The Machine Stops

There was a play (we used to call them ‘plays’ then) on the TV some thirty years or so ago. It certainly seems an awful long time ago. It was called: “The Machine Stops”.

The story was placed many centuries into the future. Because of either a nuclear war or something, humanity had abandoned the surface of the Earth which was uninhabitable. It had retreated underground. To maintain the race, but not overburden resources, childbearing was controlled. The main part of the story, however, revolved around the way in which people lived. Every adult had his/her own compact ‘apartment’. Generally speaking, the vast majority of people never left their apartments. They had no need to. Everyday needs, like food and drink, were provided by ‘the machine’. People passed their time by conversing over the TV channels and ‘thinking new thoughts’.

As I said, childbearing was strictly controlled. The method was to allow young men and women to pair up when they were introduced to each other. They were allowed to copulate and produce a child, which was immediately removed to a baby unit. The parents never saw the child again. In fact, they separated and went back to their individual apartments to spend their time ‘thinking new thoughts’.

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The ‘play’ was a very good one. The story revolved around two ideas which were intertwined. Idea 1 was that someone asked, in the exchange of ‘new thoughts’, what would happen “If the machine stopped”. That, in itself, started to create chaos in the ‘think-o-sphere’. People started to question the unquestionable. At the same time, a young couple refused to accept the ‘rules’ regarding ‘falling in love’. As a result of someone ‘thinking the new thought’ about what might happen if the machine stopped, people started to leave their apartments and actually meet each other. A fair amount of mayhem ensued. But, needless to say, the main story followed the progress of the young lovers. They found a way to leave the warren and venture onto the surface of the Earth. Over the decades (or centuries), the Earth had cleaned itself and the surface was full of birds and mice and fish, etc.

A New Dawn.

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It was a jolly good ‘play’. We could very easily transpose the ideas to the modern day ‘prohibitionism’. The population, as a whole, is ‘living underground’ and closed off from reality. They are ‘fed’ ideas, which they accept and absorb, largely because these ideas don’t really matter to them – well, not as yet, until the ideas actually impinge upon them.

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It might take some years before the ‘lovers’ emerge and find their way to the surface. What they might find is a world which is regulation-free, apart from natural and acceptable constraints and government control over monopolies like Public Health. Further, it is obvious that the UN and its subsidiaries (like global warming) are too big for their boots. And it is simple to achieve – take away the money.

Tobacco Control depends entirely upon money. It does not depend upon eternal truths. Its scientific base is ephemeral and equivalent, in the above story, to fear of the contaminated surface of the Earth.

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There must come a point where ‘the (tobacco control machine) stops’. But there is a problem. I hate tobacco companies. I hate them because they have messed about for commercial reasons and abandoned their consumers. They are as bad as the Zealots since they do not care about individuals.

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I wonder if politicians realise that the EU contrivance will eventually lead to civil war on a grand scale? It must be so since it is self-perpetuating and self-rewarding. The ‘war’ may not be violent, but it will be very destructive,

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One Response to “The Machine Stops”

  1. The Machine Stops | An Important Message from J... Says:

    […] There was a play (we used to call the ‘plays’ then) on the TV some thirty years or so ago. It certainly seems an awful long time ago. It was called: “The Machine Stops”. The story was placed many centuries into the future. Because of either a nuclear war or something, humanity had abandoned the surface of the Earth which was uninhabitable. It had retreated underground. To maintain the race, but not overburden resources, childbearing was controlled. The main part of the story, however, revolved around the way in which people lived. Every adult had his/her own compact ‘apartment’. Generally speaking, the vast majority of people never left their apartments. They had no need to. Everyday needs, like food and drink, were provided by ‘the machine’. People passed their time by conversing over the TV channels and ‘thinking new thoughts’.  […]

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