bird icon for twitter

Chomsky's Revenge

how ending the drug war will help reset America's moral compass

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 27, 2022

n chapter 7 of "Who Rules the World?", Noam Chomsky shows how the Magna Carta is being rejected today by Americans thanks to the war on terror.

In 2011, President Obama targeted an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, for assassination, without the pretense of due process, but rather merely based on a "determination" made in the Oval Office. So much for habeas corpus. No wonder the US can't plausibly chastise Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines for killing "drug users": if we can kill an American citizen based on White House discussions, why can't Rodrigo kill his own people after a quick strategy huddle in the MalacaƱang Palace? Chomsky goes on to show how free trade agreements are further eroding the Magna Carta by giving fabulously wealthy corporations the right to sue foreign countries which are attempting to protect their own natural resources. Pacific Rim was a Canadian company but they incorporated in the US in order to acquire "rights" under the Central American Free Trade Agreement-- the right, that is, to sue El Salvador over its attempts to prevent environmental damage to its own countryside. So much for the Magna Carta's "charter of the forest," which insisted that the commons was for the benefit of the public at large, not for private industry.

El Salvador won the lengthy court case in 2017, but during this same time, the Congo was experiencing the bloodiest conflict since World War II, with over 5.4 million killed and raped, a conflict financed by the combatants' sale of mining rights to the western companies that make our cell phones. This is another symptom of the decline of Magna Carta, the very fact that corporations can ignore their moral culpability in the public commons under the theory that they are simply following the dictates of the market, which seems to be a kind of modern-day Nuremberg Defense. The Nazis were just following orders, the corporations are just following market dictates. If corporations are "people" as the 1% would have it, then surely they should be required to have a conscience. If I, as an American freelancer, could somehow double my profits by providing my services to probable rapists and murderers, I would hopefully have the moral backbone to decline that chance for a windfall, rather than simply insisting on my a priori need to follow market dictates. Or is it America's Manifest Destiny to have cell phones, regardless of how many deaths this entails?

Considerations like these cause Chomsky to conclude that: "If the [Magna Carta's] fall from grace continues on this path over the next few years, the future of rights and liberties looks dim."

But there is hope. There is a way to combat this sense that government and corporations can be free to act amorally, as long as they seem to cater to the needs of the moment, or the decade (even if many of those needs are manufactured by Wall Street).

The hope lies in drug use: namely, the strategic use of those godsend medicines that have inspired entire religions: coca, opium, psychedelics, (and perhaps hundreds of other psychoactive medicines which the government has mysteriously declared a priori to have no rational uses whatsoever, not now, not ever, not anywhere). By using drugs that expand our mind's ability to see the world in new ways, we are (to some extent) inoculated against the self-interested lies of Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. Seen in this light, it is little wonder that the Drug War has such staying power, for the use of mind-expanding drugs can help us see behind the curtain where the pint-sized Wizard is frantically pulling the levers of his propaganda machine.

Even those drug users who lack the background education to see through this mist of lies will at last be able to FEEL that there's something wrong with American policy. What Ecstasy user, glorying in the oneness of the world, is going to "sign off" on state-ordered assassinations or the acquisition of high-tech minerals from mines controlled by mass rapists and mass murderers?

We are at a turning point now in America: on the one hand, you have states like Oregon, which have decriminalized all drugs -- on the other hand, you have the Trumps of the world, who can't wait for the next election so that they can start executing "drug dealers."

Talk about a house divided against itself.

America is both Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to the politically created boogieman called "drugs."

Assuming that Jekyll wins, however, there is hope that the advised use of entheogens and empathogens will reset America's moral compass, which has gone haywire in proportion as Americans have renounced their belief in the moral touchstone that they once referred to as God. Indeed, the regular use by the American people of substances that "bring us all together" cannot help but conduce to a moral rebirth, one in which we feel compelled to reaffirm the hard-earned rights of the individual that are being so glibly usurped today by both government and big business.

