« Darwin, Science, Creation, and Drug Policy (Logical Historical) | Main | Hear No Evil... (Personal, Historical. Logical) »

January 01, 2008

What’s at Stake in the Drug War? (Personal Logical, Historical)

To the extent we are able watch the mind-numbing and increasingly grotesque spectacle of the current Presidential Campaign, two simple conclusions would seem indisputable: first, that money is of critical importance and second, the candidates are so preoccupied with spinning what passes for political truth that trusting any one of them is a bit like buying a lottery ticket. About the only real choice will be when the electorate gets to select either a Republican or a Democrat next November; and judging from recent examples, both parties have become so co-opted by corporate interests that the resultant differences, while very real, will not come close to reflecting the most critical choices America, and the world, should be making in the years ahead. In that context, Global Warming is simply the most obvious issue we should be thinking about as a species.

Not that we Americans are that different from other humans; if one compares the Peace of Versailles with the aftermath of World War Two, one could argue that American dominance of the latter may have produced an arguably “better” outcome, but an equally credible  conclusion could also be that any such comparisons are invalidated by the accelerated growth in both human population and scientific technology that occurred between 1919 and 1945; all of which illustrates the imponderable nature of historical comparisons.

Another inescapable conclusion is that we are a species in perpetual conflict over basic issues relating to the choices enabled by our greatly enhanced cognitive abilities. As I’ve been emphasizing here, the collective decisions about the “nature” and derivation of those abilities that have always been made by governments are of critical importance. All of which I now realize (but had previously been unable to articulate) was why I’ve long considered global acceptance of a  dogmatic and irrational American drug policy to be a major cause for concern.

Beyond that, I have more recently come to understand that widespread resistance to logical criticism of that policy is perhaps even more worrisome;  however a realistic assessment of current political beliefs also tells me that dramatic changes in either our drug policy or its current level of acceptance are unlikely and that simply uncovering more objective evidence of their irrationality would be the best use of my remaining time.

Simply stated, America’s highly evolved drug war may be a prime example of human susceptibility to the blandishments of “control.”  As such, it can serve as either a model of what we should be avoiding or as an accelerant of our ultimate extinction. The choice (or its convincing illusion) will be ours.

It’s very frustrating to realize I won’t be around to see how it all plays out, but at the same time, very exciting to have had the privilege (or illusion) of discovery.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 1, 2008 07:12 PM