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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

Can we win the drug war?

26 11 10 - 06:51

I wonder how much money two houses and enough labor to quietly dig a half-mile tunnel cost?


U.S. authorities say they have discovered another extensive drug tunnel that stretches from a home in Tijuana, Mexico, to San Diego, California.

The half-mile tunnel, discovered Thursday morning in a warehouse in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego, is close to a similar one federal agents found earlier this month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said. - CNN


The drug war can be won only if we stop going for the pushers. For them, the situation is infinite: money exists if they just quit their day jobs and go for it.

If we go after the users, on the other hand, we raise the cost of drugs not monetarily but in the sense of "I might spend six months in sodomy camp, so this joint isn't worth it."

Having seen most of my generation obliterate themselves on drugs, I think the War on Some Drugs (WoSD) is a good thing. 99% of the people out there cannot handle drugs. Over a decade, almost 100% cannot. It's too much of a distraction from life: either you live life to win, or you compensate with drug use.

I believe that in the future we'll see a rise of "contract cities" that make a simple trade. In response to your signing away your rights to alcohol, drugs and possibly nicotine, they provide a better service at a lower rate. It's like Costco or Sam's club requiring you to buy a membership card. You give up anonymity and "I can do anything I want!" in exchange for a better product.

There may be other rules, too, like no cars in the front yard, lawns always maintained, etc. Unlike current HOAs, which enforce rules limply on neighborhoods, this would be a binding contract relating to your ability to live in the community. You break it, and they throw you out.

This would prevent all of the blight that turns our suburbs into ghettos and our inner cities into wastelands. The first screwups get thrown out, so their friends don't come, and other people don't relax their own standards.

Such cities might even have rules like "no SUVs" or that you can only produce one huge bag of trash per week. Again, for trading off your right to do whatever you want, and forcing yourself to behave like a reasonable person, you get lowered cost. And of course: smarter people around you, lowered crime, and no blight.

The only people this would appeal to are the upwardly-mobile, entrenched (multiple generations) middle classes. For everyone else, it seems like a real imposition. "No glass of wine with dinner? You fascist!" -- but it's not just about you, dear heart, and your glass of wine. It's about the effect of alcohol on a community. And even if YOUR glass of wine is OK, it's the one that's OK out of 100 -- the other 99 contribute to bad things, so we don't want them in our community.

I bet that community would prosper. Would it be boring? Only if the only way you can have fun is to get ragingly intoxicated, which so far hasn't worked for six generations of American intellectuals. In fact, it has done nothing but allow them to be pointlessly brilliant at their day jobs, having drunk themselves into a pleasant haze the night before.

Most Americans will squeal and yell about the very idea that someone might restrain THEIR right to something on the basis that the community as a whole cannot handle it. But the community affects them, even if they're too dumb to notice how, so you make rules for the community. It's not personal. (Hint: recognizing this fact about the universe is maturity itself.)

If you want to win the drug war, stop looking at it from the "saving lives" and "putting away bad guys" perspective. Instead, be honest: you want a community where drug use and its social consequences are not an issue, so you want to remove drug users. This starts by putting them in prison, and ends with you sequestering them and others with criminal records to the outskirts of society.

Will you spend time enforcing this in Humboldt, California? Hell no... you need an escape valve where people can go to get high if they're the 1% who've decided they're going to shape their lives around this drug, and don't mind re-arranging everything else in their lives to do this. American policy regarding marijuana always was this way, for the record.

They busted in the cities, not the countryside, at least until 1937 when they decided that marijuana, the counterculture and Communism occurred more commonly together than not. They were right because impaired judgment underlies all three. Impaired judgment was a violation of their community standard.

If we look at drugs and other social programs through the filter of community standards, the question becomes easy: gay marriage? not here, go to gay-friendly place. Drugs? Not here. Rusting cars and refrigerators on lawns? Pollution? Not here. And we'll bust you, not the dealer, because YOU made the bad choice. Then the dealer goes back to his day job, and we bust him for something else.

