Mark Thornton Quote

“The new puritans have been highly successful. All of the preconditions for new prohibitions on alcohol and tobacco are in place. ... Indeed, the future agenda of the federal government has already been established to outlaw alcohol and tobacco in the near future. ... If current trends persist, America will be moving toward stricter prohibitions, greater restrictions, and more centralized control over consumption. This represents an erosion of liberty at its most fundamental level.”

~ Mark Thornton

"The Fall and Rise of Puritanical Policy in America", Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring 1996), p. 159

Ratings and Comments

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

It seems evident that the 'MORAL' hypocrites currently operating under the banner of religion and 'God' are intent on controlling the lives of and passing judgement on others while living in an ethical sewer themselves. Oh, but God will forgive and save them (from themselves), won't he?

Joe, Rochester, MI

Marijuana is less addicting and less dependant than nicotine, cocaine, heroine, alcohol, or caffeine. So ... why is it illegal? Because it gives the government control over its citizens. We are NOT a free country.

Snowbird, Thunder Bay

The objection to Crusaders is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think. Prohibition of a legal product strikes a blow at the Heart Of Democracy.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    5/2/08

And then the tide will turn and he will write the sequel "The Rise and Fall of Puritanical Policy in America". It has always amazed me how most Christian's (because there are a few who are good people) commit crimes by association and apathy, eat the flesh of a dead animals, then go to church on a Sunday and pretend they are embracing life. The Sheeple are the most egregious when herded together.

jim k, austin,tx

MADD is at the forefront of this puritanical nonsense.What started out to be a good thing is now something else entirely. True believers are the most dangerous of all people, but, of course, they control you for your own good. Eat this, drive that, don't say or even think the "wrong" thing or the morality cops are gonna get you. Let's all stand in a circle, hold hands and sing, "I'd like to give the world a Coke", and for goodness sake, never say or write anything that would offend a muslim.

Mike, Norwalk

Terry and Robert, your obvious prejudice has biased your fault finding. There appears to be many more atheists and anti-Christians world wide in the new puritan prohibition movement. The new puritan prohibition movement would place a moral judgement on what an individual may eat, smoke, drink, drive, believe, etc. The new puritans have also been highly successful at economic and business prohibitions. Further, the new puritans have been highly successful with their farm subsidies and other government programs that are producing a dangerous food shortage while they blame it on environment, other natural causes, and unknown phenomenons. Thus, the new puritans are not only in the midst of food, drink, vehicular, thought, etc. prohibition, but a prohibition on life itself.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Call it what you want the Turks, Russians and Chineese were right to execute smokers when the weed first invaded their shores hundreds of years ago. More folk have died of smoking induced cancer and run up the insurance bill for all of us. Lets get rid of it or at least put the smokers (inhalers at least) on an island somewhere. Now where did I put that innocent non-invasive cigar. It is not being puritan to not want to inhale some ones smoke or germs. Just good public health. Is "public health" a bad term on this site.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, 'public health' is an excellent term when coupled with my rights end at your nose.

J Carlton, Calgary

The author of the quote is very soundly correct. And..."Call it what you want the Turks, Russians and Chineese were right to execute smokers"....Those are the words of a Nazi, not an American. The fact is weather you're talking about smoking, drinking or just being that annoying guy with a horn at the big game...Government has NO BUSINESS getting involved, plain and simple. When they get involved you can be gauranteed there is no where they will stop expanding "control". Gaurd liberty as you would your life, because they're one and the same.

Logan, Memphis, TN

There are several things that we have discovered are harmful to the public health: second hand smoke, the act of breathing, automobile exhaust, certain pesticides, sneezing, trans fats (and fatty processed foods in general), coughing, commercial/factory pollution, lack of daily exercise, etc. Does this mean, Waffler, that people who drive cars should all be killed as well? It is documented that certain fatalities in heavy metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Hong Kong are directly correlated/caused by long exposure to automobile pollution. Do you drive your solar paneled energy car to work? Or do you crank in the gas like the rest of us? Call it what you want, but your logic is ridiculous. The only legitimate cause for the death penalty comes down to intent--the law requires justice to be attributed to the nature of the crime and for the equity to be restored. If there was obvious intent to harm/murder, and murder was committed, then there is cause for a death penalty. Sad little world that Waffler lives in.

jim k, austin,tx

Waffler , let me see if I understand your, pardon the expression, "logic". Since smoking kills people, unless they quit, we should kill them. I think that you would enjoy living in Cuba , or maybe North Korea, or some other nice Communist country.

Me Again
  • Reply
    Me Again    5/5/08

    An erosion of liberty.INDEED!

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Of course I was being facetious about the Russians killing smokers but an early quote stated that the Russians did react that way when tobacco first invaded their shores. While their reaction may have been drastic their logic was not. The propaganda of the tobacco industry (just for pure profit) and Hollywood films have subverted the health and brought to an early death millions of people. Advertisements showing a beautiful young couple frollicking in a field of daisies while puffing on cigarettes hooked many folks and it was all a lie. For government to point out the truth to these same people that the ads are a lie is not a loss of liberty, but is an aid to free these people of lies and propaganda. Freedom and liberty are based on knowledge and awareness. Being kept in a world of propaganda and lies by business interests for the sole sake of their profits is being a slave of a different kind.

    E Archer, NYC

    Man, Fire, Smoke. Older than you think. ;-) By the same argument, Waffler, anyone doing anything that disgusts another should be put away. Grow up.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Wrong Archer as usual. Yes man has been abusing his body as long as he has had one, and other folks, parents, tribal medicine men, etcetera have tried to teach people with wisdom and understanding as to what the proper care of the body should be. Thus people through their involvement in schools, local, state, federal, and international governments, societies and institutions have undertaken to serve and assist each other in this area. It remains to be seen as to who needs to GROW UP. While some will teach abuse and sell drugs for profit without educating the user on the pitfalls of the downside others will try to exert a countervaling influence. You want legalized drugs with folks tripping down your street with needles hanging out of their arms, go for it. Oh I forgot you live in NYC you already have that scenario.

    warren, olathe

    I wana know what he is smokin!

    Jan Smith, Bradford Tn.

    The government has drummed it in peoples heads about smoking causing cancer. But, how about all the other chemicals in our food extra... that is known to cause cancer ? There are people who never smoked a cigarette in their life and got cancer, how about them ? If you are over the age of 18, then you should have the right to smoke if you want too. I remember a time when you could even smoke in the doctor's waiting room. People were more friendler in those days. No one was trying to take someone's elses rights away. I miss those days so much.


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