“I think our country is in need of a revolution,” Bradbury told the L.A. Times. “There is too much government today.We’ve got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people, and for the people.” He told Time a week later, “I don’t believe in government. I hate politics. I’m against it.
And I hope that sometimes this fall, we can destroy part of our government, and next year destroy even more of it. The less government, the happier I will be.” (Ray Bradbury quoted at Reason.com)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg responds for the nanny state:
The NYC Department of Health is continuing its efforts to combat this epidemic by seeking to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in containers of more than 16 fluid ounces at restaurants and food carts. (Michael Bloomberg)
Michael Kinsley, whom I have always liked despite his liberalism, makes the basic libertarian case:
The basic case against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest crusade, to outlaw the sale of extra- large sugared soft drinks, is Libertarianism 101: In a free country, people should have the right to do what they want, even if it’s bad for them. (Kinsley)After that simple, heroic statement, he goes squishy. But still he does us a service by damning the soulless process where our individual liberties are collectivized and thus made subject to public opinion and government authority:
Under the national health-care reform law, insurance companies must accept all comers. They cannot discriminate against you simply because you have terrible dietary habits and are almost sure to develop complications such as diabetes as you guzzle your way through life. Thanks to worthless bums like you, my insurance rates will be higher. So this is one in favor of the mayor. (Kinsley)No. It's not one in favor of the mayor. Instead, it is a big one in favor of individual liberty. Contrary to Kinsley's contention, it is a gargantuan argument against throwing all our rights into a big government pile and then diving in and fighting over them. It is an argument to bar government from distorting free markets.
He concluded that nannying does work, using the government's decades-long anti-smoking crusade as an example…
But the results have been so dramatic that my libertarian instincts have been overwhelmed. During the 1990s, about 70 percent of high school students said they had tried smoking a cigarette. By 2009 the percentage was down to less than half. Regular users peaked at 36 percent in 1997 and were below 20 percent by 2009. Frequent users went from 12 percent in 1991 to 7 percent in 2009. Thousands of lives have been saved. (Kinsley)
But forcibly marching fatties off to diet and exercise reeducation camps would also work. And why not? Government could do it based upon already-established pretexts: It's for the children; It’s for the good of the nation; and it will keep everyone's health care costs down!
Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. (Ray Bradbury quoted at Reason.com)