AlterNet: DrugReporter: Spy vs. Spy
Yesterday I was dicussing the likelyhood of Blair's UK government actually managing to reverse recent cannabis law reforms. It's hard to believe they'd get much support given the commonplace recreational nature of the herb - it's use spanning both class and generations in the 21st Century. Then again, the new "listening" government listens most to it's own beaurocrats, not the electorate, pandering to a statistical notion of middle England who will willingly accept whatever line is currently promoted from on high (misnomer). I thought I'd finished with the subject (for this week at least) until I remembered the above link.
In the sixties and seventies, Britain's drug laws were more frequently used as an excuse to harass minority groups who were engaged in otherwise law-abiding activities which were nonetheless deemed by the powerbrokers to represent unwelcome social and political trends. Generational attitude shifts and modern surveillance techniques have made this particular practice largely reduntant, but a concerted propaganda campaign could easily reverse mainstream opinion amongst a public who do not as a rule consider too deeply the messages they are fed. Fortunately, the media in Britain are not the subserviant beasts or pushovers experienced elsewhere in the world and the British people have never tolerated overt oppression.
Amerika is different. The land that gave us rock 'n' roll also gave us Kent State. In the USA, the scattered masses that make up its majority have been all-too-willing to accept federal decree as gospel regardless of its political colour. Once incumbant, the president (or dictator) attains the authority akin to absolute monarch - the constitutional checks and balances dragging at a snail's pace behind the Oval Office march. In a climate of fear, suspicion breeds more suspicion and communities become insular. If your perceived lifestyle (cheap petrolium and consumer trinkets) is under threat, it becomes easier pursuade you that the cause is close to home. The trouble of course is that with everyone spying on everyone else, community itself becomes de-stabilised and leads to eventual civil strife.
I digress. But if anti-drug legislation like that described in the article can be enacted, it would be a smaller step to extend the philosophy to cover other areas. Amerika'd not watching it's own ass - but sure as hell is stratching it!