In 2014, heroin overdoses killed 10,574 people in the USA.
On 29 March 2016 Obama unveiled new steps and funding to broaden medical treatment and assistance for millions of people addicted to heroin.
The heroin problem is no longer confined to minority populations in big cities. Now, experts say that addiction to heroin and other opiates has become a major public health problem in suburban and rural areas within substantial white populations. Hillary Clinton calls it the “quiet epidemic.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says that heroin addiction is “spreading like cancer” across his home state. Obama says the statistics are “staggering” with regard to lives lost, diminished productivity and cost to families.
What to do?
It seems like an unsolvable problem.
An eternal conundrum.
A timeless mystery.
How about we stop mass-producing heroin in the first place? That’s my modest proposal.
If you think that U.S. troops are in Afghanistan to fight “terrorism” or the “Taliban,” then you are either in denial, or else you are not paying attention. The troops are there to ensure the orderly production and shipment of opiates such as heroin, which in turn legitimizes the “war on drugs” in the USA. The Internet has countless articles about this, plus countless photos of troops guarding the poppy fields.
Just as we pretend that the U.S. government is “bankrupt” (even though we know the government can “print” infinite dollars) so do we pretend that the troops are in Afghanistan to “fight terrorists” (even though we know the troops are there to guard the production of heroin).
The U.S. government’s excuse is that if we don’t help the Afghans produce heroin for global distribution, they will turn to terrorism. Therefore the government is “protecting” Americans by killing 10,000 of them each year with heroin overdoses.
It’s not just the USA. All human societies are built on lies and delusions. The lies continue because of human selfishness.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines human culture as, “The way of life, especially the general customs, beliefs, lies and delusions of a particular group of people at a particular time.” (I added the lies and delusions part.)
Edward Burnett Tylor (1832 –1917), the “founder of cultural anthropology,” defined human culture as, “That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, custom, habits, law, lies, and delusions acquired by man as a member of society.” (Again I added the lies and delusions part, and I stick by it.)
Our lies and delusions include the lie and delusion that we do not live by lies and delusions.
The U.S. government is “bankrupt” because we agree that it is. We share the lie and the delusion. And the delusion keeps us in poverty.
None of us are totally free of lies and delusions. Liberals and conservatives both indulge in the lie that the U.S. government runs on loans and on tax revenue. I know a person who does not share this delusion, but who remains hopelessly lost in delusions about U.S. imperialism, World War II, and the magical “six million.” This individual condemns racism and bigotry in the USA, but champions racism, bigotry, and extermination (indeed revels in it) when it occurs in a certain country in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Some children share delusions about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Later they trade Santa for Jesus, or Mohammed, or Buddha, or whatever. The more people are deluded, the more they claim to have the “Truth.”
The delusions we most cling to are those that justify our hate, our selfishness, our self-righteousness, and our personal privileges. For example, we cling to our delusions about Afghanistan in order to feel superior to those “terrorist rag-heads.” We cling to our delusions about U.S. government finances in order to feel superior to those “welfare queens,” or to condemn the rich for not paying taxes.
So my suggestion about Afghanistan will have to remain a modest proposal. We don’t want to question anyone’s delusions, even when they cause death, destruction, and despair.
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David Cameron became the U.K. Prime Minister on 11 May 2010. His Finance Minister, George Osborne, took office the same day. Together they launched a war on average Britons, using austerity as their weapon.
Their excuse was that the U.K.’s “national debt” was out of control.
And yet, according to the U.K. Independent, six years of austerity have increased the “national debt” by £555 billion (USD $798 billion).
“The only reason why radical austerity hasn’t worked is that it has not been radical enough!”