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We love our cruelties - Elf M. Sternberg
We love our cruelties
In a great article on the opiod addiction problem, Johann Hari points out that the real story about opiod addiction isn't about opiod availability. If it were, we'd see it everywhere and we don't. Instead, it's in those places where people are the most detached from their communities, where their communities are falling apart, and where there isn't a lot of hope that things will get better. This is consistent with the Rat Park experiments, and is the basic truth about drug addiction: it's a relief from pain.

Then Hari says that cracking down on the distribution of pain management drugs never works and results in more pain to those who legitimately needs it. He then say:
Starting in the early 2000s, Switzerland assigned addicted people to clinics where they were given opiates under supervision by a nurse. Crucially, they were also given extensive social support to turn their lives around, including therapy and help finding a job or housing. They gave you the drug, and at the same time, they dealt with the underlying pain that made you feel you needed the drug in the first place.
Unfortunately, I've become convinced that America is a fundamentally cruel country. The Democrats have members who are not, but both parties are in the thrall of America's tradition a cruelty, one that is deepely embedde in our psyche. We started as a country that made its first and greatest fortunes with slaves; our primary exports were tobacco and cotton, both reaped with unimaginable human cruelty.

There's going to be no help for our drug addicts. Without more real human, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim charity, there's not going to be.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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sirfox From: sirfox Date: January 15th, 2017 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's so damned tempting to pick Puritans as the root of both the country's identity and neuroses for every issue, it might be close to the mark in this case.

The slave trade came later, we started up with a mindset that Pain and Suffering could be Noble. They made it synonymous with hard work, planting seeds which would sprout into anti-intellectualism as well (indoor work? no heavy lifting? no sweat in your eyes and dirt under your nails? Pussy.)

Today, there are folks who will, with a clean conscience and an honest face explain that giving just about any kind of charitable aid to the poor makes them dependent on The State, and the struggle to rise from poverty is an Ennobling one, and providing them aid encourages them not to, and that's RACIST, you see... (never mind more whites are on aid than minorities, but whatevz...)

...and they think OUR fetishes are fucked up. Pain is supposed to be inflicted and suffered, not consented and enjoyed...

sirfox From: sirfox Date: January 15th, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's the obvious bonus* as well that a populace that's suffering is easier to steer by the handles of need and fear.

*Bonus only applies if you're the one leading
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