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The "respectable" People Continue To Make War On The Rest Of Us


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The "respectable" people continue to make war on the rest of us


by Robert Higgs


"Scarcely any critical commentator on the 'war on drugs' has failed to

remark on the striking inconsistencies that permeate the current

prohibitionist stance. Contemporary crusaders for social purity

ardently seek to outlaw X (e.g., marijuana), yet they cheerfully abide

Y (e.g., Chardonnay), whose consumption is at least as harmful and in

some cases is manifestly more so. How are we to make sense of such

blatant contradictions? We can see a pattern in the apparent

incoherence of the prohibitionists' position if we recall that the war

on drugs, like all the preceding prohibitionist crusades in American

history (some of them still continuing), amounts to a defense of

bourgeois WASP conventions against persons and classes deemed less

respectable. So, SSRIs, yes, ecstasy, no; Benzodiazepines, yes,

heroin, no; a pleasant cocktail party, yes, reefer madness, no; and so

forth. Everything turns on the sort of people who tend to consume the

substance." (07/11/08)



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Problem with that little theory is:


WASPs do use every drug under the sun. Does the article imply only little brown people smoke up?


Same drugs are illegal under draconian penalty in China, a pretty un-waspish place, albeit not enforced with nearly the vigor as in the US.

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Good point about the logic of banning one thing and allowing another. This whole logic seems to be based on little more than stiff necked tradition at this point rather than a rational grounding in reality (the very definition of dogma I believe).

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