March 4, 2014

Handle's theory of the drug war as honeypot for thugs

From Handle's Haus, an interesting theory of the war on drugs:
But there is a much deeper and more sinister aspect to the drug issue that is both very complex and very dangerous to discuss openly.  It is indeed a dire problem on many levels. 
The problem is that while ‘poverty’ does not cause crime, idle hands are the devil’s workshop, and a heavy-concentration of young men who are either not willing or able (or both) to hold down a job and get busy raising a family is a well-established recipe for disaster that was known to the ancients since time immemorial.  This problem exists in our pockets of crime, no one has any good and politically-palpable idea of what to do about it, and the accelerating three legged stool of immigration, automation, and globalization is making it increasingly worse. 
Without employing some drastic measures that are incompatible with the current norms of our society – that we aren’t even allowed to talk about without severe social sanction because they are so taboo – this situation practically guarantees the generation of all sorts of criminal activity, for kicks and for cash. 
If you are a police chief, prosecutor, or politician, then you want to prevent crime, especially violent crime, and especially violent crimes like burglaries that will spill over into your wealthier, safer neighborhoods whose inhabitants can get you fired very quickly, but who also make excellent targets for theft, muggings, or aggravated robberies because, as with banks, that’s where the money is. 
Or is it?  Because burglary is risky, and burglars don’t get rich.  But what if there were some alternative draw, some other – necessarily criminal – way of making vast sums of money – the stuff of a young thug’s dreams – and that particular way was demonstrably irrepressible no matter what you did, so it might as well be made useful. 
What if, furthermore, it was glorified and celebrated endlessly by your young thugs' subculture?  And what if the violence that emerged out of that traffic – of a thing the sale, possession, and consumption of which arguably needs to be prohibited anyway – was almost entirely geographically contained in areas with zero political clout and mostly between the thugs themselves? 
Why, it would act as an ideal honeypot!  Your thugs will all converge on conducting that particular species of crime, and you can easily arrest, prosecute, and imprison the worst of them and then incapacitate them for long-durations so that they can’t get up to any other (more politically destabilizing) kinds of criminal activity during their youthful years, which, again, you believe they are certain to do and which, really, can’t be prevented. 
And this is how the drug war works.  There are very, very few people who actually, consciously think like this, putting all the pieces together into one extremely tragic but coherent picture.  But the glue that holds certain lasting social institutions together is often unconscious and buried beneath some protective psychological firewalls.
     
     

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwOYJ3kPyXg

jody said...

he's wrong. obviously.

TC said...

How many liberal critics of our justice system realize if we released every drug offender tomorrow the U.S. would still have the world's largest prison population?

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced. The huge profits from government funding and asset forfeiture seem like a much larger incentive than using drugs as a honeypot.

Anonymous said...

Economically independent women favor alpha male thugs over beta male workers. Divorce (and increasingly, just common law breakups) has gotten worse every generation after women were given the right to vote.

Islam has the answers.

Anonymous said...

It might work, but more as an eco system than as a conspiracy.

Dave Pinsen said...

The causation doesn't seem quite right here. Your argument in previous posts that drug possession crimes are prosecuted more because they don't require witnesses is a more parsimonious explanation.

If you want to endulge in conspiracy theories, I can make up a slightly more plausible one on the spot: the obesity epidemic was engineered to reduce urban crime. Obese young men have less energy for criminal violence and lower testosterone, on average, so they are less aggressive.

Simon in London said...

I don't really believe it. Low grade trash do burglaries, robberies & home invasions to feed their drug habits.
What happened in the urban ghettos of the USA prior to the war on drugs? There was a lot less burglary/robbery/home invasion, right? As I recall the US had low urban crime until Prohibition, then it spiked '20s-'30s, declined '40s-'50s, and shot up again with the '60s. I'm sure the main reason was that working class men - both blacks & other races - generally worked, got married, and had children. Sentencing in the US was harsher than in the '60s-'70s, but I don't think it was noticeably harsher than today, other than the death penalty being more likely to be actually used?

BTW in my experience regular burglars don't typically target the wealthy; they target the people next door, especially fellow people from the underclass who may not call the police, and are likely to be ignored if they do call them. This is especially true of violent home invaders where the victims will see the attackers.

handle said...

Thanks for the link. I should emphasize, it's not *my* theory, it's what I believe Stuntz was definitely hinting at in multiple instances in his book. Also, it comes up in drug war debates all the time - what would happen if we legalized recreational use of drugs? Most people focus on the drug users. But some people say, yeah, but what about the whole dealing network, which is like tourism in some vacation spot - that is, the entirety of local industry and commerce. What then. When legal types with any experience of these communities think it through, it's a moment of great despondence, like learning your stock portfolio just tanked. Policy changes always have costs. Suddenly, giving up the drug war isn't such as urgent moral imperative.

Anonymous said...

Muddle-headed paranoid opinions like this are a much deeper and sinister aspect of marijuana consumption.

Noumenon said...

