The Insanity of Cooking
Repost from a fan of our Facebook page.
One exercise I’ve been refining with Statists, is to ask them to imagine that up until today, nobody has thought to cook food. It’s all eaten raw, so can’t be kept for long, doesn’t taste particularly nice, and makes people sick fairly frequently (this is considered an unavoidable fact of life). Everything else is the same as it is right now…
Now imagine you’ve just invented cooking. You applied some heat to some food and improved the taste substantially. You’ve gone on to invent the oven and you’re excited because you’re going to change the world.
Now imagine everybody you tell, treating you like a dangerous lunatic.
“You want me to put a fire machine inside my house”?
“It has a really hot place, the size of a toddler, at floor level”?
“You think we should plumb flammable gas inside near where my kids eat”?
“Don’t you care about people’s safety? Don’t you care about my “house burning down? How little do you think I value my own family?
“Take your flaming death machine and shove it”
Now you know how great food tastes after being cooked, they don’t. You know how infrequently you’ve gotten sick recently, they don’t. You know how safe and manageable the flames are, they don’t.
They can’t imagine the benefits because they haven’t experienced them, but they have no problem imagining all sorts of horrible outcomes that you can’t guarantee won’t happen.
You can’t guarantee that no oven will ever burn anyone. You can’t guarantee it’ll never be turned on by an unsupervised child. You can’t guarantee it won’t be used to bake a live cat.
All you have is your own value judgement that the constant un-imagined benefits outweigh the rare but easily imagined pitfalls and you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and convince people one by one, until enough people have tasted chocolate cake that cooking reaches mainstream acceptance, if that’s what it takes.
But they won’t let you. They say its too dangerous to do it. You can’t just make ovens and sell them to curious, adventurous individuals. The masses will drag you from your factory and throw you in jail.
So you live the rest of your bitter life knowing how much happier and healthier everyone could be if they just let you, and others like you, grow and learn and experiment and take risks in peace.
That’s how it feels to be a Voluntaryist.