Yet another reminder from the
EU European penal colonies that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that a government will not regulate and criminalize.
Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.Government control over the citizens does not come about just through the legislation of the large issues a la the Canadian Hate Speech Tribunals. It also happens -- and much more frequently -- by the assumption of the government by fiat of the right to control all manner of little things. The recent best seller, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," has it exactly backwards. The small stuff is what has to be sweated. All the time.
From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a "social species" will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.
The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German.- New Swiss law protects rights of 'social' animals - Times Online
If you are of a certain age you'll remember the arguments against seat belt laws and motorcycle helmets mandates. In general it ran, "If they can do this to these things, they can do it to bigger things and everything."
Nonsense, was the rejoinder, this is simply "for your own good." An extension of this rationale was, "It is for the good of the children." Fast forward a few decades and take a searching and fearless inventory of all the things you simply cannot do that are just things that involve you own personal behavior. You'll find that they are numerous and growing. The new argument for laws and regulations that diminish your freedoms and liberty centers around "saving the planet." This one is perfect since, simply by being alive, there are many things you do -- such as exhaling carbon dioxide -- that threaten the planet.
The new improved "Thou shalt" seems to run like this:
Change your light bulbs because you must save the planet for your own good and the good of the children. And while you are at it, quit breathing.
Smoking is the ground zero of this kind of creeping control of the individual. In a way, it is the perfect issue to regulate since it combines forcing you to do something for "Your own good" and forcing you to behave differently "for the children." When it began, some said that the government would be coming around to tell you what you could or could not smoke in your car and in your home. Nonsense, the proponents said. It will never come to that. And yet, of course it has. And it will continue.
The compulsion to control that drives this new Puritanism is rooted in the convicton that somebody, somewhere, might be doing something the regulators think is evil or just bad. And those people must be stopped. First seat belts, then helmets, then tobacco, then drinking while pregnant, soon drinking while not pregnant, next they are coming for your goldfish. "Do it for your own good and for the children" is the code of the new creeping behavior police. It stands for, "Do it because we say so. Or else." And they are legion.
We can see it today at its most absurd and yet most pernicious in this regulation of the very small, very granulated behavior out of the most regulated of the European countries, but it is alive and well here in the US as well.
In a way, it is a symptom of a civilization that has just ground to a halt. The Swiss have simply run out of rational things to regulate and so they move on to the world of compassionate bullshit. How boring it must be to be Swiss. How utterly lacking their world must be in challenge and vision. How much do I love the smell of burning civilizations in the morning? A lot since, sooner or later, it all goes over the edge and from small fires large conflagrations are born.
HT:ZooillogixPosted by Vanderleun at April 28, 2008 11:50 AM | TrackBack