That's fascinating. What a broadly developed legal and social worldview that guy has.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Wow, what a radical theory!

dearieme said...

And to think that I had assumed he was discussing Prohibition and the dire fate it brought on the USA - to wit, the Kennedys. Aaaaargh!

P.S. It is surely true that drugs are just a social construct? Not often you see that phrase used accurately, is it?

Rainer said...

That's the problem with conspiracy theories. There are not so much results which are achieved by collective intention. But a lot of things get done because a lot of people, everyone for himself, prefer a certain result to possible alternatives and try to avoid these alternatives.
But it seems to be difficult to find a name for that kind of behaviour - a name as simple as the term "conspiracy". Or do you know one?

Power Child said...

There are problems with this theory.

1. Thugs are capable of conducting their business from jail (as any prison guard or former drug dealer will tell you);

2. Jail is like a concentrated seminar in violence and drug dealing. Thugs return to the streets worse (for society) than when they left;

3. The thugs make their return much sooner than their sentences would suggest, thanks to plea bargaining, paroling, and so forth.

Conservatives like these Occam's Butterknife theories of drug prohibition because they simultaneously seem pro-law-and-order while studiously avoiding the reality of how the drug war got started and who is perpetuating it.

That reality is, simply, it was started by Progressives 100 year ago as a globalist initiative, and readily picked up by Neocons after WWII for that exact reason.

Today the drug war's primary purpose is to keep our military and state department involved in every last conflict all over the world. It is working.

BB753 said...

It's mostly a business on both sides. And it certainly keeps yoofs busy as well. That's a side effect. The real issue here, that nobody but heretics like Derbyshire raise is: what to do with an unemployable low IQ growing population? What can be done when when they reach a critical mass, say 30% of the population? And further, when said vibrants are encouraged to be hostile to the majority population?

Anonymous said...

If you're not otherwise involved in crime, you can make, take and deal most drugs without much danger of the law taking an interest in you. At least that's my impression of how it works in Britain, and I think it's similar in most of western Europe. Seems like a not-bad unofficial compromise, and backs up (I think) this guy's thesis.

If you are involved in (other) crime, the authorities will use your drug activities as a way to get you, but if you're not then broadly speaking they'll turn a blind eye.

thirdtwin said...

Deep State Penitentiary

Anonymous said...

Sounds like those guys ended up inside a more unlikely honeypot.

Anonymous said...

Burglary is a property crime

Anonymous said...

Repeal the drug war, start getting mass riots again.

Anonymous said...

"... kinds of criminal activity during their youthful years, which, again, you believe they are certain to do and which, really, can’t be prevented."

Handle should get over himself. This isn't a new idea. This is exactly what the left thinks the drug war is about - rounding up destitute minority youths. David Simon more or less says what Handle does. Except he doesn't think it's ok to imprison people who aren't actually doing anything wrong.

As a fan of drug legalization, I'm all for prohibitionists making this argument in public. If they have the nerve.

Dan said...

The drug war is a benefit.

It knocks out the criminal black class with great efficiency.

You cannot get witnesses to snitch or cooperate unless you have clear cut possession as leverage. aFAIK you can't lock up Deshawn quickly enough because black men 12-30 commit virtually all the violent crime and it is impossible to prosecute them via witness testimony for their violence.

Dan said...

The drug war really is the only way to control feral black men.

It's as simple as that. Segregation used to be a cheap guarenteed means of control. Now? How else do you propose to take soulless young thugs out of commission? Brazilian Death Squads?

The Z Blog said...

The problem with this theory is what is going on in many major cities. The Left is driving out the under-class, particularly the brown people, and replacing them with young white hipsters. If your goal is to build reservations and put them to work dealing drugs, instead of making silver jewelry, displacing millions of them from the urban centers makes little sense.

Up until WWI, blacks were spread over the rural areas of the south. The great migration to the cities was a 20th century thing. The over-class tried all sorts of measures to pacify these populations in the city, but have thrown in the towel. They are adopting Stalin's population ideas and forcing blacks and browns back into the countryside.

Dan said...

Or libertarians.

The Choom Man in the WH probably got the talk as soon as he started to talk about legalization.

Anonymous said...

'Needs to be prohibited anyway.' Nonsense. Where do people get off with this stuff?

Luke Lea said...

On the other hand you could legalize all drugs (as in the 19th century) thus taking the money and the glamour out of the drug trade. Many ghetto dwellers might then channel their dreams and ambitions into getting out of the ghetto into mainstream working society (especially if that three-legged stool were dismantled). Meanwhile drug taking would, in the long-run, be stigmatized. Instead of a glamorous gangbanger sporting his bling you'd see a loser lying in the gutter. The young would notice.

Anonymous said...

OT, apparently there was a leaked report or a report that has been withheld by the British government in regards to the effects of immigration.

Apparently, for every 100 immigrants that immigrate to Britain , 23 British nationals lose their jobs.

Dan said...

