Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vietato fumare

Members of the Occupy Melbourne movement
Corruption and greed were contributing factors to the global financial crisis/crises. The worldwide Occupy movement claims that the capitalist financial system is irredeemably corrupt and needs to be overturned, and also campaign against what they see as greedy, exploitative multinational corporations. By all means call for stricter regulation of the financial system, and for corporations to conduct themselves more ethically, but at least be consistent about it.

Over the weekend I was in the city and saw a small group of Occupy activists holding court in the City Square. I noticed that one of them was smoking a cigarette. Presumably he was smoking tobacco, which strikes me as somewhat ironic. After all, the worldwide tobacco industry strikes me as being especially amoral.

Despite a wealth of scientific evidence, for years the industry denied that tobacco consumption was hazardous to health. It lied, and despite the lawsuits brought against it many countries, it has never been brought to account for its activities. Every Australian taxpayer has to bear the burden that tobacco related illnesses place upon the public health system. Then it deviously campaigned against the federal government's plain cigarette packaging legislation by feigning concern about the threat it posed to personal liberties.

If I was one of these activists, I would have thought having a smoking habit and thereby contributing to the revenue of a multinational tobacco company would be against my principles.


kris said...

Don't like the vibe of self righteousness that I get from this blog. It is accurate enough but dismisses the fact that as people that live in a particular society we are exposed to all manner of products. Maybe he got hooked on tobacco before he got so idealistic and has found it hard to quit.

Heck maybe I shouldn't drive to work or buy a chocolate bar or drink coffee, or have the internet or a mobile phone. It just seems a long bow to draw to discredit someone who is idealistic because they have faults that point out their hypocrisy.

People have been calling Christians hypocrites for ages, and rightly so because they always fall short of the glory of God that they are aiming for. Well I am a hypocrite too but I try to not to do too much harm to the planet and to the people and I try and have high expectations in following Jesus. Are you not a hypocrite?

Ross said...

Thankyou for your comments. I'm not prepared to discuss this publicly, but I have strong personal reasons for hating smoking, and not just because tobacco is an addictive product.

At times there is a place for Christians to lovingly confront each other about their failings, but in the end God knows where I stand with Him.

kris said...

I know not what pain tobacco has caused you and I wouldn't want to devalue that at all. It's all well and good to scorn the tobacco industry and that would be righteous without being self righteous and I'd support you in that. My issue was in discrediting the Occupy movement over one idealist you saw being a smoker. I just don't think it was a clear blog, who are you having a go at, occupy or tobacco?

Ross said...

I'm having a go at tobacco. This blog posting has a link to another one I wrote about last year's tobacco industry sponsored "no nanny state" campaign. I know more about the tobacco industry than the occupy movement, but had some acquaintance with left wing activists at uni.

JD Curtis said...

The problem with anarchists is that they need someone to oganize and lead them.