I was recently advised by my office manager, who was responding to the building manager’s office receipt of complaints, that I could not smoke outside near a side entrance to our office building, as I had been for years, because it offended non-smokers who were coming and going and who claimed to be super-sensitive to smoke, and also that somehow the smoke was also getting inside the building where the slightest trace of smoke also bothered them. I was advised to use the designated smoking area on the other side of the building. The catch was that this area, too, is subject to the same conditions.
A welfare state would not work if it did not inculcate, either by education, by mandated indoctrination, by incessant propaganda, or by cultural osmosis, the proper “state of mind” in a population, that is, to instill in men an individual’s alleged duty or obligation to submit to a consensus propagated by a variety of authorities, especially government authorities. A welfare state would evaporate almost immediately without first having pulled a fraud on the electorate. However, a welfare state could not establish itself without the overt or tacit approval of a large component of a country’s population. This consensus requires as well the consensual sanction or silence of the targets of a welfare state and its vanquished, ill-informed, or willing population and electorate. And if the opponents do not consent, they are simply ignored.
But law is not merely “force” or a gun under the table. It is also a “state of mind” that can work to an individual’s benefit, or to his enslavement. It is unwritten law that employs the threat of social ostracism and unspoken prejudice. The welfare state is merely soft totalitarianism, which ultimately leads to the hard kind. It is the freshet of scalding water and rocks that precedes the onrush of lava and pyroclastic gases that can extinguish smokers and non-smokers alike. For a concrete lesson in the progress of totalitarianism, read the fate of the West Indian city of St. Pierre during the eruption of Mt. Pelée in 1902.
I ask this last question partly because the two tobacco studies I have just discussed have, in fact, been repeatedly cited by postwar scientific researchers, though rarely with any mention of the social context within which they were carried out. There is never any mention, for example, of the fact that the founding director of Schöniger and Schairer’s Institute was Karl Astel, Rector of the University of Jena, a vicious racial hygienist, and an SS officer. One never hears that the grant application for the Institute was written by Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel, chief organizer of Germany’s system of forced labor and a man hanged after the war for crimes against humanity (most leaders of Nazi Germany’s anti-tobacco movement were silenced in one way or another after 1945).