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Materialism and the Drug War

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




May 19, 2022

aterialism is a co-conspirator in America's Drug War, for it teaches us to ignore the obvious benefits of psychoactive drug use -- namely the blessed relief from "self" that it provides -- and urges us instead to look for chemical signs that a drug is actually working. This reductionist bias explains why Forbes magazine could publish an article in June 2021 with the extraordinarily naive title, "Can Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide) Help People With Treatment-Resistant Depression?"

A depressed person would never think to ask such a question. Of course it could help, namely by providing a vacation from destructive self-introspection. Also, the mere anticipation of that periodic vacation would be a mood-boosting godsend. Whether laughing gas would be a panacea for a given condition is another question of course, but scientists have lost all touch with living, breathing humans when they find themselves asking if "laughing gas" could possibly (maybe, just maybe) help the depressed! They have lost all their psychological common sense when they think this way.

I want to turn to them and say: "Look, give me the damn nitrous oxide and you guys continue looking for your angels on the head of a pin! I'm happy if the nitrous oxide merely works for me: I for one don't need it to REALLY work in some reductionist definition of that term."

The blindness of reductionist science would be funny to me, except that this way of thinking works in tandem with the Drug War to prevent folks like myself from accessing godsend medicines. On the one hand, we have the Drug Warrior demonizing godsend substances, chiefly by ignoring everything about them except their negative effects (potential or otherwise). On the other hand, we have the materialist demanding that these substances pass reductionist muster before they can be considered to be effective for fighting depression and improving cerebral functioning in general.

But worst of all, reductionist science has a body count. The search for a "real" cause of depression (a reductionist cause) led to the creation of the most dependency-causing substances in pharmacological history -- the modern anti-depressant -- which 1 in 4 American women must take every day of their life, for the rest of their lives (source: Julie Holland). Moreover, these anti-depressants were never created for long-term use and are now being found to conduce to anhedonia in long-term users, a tendency that I can affirm from personal experience.

So not only has reductionist science failed to help me with my depression, but they have made me an eternal ward of the healthcare state. Far from recognizing this fact, however, the pharmaceutical companies that tout these reductionist "remedies" constantly remind us through their well-paid surrogates that we have a positive DUTY to "take our meds." And so when it comes to demonized meds, you can be denied employment for using them, but when it comes to Big Pharma meds, you can be considered a bad patient if you FAIL to use them.

So let us get this straight: Reductionist science has created the greatest mass chemical dependency in human history, and yet at the same time, they tell me that I cannot use substances like "laughing gas" because they may not work for fighting depression??? Is this the kind of science in which the depressed should be placing their faith, one that suspends them like Tantalus, with a host of medical godsends dangling forever just out of reach of our desperately grasping hands?

So if you're depressed like myself and you expected science to protect you from the substance-demonizing Drug War, think again. Neither the Drug Warrior nor the scientist want you to use effective medicines. They both would much rather have you use addictive medicines whose use benefits Big Pharma and whose efficacy can be supported by pseudo-scientific appeals to reductionist chemistry, this despite the fact that America remains the most depressed country in the world thanks to this very approach to creating and approving psychoactive medicine.

Materialist reductionism, in short, helps give a plausible (if pseudo-scientific) veneer to Big Pharma's attempt to render the world chemically dependent on their grossly ineffective nostrums.

The Links Police


Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, I wanted to give you a heads-up about this related anti-Drug War essay called: Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide



August 29, 2022




Psychiatry's penchant for reductionist medicine is understandable, not just on account of "physics envy" but because the Drug War outlaws all useful medicines wherewith the doctor might have otherwise helped their clients in a non-reductionist manner. So the field makes a virtue of necessity by referring to reductionist cures as "real" cures and holistic cures as "crutches." Thus, if you follow in the footsteps of Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin and show a partiality for opium, you are using a crutch: but if you use a Big Pharma pill that purports (falsely) to fix a chemical imbalance, then you are using a REAL cure.

But if this is so, then God save us from real cures! Like "scientific" Big Pharma meds, for instance, which have rendered 1 in 4 American women dependent upon them for life, while yet conducing to anhedonia in long-term users.

The psychiatric pill mill is not simply made up of bad medicine (as Robert Whitaker has shown), but bad philosophy as well. For if a reductionist says they're going to cure my depression, they must first tell me what they mean by the word "cure." If they mean that their drugs will make me a good consumer who can tolerate "second best" in life, then they have a different definition of "cure" than I do. My definition of cure is self-actualization and the ability to live large. So in the end, the scientific arguments about what SSRIs can (and can't) do are superfluous: we can say before the researchers even enter the laboratory that they can't cure MY depression, for the simple reason that our definitions of the word "cure" do not coincide. But psychiatry is a one-size-fits-all venture these days, and so a client who demands more than the habit-forming status quo is just a troublemaker, someone to be dismissed (ironically enough) as an "addictive personality."

Notice how psychiatry has created a variety of newspeak in an attempt to tacitly promote its philosophically untenable claims: "addictive personality," "crutch," and "real" cure.

