Sandy at Junk Food Science writes about some recent initiatives to control what private individuals do with their own lives, health, and families. Read her “Lunch Box Police,” “A glimpse inside the mind of a public health professional,” “Chocolate tax,” (see also “Update: Chocolate tax melted“) and “Some want parents of fat children to be charged with child neglect — did they make their case?“.
No thanks. I’ll eat what I decide to eat. In fact, I believe that my diet would be rejected by “health food authorities”…especially by the type who would want to be in the position of an authority commanding people in what they may eat or not eat, under force of law and punitive governmental action. My exercise regime would probably be rejected to. I’d be forced to ruin my health by eating flour and running the treadmill for hours.
You might also want to read Sandy’s “Government-oversight of healthcare — End of discussion?,” “The Pudge Police coming,” and “A bowl of chocolates” — which later shows what companies must do since government has in the past (since early 1900s) pushed the public provision of health care and insurance — and more — on them.
These stories seem too bizarre to be true; but they seem too bizarre to be false. Stories of people with a lust for power who want to control what other people want to do in myriad details of life? Yup. Credible.
We live in interesting and eventful times. (But doesn’t everyone? Ancient Athens…The Roman Republic…the Fall of Rome…Galileo…John Locke…The Founding Fathers…Lincoln…Frederick Douglass…)
With the governmental Leviathan getting so big, intrusive and oppressive (telling us what to do in more and more areas of life), it is no wonder some people are “Going Galt” and having “Tea Parties.” The Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged — over fifty years old and from which came the John Galt character that gave rise to the phrase “going Galt” — is in the top ten on Amazon; The Economist reported in “Atlas felt a sense of deja vu” that Atlas sales go up whenever there is more major governmental intervention in the economy. (The Economist even provides us with a graph!) And Dr. Yaron Brook (president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute) wrote an op-ed, “Is Rand Relevant?,” that was published in the Wall Street Journal.
Interesting that people are reading Atlas on the grounds of finding support for responsible government and life, when — as I’ve mentioned before, in Iconoclast — some people like to claim Objectivists are against family, can’t get along with people, are mean and nasty and greedy and rapacious. The blogs I’ve read — blogs of parents and of non-parents who are Objectivist — do not support these claims. I find the people nice, family-oriented (if they have a family or want one), sensible and civilized.
And it really annoys me when I find things, especially strong claims, that are not backed up by facts and solid reasoning. I don’t like to find claims backed only by emotions of hate, fear or anger. If the emotions are supported by the facts or are at least plausible — hell, yeah, feel the feeling. I can understand and appreciate that. Passion in support of human life and freedom is a virtue; apathy a vice. But the claims about Objectivists are opposite to what my research has found. The claims are not supported by the facts, hence I can’t grant validity to feeling or claim.
Whether pro or con, in any issue, appeal to induction, reason and reality. And judge for yourself.