March 23, 2009

A Final Thought on Legalization

Apparently I jumped to conclusions in assuming that Mr. McLaren’s initial post on the drug war was an argument against legalization.  In this follow up blog he seems to suggest otherwise and I take him at his word.

Unfortunately, that leaves me even more puzzled by his “second thoughts” than I was when I first read them.

It seems to me that arguments about the dangers of repealing drug laws due to the problems inherit in our current political climate are by their nature de facto arguments for a status quo position on the drug war. While this may not be a “retreat” as I claimed earlier, it certainly strikes me as abandonment of an issue that resonates with a broad portion of the American youth.  If Evan is not advocating for a “stand put and wait” position on the issue, I’d like to know what exactly the purpose of his post was.

While McLaren is certainly correct to note that drastic changes of this ilk are not going to “occur in a vacuum” and the “theraputic state” is likely to get involved, it is unclear to me how this could not be said for every other issue under the sun.

To take one example, managed trade deals like NAFTA are opposed by almost every person on the Alternative Right.  Though the reasons for this differ dramatically from person-to-person, pulling out of these arrangments is something that is met with near universal acceptance among members of the paleo/trad/libertarian coalition. 

Having said that, under current political conditions, it seems likely to me that a repeal of these treaties and pacts would almost definitely lead to something worse.  While it is impossible to know for sure, some sort of protectionist policy that antagonizes trade partners, while failing to even address the needs of displaced American workers, seems like just the sort of scheme that the Power Elite would cook up.  Buchananites and Rothbardians alike would immediately denounce it and we’d be back to square one.

So does that mean we shouldn’t engage in political action of any sort?  No.  It means you attack the system wherever it is vulnerable and do what you can to chip away at the managerial state.  If you are lucky you can do this by galvanizing a base of young people, around an issue that appeals to them directly.  Drug legalization is clearly such an issue.

As an opponent of militarized police forces, mass immigration, and the American Empire, my reasons for opposing the drug war go far beyond a mere willingness to allow hedonism to have its day.  And while the traditional may be going extinct in part because of the State, that hardly seems like a solid reason to leave it’s powers – and wars – unopposed.

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