Re: Outlawing drug speech - EEK!

From: root (
Date: Wed Feb 02 2000 - 06:24:49 MST

On Tue, Feb 01, 2000 at 08:27:49PM -0600, Octavio Rojas Diaz wrote:
> I keep wondering why the US, keeps becoming
> more and more restrictive and intolerant as the time
> passes, I remember that as a child and as a teenager
> I admired this country because it was a country where
> you suposedly were free, and had the chance to improve
> your life quality as well.

Let me just add a "me, too" from the UK. If half the rhetoric
about freedom coming out of the USA was true, I'd be queuing up
to immigrate. Alas, it isn't. The USA is just another country,
albeit a very big one, with the usual range of political pathologies.

> So my theory is that this drug war, is just a tool
> of control a silent weapon to rob people of their
> liberties, a tool to justify racism (most of drug
> related incarcerations, happen in poor black
> districts) it is also used to justify US intervention
> in foreign lands (like communisn was used before)
> and I don't doubt it'll be also a tool to gradually
> erode our civil rights

It's not deliberate, though. There's no evil cabal of masterminds
who sat down at a committee table one morning and said "right, now
how can we grab control of civil society and justify a neo-imperialist
foreign policy in the nake of fighting crime?"

You might want to consider who profits from the War on Drugs:

1) Every police department that's profited from the sale of
     assets seized under civil forfeiture laws

2) Every politician who's been able to cut budget requirements by
     forcing the cops to rely on (1) as a revenue centre

3) Every senior police officer who's used the WoD as justification
     for recruiting more officers (thus putting them in charge of
     a bigger department)

4) Everyone who works as an employee in the prison system (especially
     the _private_ prison system)

5) Anyone who works for the FBI, DEA, or the rest of the Federal
     anti-drug apparatus (owing their whole lifestyle to the WoD)

6) Every politician who's been able to make sound-bite time out of
     striking a tough pose on drugs

7) Every banker or S&L officer who's quietly accepted large deposits
     of dirty money and recycled it in some other form

8) Every drug dealer who has been able to sell cocaine for US $100
     a gram ... when as a pharmacist a decade ago I use to buy it
     wholesale at pharmaceutical quality for US $7 for 5 grams.

Dropping the WoD unconditionally at this stage would damage the US
economy to the tune of something like $100Bn-$150Bn a year in turnover.
This would be Bad for Business. It'd even hit the GDP!

> However fortunately it is the goverment who wants
> to do this, not the average citizen, and although the
> majory is willing to trade their freedom for
> "security" most people is becoming aware of this
> with the passage of time, and fertile positive meme
> petri dishes (like this list) keep informing people, so
> it is very probable that this advance towards restriction
> and intolerance can be stopped, and that parties like
> the libertarian are getting more powerful (although
> I still believe no single party should have all the power)
> any comments?

Technology determines what laws can be enforced, and how intrusive
such enforcement will be. It also renders old laws obsolescent and
new laws necessary. Unfortunately, legislators are not technologically
literate; they tend to be lawyers or accountants. Rapidly changing
technology therefore makes a terrible background for a democratic
legislature that is primarily populated by people who don't have a
clue what's going on around them.

I figure the popularity of libertarianism among workers in the high-tech
sector in the USA has something to do with the libertarian stance on
civil liberties (which I agree with), and something to do with disgust
over the general inability of government to get to grips with providing
the environment a high-tech industrial sector requires -- the economic
side of the coin. Calls for cutting back government are, as often as
not, a plea to "stop them pissing in the swimming pool, now!"

-- Charlie

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