with “public health”, and try to make pitiable “compromises” with an institution that must destroy their industry by mandate.
The most pathetic thing of all is the hypocrisy – when they all say: “We are not promoting smoking”!
Just stop and think about it, please – and reflect on whether we are exaggerating when, sometimes, we equate attitudes like that with mental retardation. Even a child can understand that 99% of the tobacco produced is smoked. So, OF COURSE the farmers, the cigarette manufacturers and the retailers promote smoking. That is because it is their livelihood and the purpose of their business existence; if they really don’t want to promote smoking, then they better shut down their businesses voluntarily, take their losses and no whining. Since that stark honesty is clearly not in them, basic logic indicates that they need a market, and that the market is to be perpetuated, expanded and defended – thus smoking promoted. And that is OK is because there is nothing wrong with that legal market, and because not even one death can be demonstrated scientifically to be caused by smoking. It follolws that defending the market means defending emplolyment, economic prosperity and the right of the consumers to use the product undisturbed.
In a nutshell: defending the existence of the tobacco industry at large means promoting smoking because the industry cannot exist without smokers. Thus the only logical outcome is that "health" authorities must be fought because they want to destroy that industry. Making demonstrations in the streets after the facts may make good funerals for the trade, but funerals do not resurrect bodies.
The above dazzling displays of illogic are what we define intellectual retardation. That is why we are often told that we are offensive.
For that, we apologize: the truth is offensive, most of the times.