Christopher Snowdon on nicotine and the prohibitionist’s dilemma:
In scenario number two, you are a journeyman public health advocate picking up a nice, steady wage from the government every month. You hold lots of meetings and you go to lots of conferences. You and your colleagues developed a plan of incremental prohibition in the early 1980s and you have it all mapped out… And then something comes along that you didn’t expect. A new product that gives smokers a way to enjoy nicotine without the health risks of smoking cigarettes. You didn’t come up with the idea. The government didn’t come up with the idea. It came from the private sector, and private businesses are making money out of it. Worse still, after a few years of monitoring the market, the tobacco industry buys up a few companies and now they’re making money out of it. Sure, lots of people are giving up smoking as a result, but not in a way that was part of The Plan. Where does this leave you?
Brendan O’Neill on a popular conceit:
The idea that there is a… culture of hot-headed, violent-minded hatred for Muslims that could be awoken and unleashed by the next terror attack is an invention… The thing that keeps the Islamophobia panic alive is not actual violence against Muslims but the right-on politicos’ ill-founded yet deeply held view of ordinary Europeans, especially those of a working-class variety, as racist and stupid. This is the terrible irony of the Islamophobia panic: The fearers of anti-Muslim violence claim to be challenging prejudice but actually they reveal their own prejudices, their distrust of and disdain for those who come from the other side of the tracks, read different newspapers, hold different beliefs, live different lives.
Thomas Sowell on milking pretentious guilt:
Our schools and colleges are laying a guilt trip on those young people whose parents are productive, and who are raising them to become productive. What is amazing is how easily this has been done, largely just by replacing the word “achievement” with the word “privilege.”
And again, on the equality racket.
And Daniel Hannan chats with some unhappy, scowling socialists:
Don’t make the mistake of judging socialism as a textbook theory but judging capitalism by its necessarily imperfect outcomes. Judge like with like. In the real world, you find me a functioning socialist country that has delivered more than a free-market alternative.
As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.