Re: Drugs - what makes them do it?

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 15:07:53 MST

'What is your name?' 'J. R. Molloy.' 'Do you deny having written the

> I don't believe it has anything to do with conspiracy. It follows from the fact
> that by definition, the ruling class wants to rule. It can't rule unruly
> subjects. Hence, it severely punishes instances of unruliness, including the
> taking of drugs.

This incorporates a weird assumption, to my mind, that the taking of drugs
induces unruliness. Indeed, it's one of the big arguments of
pro-marijuana debaters that marijuana, for example, doesn't make you
unruly in the way that, for example, alcohol does.

I take you to have laid out a very particular account of why drug use is
punished harshly: the ruling class punishes drug use because drug use is
threatening to the ruling class. I take this account to be false, not the
least in part because drug use is NOT threatening to the ruling class;
quite the reverse, in fact. If they believe that it does, then we might
attribute them with acting foolishly, but that's telling a very different
story about what's going on in the halls of government.

> I guess that depends on the particular ruling class in question. If you want to
> test the theory, try doing drugs in Turkey and see what the Turkish ruling class
> does to you. (Hope you like being hung upside down while someone beats the soles
> of your feet.)

Again, there's no doubt that drugs are punished harshly, and I was wrong
to ascribe "conspiracy" to your characterization of the ruling class, but
the fact that drug use is punished harshly doesn't show that drugs are, in
fact, threatening to the ruling class.

> That explains why the ruling class supports _prescription_ drugs as opposed to
> self-administered and self-procured drugs. This element of the overall situation
> does become important.

So why not make marijuana a prescription drug? Or opium? Again, we can
characterize this behavior as foolishness, (since opiating the masses
would be wiser than forbidding the use of opium,) but I don't see how you
can consistently characterize this as the ruling class trying to protect
their ruling status.

> >You might argue that the Government is acting foolishly, then, but not
> >that it's covering its own backside by outlawing drug use.
> I find it amusing that the idea of opposition to drugs by the ruling
> class would elicit such responses. Sounds like you have an axe to
> grind here.

I DO have an axe to grind. All too often I hear people ascribe all sorts
of crazy behavior to the "ruling class," usually in a conspiratorial mood,
though not always, and invariably with little explanation. No
prostitution? Blame the man. Can't smoke up? Blame the man. Late to
work? Somewhere, somehow, the man's responsible.

Sure, the "ruling class" does all sorts of crazy things. But more often
than not you'd be misrepresenting it in the extreme to characterize it as
acting upon clearly identifiable class interests.


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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