In confrontation with the supreme ideology of the twenty-first century, antitobacco fanaticism, even the tyrannical posture of Chinese Communist officials goes limp. Cigarettes made in Hunan province are better than those made in Hubei province. Given a free choice, therefore, folks in both provinces tend to buy the Hunan-made product.
That included civil servants in Gongan county, within Hubei, despite the fact that this resulted in poor cigarette tax revenues for their county’s coffers.
County administrators took a dim view of this, so in typically tyrannical style, banned free choice.
Evidence of Hunan cigarettes in Gongan county offices resulted in spot fines. Furthermore, Gongan county employees were ordered to smoke, smoke, smoke, always, everywhere, and only Hubei-made ciggies.
If they did not smoke at least an additional 230,000 packs this year, compared to last, the civil servants would be fined collectively.
Penalties for failure to smoke soon came to the attention of prohibitionists worldwide. In a face-off between Anti and Commie who do you suppose would win these days?
As the Times of London tells us at link below: “the uproar that has ensued has forced the government into retreat.”
The red officials cling pathetically to remaining shreds of their former omnipotence in telling us the matter remains “under study,” but at the same time, “We decided to remove this edict.”
More battles between the tyrants seem inevitable. We’re also told: “In China, cigarettes are de rigueur at an official banquet or reception, displayed on plates at the centre of the table and offered to guests as a sign of respect.”
Wait till Anti hears about that! Red blood will surely spill, but in the meantime, the Commies likely shall still sell that extra 230,000 packs. With smuggled cigarettes from China now easily available in much of the overtaxed West they’ll likely sell lots more than that.
Underground markets, created by anti-freedom prohibitionists, are of course the freest markets of all. Happy shopping, FORCES readers, everywhere.