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Anonymous

Using Drugs to Control a Society
    #1151178 - 12/18/02 09:40 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

I just finished reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and one of the aspects of the book that struck me the most, was his references to drugs, and their roles in keeping people under control.

In the book, soma was a drug distributed by the government for people to take when they had bad thoughts or feelings.

In Europe, where the drug laws are much less strict and in many cases not even enforced, people go on with their lives believing they are truely free, while they are economically very limited. My question is this: do drugs provide a population with an illusion of freedom, so whenever a person is feeling restricted, he or she can simply go get high?


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InvisibleCow Shit Collector
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151221 - 12/18/02 09:55 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

i believe this is why alcohol is legal in the US. Its a popular way for many people to escape from their every day problems.


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151265 - 12/18/02 10:09 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Do drugs provide a population with an illusion of freedom, so whenever a person is feeling restricted, he or she can simply go get high?

If people are free to use drugs, then that freedom is no illusion.

In Europe, where the drug laws are much less strict and in many cases not even enforced, people go on with their lives believing they are truly free?

If the drug laws are much less strict, then they ARE truly freer than a country where drug laws are more strict..

?while they are economically very limited.

I have a feeling that this is the heart of your argument, but I have no idea what "economically very limited" means, especially with respect to freedom.

My question is this: do drugs provide a population with an illusion of freedom, so whenever a person is feeling restricted, he or she can simply go get high?

No. If they are free to use drugs, that is not an ?illusionary? freedom, that is a REAL freedom. And if they aren?t free to use drugs, they know it, and have no illusions of freedom.


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1151374 - 12/18/02 10:48 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

So to you, true freedom is nothing but the freedom to do drugs?


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151431 - 12/18/02 11:04 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

So to you, true freedom is nothing but the freedom to do drugs?

No. To me true freedom is the right to exercise sole dominion over my own life, and to live in whatsoever manner I choose, so long as I do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to do the same.

All else being equal, a society that doesn?t restrict drug use is freer than a society that does.


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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Offline3eyedgod
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1151465 - 12/18/02 11:13 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

You sound like a fellow Libertarian to me! :smile:


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Without everything wouldn't nothing be everything and without nothing wouldn't everything be nothing.I am the beginning and the end,the source and the void, the light and the darkness,i am but a small drop of the ocean yet i am an ocean unto myself


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1151485 - 12/18/02 11:20 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

>To me true freedom is the right to exercise sole dominion over my own life, and to live in whatsoever manner I choose, so long as I do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to do the same.

We are in agreement there. However, my point is that in Europe and Canada, due to poorly managed (overly managed) economical systems, many people can not live in the manner they desire because they will never make enough money, for example, to buy a house. The person may then turn to drugs to take his or her mind off this dilemma.

Also, I am a strong advocate of legalization, and am probably one of the most "libertarian" members of this board. However, Huxley brought up some points about drug use and soma that I felt needed discussing. After all, you can better debate your cause if you know every aspect or potential aspect of your opponent's arguement.


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151491 - 12/18/02 11:23 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Nice thread! :smile:


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OfflineSnuffelzFurever
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151514 - 12/18/02 11:31 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

alcohol helps promote a consumerist america. the people up in power know that if they legalized acid, people would stop buying shit, they'd have no more need for material possessions.
people go about their lives feeling no purpose at all the entire time working a 9 to 5 job, and as soon as they get off the job, they can go to a bar, and get drunk, and feel good. it adds meaning to their life.
and im not saying this as a conspiracy btw. i just honestly feel its true. it is blatantly obvious to those who pass these laws that pot is not bad for you. they dont give a shit tho. it wouldnt be good for them if people tuned in, turned on, and dropped out. it would fuck america up. mebbe they're doing it for themselves. mebbe they're doing it because they believe in consumerism.


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"I think it's time we stop
Children, What's the sound,
Everybody look what's going down"


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: 3eyedgod]
    #1151559 - 12/18/02 11:44 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

You sound like a fellow Libertarian to me!

Haha!  I pretty much copied my statement right off my Libertarian Membership Card!  :grin: 


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: SnuffelzFurever]
    #1151563 - 12/18/02 11:45 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

>the people up in power know that if they legalized acid, people would stop buying shit, they'd have no more need for material possessions

You bring up another valid point. Soma, like alcohol, is merely a feel good drug that does not better your personality in any way, it only offers an escape. Drugs such as mushrooms can bring to light injustices, and would therefore be incompatible with a Brave New World.


