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The Mindset Of The Authoritarian

Thundery wintry showers


Well, although there's been a pleasing absence of it on this forum this year, I see that the "ban fireworks except public displays" brigade are out in earnest among the population.

[Disclaimer: I do not subscribe to the views below, by the way!]
Viewing the world from the eyes of the Authoritarian, while we're on with it, we can also:
[*]Ban pleasure driving because of a few boy racers,
[*]Incrementally force a slow but sure reduction of traffic speeds as close to zero as we can get away with because a few idiots drive too fast,
[*]Ban computer games because a few idiots let them take over their lives,
[*]Ban men from befriending children because a few idiots molest them,
[*]Ban male-female friendships because of potential for affairs and stalking,
[*]Ban social networking sites because men might use them to befriend women or children (see above two bans) or steal ID,
[*]Ban personal cameras because a few idiots photograph public transport for terrorist purposes,
[*]and so on.
...by extension of the same lines of argument as for banning fireworks. The benefits are outweighed by the downsides, given that human pleasure doesn't come into it because it's non-essential, and that only matters relating to work, health and safety are essential.

Clearly, persecuting and demonising innocent people for daring to enjoy themselves is a sign of being hard on offenders, the issue of idiots going underground can be tackled by banning the alternative avenues of abuse (rinse and repeat until we have no recreational activities left to ban), and Ian's ridiculous suggestion of differentiating abuse from responsibility won't work because it isn't flawless (you can't always tell). Because it's not as if mass prohibition isn't flawless or anything.

In addition we can tackle global warming by demonising the people that pollute. By making life as difficult for those evil motorists as we can (this fits in nicely with the authoritarian measures to legislate for the idiots who drive recklessly as well!) we can create a splendid balanced transport system at the lowest common denominator, alienate motorists, and achieve a 1% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Isn't authoritarianism wonderful! ... er... not?


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