One of the confusing things about the cult of personal pleasure is that one is supposed to both revel in some physical enjoyments while strictly forsaking others — particularly junk food. Why? It appears that certain kinds of traditional vices are increasingly being targeted as too morally hazardous and too expensive for the State to afford. So Human Resources departments — the conscience of bureaucracy — have inaugurated The War on Doritos. And Peter can write at AmSpec Blog that
it appears to be true: The EU looks ready to wage war on secondhand drinking:
The campaigns to combat the effects of ‘passive smoking’ are widely credited for Europe’s growing number of smoking bans. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health lobbyists, and they have invented the concept of ‘passive drinking’ as their killer argument.
This on the heels of an ordinance saving the Public Ear. With the logic of latter-day capitalism pushing people toward the constant consumption of sociable personal pleasures (as the only reward that seems worth working for), pressure from above concerning which pleasures are permissible is not only freaky but dangerously paradoxical.
I’ve suggested before that the inevitable and prompt result of administrative tyranny is freedom by bribe. The particulars here seem to point in the same direction. Already we in the West are accustomed to our celebrities breakin’ all the rules. The more arbitrary and ridiculous the law becomes in trying to shape enjoyments, the more the issue will take on class contours. In the new dystopia, only the upper class will be able to afford lower class pleasures.