Here Stefan Molyneux delivers a brilliant examination, in response to the recent tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, in the area of understanding self destructive human vices, such as “illegal” drug addiction, as a direct result of early childhood trauma. Many people seem to forget that we all were children once and that a thorough examination of one’s childhood can reveal some disturbing truths as to the nature of one’s actions in later adult life. If a person becomes an “addictive personality” as an adult we must ask the question, what tragic circumstances brought about this situation? To punish and cage such an unfortunate individual is to harm someone in genuine need of therapy and compassion.
The “War on Drugs” should be more accurately named a “War on Addicted People”. It serves no one but the increase in prison revenue and the expansion of the State to persecute the victims of childhood physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. These poor souls search for harmful mind-altering substances as a form of self-soothing treatment with the intent of filling the vacuum created by childhood dereliction, abuse, and neglect. We must stop this vicious cycle of violent punishment as a societal response to a violent childhood. Ostensibly this only accentuates the problems and morphs into a self-perpetuating need for the increase in State power as a direct response to the increase in “illegal” drug use.
The massive failure of the “War on Drugs” and the subsequent black market that was created is testament to the destruction that any “State” imposed substance ban has on society and individuals that are affected by it. The supreme hypocrisy that all Statists face is that while they support the State’s action of aggressively seeking to punish those who are caught with the particular “illegal” plant, leaf, or flower on their person, afterwards they sit back to enjoy the work of musicians that was created from its mind altering properties and drink a beer, which only a century ago was just as viciously attacked in the Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s.
Another issue we must mention is that of viciously punishing individuals for engaging in “victimless crimes”. Approximately 80% of the victims of the prison-industrial complex are there as a result of “victimless crimes”. These are crimes in which there is no victim. A murder involves a murderer and a victim. A rape involves a rapist and a victim. A theft involves a thief and a victim. Where is the victim in a person smoking marijuana or a person eating a pot brownie?
From early childhood we were all taught to not hit, steal, and kill other people. We do not need “State” laws to tell us these things. If someone does not care about committing murder, do you think a “law” will prevent them from doing anything else? Such needless “laws” function only to expand “State” power and hamper the freedom of peaceful individuals. Genuinely good people will act ethically without “laws” and genuinely evil people will act unethically regardless of any State “law”. Therefore the effectiveness of any State “law” is null and void for its intended purposes.
The only things that a State prohibition creates are violence, the formation of gangs, and an increase in crime. This is because a ban does nothing to quell a natural human desire; on the contrary it increases it. Plunging anything into the realm of the black market immediately makes that thing an enormously lucrative business venture for all the risk that must be taken by the enterprising entrepreneurs. In the case of substances such as mind altering plants and alcohol it also renders it much more potent and dangerous, this being the most cost effective method for transporting a powerful dose in a minimum quantity.
The issue of vaccines is a quasi-related topic. Here is an amusing short clip of Snoop Dogg speaking about the dangers of the flu vaccine. Do not allow yourself to be poisoned with substances masquerading as medicine. The difference is clear. The immune system is a sophisticated mechanism that has taken thousands of years to develop and evolve. It is there for a reason and must only be supported by natural herbs and health giving foods for it to function optimally. This line of reasoning applies to all vaccines regardless of their stated goal. What man can create in his puny laboratory will always be inferior to what Nature has created in her grand laboratory. Do not insult the harmony of your biology.
Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime — that is, the design to injure the person or property of another — is wanting.
Just do good things.