The War on Drugs Part 4 – Power (not powder) corrupts

This is part four of a series in which I use the American drug war to examine wider social concerns. You can read the intro here, part one here, part two here, part three here.

In part four we will look briefly at crime by ‘drug-gangs’, then more closely at the real mechanism that perpetuates this problem.

Crime is not a side-effect of drugs

Sometimes the basics elude our politicians
Sometimes the basics elude our politicians

Lie three in the five main lies about drugs is that drugs and dealing lead to gangs, gang-war and other crime. In reality drugs used to be legal and freely available and generated no more crime than any other retail product.

Just like prohibition, which gave rise to boot-legging and associated crime, banning drugs has served only to open an illegal trade. Force of law cannot protect illegal trade, and only force of arms is left – strength in numbers and the use of violence.

It is criminalising drugs that has caused drug crime and drug gangs.

Cause and Ill-effect

That was only the most cursory look at drugs and gangs, because the previous posts support this truth already. What I’d like to expand on is the subtle and yet obvious distinction between drugs causing crime and drug laws causing crime.

Many may argue that drugs are illegal because they cause crime, but this is self-evidently not true. First – we’ve already seen that drugs used to be legal and did not cause or lead to crime. Besides, alcohol leads to all kinds of crime and it is legal.

Hell, let’s just outright state the most staggeringly obvious fact that shits all over the pretence that drugs are illegal because they cause harm or crime. Guns are legal.

Shame, if he'd been stoned he'd have made a bong out of the gun instead
Shame, if he’d been stoned he’d have made a bong out of the gun instead

Schools and cinemas have been shot-up, children have been massacred, villages terrorised, yet there remains the right to bear arms. You can’t sit at home and take a drug that may harm you, but you can own a deadly weapon specifically designed to harm others. Come on…

Illegal trade still has to make a profit

Do Walmart sell sweets? Shit, I should research better!
Do Walmart sell sweets? Shit, I should research better!

Have you noticed people selling Walmart jeans on the street? Or those knock-off Supermarket-brand trainers? No, of course you haven’t. The black market thrives on selling the exclusive and the expensive, the CK, D&G, FCUK and Nike fakes. Even the black market can’t undercut supermarkets and own-brand goods.

Legalise drugs and you render illegal trade unprofitable – thus making drug-crime practically disappear overnight.

Bullets do not save lives

In many areas of society today we see law and policy which is put in place to “protect us”, when in fact the danger we face actually comes from the policy itself.

Being an expert this doctor had been headhunted for the job - oh the irony
Being an expert this doctor had been headhunted for the job – oh the irony

We are told that terrorists threaten us, lurking in every dark alley. In an act of unbelievable ‘irony-blindness’, politicians actually declared a war on terror – as if the answer to terror was bullets and bombs! I must remember that next time my son has a nightmare – I can rush in, unleash a hail of grenades into his cupboard and fire shot-guns under his bed screaming “die, monster, die”. I’m sure he’ll feel a lot better.

The real prison is our own illusions

There is a reason that the war was against an abstraction – an intangible emotion: because the war was never against terrorists in the first place. The war was for election. No-one had any idea where the hell the terrorists were, they just wanted the public to believe that politicians were still in control.

The government are trapped just as much as we are by social and political systems that require them to appear to be helping us IMMEDIATELY!! If the public calls for action, the government must act – and so we end up with rushed and ill-thought law and policy.

Alas he needed a doctor afterwards - the result was not pretty
Alas he needed a doctor afterwards – the result was not pretty

Terrorism laws have given police alarming powers to stop and search, arrest without charge, hold without evidence, airport customs now takes several years to get through, you can’t take shampoo on a plane but you can have a gun at home, and we have simply rolled over and let this happen because we we’re told the laws are needed to prevent a terrorism that never really existed outside it’s one striking moment.

If the aim was really to stop people being killed, wouldn’t there be tighter gun-laws introduced?

Watch out! That dying man is killing you!

Welfare cuts are presented not as persecuting the poor, but as protecting the ‘working man’ from having fraudsters and idle people take his tax in undeserved ‘handouts’. Apparently altruism can go fuck itself. In reality the cuts create further and deeper poverty and crime and so are counter-productive.

The offender register is said to protect the public; the fact that it has been proven to have no effect whatsoever and may actually make things worse isn’t important, because the register is a vote winner.

Thing is, it kind of sounds a way...
Thing is, it kind of sounds reasonable…in a way…

The UK government wants to have access to all private email and internet traffic to protect us against ‘terrorists’. In reality they’d be blinded in the amount of information – but it would be a good replacement for the ID cards which people rejected.

The poor are forced into drugs to escape the poverty of reduced welfare, and then fed into the criminal justice system to create jobs for prison guards and money for the giant security companies that own them.

Power (not powder) corrupts

Policemen will abuse the authority of new laws to make up for their tiny penises; judges will be harsh to please the media; vulnerable people will be made scapegoats so that politicians can be seen to be tough on someone while not risking their corporate sponsorship.

Alas he was consigned to the "Shit-slide" round the corner
Alas he was consigned to the “Shit-slide” round the corner

We are socio-politically shaped to produce rapid, barely considered policy, and naturally inclined to abuse new laws that give us potential power over others. Drug and terrorism laws are only more obvious manifestations of this modern trap.

If we don’t address this habit of demanding immediate answers and ever tougher law and policy, we will flush more and more human life away and lose even more of our freedoms.

Part five will look at the stereotype of “drug-kingpins”, at what the reality behind this image is and how that is reflected more widely in society.

