International Journal of Anarchism
ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - © ISSN 0800-0220 - electronic issues ISSN 1890-9485 since 2009 - no 1 (45) editor H. Fagerhus
Bulletin of the Anarchist International
Anarchy vs narcotic-liberalism
by A. Quist 27.06.2008 - Updated
With narcotic-liberalism we mean a system with no significant restrictions, selferegulation (i.e. based on significant self-administration and self-management) or other regulations, on narcotic/drugs trade.
It is true that AI bans narcotics, but AI does not ban alcohol. But the AI advocates moderate use of alcohol. Also it is true that the people really concerned, mostly anarchists in an anarchy of high degree, can decide regulations on the market, to avoid slave contracts and promote free contracts, promote possession and avoid property, i.e. theft, etc. Anarchism is about free people, as opposed to "free" markets. When the markets are 100% "free", the people are unfree. That is why "free" marketers are not anarchists.
In an anarchy of high degree and AI anarchists that ban narcotics form a commune or several, (say, buying out narcotic-slaves and dealers and other authoritarians), this will be no problem. The members of the AI communes have voluntarely accepted regulations on narcotic trade with general consent, and they of course have full right to do this on their area. The AI-members will not accept narcotic trade on their area. What you and your friends do outside the AI-communes is your own business, but communes with persons flat on their face because of drugs (narctics) will not be anarchist. The AI-members will not associate with narcotic-trade "anarchists". If most communes are AI communes or follow the AI-communes' example, the anarchy degree may be, say, about 70-80% on average in the society. If all communes are AI communes or follow the AI-communes' example, the anarchy degree may be 90-100%.
The same goes for other market regulations, in general the AI-anarchist communes will not accept authoritarian, coercive market failures, but use selfregulation of the market (i.e. based on significant self-administration and self-management) to do away with such failures. It is the hope that many communes will be established in this way, with AI-anarchists and associates, and perhaps they will spread across the whole country. We cannot understand why some persons defend authoritarian, coercive market failures. We guess even they will prefer to live in an AI-commune with significantly no narcotic slaves/trade, no slave contracts, but free contracts, possession not property i.e. theft, etc.
Thus there is no majority rule over minority in an anarchy of high degree as suggested by AI. It is a consensus based participatory, real democracy, plus a private sector based on markets, regulated i a bit, i.e. selfregulation, to avoid slave contracts and promote free contracts, avoid property (i.e. theft) and promote possession, etc, in general laws against authoritarian, coercive market failures. Say, if you think you are exposed to a slave contract you may sue via the anarchist arbitration courts. This is of course anarchism, not ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined) including drugs (narcotics).
Use of drugs has both individual and collective aspects. "Freedom, i.e. free people, freedom without damaging the freedom of other people"; not "free markets", say, drug liberalism and more drug slaves broadly defined. Solidarity is important in this context..." From IJA 1994-95. Drug slaves are not free people. Drug/narcotic slavery is no better than other slavery. A society with a lot of drug slaves is thus not anarchist. With a lot of drug slaves the society will not function in an anarchist way. Drug slaves cannot work properly, cannot take care of their children properly etc, and thus are a burden to other people. In short this is why AI is for laws against use of drugs/narcotics. This will at least make a lot fewer drug slaves than without such laws.
Authoritarians notoriously mix up anarchy, anarchist and anarchism with authoritarian tendencies: Chaos, disorder, mob rule, lawlessness, the law of the jungle, criminality, riots, theft, corruption, drugs, mafia, terrorism, autocratic rule, the right to the strongest, antisocial tyrannic behavior, etc., i.e. different types of superiors and subordinates. This is not anarchy.
The Anarchist International is not only for using the law (e.g. based on significant selfregulation) against narcotics. This does not work well. Resolving the problem would take anti-drug campaigns, informing the people of what are drugs, how do they work, what does each cause, setting up rehabilitation programs, eliminating the reasons people turn to drugs, etc. It would take actions that require planning, effort and resources. A combination of these measures and a ban on narcotics, including laws against drugs, will work towards solving the authoritarian narcotic problem.
In anarchies of low degree more regulations and other regulations and policy may be necessary. Anarchists are of course against liberalization of the narcotics-policy, i.e. drug-liberalism, also in an anarchies of low degree.
