by Simon Black: Uncle
Sam Admits Monitoring You for These 377 Words
The big news
out of New York City these days is Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed
ban on the sale of soda drinks over 16-ounces (about 1/2 liter)
at restaurants, movie theaters, sports stadia, street carts, fast
food chains, etc.
that we have a responsibility to combat obesity, diabetes, and heart
disease, and that the government must consequently regulate what
people can/cannot put in their bodies. Michelle Obama even came
down to applaud the idea.
I was out with a group of friends at a chic Soho restaurant called
the Dutch, and we started talking about the soda ban.
One of them
defended it, saying that ‘we’ have a responsibility to
do something about the obesity problem in this country.
me,” I asked, “but who exactly is ‘we’…?
I certainly didn’t come into this world born with a burden
prevent obesity. And I’m pretty sure nobody else signed up
for it either.”
is one of the most dangerous words in the English language, particularly
when bandied about in Western representative democracy.
term often used when a politician wants to thrust a burden or obligation
onto everyone else’s shoulders, but without being too direct
masks responsibility by pushing the burden to some nebulous collective
like ‘society’ or ‘the country’ rather than
directly to individuals. This makes things much more palatable.
it’s easier to say “We have a responsibility” rather
than ”You three guys – Don, John, and Bill, have a responsibility.”
is disarming. It makes the stakes seems smaller, so it’s easier
to achieve buy-in. And this is what makes it so dangerous…
because in actuality, ‘we’ is code for ‘you’.
I live my life
by the principle that human beings come into this world born free,
born without obligation to serve another human being, a government,
some political construct bounded by invisible lines… and certainly
not to ‘do something’ about the obesity problem.