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OfflineSnuffelzFurever
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151571 - 12/18/02 11:49 AM (13 years, 11 months ago)

brave new world scares the shit out of me... thats the kinda society we might become.... sniffles

::cowers in fear::


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"I think it's time we stop
Children, What's the sound,
Everybody look what's going down"


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Offlinelx993
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151616 - 12/18/02 12:04 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Interesting concept - not sure if there are any non-North Americans here since I must take issue with the 'Europeans' being 'economically very limited'... I work in the City of London (England) and there's plenty of opportunity in the financial markets here.

Then again, stonedfish has a point - if you accept that England has a more prosperous economy than most of Europe, then it's interesting to know that England has had harsher drug laws than other European countries.

On a more contentious note (not flamebait, I promise you) America may appear to be the land of the free, but the fact that big corporations can easily buy government influence means that it's not the government you have to worry about, but the intentions of corporations.
Quick example - both 5-HTP and GHB are utterly safe, cheap antidepressants - but both are illegal in the US because Eli Lilly wants to sell Prozac. And any ex-depressive here will testify that Prozac sucks, long-term.

Sorry for the long post - been lurking for far too long :wink: 


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151641 - 12/18/02 12:10 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

You should check out Food of the Gods by Mckenna - he covers every drug from caffine to cocaine to television and talks about how the ones that most governments allow are the ones that numb the mind and keep people active


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1151751 - 12/18/02 12:46 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

Xanax, paxil, prozac, celexa, welbutrin, valium, ambien, nyquil, dayquil, claritin, zyrtec, prilosec, tagamet,  zantac, ibuprophen, aspirin, acetominophen, naproxen, ketoprophen, neurontin, hydrocodone, oxycontin, nicotrol, nicorrette all of these are basicly designed to keep folks productive and not thinking about any of the root causes of the symptoms they take them for.Call them "somas" for we ARE a society controled by drugs.IMHO LEO and their "illegal" drugs are competingfor/splitting with the Pharmers and their middlemen the Dr's the control of peoples own chemistry.Nearly everyone uses some form of drug daily in western society so I would have to say we have reached the doorstep to Huxley's vision.More and more I see things being broken down to the "haves" getting socialy acceptable drugs while the poorer classes must settle for illegal substances and chance slavery to the system which perpetuates their status.
PS "Drugs er baad,uhnkay? :grin:WR

edited by placing a space in behind  the commas in the drug list to prevent screen widening.  MM


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To old for this place


Edited by Mr_Mushrooms (12/18/02 02:16 PM)


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1152107 - 12/18/02 02:55 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

My point is that in Europe and Canada, due to poorly managed (overly managed) economical systems, many people can not live in the manner they desire because they will never make enough money, for example, to buy a house.

Even if this were true, I?d say it was irrelevant to the issue of freedom, because there?s no law against earning lots of money in those countries. However, IT?S NOT TRUE!!! Here is a list of home ownership rates for 10 developed countries around the world:

1. New Zealand ? 71.2%
2. Australia ? 70.1%
3. UK ? 69.0%
4. Italy ? 68%
5. US ? 67.4%
6. Canada ? 63.7%
7. Japan ? 60.3%
8. Sweden ? 56.0%
9. France ? 56.0%
10. Germany ? 43.0%

And how about poverty rates in developed countries? Here?s a list from least to most poverty (taken from a UN report, http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2002/en/pdf/backone.pdf ):

Poverty ranks for 17 selected OECD countries
1. Sweden
2. Norway
3 Netherlands
4 Finland
5 Denmark
6 Germany
7 Luxembourg
8 France
9 Japan
10 Spain
11 Italy
12 Canada
13 Belgium
14 Australia
15 United Kingdom
16 Ireland
17 United States

So it's actually LESS likely that you'll be able to do the things you want to do in the US, becasue you're MORE likely to be impoverished. But if you're impoverished, at least you can be thankful that your Government isn't one of those with a "poorly managed economical system", because if should ever need medical attention, er... nevermind.

I guess you might argue that America has the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the world (next to the European country of Luxemburg). But I think that's probably because a few rich people in this country earn so much, raising the national average. The top 10% of this country earns over 30% of our income ? more than the top 10% of any other developed nation.

