Why the war on drugs is also the fight for freedom – Introduction

I’ve already written a little about the film The House I Live In here. But there is so much in the film that goes far beyond drugs and crime that I’m going to dedicate a series to it.

Even the good ones can’t be good ones any more

In part one I’ll outline the five lies of the drug war. In later posts I’ll use the film to help show where these lies came from and why they are perpetuated.

All the way through I’ll try and tie together how our responses to drugs and crime mirror the mis-handling of systems like healthcare and teaching, as we succumb to the cancer of gesture politics.

Secretly, Cameron want's all the money for himself so he can buy some lips
Secretly, Cameron want’s all the money for himself so he can buy some lips to fix his sphincter-mouth

By the end we should have a clear picture of how the UK and America are perpetuating a modern, slow-acting holocaust, using the lives of the poor to pay for a system which benefits only the wealthy minority.

Western capitalism is creating a world which is on commission. For retailers and manufacturers this may work, but when it comes to the police, nurses, teachers and other ‘human’, non-product based professions, it destroys the very purposes and principles of the occupation.

Payment by results may look like efficiency... but it has a dark side.
Payment by results may look like efficiency… but it has a dark side.

While the police are paid per arrest they have an interest in easy arrests rather than effective policing. While nurses are on ‘performance related pay’, their focus is on paperwork not patients. While schools are paid by results they are forced to pressure teachers into faking results and fudging reports.

For a list of crimes you can now get away with, check www.toomuchpaperwork.com
For a list of crimes you can now get away with, check http://www.toomuchpaperwork.com

In the UK National Health Service, the punishment for failing to complete paperwork is now more severe than the punishment for a patient death. In America the police are ignoring serious crimes like murder for the easy money of drug-arrests. In both countries only the rich can afford a good education, while public schools are crushed beneath targets and paperwork which leave the student as the least important part of teaching.

We could ask, “does it even matter?” Everywhere in nature the weak die and the strong survive – isn’t the mass extinction of the poor just natures way? But in nature the weak are not manufactured in the way they are in human society. There are no Elephant “hay billionaires” looking out of their mansion windows with disinterest as the majority of the herd starves to death.

See Disney - this is what it would really be like if animals were like people
See Disney – this is what it would really be like if animals were like people

I sat with my daughter a few days ago while she told me she didn’t believe there was a place for her in the world. While she wants to eat and live, she doesn’t want to drown in a mundane job. Like so many young people she sees no meaning in the world we have created, where so many live only to fight for money to keep themselves alive while they fight for money… She craves more beauty, more loving and more joy than that.

While I can show her behind the illusions of today, I am losing sight of how to instil hope in her, and in my son.

Ha ha! Oh, it's funny because it's true!
Ha ha! Oh, it’s funny because it’s true!

Humanity is not a for-profit business. If we want to be better people, if society is to mean more than a monetised fight for survival against every neighbour, we have to change. I hope that in writing these posts I will be able to draw out some answers, some hopes for ways we could make that change.

Part One follows soon.

27 thoughts on “Why the war on drugs is also the fight for freedom – Introduction

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  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for telling the truths. I’m tired of the white straight teeth of the smiling lies. When you figure out what to tell your children to instill honest hope for their futures let me know. I have two kids, too.

    1. Thanks Alice. It’s reassuring to know we’re not alone in being lost for these answers. I kind of hope writing these posts will lead me to some solution, if only a clarity of vision. Let’s see what happens.

  2. But…what exactly do we do now as an idividual to change the world order? And I’m not just asking you Panda…
    We work, we earn the money to pay for our kids’ futures in the hope that they, through that education, integrate solutions to end world hunger, poverty etc.
    We give our spare time now (okay, a limited portion, I’ll admit) to help the immediate people around us who are less ‘well off’ than ourselves in terms of physical or mental health, finance or education. We’ve also given our paid time at a low wage doing the same.
    But what would it actually take to stop a child in another country dying of hunger while I limit the amount of junk that my kid is allowed to consume?

