The tempest of raving, enraged and (in most cases) logic-free and fact-free comments on my criticisms of ‘Sir’ Richard Branson are most interesting to the intelligent and informed mind.
First of all, what is their purpose? It is plain that most of these people have been guided to this site by other sites, and urged to post abusive messages. They probably haven’t read what I actually wrote.
Why do this? The pro-drugs movement has won almost every propaganda battle of the last 50 years and is accustomed to the faint-heartedness and cowardice of old-fashioned Toryism, and presumably hopes that it can browbeat or insult me into being quiet as well. And one contributor, in a very important unintended giveaway – actually calls for opinions such as mine to be banned by law.
I have no doubt that something of the kind will eventually happen. The only question is when it will come. I regard my life as a race between the grim reaper and the forces of political correctness – will I die before they can find an excuse to put me in prison? I am by no means sure which will win.
But this raises the fascinating question of why drug-abuse is not just a disgusting and rather shameful private vice, but instead is a political and social movement.
I first realised that this was a problem when people write to me saying they couldn’t understand how I could be in favour liberty of thought and speech, and against identity cards, and simultaneously in favour of criminal punishments for drug users.
I grasped at that moment that drug abusers actually see the taking of drugs – especially cannabis – as an exercise of civil liberty.
This is plainly ludicrous. Drug-taking makes its victims passive, fuddles their ability to think and makes their speech incoherent. It is , in those ways at the very least, the ally of authority and the enemy of thought and speech.
I then found that Aldous Huxley had understood this many years before.
His fictional drug ‘Soma’ is actually a means of social control in ‘Brave New World’, Huxley’s extraordinarily accurate prophecy of the death of civilisation.
At one stage a riot is quelled when police spray vaporised Soma into the air and the rioters instantly become happy and begin weeping and embracing each other. In later works and lectures (as readers have told me) Huxley became convinced that rulers would use drugs and unrestricted sterile sex to persuade people to love their own subjugation, and this isn’t a bad picture of modern Western societies, where we all do as we’re told and think as we’re told, amid the ruins of free countries – Parliaments that don’t debate or decide, media that parrot the ruling party’s line, parties that represent the state to the people rather than the other way round. Meanwhile the principal occupations and diversions of the masses are internet pornography, banal social networks which incidentally provide the state with a window into our lives and souls, and various forms of bread-and-circuses drivel on the TV, not to mention the bizarre new paganisms of football worship and brand worship, with Las Vegas as a sort of Plastic Parthenon of this ghastly cult.
Well, if people love their servitude, and they do (for true liberty of action guided by morality and conscience is quite hard work, and often rather frightening) , what are they going to do to those who point out to them that they are serfs?
Lock them up, when they can. In the meantime, they’ll infest this weblog with insulting, brainless comments. Far from putting me off, it encourages me. I have recently restarted work, after a long interruption, on my book ‘The War We Never Fought’, about the ludicrous lie that our society is conducting a war on drugs, when in fact they are half an inch from being formally legal, and Britain probably has the most relaxed actual drugs regime (especially for cannabis) on the European continent.
I don’t suppose anyone will pay much attention, as both the new establishment and the masses have an interest in having as many people happily stupefied and passive as possible. But real freedom shouldn’t just go down without a fight, if it is ever to be revived in the future. Civilisations which go gently and willingly into extinction, as Winston Churchill once rightly pointed out, disappear forever. Those that go down fighting have some hope of revival.