With all due respect, I think you miss the real significance of raves in your paper posted at academia.edu. Prior to the English government's unscientific demonization of ecstasy following the death of raver Leah Betts in the 1990s, the rave scene was the most peaceful and unifying activity in English history. This is the startling and wonderful thing about the rave scene, not the fact that it represents a variety of what we call leisure. (The incredibly rare death in question was caused by the Drug War itself, which criminalized mere research into criminalized substances, thereby rendering it impossible to create "safe use" guidelines for Ecstasy, and making it impossible to warn dancers like Leah about the need to keep properly hydrated while on the dance floor.)
Here are some direct quotes from DJ's about that incredibly peaceful rave scene -- a peace that authorities not only took for granted but actually tried to discourage with their Criminal Justice Bill of 1994:
• "It was the first time that black-and-white people had integrated on a level... and everybody was one." -- DJ Ray Keith.
• "It was black and white, Asian, Chinese, all up in one building," -- MC GQ.
• "Everyone's loving each other, man, they're not hating." - DJ Mampi Swift.
The problem of the rave scene was not Ecstasy. The problem was a Drug Warrior ethos that holds criminalized substances to standards far beyond the safety expectations of any other substances. Aspirin kills thousands a year and yet there is no cry to criminalize it. Alcohol racks up a daily death toll in Britain and yet there are no billboards attempting to hold alcohol responsible for individual deaths. Yet Drug War mythology says that a criminalized substance can be pilloried and completely dismissed the moment that it has even been RELATED, however indirectly, to one single solitary death. This is Drug Warrior propaganda, however, not science.
The best way for authorities to deal with the rave scene is to stop persecuting it and let it thrive as the incredibly peaceful phenomenon that it is -- or rather it WAS before Drug Warriors held Ecstasy to a hypocritical safety standard that no substance in the world could ever live up to, meanwhile doing everything they could to ban research that could have produced safety guidelines for the drug in question.
So, what has government policy actually accomplished so far with respect to the rave scene? It took the most peaceful crowd phenomenon in British history and turned it into a shooting gallery, turning dancers away from Ecstasy and turning them toward anger-facilitating drugs like alcohol instead.
The best thing that government can do about the rave scene, therefore, is to back off and allow peace, love and understanding to actually exist -- rather than demonizing substances that bring such peace about, in deference to America's unprecedented, ahistorical and anti-scientific war on substances of which racist politicians disapprove.
To approach the rave scene from the point of view of leisure is interesting, perhaps, but in my opinion it turns us away from the 6,000-pound gorilla in the room: the fact that the Drug War demonizes substances rather than teaching us how to use them wisely and safely, and the fact that the Drug Warrior judges people, not by the content of their character but by the contents of their digestive system.
The Links Police
Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, because you still need to read the essay about how the empathogenic drug Ecstasy brought peace, love and understanding to the British rave scene in the 1990s: How Ecstasy could end mass shootings
Buy the Drug War Comic Book by Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans
Sana Collective Group committed to making psychedelic therapy available to all regardless of income.
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. (For proof of that latter charge, check out how the US and UK have criminalized the substances that William James himself told us to study in order to understand reality.) It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions (like the Vedic), Nazifies the English language (referring to folks who emulate drug-loving Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as "scumbags") and militarizes police forces nationwide (resulting in gestapo SWAT teams breaking into houses of peaceable Americans and shouting "GO GO GO!").
(Speaking of Nazification, L.A. Police Chief Daryl Gates thought that drug users should be shot. What a softie! The real hardliners are the William Bennetts of the world who want drug users to be beheaded instead. That will teach them to use time-honored plant medicine of which politicians disapprove! Mary Baker Eddy must be ecstatic in her drug-free heaven, as she looks down and sees this modern inquisition on behalf of the drug-hating principles that she herself maintained. I bet she never dared hope that her religion would become the viciously enforced religion of America, let alone of the entire freakin' world!)
In short, the drug war 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.
PPS Drugs like opium and psychedelics should come with the following warning: "Outlawing of this product may result in inner-city gunfire, civil wars overseas, and rigged elections in which drug warriors win office by throwing minorities in jail."
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
Bache, Christopher "LSD and the Mind of the Universe: Diamonds from Heaven" 2019 Park Street Press