Muad'Dibber
mod
admin
917d

In short, substance abuse does not cause alienation, it is alienation that causes substance abuse. It is a classic inversion of values.

Very good article. Although I would add a section on how drugs can also be used as a weapon for capitalist interests: For example, the US / CIA intentionally funneling / selling drugs to black communities, then to use harsh anti-drug laws to imprison them en masse. Also the British impoverishing China by flooding its markets with opium and getting tons of people addicted. Or the US pushing hard alcohol into native communities to weaken them (which was sometimes done even at a loss, but was proven to be effective at pacifying native resistance.)

@Shaggy0291
316d

At the end of the day, drugs aren’t any different to other commodities as far as a capitalist is concerned. There is only one special property that catches their attention, the addictive nature of many substances that can be used to generate a captive market. This made it the crucial tool of British imperialism against the Chinese in order to offset the trade imbalance that resulted from China’s policy of only trading their goods for silver; they went over the heads of the Qing state and extracted that silver back from China with a commodity the masses simply could not say no to.

Felipe Forte
admin
creator
116d

the addictive nature of many substances

This is exactly the metaphysical reasoning which should be avoided. Addiction is not a product of the chemical substances alone, it has more to do with the material circumstances of the addict, especially their alienation. Just notice how not everyone get addicted to these substances and how the lower class is usually more prone to addiction.

@Shaggy0291
416d

As a biochemist by education, I’m inclined to urge caution in pushing a line that substances such as opium are primarily addictive only in the context of an individual’s personal susceptibility to addiction. While individual variance in biochemistry is a valid factor, it cannot be stated enough that opioids are in and of themselves substances that directly stimulates the mesolimbic reward system, of which there is a profound potential for abuse and the formation of a life crushing addiction via the development of pharmacodynamic tolerance of the drug’s effect through upregulation of cAMP production in neurons expressing mu receptors, modulating the reward centre of the brain. The act of taking opioids are therefore what is categorised as very addictive behaviours. This is even more noticeably the case when you take into account the refined opioids, the classic examples of which are morphine and heroin.

The fact of the matter is that the pharmacological properties of these substances lend themselves to abuse. If you solved an existing addict’s other life problems such as improving their housing or employment situation they’re still going to have a fucked up VTA and very likely require a medical intervention to help them break their addiction. On this basis I’d argue you’re weighing the scales too heavily towards the social environment. It’s easy to see how you could think this, as the lack of access to appropriate medical care allows cases of abuse to accumulate and go untreated for a protracted period of time. In that sense, the opioids are addictive and habit forming, but the other social factors compound and perpetuate this process by locking people out from the avenues of help they need.

Felipe Forte
admin
creator
116d

As a biochemist by education, I’m inclined to urge caution in pushing a line that substances such as opium are primarily addictive only in the context of an individual’s personal susceptibility to addiction.

I never said that. I said that addiction is caused by social, not individual phenomena.

I recommend you read Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach. I will quote it here:

Feuerbach resolves the religious essence into the human essence. But the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual.

In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations.

Here Marx is addressing how human nature is essentially the totality of social practices at any given moment. This is very important in addressing the issue of addiction, because these addicts are not isolated; they exist in society. You can’t analyze the chemical reactions individually and support that it causes addiction because this ignores social life.

For instance, US soldiers who went to war in Vietnam used heroin to cope with the stress of war. Almost 90% of war veterans who came back to US from Vietnam didn’t present symptoms of heroin addiction. This is expected according to the theory I proposed: they are returning from a very alienating and traumatic experience to their homes, where they can live, in contrast with direct war, peacefully, hence, they feel no need to use drugs as self-anesthesia.

The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth — i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question.

What proves our truth is the social practice itself. We can not attribute to chemical reactions entirely, nor social relations entirely, as the cause of addiction. Reality shows us, however, how social relations play a bigger part on addiction, more so than the chemical traits of these substances. Not all people feel addicted to cigarettes, beer, cocaine, marijuana, etc., even after exposing themselves to these substances. What follows is that the chemical reactions alone cannot fully explain the phenomenon of addiction.

As for the chemical reactions that we have proven to cause addictive behavior, I do not deny these. But heroin is a powerful opiod, yet, in studies as old as 1976, this is what has been found:

Since 95% of those who were addicted to narcotics in Vietnam have not become readdicted, the situation does not appear to be as severe as originally supposed. Myths as to the persistence and intractibility of physiological narcotic addiction were dispelled. A major negative effect has been the difficulty that soldiers with less-than-honorable discharges due to drug abuse have had in obtaining jobs. Other long-term effects from drug use are less clear and are difficult to separate from the overall effects of the war.

Felipe Forte
admin
creator
317d

Although I would add a section (…)

Feel free to add it in the article , comrade. We can even reference a quote from Nixon’s ex-counselor about the criminalization of the blacks.

I also found this article with exciting references: https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/01/09/deep-history-global-drug-connection-part-5-cia-latin-america/

Muad'Dibber
mod
admin
316d

I’ll def make an account and contribute, once I get caught up on some things. I’ve added your article to one of my faqs too. 👍

@pimento
admin
416d

An exploitative regime is going to contradict the consciousness-transforming substances

I find this sentence confusing, “contradict” seems to be the wrong word for what you are trying to express. Other than that its a good analysis (which could be extended a lot).

Felipe Forte
admin
creator
216d

Contradiction is exactly the word I wanted to use, the issue was the sentence building.

It’s probably a lot clearer now:

“An exploitative regime is going to be in contradiction with any interference of consciousness outside of its control, because exploitation requires the dispute of human consciousness.”

@pimento
admin
216d

Better, but still quite complicated. I would split it into two or more sentences.

I’m sorry I didn’t check ProleWiki earlier. Looks dope to help explain stuff to people interested in communism, but who don’t consider themselves as such.

I’ll translate this page into French as tax.

Edit: translation was made and integrated into the Languages tab. Is there an easier way of doing it than going into the source code and adding the [[fr:name]] tag? It’s so… 2006. Especially since I have to do it on both pages.

Felipe Forte
admin
creator
216d

Is there an easier way of doing it than going into the source code and adding the [[fr:name]] tag? It’s so… 2006. Especially since I have to do it on both pages.

Wikipedia currently uses Wikidata for their language links. I don’t know if that can be automated

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