There are two articles, one from the WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, (later withdrawn), and one published in Lancet presenting a "chart", suggesting that Cannabis, GHB, LSD and other "soft" narcotics are less addictive and damaging for the physical and mental health than alcohol and nicotine. These articles are used by defenders of a "free" narcotic market, as an "argument" for not banning narcotics. But these two articles are not representative for the research front on the matter, counting thousands of articles, that reject this hypothesis. This "chart" is totally wrong. A moderate, low, use of wine to dinner, is by no means addictive or make any damage to you physical or mental health. In fact it is healthy. This as opposed to the "soft" narcotics on the "chart". All the "soft" narcotics on the chart are addictive and damaging for the physical and/or mental health. A lot of people using these "soft" narcotics are in mental hospitals, due to the use of these drugs. They do not function well. The concept of "narcotic slave" must be seen in a wider context, not only addiction. There is no significant scientifical background for this "chart".
Also alcoholics are a big problem, and they often also use narcotics. "Pure" alcoholics are however to a less degree slaves than narcotic slaves. Thus, as mentioned, the Anarchist International does not suggest laws against alcohol. We suggest moderate, low, use of alchohol or no use at all, see FRF. We also suggest moderate to no use of tobacco. However alcohol and tobacco are so integrated in the western culture that we are not for a total ban of these. It would not work. However narcotics/drugs are not a part of the western culture, so a ban has significant effect. Thus it is not counter-logical to argue for the ban of, for example, marijuana, but not the ban of alcohol and cigarettes.
LSD addiction and dependency
We don't think use of LSD will make people more libertarian, but the opposite.
As for the effects of LSD abuse and addiction, they are not as easily rendered as drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine. LSD essentially removes the boundaries of sensible judgment and perception, creating a situation in which the individual taking it does not know or understand what they are doing. The ability to understand one's actions may be entirely impaired.
Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and despair while using LSD. Some fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication.
The actual damage LSD might cause to the brain and body is not completely agreed upon, but the temporary effects in the hallucinating state are entirely possible of causing physical injury. Furthermore, there is a disorder recognized by psychologists as a possible result of LSD abuse, which causes the brain to flashback to previous LSD sessions and the effects of the hallucination. Chronically, the flashbacks can occur anytime from one week to two or three years after using the drug.
LSD addiction and dependency recovery
For those that are under LSD addiction/dependency or are experiencing the debilitating effects of LSD, abuse recovery is much simpler than with some other drugs. Because it's mostly a psychological drug, there are no direct correlations between LSD and physical dependence. The body will actually become attuned to it with heavy use and the effects will stop.
However, as with anything in excess, the mind can become psychologically dependent on the drug, and overcoming such dependency can be very hard. Because it is not a physical dependence though, overcoming LSD abuse can be accomplished much easier than some other drugs. A loving family and friends to support you will go a long way to overcoming what you think you need on a daily basis.
Like any illegal drug, LSD is not meant to be taken and abused by anyone. There are no benefits of taking the drug, and the dangers are ample. Forcing your body into such a state with a chemically concocted substance is a poor way to find fun in anything. If you or a loved one suffers from LSD addiction, seek expert help right away.
We use the words addiction and dependency quite synonymously. You are a drugslave of LSD if you are psychologically dependent/addicted to the drug. What the government means about this is not important. The Oslo Convention defines drugs/narcotics, i.e. including LSD, as an authoritarian tendency, that may lead to drugslavery, no better than other slavery. Anarchy and anarchism mean "system and management without ruler(s), i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny and slavery". This has also something to do with the freedom concept related to anarchism, see "The freedom concept defined and related to anarchism etc." at IJA 1 (44). If LSD was as commonly used as alchohol and tobacco, it would have severe consequences. A society on LSD will not work anarchist.
To have an open mind is not the same as blowin' your brains out. That is mainly what LSD do. We have seen it at some persons during the hippie-time. They got "soft on the brain", and stopped thinking critical, scientific, and matter of fact. LSD is not a way to revolutionary thinking, this is a myth. The same as we here have mentioned for LSD, is also valid for "magic mushrooms" and marijuana.
