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totalitarianism and the fall of pseudo democracy

Comment 3rd September 2010

We live in a society free of many of the ills that infect the wider world. We are lucky enough, for instance to have a national health service, free debate on religion without fear of reprisals, equal rights for women, freedom of expression and equal relationship rights for homosexuals and so on and so forth. It has not always been so. It was illegal untill 1967 for two people of the same gender to have sexual relations, it was illegal untill 1928 for a woman to vote, untill the British monarchy was relegated to head of state and power transfered to government we lived under the oppressive rule of successive theocratic dictators. I make these points to set the tone of change, to highlight the necessity to make difficult desicions for the benefit of society. With this in mind i now have to ask: why do we insist on prohibition? We have watched it fail and done nothing, we have watched our children criminalised by an experimental and relativley new system of oppression and we do nothing to prevent this breathtaking totalitarianism. I am not going to argue the medical benefits of cannabis or the obvious requirement for a legal stimulant (as opposed to the legal deppressant), nor will i argue the evidential safety of many of the drugs classified as prohibited. I will not make these arguements, partially because they have been made time and again by those better qualified than myself, but largely because the science of it is secondary to the fact that it is a basic human right to do whatever one chooses to his/her own body. Do we legislate on tattoos lest the needle be infected? do we ban boxing or extreme sports to prevent injury or death, after all, are they not just chasing a far more risky high? We in society have a duty to educate, to teach those younger than ourselves to think criticaly and to make our own desicions provided they affect only ourselves. I have seen the argument made that drugs should be illegal because they are illegal (or vice versa), besides being a laughable non-sequitur this is held as esteemed argument by a large majority. This attitude is why i started this piece as i did, there was i time when it was illegal to have homosexual relations simply because someone deemed it wrong, there was a time when it was illegal for a woman to vote because someone felt they knew better. I think for me, i speak for me and i live for me, we exist only once and it is OUR right to experiance life as we see fit provided we harm no one else in the process.      

Why does this matter?

No man has the right to govern another without good reason to do so. To progress as a society we must embrace change.


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