Yes, I refuse to stoop to facts. Drugs like marijuana and ecstasy are obviously less damaging than alcohol or tobacco. It’s obviously better to treat drug addicts and give them access to healthcare than it is to arrest them. All the scientists that quit government drug think-tanks are reduced to curiosity pieces by the media, and why? Because everybody who’s put any thought into it at all knows that legalisation of all narcotics, and their resulting regulation, is the safest, simplest and most economically sound option available if we really are fighting a “war on drugs”. They’ve tried social experiments of the sort in Portugal that prove it – similarly proving that proof isn’t what’s needed.
The cultural influence of drugs is perhaps where the paranoia of legislation begins. The fear of perceived madness terrifies the traditionalists away from ever taking drugs, whilst the drug experiences of others become influenced by such fears in response. Sex and drugs and rock and roll – physical, chemical releases channelled through morality and vague notions of freedom and liberty. Boiled down to its purest, the historical cultural aversion to legalisation is simply habit. The “fabric of society” that Cameron is unwisely centring his campaign on is essentially this notion of habit in extremis where a change in something like drug law, or anything else really, would pull society apart in a fury of mangled associations and confused anarchy.
There is much philosophical discussion about a possible “fabric of society”. Bion’s pioneering work on group psychology revolves around the certain intra-personal “atmosphere” that group experiences create. However, once the object and the subject become secondary, we find ourselves in the Dionysian field, the Birth of Tragedy that Nietzsche so mystically describes. Indeed, Reich’s three levels of social being and Jung’s theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious, to name some other attempts at dealing with intra-personal atmosphere, are equally mystical in tone. Perhaps this is why Deleuze’s “field of immanence”, which unites this psychological interest with transcendental philosophies from Kant to Spinoza, could never fully work itself out without the aid of academic interpreters.
Yet to stick with Deleuze, the “fabric of society” that exists outside hysterical conservative patriotism could only be described as a socio-economic rhizome. “You have messed with the fabric of the universe!” the main character of Network is told after disrupting a business deal. Indeed, I was hoping, if only out of a nihilistic drive towards interesting narratives, that Cameron would sell himself on a “new conservatism”, an Ayn Rand commodity-fetishism that was dreamed in the 80s but never actualised to the level that it has the potential to become now. “The world is a floating net of change, lines shifting parallels, crackling and bubbling waves of ideas and power that we surf across, devoid of reality…” Was it too much to ask of him?
Either way, at the bottom of all politics is a wilful neglect for the Lacanian notion of phantasy. No politician could admit their ignorance as to what “society” is – that’s why we get Cameron meeting black homosexual firemen in Scotland whose values are mysteriously similar to his own, it is why Brown feels the need to “get real” about spurring on a nuclear apocalypse, it’s why Clegg ends each speech by promising change and hope and all the rest of those meaningless terms. The general election is the panic-buying of politics: everyone knows that there’s no reason to panic, but suspects that others will panic, creating an actual need for you to panic, so you panic secure in the notion that you aren’t really panicking, just being rational about other’s irrationality. Nobody really believes what’s written in the papers, those mindless hordes that do are just your own insecurities projected onto a national scale.
But then what would I know? I certainly couldn’t stop this unfocused rant from careering out of control. I who believe in socialist state support socially with anarchistic libertarianism in law, liberal toleration for beliefs mixed with the atheistic desire to destroy all organised religion, psychogeography and the nonexistence of the Self… at heart I believe in nothing. The world is 10% science, 10% art and 90% joke. So of course I’d support legalisation of drugs, from where I’m sitting it makes perfect sense.