Blogs > Liberty and Power > It is Never Your Decision

Aug 19, 2013

It is Never Your Decision

I read an article once that argued there were two types of people in the world those who were oriented towards the future while others gave the past more importance. I put myself firmly in the latter category. I find historical fiction much more interesting than science fiction because we can learn from the past but we can only speculate about the future. That is why I am a devoted follower of the television program “Mad Men” you may legitimately argue with their interpretation of the history of advertising. However, one thing you absolutely cannot fault the show for is not putting their story in historical context. Many of the last season’s shows contained a real sales pitch for Johnny Walker Scotch featuring the exceedingly beautiful cast member actress Christina Hendricks walking slowly towards the camera in a very attractive black dress. While doing so she makes her case for the superiority Johnny Walker then she stops looks squarely at the audience says “and you ordered it.”

The purpose of this advertisement is twofold; it is to create a link between a woman such as Ms. Hendricks and associate the sponsor’s product in the public’s mind with her and it is also to imitate the style the of commercials made during the show’s time period. It succeeds nicely in both respects however like all advertising some very important facts are left out. There may be many valid reasons for buying the alcohol; maybe your wife recently died, maybe you just found out your husband lost his job, perhaps you are starting to feel ill for some reason and you know from personal experience that the alcohol will help, or it could be that a lot of little events have gotten you so down that you just need to feel better for a little while but the fact that alcohol is currently legal while marijuana is at the moment illegal is not a good reason for the person or the community to make that choice. If you order the alcohol, maybe, largely depending on your character and self-control, perhaps you are choosing cirrhosis of the liver, to beat up your girlfriend, to mess up your job, end close relationships and hurt others, or maybe even alcoholism.

There are many, some quite famous, who have and do argue that advertising is inherently a species of lies and that it robs people of the ability to think for themselves. The case in question here has two points of deception.  The first comes from the idea that this particular brand of scotch will make it more likely you will end up with such a desirable woman. Now the alcohol may increase your chances of connecting with her however it is just as or even more likely that it may seriously hinder your opportunity the untruth here lies within the notion that which particular brand you use matters. The reality is that your success or failure is entirely dependent on your own behavior. The second instance occurs when she points out that you ordered the Johnnie Walker. But if you chose this alcohol because it is legal and you choose not to use marijuana because it is illegal then did you really make the choice or did the government force that decision upon you?

The government’s evaluation that alcohol is an acceptable drug but marijuana is not acceptable is so outrageously mistaken because like all choices made by those in power it is a political decision. Such decisions do not care about what is right, just, humane, or wealth creating they only seem to care about is how the decision will help them keep power. Political decisions do not care about whom their choices harm they only care about who their choices benefit. Both Democrats and Republicans on all levels of government are in the same business trading the use of force and coercion for votes that will allow them to continue to have to have access to the use of force and coercion. Their method for maintaining this system depends on control of a self-interested compliant media and too many lazy and self-interested people in academia who find one answer to all questions, more government is needed, easier to deal with than the finding out the truth about answers. With the help of their two allies those in authority keep their system in place by continuing to spread fear about what horrible things will happen if their side loses its monopoly on the use of legal violence. Continuing high levels of anxiety has higher priority than creating solutions. A simplistic and highly distorted exaggeration of consequences continually put out by the government’s two spokesmen the media that they control in ways de jure and through the granting or denying of access and the academics who are largely in many ways dependent on government financing.

Lately the exposition of the pro-government reasoning is everywhere and relentless. Those who do not want to live in a society whose operating principle is that all, even the most personal, choices are made by those in government with the power to use force and coercion to enforce their choices, Because the government controls the spokesmen the people are constantly being told that these decisions are being made in the people’s best interest when the reality is that the decisions are being made in the best interest of those in government. There is now a concerted effort to make the populace forget and to disguise the fact that the essence of the free market is cooperation for mutual benefit while the essence of government is to use force to make people do things they do not want to do because it against their own interests or keep them from doing things they believe, wrongly or rightly. That are the person’s own best interest because the government does not want the individual to make his or her own choices. You see it is not the efficacy of a particular decision that is important it is the government’s ability to give the decision to someone else that is why we individuals are always told that the choice will be erroneous and harmful even if it is not.     

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