I'm an addictive personality if I'm not satisfied with the niggardly offerings of one-size-fits-all psychiatry.

I'm using a crutch if my drug of choice does not work in a materialist reductionist fashion, according to which patients are just interchangeable widgets.

I don't have a "real" pharmacological solution if its efficacy cannot be proven to the satisfaction of materialist reductionists.

By means of this loaded terminology, psychiatry tries to bamboozle clients into "making do" with the shamefully limited options of the drug-war pharmacy, whereas, if the doctors had the patients' interests at heart, they would be in the forefront of a nationwide move to end the Drug War and promote education over incarceration, finally putting an end to the absurd status quo in which politicians lie about psychoactive medicine, falsely claiming that medicines that have inspired entire religions in the past somehow have no positive uses whatsoever for anyone, anywhere in the 21st century.

In this way, the Drug War is not merely an attack on religion, but it is worse: it is an attack on the wellspring and fountainhead of the religious impulse itself, which is no doubt another reason for its popularity among WASP conservatives, who are ready to put the brakes on all competition to Christianity by any means necessary, even at the expense of America's basic principles of natural law and freedom of religion.

Author's Follow-up: January 18, 2023



Materialism is, in turn, aided and abetted by Freudian psychology. Both of these approaches encourage the doctor to ignore obvious outward signs and to search instead for inner issues. So, if I want to use laughing gas to cheer myself up, the materialist will say, "Not so fast, let me see how lab animals respond, chemically speaking, to NO2." Meanwhile, the Freudian says: "No, you are only using laughing gas to repress your attraction to your mother! No NO2 for you!"

So, between the Materialist and the Freudian, psychiatry is completely useless to me. It's worse than useless, for it's liable to put me on tranquilizing meds that are specifically designed NOT to give me any self-transcendence, since living large is unseemly to both materialist and Freudians, who want us to obsess about something which, even if it were a problem, they have shown no real ability to "fix." Meanwhile, the obvious treatments -- of joy-making drugs used responsibly -- are completely off their purblind radars.

In short, both Materialists and Freudians claim to be trying to treat the "real" mental or mood issue -- thereby ignoring the obvious and almost always failing in their stated goal in any case, never finding a life-changing answer -- or doing worse than failing by creating an unprecedented pharmacological dystopia by addicting 25% of adult American females to Big Pharma drugs.




Next essay: Open Letter to Francis Fukuyama
Previous essay: Why CBS 19 should stop supporting the Drug War

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

This is the problem with trusting science to tell us about drugs. Science means reductive materialism, whereas psychoactive drug use is all about mind and the human being as a whole. We need pharmacologically savvy shaman to guide us, not scientists.
Someone tweeted that fears about a Christian Science theocracy are "baseless." Tell that to my uncle who was lobotomized because they outlawed meds that could cheer him up -- tell that to myself, a chronic depressive who could be cheered up in an instant with outlawed meds.
Psychiatrists keep flipping the script. When it became clear that SSRIs caused dependence, instead of apologizing, they told us we need to keep taking our meds. Now they even claim that criticizing SSRIs is wrong. This is anti-intellectual madness.
If politicians wanted to outlaw coffee, a bunch of Kevin Sabets would come forward and start writing books designed to scare us off the drink by cherry-picking negative facts from scientific studies.
Mariani Wine is the real McCoy, with Bolivian coca leaves (tho' not with cocaine, as Wikipedia says). I'll be writing more about my experience with it soon. I was impressed. It's the same drink "on which" HG Wells and Jules Verne wrote their stories.
The DEA rating system is not wrong just because it ranks drugs incorrectly. It's wrong because it ranks drugs at all. All drugs have positive uses. It's absurd to prohibit using them because one demographic might misuse them.
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.
Properly speaking, MDMA has killed no one at all. Prohibitionists were delighted when Leah Betts died because they were sure it was BECAUSE of MDMA/Ecstasy. Whereas it was because of the fact that prohibitionists refuse to teach safe use.
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.
There will always be people who don't use drugs wisely, just as there are car drivers who don't drive wisely, and rock climbers who fall to their death. America needs to grow up and accept this, while ending prohibition and teaching safe use.
More Tweets


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MATERIALISM AND THE DRUG WAR

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Obama's Unscientific BRAIN Initiative
Materialism and the Drug War Part II
How Thomas Nagel Reckons Without the Drug War
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Why Science is the Handmaiden of the Drug War
David Chalmers and the Drug War
The Placebo Effect and Drugs
Why Rick Doblin is Ghosting Me
How Bernardo Kastrup reckons without the drug war
The Pseudoscience of Mental Health Treatment
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Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
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A Quantum of Hubris
Unscientific American: the hypocritical materialism of Elon Musk
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What if Arthur Schopenhauer Had Used DMT?
How Scientific Materialism Keeps Godsend Medicines from the Depressed
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John Locke on Drugs
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You have been reading an article entitled, Materialism and the Drug War published on May 19, 2022 on AbolishTheDEA.com. 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 abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)