Four years after the Bush-Obama bailouts were initiated, with candidates McCain and Obama stumbling over each other to "save the economy," the greed fiends are still getting their fix at the public's expense. In the language of the "addictions industry," that makes us all enablers. I propose a combination of both "tough-love" and more modern and humane harm-reduction based treatments to help them deal with their addiction.
Novelist William S. Burroughs, in his pioneering experimental novel Naked Lunch, correctly identified "control addicts," as opposed to mere drug addicts, as the true enemies of humanity. (1)
Burroughs: "You see, control can never be a means to any practical end - it can never be a means to anything but more control-like junk." (2)
This principle may be observed in the actions of the elite, who will do literally anything, including building and detonating weapons of mass destruction, with the intent of annihilating all life in any area they deem necessary, to remain in control. Those addicted to this most deadly and soul-killing of drugs, victimize the the defenseless population, keeping them under control while robbing them of everything that can be taken from a living human being. A drug addict may take money and property, and in some rare instances take a life with a single impulsive action.
Control addicts rob the victim of control; of time, of choice, and of energy (or in Reichian terms, "orgones" ), of their entire existence as a self determined being, leaving behind a robotic, insect-like shell repeating motions in a state of chronic exhaustion and mental debilitation.
We can see near the very top of the control "food chain" those we refer to as "world leaders," and even higher up, the less readily visible elite to whom they answer. "Leaders" may use ideologically or religiously based rhetoric to justify their continuously escalating control habits, or may invoke the "security" of the subordinate classes (the controlled), however the parasitic/predatory elite poses the greatest threat to the "secured" populace.
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The effects of their actions can be felt on a daily basis be everyone who actually must participate in the exchange of labor and time for capital. Whatever is given, by the institutions of state and capital, is systematically taken back, with interest. Just observing the rush hour traffic on the freeways of any major metropolitan area will give you a glimpse of pure control, in action. Numb raw slave despair in the faces of the drivers in a daily rolling death lottery is what is left behind, to the obvious satisfaction of the smirking and sneering corporate and governmental controllers. These are the signs of a massive systems dysfunction, in which the energy of life is drained to feed the machinery of death. The ability of "the 1%" to control property, capital, and living beings, is absolutely dependent on control, whether by enticement with shiny rewards for the more comfortably oppressed, or pure economic coercion, the threat of hunger, homelessness, prison and slave labor for those unwilling or unable to accept sub-subsistence wages.
Addictions to money, power, gambling and greed, in my opinion, all fall into the larger category of control addiction. Right now, we are watching as control addicts, having blown all their own money and a whole lot of other people's feeding their habit, are allowed to remain in control .(For the record I don't think that a Republican administration would be doing anything differently with regard to corporate welfare; Bush started it, Obama just picked up where he left off).
How did we become a nation of enablers to a bunch of no good junkies with very expensive habits? As a libertarian, I believe that people who get off on greed and power have the right to pursue happiness through these vices, as long as they are playing the game with fully consenting and knowledgeable partners. When the game turns predatory and parasitic, all claims of "voluntary behavior in a "free market' are rendered null and void. It is the same as my right to have sex with hookers or grow marijuana and opium poppies for my own use (er,....not that I would ever do things like that); or even sell the products of my gardening, or my own body for that matter (not that anyone would pay, I was barely worth 20.00 twenty years ago). As long as I don't rob anyone, my "crimes" remain victimless. However, some addicts can be annoying and you are not obligated to help them feed their habits. You can demand that they change their ways or leave your life.
Drug addicts who support their habits merely through low level dealing to experienced users, or by prostitution should not end up in jail. Leave them alone and they probably won't bother you.
Control Addicts are another story; they cannot, it seems, feed their habits except by predatory and parasitic practices. Financial practices involving large amounts of electronic currency might best be regarded as a form of casino gambling, and can only be regarded as a "victimless crime," if those involved are restricted to the use of their own funds, with no recourse to public assistance when they hit a losing streak. Society is not obligated to help such individuals, nor does necessarily it have the right to persecute them.
Municipalities can decide for themselves whether such things may go on, and where, on the basis of zoning laws and licensing as with liquor and porno stores. It is perfectly reasonable not to want to these things going on near where you are raising your children. It's a question of individuals taking responsibility for their own lives and communities, rather than expecting the government to function as some kind of monstrous public babysitter for adults, which libertarian author David Harsanyi and others have called "The Nanny State."
But why do control addicts get a free ride? Why are we, in the language of the addiction industry's family systems theory, enabling them? They are at least as annoying as crackheads, and not the kind of people I want around my children either. Their actions harmed people who were able to steer clear of the local heroin and crack corner without thinking twice about it, yet ended up losing their modest and honestly gained wealth to junkies anyway!
It would have been less expensive to just send all the control addicts to rehab. But somehow, the control addicts and greed-fiends have manipulated their prime enablers and co-dependents, who are also fellow addicts, into supporting their habits. At this point I don't care about their addictions, they have the right to be addicted; I'm just sick of seeing them on TV, and hearing about their ongoing con games. Even in the lowest depths of drug addled depravity I never came close to that caliber of hustling! I used to think I was a "player," but these people put even the most accomplished in the dope world to shame.
As they say, if you play the game, you can't complain when the game plays you. You play, you pay. There may come a day when even your best friend or your own mother has lost all patience with you. At that point, if you want to keep a binge going, you have to hit those streets and have some kind of hustle, just like everyone else.
Why don't these rules seem to apply to the control addicts? Make them experience the sordid consequences of their addictions. Let them "hit bottom." If they are out of money, they can always turn to prostitution. Let them get a taste of what they've been doing to everyone else. I'm not without compassion though. I don't want them to get HIV or other STDs. I even think giving them free condoms is reasonable. Let them know that society still cares, and when they are ready to change, they will ask for help. This is what is known as "harm reduction," and initial studies indicate that it is a cost-effective approach. Along with free condoms, they give out free needles in some places; this is also a cost-effective public health policy, although some may object to this practice on moral grounds. Resources for food and shelter are also made available to addicted populations. Perhaps Parker Brothers could donate some Monopoly games to the down and out executives.
But no one is giving out free cocaine and heroin ! They don't even hand out free methadone anymore. Why the #&%@ are they giving out free money?! Where can I get some? I promise, I won't spend it on drugs.
Notes/Reference (1)From Naked Lunch page 21: "I deplore brutality," [Dr. Benway] said. "It's not efficient. On the other hand, prolonged mistreatment, short of physical violence, gives rise, when skillfully applied, to anxiety and a feeling of special guilt, A few rules or rather guiding principles are to be borne in mind. The subject must not realize that the mistreatment is a deliberate attack of an anti-human enemy on his personal identity...The naked need of the control addicts must be decently covered by an arbitrary and intricate bureaucracy so that the subject cannot contact his enemy direct." (William S. Burroughs, Copyright 1959, Grove Press New York NY)(emphases mine)
(2)From "Dead Fingers Talk," London, W.H. Allen CO, 1977, p21