All of human endeavors, politically, consists in creating justice: good for the good, bad for the bad. The bad of course always lie, while the good never do, so there's a layer of complexity. But when a society is healthy, it has no problem blaming the user, removing the user, and then going on about its merry way without much drama.

nineteen comments

Dave
Laws aimed at protecting the community, not the individual? Not here. (That is, anywhere in the USA.)

Case closed.

America is about individual rights. You don't like it? Go somewhere else.

Your logic fed right back to you.

And by the way, *that* is the community which has thrived. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 07:28
Dave
"I bet that community would prosper. Would it be boring? Only if the only way you can have fun is to get ragingly intoxicated, which so far hasn't worked for six generations of American intellectuals."

You just said that you'd even prevent *one* glass of wine with dinner. So obviously you're not just getting rid of people who can only have fun getting "ragingly intoxicated".

And as for whether it would be boring? No. It would be rife with speak-easies and gang violence, because the idea of a community that would actually sincerely want these laws and be able to stick to them is a fantasy, just like the idea that you could strictly enforce them. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 07:31
Dave
"But the community affects them, even if they're too dumb to notice how, so you make rules for the community. It's not personal. (Hint: recognizing this fact about the universe is maturity itself.)"

No. Maturity is recognizing that not everything that affects you is fair game for regulation. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 07:56
Muaddib
Tunnel vision, Dave. If you look at things linearly, so yes, one glass of wine is ok, and honestly, I would rather have one too. However, when looked on in a broader perspective I would sacrifice the option of drinking whine or good scotch if it meant my surrounding would be better off. Because you can't make exceptions in a community, it has to be enforced universally. On what you said about speak-easies, I'd like to refer you to the russian guy in "creating the african superman". See what became of his predictions. Muaddib (Email ) - 26-11-’10 09:14
Dave
Yes, you're right, you can't make exceptions. That's exactly why you don't want laws such that to enforce them universally would cause harm.

And really, having a blanket prohibition of alcohol, as an example, does not do any good.

As for the African Superman thing, you'll have to say what you mean about that; I read the piece, but I don't remember it having any predictions, rather just a what-if type fantasy.

And by the way, the guy isn't really Russian; he's from Texas. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 11:40
Dave
"I would rather have one too. However, when looked on in a broader perspective I would sacrifice the option of drinking whine or good scotch if it meant my surrounding would be better off."

So you'd like to sacrifice liberty for security. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 11:42
Anti-Bacterial
No. We would all like to sacrifice you to the Space Unicorn. Anti-Bacterial - 26-11-’10 15:36
Chris
Sad, but I'm with Dave on this one. I found this article to be extremely narrow-minded, addressing symptoms and not problems. Humans are genetically disposed to desire their consciousness altered and no amount of nicely worded philosophizing will change that. Chris (Email ) - 26-11-’10 15:52
JesusEqualityFreedom
Legalize the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of drugs for adults, but keep it illegal to be under the influence. That gives the best of both worlds. It kills the black market, but also forces anyone who wants to get away with using drugs to do it in complete secret. Problem solved. JesusEqualityFreedom - 26-11-’10 18:23
Andrew
The author is a cowardly naive teetotaler who is afraid to take risks to make his life more intense and profound. Cannabis can increase one's perceptions and enjoyment of art, causing minor boundary disillusion, alcohol allows people to socialize better, and is particularly useful to shy types, and psilocybin mushrooms cause profound spiritual experiences. Drugs make life a lot more fun, and the thought of "getting rid of them entirely" is absurd, childish, and just sucks a great deal of beauty out of our short lives and potential experiences. Sure heroin and cocaine are more harmful than they're worth, but there are those things everywhere in life, and without those really dangerous risks and temptations life would be too easy and boring (this is already why so many of us in the west are depressed; life is boring, let's embrace the danger!). Drugs makes life more fun and interesting and provides an escape for those who are unlucky or just not strong enough to get further. Why is that so wrong? Most people aren't going to be ubermenschen without drugs, and many around the world don't have an opportunity to rise beyond their lot in life despite their efforts, so why shouldn't they be allowed to escape and have brief moments of happiness?

