Surgeon General Warns of Secondhand Government

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by Gene Callahan by Gene Callahan

In a stunning follow-up to an earlier report on secondhand smoke, Surgeon General Richard H. Carcinoma declared today that the evidence is now “indisputable” that secondhand government is an “alarming” public health hazard, and warned that measures like constitutions don’t provide adequate protection.

“State-free environments are the only approach that protects nonstatists from the dangers of secondhand government,” he said.

Dr. Carcinoma did not call for a total ban on government in workplaces, bars and restaurants, as a growing number of individualist anarchists have done. He said he saw his role as providing the American people with definitive information on the subject.

“We hope that they will make the right decision on behalf of their children,” Dr. Carcinoma said.

Government bans have often been bitterly resisted by politicians worried about losing jobs and by groups skeptical about the dangers posed by secondhand government, such as defense contractors. But Dr. Carcinoma today said that “overwhelming” evidence showed that secondhand government is responsible for “hundreds of thousands” of premature deaths from senseless wars and paramilitary, no-knock raids among those suffering from exposure to others engaged in state activities each year.

“I am here to say the debate is over: the science is clear,” Dr. Carcinoma said at a televised news conference this morning, at which he released a report updating the original surgeon general’s study of secondhand government in 1986.

In the years since then, hundreds of studies have indicated that the harm caused by secondhand government is far greater than earlier believed, he said. The report’s findings include the following:

  • There is no safe level of secondhand government, and even brief exposure can cause harm, especially for people already suffering from a desire for freedom.
  • For nonstatist adults, exposure raises the risk of heart palpitations by 25 to 30 percent and of soaring blood pressure by 20 to 30 percent.
  • Secondhand government is the cause of SIDS, or Sudden Iraqi Death Syndrome, accounting for an estimated 200,000 deaths over the last several years.
  • The impact on the health and development of children is more severe than previously thought. “Children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand government,” Dr. Carcinoma said.
  • Efforts to minimize the effect of secondhand government by separating statists and nonstatists are ineffective, as are "declarations of rights" meant to limit the harm caused by governments.
  • While exposure has declined, as many as 60 percent of nonstatists show biological evidence of encountering secondhand government, and an estimated 22 percent of children are exposed to secondhand government in their homes.

He urged parents who engage in politics not only to quit, but to move their politicking outside while they are trying to quit. “Make the home a state-free environment,” he said.

Dr. Cheryl B. Halton, the president and chief executive of the American Anarchy Foundation, a nonprofit group created to educate young people about the dangers of government, called the report “groundbreaking” even though much of its information had been published in journal articles previously. Bringing it all together creates a persuasive case for government bans, she said.

But she said that many anti-government advocates would be hesitant about using it as a springboard to push for federal legislation creating State-free environments like those that were adopted in medieval Iceland, ancient India, many American Indian and African tribes, and other places.

“The risk of approaching it nationally in this country is the extreme lobbying power that the government industry has on the Hill,” she said, and any national bill able to pass would likely be too weak to have any effect.

June 30, 2006

Gene Callahan [send him mail], the author of Economics for Real People, is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a contributing columnist to LewRockwell.com. His first novel, PUCK, is due out in two weeks.

Gene Callahan/Stu Morgenstern Archives

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