Political Tribalism Sustains Cannabis Prohibition and Is Destroying the Fabric of America
For those of you who read my work, you may have picked up on the fact that I’m more of an anarchist than anything else. Now, I’d like to clarify that “Anarchy” portrayed in the mainstream is very different than the principles of anarchy.
In essence, the idea behind anarchy is simple;
Anarchy is a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. It may also refer to a society or group of people that entirely rejects a set hierarchy. Anarchy was first used in English in 1539, meaning “an absence of government”. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted anarchy and anarchist in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to anarchism, a new political philosophy and social movement that advocates stateless societies based on free and voluntary associations. Anarchists seek a system based on the abolition of all coercive hierarchy, in particular the state, and many advocate for the creation of a system of direct democracy and worker cooperatives. – (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Of course, this for many people seem like an idealist scenario and potentially the closest thing we have in practice today is called “Libertarianism”. But Anarchy in a nutshell is a society where people (aka the individual) is completely equal in rights.
This isn’t the “Lawlessness” that we see portrayed in the mainstream. Whenever we see protests like Black Live Matters deteriorate into violence…the mainstream calls it “anarchy”. Yet this isn’t really what anarchy represents.
As the definition states, “it’s about abolishing the coercive hierarchy, in particular the state, and creating a system of direct democracy and worker cooperatives”. Not Mob-Rule and violence.
Of course, those who subscribe to the idea of being “governed” or “ruled” would argue that without the presence of government, all anarchist societies would collapse into violence and lawlessness.
However, this isn’t necessarily true. One of the more “modern” versions of Anarchy is currently in existence in Denmark called “Christiania”.
Created in 1971, Freetown Christiania is one the few anarchist communities on this list that is still active. Remarkably, it has managed to remain mostly autonomous for over 40 years. The town was founded by squatters in Copenhagen, Denmark, in an abandoned military area. They promptly claimed the area and declared it a free city. As a result of this status, the squatters currently living there do not have to pay taxes and are able to sell marijuana openly.
Christiania always has had an anarchist, communal spirit. As such, the community discourages private property, including forbidding its citizens to own private cars, while at the same time having basic bylaws that prevent violence and crime (such as prohibiting guns and violence).
In 2012, when the government offered to sell the occupied government land to the residents, the residents took the deal. They bought the land by setting up a foundation which ensured that the land would be owned by the community.
Even in the US there are a few places that are currently “ungoverned” where truly free people live such as the “Twin Oaks Community” in Virginia. None of these places have “collapsed” and turned violent mainly because the people who live there are principled and understand that in order for a free society to truly work – one must respect the life of another.
While I’m not trying to convince anyone that anarchy is the best way forward – there is something to be said about centralized powers and how they tend to massacre people. This has been the case for every modern civilization and it typically happens when factions within this central authority begin to clash and cease to embrace the underlying principles of their system.
The United States Political Class Tearing Everyone Apart!
These days, the polar opposites of the “Left vs. the Right” are on full display. Whatever the “Left” suggests, the “Right” automatically considers either “socialist” or “woke” or whatever trendy word they utilize to discourage the ideas – even if the ideas are good. Similarly, any idea coming from the “Right” are automatically regarded as “racist” or even “fascist” despite the ideas being “good”.
But when it comes to something that we all can agree on – such as the legality of cannabis – the Left and the Right generally agree.
You see, the vast majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis and have been for years. The United States was the first country to tear apart the notion of cannabis prohibition in the late 1990s. States like California, Oregon, Washington, etc – all decriminalized cannabis for medical purposes and as time passed, more states began to legalize.
Yet Federally, the issue has been deadlocked. The Left wants to legalize providing “equity licensing” and other “social justice issues” whereas the Right wishes to legalize for money and creating a capitalist system that would typically benefit the few mega corporations.
However, due to the tribal nature of modern politics, none of the two sides have come to an agreement despite the fact that the Super Majority of Americans want it legal. Yet, one could argue that Big Pharma, Prison & Police Unions also have played a significant role in maintaining prohibition since it’s an incredibly powerful revenue stream and a weapon against the people.
Even beyond cannabis prohibition (and drug prohibition in general) – this LEFT/RIGHT divide is creating an environment where some Americans are thinking that a civil war is imminent.
The first civil war was fought over slavery and the likes, but could it be that the second one is fought over pronouns and free speech? Let’s hope not!
