Ferdinand Bardamu observes:
The second is that drug abuse is a symptom of our society’s dysfunction, not a cause. While there will always be a minority of addicts in any population, widespread substance abuse is due to the fact that reality for most people is so awful that they’d rather construct their own artificial realities with the aid of illicit substances. Spare me the lectures about how our quality of life is higher than our parents’ generation – the truth is that most people are aimless, lost and unsatisfied with their lives. For a populace with no purpose for living, no hope for having good friends or a meaningful job or a significant other to love, any reality is better than the one they’re condemned to. Basically, those who become addicted to alcohol, or marijuana, or heroin are addicted for the same reasons that people get addicted to Facebook, or World of Warcraft, or playing Angry Birds on their iPhones – reality avoidance.
I believe it was Marx who observed that religion was the opiate of the masses. If I recall correctly, this wasn’t intended as a pejorative, but rather as an observation that religion existed as a coping mechanism.
Of course, religion wasn’t good enough for the enlightened progressives that wished to mold a new society. It was just too mystical, too simple, and overly populated with “those people.” It needed to be scrapped and replaced with something more rational, something more serious and enlightened. Everyone now needed to conform to elitist values.*
Of course, elitist values don’t change the fact that some people’s lives suck, and so there will always be those who need some sort of opiate in order to function on a daily basis. The difference between now and, say, a century ago is that people were more inclined to turn to God instead of narcotics. Whether this is good or bad will be evident fairly soon.**
Thus, the fatal conceit of progressive elitists is that they failed to see that people wouldn’t trade religion for elitist values. Instead, they traded religion for drugs. And now they want to ban drugs as well, as if this will magically convince people to buy into rationalism. History suggests that people will simply find another opiate to dull the pain of their lives. Maybe next time the opiate of the masses will be more productive than narcotics.
* Elitists are total idiots in that they seem incapable of recognizing how ludicrous it is to try to make everyone embrace elitist values. In order for something to actually be elitist, it cannot, by definition, be embraced by a large number of people. Incidentally, this is why elitist social goals are always in a state of flux. They have to keep redefining the curve in order to stay ahead of it.
** Hint: it’s going to be really, really bad.