Do they cause a lot of problems? Sure, and they always will. The drug war cannot win as long as drugs still exist, and they always will, so let's just embrace them so we can all experience their beautiful sides and have a more open understanding of the potential risks and benefits. And if they destroy society... GOOD. This modern society is a toxic shithole anyways, the sooner it collapses the sooner we can build it anew on a stronger foundation. Andrew (Email ) - 26-11-’10 18:27
Oh The Humaninanity
"Individual rights" has been the trend since protestantism took over Europe. But that's changing. No one has rights in a vacuum and all our actions have effects on others. So we're learning Oh The Humaninanity (Email ) (URL) - 26-11-’10 19:50
Dave
"“Individual rights” has been the trend since protestantism took over Europe."

Well, not exactly. There was certainly a blip in the 1910s, and another one in the 1930s, no? And many others.

But individual rights always bounces back, because it's the best way to run a society. Dave (Email ) - 26-11-’10 22:22
Tommy D
Individual rights made life more comfortable, not better. Tommy D - 27-11-’10 10:04
Muaddib
Dave, what I talked about was a ruskie in the story itself: "World outcry is drowned out by world sarcasm. "Yeah, right," says a wise young Russian. "These guys are gonna get bought out like anyone else. " etc.
Is the article narrow minded? is it about giving up "freedoms?" well, I would gladly "give up" the freedom to live in a screwed up society. True freedom is in picking your limitations, not not having any. Muaddib (Email ) - 27-11-’10 11:00
Dave
To Tommy D: actually, they don't always make it more comfortable in an easily discernable way. But they do always make it better in the long run.

To Muaddib: Ok, now I remember that Russian within the story. But his prediction only proves false because the story was made up to give that result in the first place. By the way, you should note that the entire speculative history in that story is based on the rise of the Nazis, and we all know how that worked out.

You would give up the freedom to live in a screwed up society? That's great. Other people wouldn't. Leave them alone.

And true freedom is in picking *your* limitations, yes, but *not* in picking other people's limitations. Dave (Email ) - 27-11-’10 14:15
Muaddib
How come, Dave? Are you using "Argumentum ad Hitleraum" with me? Or maybe you are basing yourself on the fact the nazis waged war on other European countries, unlike Herr-Cosby.
The story is speculative, yes, but it is a thought experiment.
Other people want the freedom to live in a screwed up society? well, tough luck, I won't stop them. As you've noticed, the offer here is about selevtive, local laws. Something the USA forgot all about during the civil war and lives in blissful ignorance ever since.
So, what if my limitations do not include no setting limitations on others? I couldn't care less for most people, but if their actions are even remotly posing a risk for me, I will limit them, whichever way, however low, sly, or tyrannycal i can think of. Muaddib (Email ) - 30-11-’10 07:50
noname
It's stupid to try to get rid of drugs entirely, but great to do it in isolated communities. (mormons, menonites, altough I don't know if those were successful in removal of drugs) noname (Email ) - 30-11-’10 08:58
Dave
To Muaddib:

No, this is not a Hitler fallacy, because the hypothetical in the Cosby thing really is parallel to Hitler!

"Other people want the freedom to live in a screwed up society? well, tough luck, I won’t stop them."

By trying to change the society you're currently in, you are indeed trying to stop them.

"As you’ve noticed, the offer here is about selevtive, local laws. "

Even so, if a town is not that way now, most likely there are *some* people in that town that don't want it that way. If you try to change it, you are thereby forcing the change on those people, and then possibly forcing them out.

"if their actions are even remotly posing a risk for me, I will limit them, whichever way, however low, sly, or tyrannycal i can think of."

Then you will be stopped.

Also, you have no idea how many people are "even remotely" posing a risk for you that you can't do anything about. Dave (Email ) - 02-12-’10 10:13
diablo 3 gold
I always emailed this blog post page to all my associates, as if like to read it afterward my contacts will too. diablo 3 gold (URL) - 25-01-’13 18:53


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