11 thoughts on “The War on Drugs Part 4 – Power (not powder) corrupts

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  1. Okay, this one bothers me just a bit – don’t know if it’s the ‘shit’ or ‘fuck’ or ‘tiny penises’ (that really hurt!) used in the narrative.:-) However, yes, ‘some gun control.’ Yes, there is way too much ‘knee jerk’ reaction and we cannot legislate every ill thing away in our lives. Yes, the politicians are a bunch of ‘quid pro quo’ nutnicks. Yes, we will always have the brainless ‘Jerry Springer’ rejects and other of the ignorant masses who do their ‘duh’ voting for the next president (at least, here in the US), that segment being catered by those who want the ‘daddy and mommy’ state. Yes, drugs don’t necessarily kill – it’s the criminalization of it. Yes, there will always be crime and evil among us… Cause and effect! Power and Greed! On and on, the litany of villainous items on our menu…

    Guess what really gets me is this example… In the dark of night someone or some ones who are armed break into my house – I take my semi-automatic and kill them as they come for me and mine. Why is it I can be held for murder? Between you and me, I don’t own a gun, but I definitely agree with our second amendment rights to own one or more. I’m for stricter gun ownership requirements but never will I be for taking guns away from the people… Bad people, yes!

    Most of your words resonate, other than those I previously gave a smiley face, and carry much truth. It will take a man or woman wiser than I to come up with the correct formula for addressing our many woes. Do we revolt? I can’t but the younger ones can – and that could go well for awhile until the wonderful taste of power and wealth hit the palates of the winning revolutionaries. Do we get a campaign going to vote out, or, impeach, all of those who hold the power seats and start from scratch? Hopefully, with people who can hold more tightly to their ideals of a political Nirvana. Do we just continue to become wiser with our drug and booze intakes? You know, booze and drugs always make us smarter! 🙂

    Incidentally, I was never much of a druggie – mostly hung around with old John Barleycorn…until I got so old that certain things started happening to me – I won’t mention again your reference to the ‘policemen with small…’

    Looking forward to Part 5… How many damned parts do you have? My headaches are growing stronger!

    1. Hey B-Ray. I wasn’t commenting on your penis! I’m sure you have a lovely penis and have brought great pleasure to women!
      We will probably have to agree to disagree about guns. I don’t think the answer to gun crime is to have our own guns and shoot first – I think we should fix the socio-economic inequalities that create the conditions for crime.
      As for how to fix it, obviously I can’t answer that – but my main drift is that people are inherently good, and if they can get what they want by being good, they will be good. The problem is how to create a new social structure that benefits right action. I’m going to try and look at this as the series continues, which incidentally has an unspecified number of parts – I’m just letting it flow 🙂
      Bless you, and bless your fine and handsome penis :mrgreen:

  2. I’m over here in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. When my kids have nightmares I always run in with my Uzi and clear the monsters out from under the beds. This “shock and awe” is our special American approach to dealing with fears. You gotta have guns for this.

    We kill way more people each year in the US with cars than with guns, wars and bombs. Cars are the number one cause of death for ages 8 to 34 in the US. Wow. No one thinks to park their car even one day a week.

    Why would we ever control access to weapons?

    We should be dropping our cars on the real terrorists.

    Next nightmare, I’ll drive the SUV into my kids’ bedroom and run the monsters over. That will teach those monsters to have hidden weapons of mass destruction and scare us.

    Love your ickle fur face.

    Keep writing.

  3. Perhaps you’ve heard how the US NSA is collecting all our email. See:

    as an example from a NSA whistleblower.
    Makes me wonder if we need to expand our right to bear arms to mandating everyone carry a semi-automatic. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment or death. Okay, I’m scaring myself now…

    1. Thanks for the interesting link AClass. I worry about conspiracy theories because they assume an ability to organise that is patently beyond human agencies. If the government (or ‘shadowy group’) could organise on this scale, surely the easiest thing for them to do would be to ensure the public were happy in their lives – a contented public will never investigate or fight their circumstances. Then the government could get away with whatever the hell they wanted. Yet here we are with mass unemployment, inequality, stifled social mobility, lack of healthcare and education for the poor etc. Are we suggesting that the government can organise mass surveillance, generate wars, enact massive cover-ups, run dozens of ‘black-ops’ agencies – yet can’t fix the employment problem?
      On the other hand I would be amazed if the government or some security agency did NOT collect internet traffic. It’s ludicrously easy after all.
      Again, however, we as individuals cannot win that war if we fight by their rules. A gun is no protection and only forces further escalation of force on to the enemy. To fight we must re-invent the game. Security agencies gather data and intrude on privacy in order to protect the power held by government and big business. Somehow we have to create a social order that does not enable, that does not profit, the amassing of either wealth or power. In a social order that benefits co-operation there is no need for ‘shadow agencies’.
      Nice dream anyway.

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply to my facetious gun remark. For some reason I was remembering an old episode of All in the Family, where Archie Bunker suggested the solution to airplane hijacking was to arm all the passengers. A horrifying thought, especially when there’s a certain amount of perverse logic to the idea. But government has clearly been hijacked.
        What scares me is the sheer greed of the wealthy, when everything points to the rich getting richer. Where is the tipping point when all the money has been hoarded by the rich and the economy collapses completely?
        I think the only hope is in taking back education and opening minds instead of teaching materialistic greed and enslaving people with material want and debt to drive our economy. A focus on history and how government is repeatedly engaging in greed-based atrocities funded by the taxpayers.

      2. Education is key of course, along with developing a world where open minds can thrive. Otherwise we are just teaching kids to play nice, then throwing them into a deathmatch!

  4. Well thought out and educational. Thank you.

    My primary concern has always been that it imprisons too many people and ruins their lives and the lives of their families, with the racial component making it worse with minorities more likely to be arrested.

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