Can Russia be of help to anyone fighting against the global anti-smoking disease? That’s how I concluded my previous column, adding that I know a lot of people, Europeans or Americans, hoping for salvation coming out of Russia, with its historic record of breaking the back of a lot of global pestilences, starting from Napoleon wars or even earlier.
My short answer to the question is: yes, Russia can and may light that much-expected fire, but I find that possibility very iffy. The reason is, we live in a global world, anti-smoking is a well-organized global threat to societies, and there better be a global response to it.
Why we, theoretically, could start it: because the recent political events have profoundly disengaged the Russian society – not necessarily the government and elites – from the West. Our general feelings about the Western state of minds is, probably, a condescending disgust. There were too many wars started recently without any good reason, there was that Ukrainian dilapidation of economy and society, brought in by Western approval of an anti-Russian illegal coup in Kiev in 2014. And there are those numerous columns and features about Russia, daily published in the West and gleefully translated into Russian, that show to our public complete ignorance and malevolence of “the best minds” in the West about anything Russia-related. The general disarray in the European or American societies adds to our dismay.
Simply speaking, we are not in any way inhibited with that exotic thing called political correctness. We can speak out, and we do. So when I tell my local audience that anti-smoking is a typical American disease, funded by a huge medical lobby with its vested interests and based on junk science and hatred-mongering, I meet a good response. Neither me nor other personalities, some of them quiet prominent, suffer if and when we say these obvious things to a local or international audience.
But I do not necessarily expect any Russian government in the nearest future to proclaim openly our quitting, say, the WHO Framework Convention, or anything of the kind. The current Russian elite, influenced by Vladimir Putin’s telltale cautious and minimalistic approach, plays softball on international stage. Our style is to participate in everything and not to burn bridges, even though that burning is sure to meet with universal domestic approval. Our elites are more Western-oriented than the public, and they are likely to wait for the anti-smoking tide to start changing before braving the waves. It’s a sad admittance, but it’s better to be too cautious than too enthusiastic.
And then there is one more thing, very Russian currently, called hatred to revolutions and other social upheavals. The problem is that it’s very hard to disengage anti-smoking from other obvious ills of the current Western societies. If you – let’s be optimistic – crush the anti-smoking establishment, you may have to crush the whole social order with it, and that’s not a very optimistic idea. At least that’s what Europe and America (and the rest, like Australians, etc.) should do themselves, while Russia should mind its Russian business.
I’d hate to find myself in a position of the above-mentioned foreign “experts” trying to figure out what Russia is, but still let me share, with certain apprehension, some of my observations on the West, seen by my very foreign eyes.
First, Tobacco Control is most obviously a threat to very existence of societies. It brainwashes people with obvious lies, using all the trickery of the information age. It splits the societies into smokers and non-smokers by skillfully fomenting fear and hatred between them. It kills the very idea of science as the ultimate source of truth, and religion as the embodiment of morals. It’s a huge monster, bloated with unclean money of the medical lobby, interested materially in substituting tobacco with its (probably lethal) drugs.
But then, second, TC is not the only such threat. Aggressive feminism is none the better. Aggressive ecoterrorism is even worse. And they use the same methods – unbelievable brainwashing with incredible ability to split societies in halves, making people’s life with each other totally intolerable. And they all rape the very idea of science. And they all know how to amass huge money in the process.
It all comes down to endless bans and limitations, formal as in “laws” or informal ones, making a mockery of such words as “freedom” and pushing a human being into a war with other human beings.
All in all, it looks very much like a Trotskyite kind of permanent revolution in full swing. The very idea of such revolution, physically enacted by Chairman Mao as the most logical and practical Trotskyite in global history, is about fundamentally changing a human being, depriving that being of history and culture, tradition and morals, habits and fun. You may note that the Islamic State was essentially doing the same things, and maybe will go on doing it on the grassroots level.
Only difference is, the old revolutionaries were starting with grabbing political power, to use that power for mass and permanent brainwashing. While the current ones have discovered that the reverse sequence works even better, especially under democracies. You can corrupt and terrorize the societies from within, by shattering them with mass migration killing whole states, by pitting women against men, smokers against non-smokers… and blocking most of the ways for people even to speak out against what they hate. You may also make colleges and universities into hotbeds of ignorance and intolerance, and then you do not need to grab political power. It will be yours without any additional effort.
The question is, can we achieve our victory over TC without eradicating the rest of evil that has befallen the Western civilizations and that tries to spread globally? Can you de-link smoker’s rights from the rest of human rights? And can one country, even Russia with its decisive ideological split from the West, do it on a global scale?
My answer is a reluctant “no”, but in any case you can start with smoker’s rights, in some countries rather than in other ones, hoping that everything else will follow. After all, all big enterprises can be split into small steps.
Which leads me to the need to formulate… well, to offer, to try to offer… at least some plausible ideas of what to do to dump Tobacco Control to the outside. I may try it in my next column.
About the author Dmitry Kosyrev