Simple petty embarrassment, another motivation of the liars

From one of the worlds of macroeconomics — which is almost entirely different from the subject of this blog in terms of political leanings and subject matter, but remarkably similar in terms of politics and basic science — comes this observation about why the liars do what they do.  My edits of the first paragraph to translate it into the anti-THR world substantially change the original content, obviously (though anyone who chooses to compare them to the original, and is familiar with both fields, will recognize that the points are subtle parallels).  But the balance remains almost spot-on.

What I think is happening is that [they] have put themselves in a box. They threw themselves – and their personal reputations – completely behind the various elements of [prohibitionist anti-THR] doctrine: [banning and discouraging low-risk alternatives to smoking because this would somehow be beneficial rather than harmful, claiming that THR causes smoking rather than prevents it], and so on. And […] the terrible thing was that their policy ideas were actually implemented, with disastrous results; on top of which their intellectual heroes have turned out to have feet of clay, or maybe Silly Putty.

As I see it, the sheer enormity of their error makes it impossible for them to respond to criticism in any reasonable way. They have to lash out any way they can, whether it’s ad hominem attacks on the critics or bitter complaints about bad manners.

And by such pettiness the world is governed.

In the “About this blog” tab I identified some of this as one of the reasons for why there are so many anti-THR lies.  But I overlooked a few of the nuances that were pointed out in the above, and so have updated the page (the last point in the bullet list).

The stated motivation by the author, Paul Krugman, for these observations was this lead paragraph, which is also remarkably familiar (again, with the obvious edit to change contexts):

When it comes to inflicting pain on the citizens [who want to use tobacco, they] are all steely determination – hey, it’s a tough world, and hard choices have to be made. But when they or their friends come under criticism, suddenly it’s all empathy and hurt feelings.

2 responses to “Simple petty embarrassment, another motivation of the liars

  1. This is a great perspective.

    I’ve always seen them as bigots, looking for a group of people, an easy target, that they can use to channel their hatred and discriminate against and get away with it. In today’s day and age, who’s going to disagree with you publically that continued use of nicotine is ok?

    “When it comes to inflicting pain on the citizens [who want to use tobacco, they] are all steely determination”

    This is true. I see them as sadistic trolls that take pleasure in controlling people. Reading Stan Glantz and Simon Chapman’s tweets, it’s obvious they take pride in being called “nannies”. History will always show these people to have worked against the public good.

    They claim that their interests are ‘genuine’ because they don’t profit finacially from their work, but they do nonetheless profit. The feeding of their ego is their form of profit. Their ideology is their hunger. Have a look at Simon Chapman’s tobacco control supersite. A research project, funded by part of his Australian Government NHMRC Grant 570869, is looking to research people who have quit smoking without the use of nicotine.

    If electronic cigarettes are found to help people stop smoking tobacco, Simon Chapman will be less likely to achieve further funding for related projects. It’s clearly an ideological based study. If Simon Chapman really wanted to help decrease tobacco related diseases, he would conduct a study that included people quitting tobacco smoking using a variety of ways, and then compare them. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t ‘believe’ in the use of nicotine. I suspect he has some moral hangup over it, but the fact that he ‘enjoys’ people becoming angry about his views shows that he’s also kind of sadistic in nature.

    He doesn’t realise that people become angry about his views because these people actually ‘care’ about helping people to stop smoking tobacco.

    His whole agenda disgusts me really. I think he deserves to be mocked.

    • Carl V Phillips

      The first of those posters (the links) is really good — I recommend everyone click on it. As for the third one, well….

      They may not get extremely rich from their efforts, but they clearly do profit, personally and as an industry, and the people whose names you hear do make a lot more money than the average person (let alone the average smoker) by abusing smokers and other tobacco users. They make more money than the vast majority of the people in the agriculture, manufacturing, and sales of the products they are attacking.

      And it is pretty clear that they care far more about themselves than they do anyone else. Just imagine letting people die because you are too embarrassed to admit that you screwed up. It boggles the mind.

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