You shot, you scored, dude. I would just add that, when Brian refers to ending the Drug War, he is referring to the legalization (or rather re-legalization) of all psychoactive substances, since it's been so palpably proven over the last 100+ years that the criminalization of the same leads to inner-city deaths, civil wars overseas, the sale of super-addictive drugs, the pharmacological ignorance of the user, the creation of heavily armed cartels and gangs, etc, while giving America cover to intervene in South America at will, not to save it from drugs, of course, but to save it from any social system that does not countenance unbridled capitalism.

Say what you will about the motives for the Drug War (which were clearly both consciously and unconsciously racist), but that war has done far worse than fail. It is not even a Pyrrhic victory, but rather a Pyrrhic failure. It was a war that caused all of the problems that it purported to solve, and then some.

The Links Police

That's it, pull over to the side of the Web page. No, put your driver's license back in your wallet. I just stopped you to remind you that Brian is not a Chomsky head. Brian's only now rummaging through the octogenarian pundit's musings and he (Brian) will let you know when he finds something that doesn't comport with reason. That said, let's remember why Brian "went there" in the first place, why he started reading Chomsky after a lifetime of assuming that the guy was beyond the pale. He did so because the Drug War has convinced him that the entire world can be profoundly wrong on major issues -- and if the mainstream American view is so deeply flawed when it comes to "drugs," Brian had to ask himself, "what other seemingly common sense views in America do not actually stand up to rigorous philosophical analysis?"

Oh, and your left rear tail light is out as well.

Chomsky's Revenge
Chomsky is Right

Next essay: The Unpeople of Southeast Washington, D.C.
Previous essay: Boycott Singapore

More Essays Here

Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

Prohibition is a crime against humanity. It forces us to use shock therapy on the severely depressed since we've outlawed all viable alternatives. It denies medicines that could combat Alzheimer's and/or render it psychologically bearable.
In a sane world, we'd package laughing gas for safe use and give it to the suicidal -- saying, "Use before attempting to kill yourself." But drug warriors would rather have suicide than drug use.
Of course, prohibitionists will immediately remind me that we're all children when it comes to drugs, and can never -- but never -- use them wisely. That's like saying that we could never ride horses wisely. Or mountain climb. Or skateboard.
The benefits of entheogens read like the ultimate wish-list for psychiatrists. It's a shame that so many of them are still mounting a rear guard action to defend their psychiatric pill mill -- which demoralizes clients by turning them into lifetime patients.
"Can I use poppies, coca, laughing gas, MDMA?" "NO," says the materialist, "We must be SCIENTIFIC! We must fry your brain and give you a lobotomy and make you a patient for life with the psychiatric pill mill! That's true SCIENCE!"
Until we legalize ALL psychoactive drugs, there will be no such thing as an addiction expert. In the meantime, it's insulting to be told by neuroscience that I'm an addictive type. It's pathologizing my just indignation at psychiatry's niggardly pharmacopoeia.
It's an enigma: If I beat my depression by smoking opium nightly, I am a drug scumbag subject to immediate arrest. But if I do NOT "take my meds" every day of my life, I am a bad patient.
Today's war against drug users is like Elizabeth I's war against Catholics. Both are religious crackdowns. For today's oppressors, the true faith (i.e., the moral way to live) is according to the drug-hating religion of Christian Science.
It's always wrong to demonize drugs in the abstract. That's anti-scientific. It begs so many questions and leaves suffering pain patients (and others) high and dry. No substance is bad in and of itself.
Prohibitionists have blood on their hands. People do not naturally die in the tens of thousands from opioid use, notwithstanding the lies of 19th-century missionaries in China. It takes bad drug policy to accomplish that.
More Tweets

essays about

Chomsky is Right
Noam Chomsky on Drugs

front cover of Drug War Comic Book

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans

You have been reading an article entitled, Chomsky's Revenge: how ending the drug war will help reset America's moral compass, published on July 27, 2022 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)