An actual speech from an actually imagined meeting of the National Science Foundation
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid there was a bit of a typo in the bulletin for today's science lecture. My speech today is not going to be on, and I quote, "Genetic Variability in Hydrastis Canadensis." (I'm not sure what your secretary was smoking when she came up with that title, since it bears so little resemblance to the actual topic of my proposed animadversions for this morning's session. Humph.)
The actual title of my address today is: "Scientists are Cowards: Yes, I'm talking to you."
And I begin. Ahem.
There is a specter haunting Europe - and the entire free-world for that matter -- the specter of the anti-scientific drug war.
You doubt it? Just hear me out.
Suppose that the Catholic Church had come forth in the last half-century and told you that there were thousands of plants that you scientists were no longer allowed to study, on pain of being ostracized, removed from your job, or perhaps even arrested?
You guys would be up in arms. Especially the rabid atheists among us. Not to mention any names, of course (such as Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris or Michael Ruse or Richard Dawkins). You'd be like: How dare the Church tell science what it can and cannot study?
Enough with the hypocritical applause, folks, because guess what: you scientists DID let an outside force trump the cause of science over the last 50 years - it's just that the force in question was the government, not religion.
The Drug Warriors declared that you must stop studying a wide variety of psychoactive plants (on pain of the aforesaid penalties), and you guys essentially said, in the immortal words of Sergeant Schultz from "Hogan's Heroes": "Jawohl, Herr Kommandant. I know no-think about such plants, I say no-think about such plants!"
QED: You scientists are cowards. End of discussion.
You failed to push back and declare science off-limits to political manipulation. Not only did you thereby do a disservice to science, setting a fascist precedent for ages to come, but you thereby also consigned millions of depressed mortals to decades of unnecessary psychological suffering, suffering that could have been so profoundly alleviated by the advised introduction of psychedelic therapy, using all those psychoactive plants that the government had ordered you to ignore.
Hey, what can I say, folks: tell the truth and shame the devil, right?
Oh, nice. Now you're sending up your security guards to force me off stage? For shame. "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty security guard!"
Leave go! I'm almost finished!
The good news is, you scientists can make up for this pusillanimous oversight by belatedly standing up to government today, through the many scientific organizations here in the States and abroad, and declaring the obvious: that science must be free and that government must revoke all the disincentives that they have put in place in order to keep Americans from acquiring a dispassionate understanding of psychoactive plants.
Do it for science - and for the psychologically suffering around the globe.
It's time for a new Magna Carta, one that puts government in its place with respect to science!
All right, all right, I'm leaving, Tarzan!
What kills me is, the atheists among you write whole books about the dangers of the Church interfering with scientific investigation, a merely hypothetical -- if not absolutely paranoid -- concern, but they never say anything -- not one word -- about the subjugation that is taking place right in front of them even as we speak: the subjugation of scientific investigation to the political demands of the drug war.
You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at abolishthedea.com. Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.
A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.
The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.
It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)
If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.
PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley. Oh, and did I mention that most Drug Warriors these days would never get elected were it not for the Drug War itself, which threw hundreds of thousands of their political opposition in jail? Trump was right for the wrong reasons: elections are being stolen in America, but the number-one example of that fact is his own narrow victory in 2016, which could never have happened without the existence of laws that were specifically written to keep Blacks and minorities from voting. The Drug War, in short, is a cancer on the body politic.
Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
Andrew, Christopher "The Secret World: A History of Intelligence" 2019 Yale University Press
Aurelius, Marcus "Meditations" 2021 East India Publishing Company