The Anarchist Federation in/of Norway (AFIN) supports laws against use of LSD.
If LSD was legal, probably most young people that try "to bend limits" would us it regularly. Obviously, if LSD were as commonly used as coffee and cigarettes, we'd all be in really big trouble.
95% of narcotic/drug users captured by the police in Norway get ticket fines or other small fines, they don't go to jail. Persons that get prison have usually done other offences such as theft, robbery, etc. to finance the narcotic/drug use. Furthermore there is a broad based unity among youths in Norway for laws against narcotics/drugs, so it is not something imposed from above, from authority. Thus the ban of narcotics/drugs is significantly a form of selfregulation, and not freedom forced upon people by outside authorities.
Narcotic-liberalism is State repression - for anarchy and anarchism, i.e. without drugs
Narcotic-liberalism is not anarchism/anarchy, liberalism is a form of the State as a broad societal concept, see System theory. Marxism, fascism and liberalism are different forms of state/government/authority/archy. People that are drug-slaves, flat on their face because of use of drugs, mean a subordinate position vs people that are not drug-slaves and standing. We can see people flat on their face because of drug use, lying on the streets, in some parts of Oslo. Thus heavy drug users, narcotic slaves, are in this way subordinate to non-users. However they of course have the same human rights as anyone else, and should be treated with dignity.
Real personal freedom is also freedom from drug-slavery. Drug/narcotic slaves are not free, and thus there is less freedom the more drug-slaves. The more drug use, the more drug-slaves. Thus laws against drug/narcotic use are necessary. Drug-slaves lying flat on their face because of drug use, in general want a drug free life, to get out of the slavery. Thus they don't want it, but want to get out of it, but cannot without help, because of the dependence/addiction. "Repression of drug users"? It is in reality about freedom from drug-slavery. That drug-slaves are less free than non-narcotic users, being subordinate, etc., are a reality, not a conventional, subjective, question of who decide what makes someone free. An environment without narcotics/drug use is an environment that makes it more easy to stop being narcotic/drug slaves. Narcotics/drugs in the environment make an unnecessary temptation. Thus in solidarity, an important anarchist principle, we should all do our best to create a drug/narcotic free environment, and stop using even small amounts of drugs/narcotics.
The Anarchist International has introduced a solidaric libertarian rebellion against the whole authoritarian narcotic culture. We will do away with it - significantly, preferably all of it. You should join in this fight, not be a part of the problem, defending false "charts" and other expressions of the authoritarian narcotic culture. Drugs/narcotics are freedom-robbers, the more use, the more addicts/narcotic slaves. Legalizing, also with some state-regulations, thus means more drug slaves. The AI is against slavery and thus against all forms of legalization of drugs/narcotics.
Drug liberalism and liberalism in general are essentially the opposite of anarchy. Anarchists are not liberalists and the Oslo Convention see drugs (narcotics ) as an authoritarian tendency, see the Oslo Convention. Among other things hashish makes people "bløte på pæra" (soft on the "bulb" = mind), destroys the social environment and other drugs are worse. People more or less flat on their face (subordinates) because of drugs reduce the degree of anarchy. Therefore, there must be strict penalties against this. Persons are on the wrong track if they want to liberalize drug policy. Drop it!
Resolution, decided with general consent, by:
The International Anarchist Congress
The 13th Anarchist Biennial 28-30.11.2014
International Congress-Seminar on Anarchism
The AI/IFA network represents more than 50 000 anarchist world wide
The electronic issues of the International Journal of Anarchism are updated every time there are significant more informations about the different events and cases. But unless special cases, they are not redistributed by e-mail when they are updated. Also the IAT and other pages are updated almost every day. Thus, to be updated on the news and comments about anarchy, anarchist(s) and anarchism in different connections, it is necessary to visit the AIIS-web sites every day.
Articles to IJA may be written in any language, and should be provided with an English summary. If the article is short and written in English, the summary can be omitted.
Feel free to forward this issue of IJ@ to people or organizations you think may be interested in anarchy, anarchist(s) or anarchism, but include firstname.lastname@example.org when you are forwarding, and don't use blind copies, so possible double distribution may be avoided in the long run. It's a small world.