Re: Opium [was: Re: freelance sysadmining -- superlong -- [WAS: "Red Hat recommends Windows for consumers"]]
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 15:15:18 -0800
Tom <email@example.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 01:18:34PM -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 04:04:57PM -0500, ScruLoose wrote:
> > > On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 11:36:29AM -0800, Tom wrote:
> > > > On Thu, Nov 13, 2003 at 03:35:39PM +0100, Benedict Verheyen
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > I have mixed feelings. One the one hand, I read about China's
> > > > opium wars in the 1800s, and see a failed people resulting from
> > > > "legalizing it." On the other hand, I see a drug which causes
> > > > people to fight, crash their cars, and beat their kids (alcohol)
> > > > completely normalized.
> > Not to be too much of a nit, but China's opium problems, and the
> > Opium Wars, were mostly courtesey of the British, who were the
> > pushers, dealers, and instigators of the whole affair, including the
> > various skirmishes and battles. The situation back then was quite
> > far from'legalizing it', and was much closer to the way drugs move
> > in the U.S. today, with foreign governments handling production and
> > [illegal] distribution, and with the U.S. government fighting a
> > loosing battle against them.
> That is all true. Read Terry Parssinen's "Webs of Smoke" for the gory
> However, it is a blunt fact that Chinese users happily consumed the
> drug (poppies from India were considered best; chinese poppies were
> low-grade), and as a result, their culture, pride, and manhood were
> wasted. It left a cultural mark of shame that lasts to this day.
It is also one of the major motivating factors for selling it back to
'the round eyes' these days. Or, so they have told me.
> So the point is, maybe it's not so good for millions of people to get
> high, regardless of the cause :-) I'm arguing that it's okay to do
> pot only insofar as it is severely limited, by law and by cultural
Having worked with street people for a lot of years, and having been
around a little myself, please let me elaborate on a point.
We live in an extremely alienating, fragmenting form of society. There
are reasons for this that I won't elaborate on because this is a precis
of the situation, and a full blown account would fill volumns.
There is no doubt that the world has arrived at a nadir, and the average
persons' existence has also come to the point where that is virtually
all it is.
There is a requirement to escape from an unpleasant scenario, and when
we feel powerless to bring about a positive change in our existence, we
have no choice but to do so. This escapism, varies with the individuals'
belief in their ability to deal with the reality within which they find
themselves. It may only be the requirement to identify with a character
in a book, to that last fit that drops them in the gutter. But it is all
The environment is merely a reflection of the individual within it.
Until we are capable of bringing about a change in the way we think, we
are always going to be swimming in a cess-pool.
The worlds' history is full of examples of nations trying to change
nations, families trying to change families, individuals attempting to
change individuals, but the only revolution that counts, is effective in
any measure is the one within the individual, brought about by the
Until we mature enough as a species to assume the full responsibility of
our existence, our situation will never improve. Any employment of
escapism is merely a symptom of the disease. Cure the disease and the
symptoms will disappear.