before it kills any more Christian Science heretics
he western world occasionally comes out sparring against Singapore's harsh "drug laws," but they always do so with one hand tied behind their back. Take this March 2022 article from ABC News entitled "Singapore hangs drug trafficker in resumption of executions." The all-too-brief article concerns the recent execution of 68-year-old Abdul Kahar Othman for "drug dealing," a punishment that we're implicitly told is an outrage in the eyes of the west, not because of the "hanging bit," mind you, but because Abdul had a hard life and insufficient opportunities to reform (i.e., to stop using substances of which state authorities disapprove). The article then mentions a mentally disabled Singaporean on death row, Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, who was apparently scheduled to die next for substance heresy, notwithstanding the protests of western groups and leaders, like European Union reps and LSD-friendly Richard Branson. (Spoiler alert: Nagaenthran was indeed executed little more than a month after the above article was published.)
It's no wonder that the west can't get this Asian monster to back down because we are the Frankensteins who created it. Moreover, the US has a long history now of referring to substance dealers as "vermin," so we've got a lot of incongruous backpedaling to do when we start calling for leniency toward Christian Science heretics.
Democratic Rep. Hanley of New York showed the typical left liberal scorn for substance dealers when he asked the Baldwinsville, NY Chamber of Commerce several decades ago:
"How many vermin are infesting our high schools and colleges?"
To which Thomas Szasz importantly responded in the book "Ceremonial Chemistry":
'Rep. Hanley here uses the same metaphor for condemning persons who use or sell illegal drugs that the Nazis used to justify murdering Jews by poisoned gas -- namely that the persecuted persons are not human beings but "vermin."' [See Why the Holocaust Museum must denounce the Drug War]
And so the western opposition is hamstrung because they agree with the Christian Science goal of eradicating "drug use" (as opposed to liquor use or Big Pharma use) -- they just do not want to be embarrassed by draconian enforcement measures which serve to highlight the hypocritical injustice of the tyrannical path which they themselves are otherwise happily following.
Meanwhile, Singapore is where all Western Drug Warriors should want to go when they die, for it's the perfect capitalist nirvana; freedom for corporations and mental control for everyone else. And how is this mental control enforced: by outlawing the kinds of medicines that have inspired entire religions in the past, like opium, psychedelics and the coca plant.
Would our forebears have been comfortable with seeing Thomas Jefferson swinging at the end of a Singaporean noose for growing poppy plants? Neither should we be comfortable today when we see Abdul and Nagaenthran dangling there for a similar "crime."
If we really want to get our message across, we will call for a boycott of Singapore -- either until it ends its Drug War, or, barring that, makes its Drug War an equal opportunity killer, by considering alcohol and Big Pharma meds to be "drugs" as well, thereby consigning beer-swilling and Xanax-popping corporate executives to the same fate as Singapore's mentally challenged poor.
*Christian Science: the religion founded by American Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century, according to which "drugs" were bad, since one should only find peace of mind in Jesus.
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