Thank You for Smoking…

A personal liberty is only that which is granted by the group...

Today’s post is based upon a 2005 satirical comedy which follows the machinations of “Big Tobacco’s” chief lobbyist, Nick Naylor, whose job was to spin on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.  As what has me on this today, well its “smoking” and yea this one might hit a nerve with a few people, however that’s life.

As when I come to Houston which I do a lot, my home away from home is a Marriot in the “Medical District” of Houston and it (the District not the hotel) is huge!  Now the Marriot is a NO SMOKING hotel, so if you want to light up its outside you go and trust me there are plenty out there.  So again what’s the big deal Campbell, yea so people are standing outside smoking your point here?

Simple, the people for the most are here for health reasons, mostly cancer yet they continue to light up and smoke their life away!  So here you are having a part of your body cut off and injected with poison to make you deathly ill (chemo) and you have to light up?  Please, ok now many of you (assumingly smokers) are saying “hey wait a minute its my right to smoke”!  Ok, same thing for the motorcyclist who doesn’t want to wear a helmet as it may dampen their manhood as a “rain coat” would and thus the point of today’s post is born.

As we could wax for days what is a personal “liberty” however I don’t have that long and I doubt you do either so let’s cut to the chase.   Personal liberties break down when we join a social order as in these cases we must forego a portion of these applied liberties for the betterment of the whole and if we fail to this we may be asked to leave.  What am I getting at here, simple these people who have a portion of their body removed and are standing out in the cold (yes its rather chilly here today) have insurance.

Ok, so you say they paid into it [insurance] so stop complaining, however so did you, as well as I and isn’t the idea of insurance that the “whole” will protect the few?  However what happens if the whole decide they want to do something which the “whole” cannot afford to pay for?  This is where “social loops” break down because as with most things “personal” liberties are only a manifestation of social constructs.  Much as we’ve wax about “personal” privacy being a fallacy having once been regulated by [high] cost is now open to all with a computer and a little internet savvy.

Here the idea [rhetoric proof if you will] of liberties being falsehoods is the fact they are not universal as you can go to Amsterdam and smoke a little weed.  Yet should you do this in many Asian or Middle Eastern countries you might find yourself forfeiting your life for this “liberty” which you took in Amsterdam.  Therefore the logic which creates this “economy” is a false one as society decides your liberties and not you.  Just something to think about the next time you light up…

About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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