    1. The Jewish ghetto’s would often be manned by only one or two soldiers – where there were 500, even 5000 Jews. What kept the population in line, despite these numbers, were two essential beliefs- a) the ghetto was better than death, b) buying the propaganda that the army was ‘all-powerful’.
      Today the mass – despite overwhelming strength in numbers, continues to allow itself to be imprisoned in ideologies through the same two lies. The answer has to be a unified refusal to continue buying (and paying so dearly for) the lie.
      As to how? If I knew that…

  3. Looking forward to Part One and your ‘clarity of vision…’ The ‘smiling lies’ and the political soup we’re being served are so cold and stale — much like nature’s amazing destructive blizzard hitting the northeast coast of the USA this weekend. At the moment I can only offer meaningless platitudes – but, then, I’m an anachronism and cannot pretend to understand how our world is so massively changing but to utter them… Wishing you all my best.

    1. It is, and it isn’t. Imagine having no notion of sport and then watching football – the whole thing would look utterly mad. Once you understand the mistaken beliefs of governments, their behaviour has logic. It’s still wrong, but it has some logic.

  4. In US people are busted to create “clients” for criminal justice industry and millions of related jobs. I guess they think it is wonderful to incarcerate a father for minor stuff which leaves his family destitute and on welfare and poverty.

  5. I couldn’t agree with this more. The same bureaucracy that has killed the NHS is in the process of destroying our education system. Doctors, nurses and teachers are far too busy collecting the evidence which demonstrates that they have done their job to actually DO their job. It’s part of the reason I left teaching: actual learning took second place to assessing and evidencing learning. When I posted on here about important people making decisions based on not what was the right thing to do, but what looked right, I was saying similar things: you can’t measure the efficacy of systems designed to help people with maths! Looking forward to reading more of this panda-pants: fight the power! 😉

    1. Thanks Mrs W. The ‘caring’ sector has the same problem. How do you measure supporting a crack-addict? Helping a young woman choose better relationships? Enabling a dyslexic, someone autistic or a depressive?
      Yet to get funding you have to show ‘hard evidence’ – so you get stuck manufacturing evidence and have no time left to do your ‘caring’. Grr!
      Lucky you for getting out of teaching, though it’s sad too – it should be a wonderful job.

  6. The first steps toward solving a problem involve acknowledging and clearly stating the problem. I think you are doing a good job doing just that, Panda.
    How can we change people’s motivations when money is such a temptation?

    1. Hi Zinny, thank you for following.
      Since money has no value in itself, only in what it can buy, our first job is to ask what it buys, then see if there’s a better way of providing it.
      For myself, I believe money / goods buy security and abate fear, so is there a way we can be less afraid? By recognising the safety of a more nurturing community with more compassionate values?

      1. I think many people in our culture tend to define themselves by their possessions. How much they own translates into how much respect and admiration they think they deserve from others. Popular culture features the ‘haves’ over the ‘have nots,’ and aquiring more and more is shown to be a worthwhile endeavor. I see it even in daily life, with young children praised and adored for their cute clothing and great toys, rather than their behavior (being helpful, friendly, empathetic, or polite.) Hopefully, in a more compassionate society, people can get feelings of self-worth for reasons other than the amount/quality of material possessions they have. I think it’s important to start instilling this when they’re young.

  7. Exactly. My husband goes to church with the kids (I play hookie). My eldest Thing One (12 yr old) came home with a paper. She had to rate the three things she wanted in her future and the three she did not. One of the three she did not want was money. My dh said “Oh, but money is not that bad.” And she said, “It is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into Heaven.” Zing! I love it when she throws the preaching right back at him. Too many capitalists conveniently miss that part of the Bible while paying it lip service to get votes. Straight white teeth indeed.

  8. “Most of us are slaves of the stories we unconsciously tell ourselves about our lives. Freedom begins the moment we become conscious of the plot line we are living and, with this insight, recognize that we can step into another story altogether.”
    -read this in an article in resilience.org
    I guess the first step in waking up from these illusions is by telling and spreading the truth, like what you’re doing here, especially to those who don’t get to hear the truth that much.

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