Monday, 7 March 2011

From Generic Tobacco To Libertarian Despair

"According to the Times and the Mail, tobacco will be sold “without branding”. No brands. Think about that for a moment. If it is being reported correctly, they are taking a step never taken before in western economic history, which is to ban the identification of particular products... To remove branding is to remove the possibility of choice, that most glorious consequence of free market capitalism. Branding is the most wonderful thing, because it is a manifestation of the reality that products are not fungible. We don’t just buy “bread”. We buy Warburtons Soft White Farmhouse or Hovis Brown or what have you. A brand identifies the manufacturer; it allows you to make market judgements like “that was good last time, I’ll have that type again”. Without it, you cannot exert your will in the marketplace."
The always incisive Ian B.

I mentioned the Durham Light Infantry, against the tendency to despair. Consider the exploits for which Richard Annand won the first Victoria Cross to be awarded to the British Army during World War Two:
"On 15 May 1940, near the River Dyle, Belgium, Second Lieutenant Annand inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy with hand grenades. He was wounded, but after having his wound dressed, he made another attack on the enemy the same evening. Later, when the position became hopeless and the platoon was ordered to withdraw, Lieutenant Annand discovered that his batman was wounded and missing. He returned at once to the former position and brought him back in a wheelbarrow before fainting from loss of blood."

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