Drugs and Commerce: A HistoryWritten by David F. Duncan
In his book, Forces of Habit: Drugs and Making of Modern World, David Courtwright, Professor of History at University of North Florida, tells "the story of psychoactive commerce." It is Courtwright's theme that psychoactive drugs - both legal and illegal - are commodities, like bread or cloth. They are manufactured, packaged, distributed, marketed and used much like any other commodity. They go in and out of public favor and new and improved products are constantly being introduced. Throughout human history, governments had generally treated drugs like any other commodities. Prior to Twentieth Century opium, coca, and cannabis were all legally available in form of patent medicines that were widely and casualty used in both United States and Britain.
Courtwright divides his book into three sections, with some overlap in content between sections. The first (titled "The Confluence of Psychoactive Resources") describes way drugs, having originally been geographically confined, entered stream of global commerce. He compares history of drugs to history of infectious diseases in that travel and transport were variables that influenced spread of both. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine (the "big three") and opium, cannabis, and coca ("the little three") all owed their success, he claims, to expansion of oceangoing commerce.
In second section ("Drugs and Commerce") Courtwright takes up issue of drugs as medical and recreational products. Section three ("Drugs and Power") discusses pressures and developments that influenced governments to discard centuries old policy of a taxed, legal drug commerce in favor of restriction and, in some cases, even prohibition. Not surprisingly, he concludes that this happened "because it served interests of wealthy and powerful," but he seems to largely overlook important role that racism played in motivating prohibition.
Disincorporate And DecentralizeWritten by Ed Howes
Disincorporate And Decentralize
If it seems that big government and big business are in bed together it is only because they are - father and child. Government defines a corporation as an artificial person. Amen! What if we chose not to do business with artificial persons and traded only with real people? Incorporation is a privilege sold to business by governments. The business receives limited liability, which is to say, limited responsibility. As we have recently seen, a corporation can make fortunes for its operators while stealing from everyone else. The owners are safe from prosecution because they have a government immunity privilege they may have paid millions for, over years, paid by taxes collected for their creators.
They are tentacles of government octopus and major tax collectors. That creators would bend over backwards to help and protect them is a matter of self preservation and public record. Outlaw incorporation or irresponsibility and father/child incest comes to an end. So does whole industry of corporate law. Don't you just love it when a single solution solves many problems? What would things cost if lawyers didn't get a cut of everything?
Easier said than done, huh? Government wants it. Business wants it. Who doesn't? Only those who are tired of rip offs, poisonings, degraded environment, social repression and all negative isms, bald faced self interests have created. Protesters are a minority and we all know this is "democracy" where majority rules. Why, if it was not for government and corporations, we would have no jobs and we would all die. Other paid work is just not reliable enough for us. It makes us insecure. We live for paydays. Aaah, there is rub.
We enter corporate world by pledge and agreement. We give up our natural rights for corporate society, corporate life. We become bedrock support for system and rarely know difference, as we protest materialism, which cannot exist without our tacit approval and us. When we protest deeds of power and influence, we protest because it is not ours also. We are excluded from table. A two sided triangle with only people missing. It just isn't fair and we hate things when they aren't fair. Don't ask me to fix it. I've got a job, a family and no time for politics. The whole thing can wait for someone who does, and wait and wait.
When professional lawmakers and bureaucrats run government, workers are not going to change laws in any meaningful way. Their only real option is to withdraw support from corporate world and create a non-corporate life. This is decentralization of power and government. It occurs proportionately to withdrawal of support. If you support that which you despise, you are just another hypocrite. Shut up and do your job, which is your duty. Spend all your money on what you are told. That is your corporate duty too, Ms. Consumer. Let us compete with each other for corporate favor and privilege, as we have been taught so many years. Let us do nothing for ourselves for which we can somehow hire professionals. Let us not govern ourselves. Let us pay someone to govern us. Let us not heal our illnesses, let us hire medicine men. Let us not grow our own food, make our own clothes, build our own homes.