An open letter to Bryan Walsh, author of End Times
In End Times, science reporter Bryan Walsh never mentions the Drug War's role in keeping us from using empathogens, drugs that can help bring human beings together.
Dear Mr. Walsh,
I enjoyed your book on End Times, however I believe you omitted to mention the single best hope that humanity has for avoiding nuclear or biological Armageddon in the first place, and that is to make our species more loving with the help of psychoactive medicines that we call empathogens - i.e., substances that help the user feel compassion and love for their fellow human being. Before we go tweaking the human genome a la your Oxford philosopher to favor empathy (or implanting neuro robots in our brain a la Elon Musk to make us behave civilly) we should first consider the much simpler and more obvious expedient of ending the anti-scientific Drug War, which teaches us to fear and hate psychoactive substances rather than to learn how to use them safely for the profit of humanity at large.
There are two empathogens in particular that have demonstrated their ability to change minds for the better thus far in the 21st century. These are psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA, aka Ecstasy. With regard to the former empathogen, more than half of those who used shroom medicine in Roland Griffiths studies called it one of the most important experiences of their lives. With regard to the latter empathogen, Ecstasy brought unprecedented peace and love to the British dance floor in the 1990s. Here are some comments from DJs of that time as recorded in the documentary One Nation by concert organizer Terry "Turbo" Stone:
"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.
Imagine if the use of E were actually encouraged in society -- and actually required by those who have been diagnosed as hot heads and loose cannons, like potential school shooters and curmudgeonly political leaders with their fingers on the nuclear trigger.
Of course we assume that governments want peace, love and understanding like this, but not so, Bryan. The British preferred to have a Drug War. And so they cracked down on "E," merely because of a few deaths that were caused, not by E, but by a lack of "safe use" info about E that was a natural result of a government policy of demonizing substances rather than teaching about them. And so the unprecedentedly peaceful dance floor became ultra-violent overnight, as dancers switched from Ecstasy to anger-facilitating alcohol, and concert promoters had to hire special forces troops to keep the peace. Another "victory" for America's war on drugs.
Like all nonfiction authors these days, you write as if the Drug War is an issue unto itself, without any relation to other crucial topics like human survival. But a drug-war society does not provide a natural baseline for scientific reporting. It is rather an anti-scientific society in which we are obliged to completely ignore the power of psychoactive medicine to make positive differences in the lives of humans or humanity, whether we're writing about depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, or the threat of nuclear annihilation caused by hot-headed human beings.
In short, in my opinion, America has got to decide: which do we prefer? fighting a Drug War or avoiding nuclear annihilation?
So far, the evidence is that we'd prefer nuclear annihilation.
Shortly after the Rogue Star incident that almost blew up Pearl Harbor with a nuclear bomb, Nixon launched a Drug War to combat just the sort of peace-making medicines as those mentioned above
Shortly after the Damascus incident nearly blew up Arkansas, Reagan cracked down again on psychoactive medicines, urging kids to turn in their parents should they partake.
Americans, in short, behave like arch Christian Scientists: they would much rather hate their fellows -- than to love them thanks to the use of a "drug."
PS I hope you will do your part as a science author to spread the word that the Drug War is censoring your work, by discouraging and otherwise prohibiting the research of certain psychoactive substances. Galileo realized he was censored by the Church. I think it's long past time for scientists to admit that they're being censored by the Drug War.
The Links Police
Do you know why I stopped you? That's right, because the Drug War's turned me into a noxious busybody. That and the fact that I have some more links on the subject of overlooked drug benefits in the days 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