Coercion = Freedom


The Christian Science Monitor explains why California's ban on smoking in its prisons is a win-win-win situation: Guards won't have to work in the presence of smoke, taxpayers will save money that would otherwise be spent to treat smoking-related disease, and inmates will enjoy enhanced freedom when they are forced to give up their cigarettes. Instead of endorsing the smoking ban as part of the punishment imposed on convicted criminals, the Monitor insists California is doing them a favor.

"Lighting up is an illusionary respite from a craving that feeds its own dependency," the paper opines. I'm not sure what that means, but the Orwellian logic is clearer when the Monitor explains that "California's move, besides being in the long-term health interests of individuals who are wards of the state, should be seen as true rehabilitation." Why? Because "helping offenders accept responsibility to stop smoking can provide them a personal freedom, and only whet their appetites for greater freedoms."

I suspect the prisoners won't see it that way, but maybe that's just because they haven't been sufficiently rehabilitated yet.

[Thanks to Wally Olson for the link.]