The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. – H.L. Mencken

The same point was made by Ayn Rand in both her fiction and non-fiction, but I found it hard to accept. Where is the evidence, I wanted to know.

Well, today, I found it, on Austrian economist Bob Murphy’s blog Free Advice: The Road to Serfdom: CA City Bans Smoking.

The Belmont City Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a strict law that will prohibit smoking anywhere in the city except for single-family detached residences. Smoking on the street, in a park and even in one’s car will become illegal and police would have the option of handing out tickets if they catch someone.

The actual language of the law still needs to be drafted and will likely come back to the council either in December or early next year.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

A “tremendous opportunity”…. to save humanity, or to rule ever more intrusively?


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