One thing is certain, politicians on both the Right and the Left are stoking the fires of division to pander to their tribes. This is probably most evident at the speeches of Trump and Biden who both blame the “other” as being the “Greatest Threat to the Nation” when in reality it is they themselves that are the greatest threats to society.
They are the ones who are polarizing the world more and if they don’t stop – a civil war could happen.
Are the two parties truly that different?
When you look at surface level of the political spectrum, you’d think that the Left and the Right are polar opposites – and in a way they are. However, just like a magnet, the opposite poles are still part of the “same machine”. The Left and the Right are merely two sides of the same coin.
When you look at things like Drug Prohibition, War, and Money – these two opposite sides seem to be more alike than they would like to admit.
It’s both the Left and the Right that accept insane amounts of “donation money” from Big Pharma. It’s both the Left and the Right that voted on removing your bodily autonomy during the Covid-19 Pandemic. It’s both the Left and the Right that send money to far off lands to wage war and fuel the private coffers of private defense contractors.
When it comes to the things that really matter, it seems that the Left and the Right is a perfectly in sync with one objective – favoring their own class (the political class).
There’s a revolving door between Wall street and top government positions as was pointed out by Russel Brand recently on his Youtube channel. But this is nothing new, there are reports dating back to 2011 and earlier that has shone a light on this phenomena as was studied by the International Monetary Fund after the financial collapse in 2008.
To go beyond anecdotes and systematically study how much lobbying and campaign contributions affected U.S. financial legislation in the years preceding the crisis, we developed a new data set of U.S. financial companies’ politically targeted activities during 1999–2006 (Igan and Mishra, forthcoming). We found that lobbying expenditures by the U.S. financial industry were directly associated with how legislators voted on key bills in the years before the crisis—and that bills proposing regulation that the industry considered unfavorable were far less likely to pass than bills proposing financial deregulation.
Even more recently, we had the President of the United States yell on the pulpit, “We Beat Pharma!” as he received the most money from Big Pharma than any other candidate during the 2020 Presidential Campaign as was reported by OpenSecrets.Org
As you can see that this chart features mostly Democrats – so claiming we “beat Pharma” is kind of disingenuous, especially since they financed most of the people on the Left. But the Right is also guilty.
The pharmaceuticals and health products industry has donated more than $5.9 million to Biden’s presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org, a site run by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political donations.
President Donald Trump has garnered less than $1.5 million in donations from the industry, based upon FEC figures up to September 21. This stark contrast may be explained by the widespread criticism of Trump’s approach to drug pricing.
This brings us to the major problem of the Left vs Right narrative – there is no Left vs Right. Juvenal, a famous Roman poet once said…
… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses
Juvenal – Satire X
Twitter has become the place where the people can feel like they are doing “something” when all they are doing is playing around and watching the political circus unfold.
But what can be done?
Breaking the 2-Party System and becoming more Centrist!
My solution is to simply do away with it all, break into micro communities and live the anarchist life style. But I also am not naïve in believing that most people can survive under this scheme. This should definitely be an option for people, to “opt out” of citizenship of a particular country. This is what true freedom would look like and not to be forced to be of a country simply because you are born in that.
However, one thing is clear – we need to abandon the dichotomous approach to politics. The extreme left and the far right are both toxic to society, removing all nuance from the equation and tribalizing the world.
The only way forward is to replace the left vs right dogma and begin to work from a more centrist perspective. We live in a society where there are many different ideologies operating simultaneously – and this is okay.
But if you are blindly following one or the other and forfeit your ability to think critically – you become a part of the problem.
While this November is too late to do much about the state of political dichotomy, my hopes is that independent parties become involved in local government. We need new political parties, new philosophy, new faces in the system to remove the money and to “clean the swamp” as Trump promised (while he swampified it some more).
You’ve all been duped! You think that your party is better? The mere fact that drug prohibition has gone on for so long, that you can jump for joy at empty words like “pardoning all simple possession federal convictions” that released absolutely no one from prison – is the problem!
My fellow free thinking individuals – it’s time to GROW THE FUCK UP and to stop playing the games of politicians. You want weed legalized? You want to be able to exercise the medical termination of fetuses? You want to be gay, bi or gender fluid? You’re not going to get equal rights as long as you’re locked in this polarized game of shitfuckery!
Abandon your poles and come back to the center, there is no black and white – only shades of grey! And if you’re really feeling a bit adventurous – why not read up a bit on what a true Anarchist Society would look like…and let’s build a future without coercion, without centrally focused power designed to oppress the masses.
It’s time to wake up!
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