Sometimes small items represent things with bigger meanings. Hidden behind appearances are philosophies of life that it does well to analyze.
Such is the case of a recent news article on smoking. Canada announced last May that it would become the world’s first nation to require health warnings to be printed—on each individual cigarette.
Manufacturers must imprint a tiny message on all king-size cigarettes by July 2024. The warnings, which must be in English and French, will carry phrases like “Cigarettes cause cancer” and “Poison in every puff.”
Looking for a Cause
Some might attribute the excessive warning to overzealous bureaucrats. However, the facts suggest the absurd warnings represent much more.
There is no need to print such warnings on the individual smokes. Every carton and pack of cigarettes already has them in large letters for all to read. This has been government policy for decades. Anyone who has not read them written largely will certainly not read the tiny version on the single cigarette.
There must be a reason for the government’s micro-management of citizens’ health. Goodwill cannot be assumed. Gestures like this micro-warning are typical of a socialist mentality and its attached materialist philosophy. Such measures are consistent with a socialist government that takes it upon itself to supply all needs and avoid all risks. Socialists hold that this life is all that exists and everything must be organized to prevent anything that endangers personal pleasure.
The Essence of Socialism
The socialist mentality, writes Catholic thinker Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, is contrary to “the existence of values that are greater than life itself and for which one should be willing to die.”
Hence, the socialist has “an abhorrence of risk and pain and an adoration of security and the utmost attachment to early life.”
Thus, any threat to one’s pleasure must be forestalled. The unbridled passions must be given free rein to the point that socialists will never condemn harmful vice or sin but rather provide warnings so that the acts can be framed as a choice.
The Socialist Denial of Sin and Misfortune
Finally, socialists deny Original Sin—and, by extension, all sin. They envision a utopia where misfortune cannot exist, and all can live together in equal harmony.
Thus, all misfortunes and suffering are, by nature, unjust. Everything must be done to abolish this suffering by the proliferation of entitlements. No one can be blamed for their own laziness or negligence. Unjust systems, structures and, ultimately, God are to blame.
In the socialist world without Original Sin, there is no error but only misinformation. For this reason, the government must intervene in everything with regulations to ensure that no tragedy ever happens. All vice must be practiced without mishap, which justifies abortion.
Class Struggle Overcomes Misfortune
If an accident does happen, it is a matter of misinformation, not misfortune linked to fallen nature. Hence the need for labels. Even the most remote possibility of disaster must carry warnings. The failure to foresee danger gives rise to litigation with multi-million dollar settlements.
This perspective fits in with Marx’s class struggle philosophy since the oppressed class is identified with all those who suffer accidents or misfortune. The oppressor class consists of the wealthier citizens who cause affliction by having riches and seemingly fewer misfortunes. The government does everything possible to suppress inequality and the effects of Original Sin, even when it interferes with personal lives by excessive regulation.
The radical nature of this mania for materialistic security is such that it extends to each individual cigarette. The warning label serves as evidence that an informed choice was made. The government has done all that it can to avert disaster. Cigarette companies might later be sued for causing addictions. Any unfortunate victim is without blame.
Realizing the Mediocre Socialist Dream
The socialist dream is that one day, everyone will live in total equality and freedom without any misfortune or consequences of sin. Life—as the only thing that matters—will be effortless and riskless.
For now, every experience must be dominated by tiny labels and warnings with a message that life must be denuded of every lofty thought or noble desire. All must be reduced to regulated pleasures and bland mediocrity—even when smoking an individual cigarette.
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