Now back to the original topic - How do less restrictive drug laws create an "illusion" of freedom??? If there's a financial difference between our countries, I don't think it's significant and I don't think having slightly less money makes you less free.


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1152114 - 12/18/02 02:58 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

A tightly reasoned argument complete with statistics! Very well done!


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Anonymous

Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1152397 - 12/18/02 04:57 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

My point is that in Europe and Canada, due to poorly managed (overly managed) economical systems, many people can not live in the manner they desire because they will never make enough money, for example, to buy a house.

Even if this were true, I?d say it was irrelevant to the issue of freedom, because there?s no law against earning lots of money in those countries. However, IT?S NOT TRUE!!!

Actually, I was referring to the majority of European countries having low percentages of house ownership... there will always be exceptions, such as Italy and the UK. In Germany, for instance, where less than half the population owns a house, living conditions are crowded and land has become so scarce that the prices for houses has skyrocketed. When I was in Germany over the summer, the girl with whom I was staying's father owned a house that cost him half a million euros.

I have strayed from the issue at hand. The reason the economy has such an impact on freedom is because, in essance, money buys freedom. When you have money, you have a means to improve your life. You have the freedom to travel, to buy material objects, and even (though it pains me to say so) to more easily push your personal political agenda. When you have money to buy a house, you buy an escape from the world. In a house, you are your own God. You can grow mushrooms without fear of a janitor stumbling upon them when looking to fix a leak. You can blast your stereo and keep the TV running all night without some disgruntled old lady banging on your floor with a broom. You can hold parties at your house and let your friends trash it without having to worry about your security deposit. Owning your own personal space is one of life's more precious freedoms often overlooked.

Now back to the original topic - How do less restrictive drug laws create an "illusion" of freedom??? If there's a financial difference between our countries, I don't think it's significant and I don't think having slightly less money makes you less free.

We're going in circles here. It could be argued that drugs offer an escape from reality, which means that, rather than face the problems in one's country, one can instead go get high. As long as there are people out there who simply want to "get fucked up," this is a very real possibility.

Think of it this way. If America were to all of the sudden legalize every kind of drug, what would the effect on the population be. I would wager that many people now standing up against the American government would be content and would retreat to their dwellings to enjoy their new freedoms, rather than continue to push for other items on their agendas, whether they be protesting Bush's unconstitutional Homeland Security Act or simply saving the whales.


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: GoBlue!]
    #1152712 - 12/18/02 07:14 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

In reply to:

Even if this were true, I?d say it was irrelevant to the issue of freedom, because there?s no law against earning lots of money in those countries.



If you have a graduated income tax, you in effect are punishing people for earning more money by taking a greater percentage of their income.

In reply to:

So it's actually LESS likely that you'll be able to do the things you want to do in the US, becasue you're MORE likely to be impoverished.



How much of this poverty is a condition of recent immigrants? The U.S. has a VERY HIGH percentage of immigrants, and they are the most likely to be at the lower end of the economic scale. What's more telling is the economic mobility of immigrants in the U.S. as opposed to other countries. I did a search on the word 'immigrant' and could find no references to it in the .pdf of the U.N. report.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineGoBlue!
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Re: Using Drugs to Control a Society [Re: Anonymous]
    #1152735 - 12/18/02 07:25 PM (13 years, 11 months ago)

The reason the economy has such an impact on freedom is because, in essance, money buys freedom.

I agree with that. What I disagree with is that people in Canada and Europe have so little money that their freedom is just an illusion. People there are freer than we are, and I hope we are able to enjoy similar freedoms someday.

If America were to all of the sudden legalize every kind of drug, what would the effect on the population be. I would wager that many people now standing up against the American government would be content and would retreat to their dwellings to enjoy their new freedoms, rather than continue to push for other items on their agendas, whether they be protesting Bush's unconstitutional Homeland Security Act or simply saving the whales.

I would argue that the opposite would be true. If drugs were legalized, then people could worry more about other issues. Besides, we have a ton of drug users in this country. Are drugs currently keeping us ?under control???? I guess if anyone can answer that question, then they?ve solved the riddle that is the topic of this thread.


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:smile:  Just stating my thoughts, not trying to offend  :smile:


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