I was recently in an undisclosed Scandinavian city with a Free City drug area. There were very few Deshawns. That's why it was peaceful enough. That's why permissive regulations worked. America doesn't have that luxury.

Anonymous said...

I tend to doubt people who claim to have an epiphany about the one reason for some government policy's existence.

Prohibition was is the background for much of US history. It is not until WWI that a combination of new income taxes that could replace alcohol taxes, politically involved protestant women, baptist preachers, the 2nd Klan, and the need to create government jobs after WWI combined with a pile of other realities to allow prohibition.

Once prohibition gets going it becomes very lucrative government employment for non Catholics. And as Handle's Haus points out a source of great wealth for the Mafia. Previously the Mafia was mostly involved in various protection type rackets (where they actually did protect businesses from criminals) but more annoyingly trade unions. The new wealth from contraband liquor moved the Italian, Irish, and Jewish criminal organizations from the left firmly into the right wing of politics.

It would be left leaning FDR, who needed both jobs programs and taxes, who would end prohibition. Suffering from prohibition deprivation syndrome the bureaucracy eventually strikes back with drugs prohibition. At that time Blacks were still considered Republican leaning, so it is no mystery why FDR specifically targeted them, with the curious outcome of forcing them into the democratic party.

I also doubt drug enforcement keeps the dark urban masses from invading rich white neighborhoods. It might be the opposite where enhanced law enforcement in poor neighborhoods keeps middle class white gentrifiers out. Ending "Stop and Frisk" is pitched as ending police harassment of poor blacks. Stop and Frisk is more of a problem for white people who want to move in to black neighborhoods, but have to worry about being caught with a large baggy of weed, or riding their bicycle on the sidewalk, or whatever. This in turn means local landlords, who desperately want to rent to gentrifiers, are a well organized and financed opponent of Stop and Frisk.

Anonymous said...

Hard to see this guy's argument. That contained violence costs all of society a lot of money in hospital bills; prison costs are high, and the idle hands require public services. And regardless of the violence, terribly damaging drugs like meth are everywhere and take their toll as well. On the other hand, perhaps these are risks and costs that politicians believe their constituents will put up with as a price of containing the violence.

Anonymous said...

TC said...
"How many liberal critics of our justice system realize if we released every drug offender tomorrow the U.S. would still have the world's largest prison population?"

Source?

leftist conservative said...


a quote from the article:
"And this is how the drug war works. There are very, very few people who actually, consciously think like this, putting all the pieces together into one extremely tragic but coherent picture. But the glue that holds certain lasting social institutions together is often unconscious and buried beneath some protective psychological firewalls."

This is part of what I have been saying for years now: social policy, politics, media/gov't/hollywood/corporate norms, and judicial rulings are affected by forces, forces that are often unspoken, unwritten and often taboo to speak of; Forces that might best be described via force vector maps, a blizzard of forces that are exerted over time.

These forces shape our society over time, much as animal species are shaped over time, eons, through natural selection.

Norms, politics, memes, policy, all of these things might best be described as quasi-organic entities. This entire sociopolitical ecosystem -- inhabited by these norms, politics, memes, policy, etc--is more or less taboo to address in detail. Both of the major political tribes have certain taboos that extend to certain areas. The 'liberal' political tribe has taboos that are often referred to in the main as "political correctness."

The other political tribe also has taboos--which I cannot speak of in this arena!

countenance said...

I think all Handle is saying is that long prison bids for drug dealing is an easy way for the legal system to de facto punish all the other crimes that the individual did or will eventually commit, crimes that are harder to prove in court. Contra Rand Paul, virtually nobody is doing a 20 year Federal bit for merely possessing a doobie. The man who does get a 20 year Federal bit got it for dealing drugs, after being convicted multiple times for it or doing something really bad in regards to it for the first time, and got that bid after a lot of other crimes, serious crimes which everyone thinks should be illegal, were dropped in a plea bargain.

Long and short is that the man doing 20 for drugs probably also murdered someone, or if not that, ordered murders, or if not that, a lot of other real violent crime. Ergo that 20 is a proxy sentence for all those violent crimes which don't officially appear on the books and in the stats.

The only difference I have with Handel is that he thinks this thing was foreseen and planned from the beginning. I don't think most people are that smart, cunning or sophisticated, or think in such long game terms. I happen to think it accidentally fell out of the design.

One thing he is right about is that I'll live to see the day when technology makes most of current humanity's professional tracks redundant. Then things are really going to get fun, but it will end with government-created make work combined with forced sterilization.

Anonymous said...

The violent crime isn't necessary at all. Remember that places like NYC have relatively low rates of violent crime partly because they've developed good policing strategies (and there are few black men there). At least some of these strategies originated with Police Chief Reuben Greenberg in Charlotte NC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_Greenberg

So why haven't more cities adopted these police tactics? Well, there is a lot of money to be made for private companies building, maintaining and managing prisons.

"Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells." http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industry-in-the-united-states-big-business-or-a-new-form-of-slavery/8289

Anonymous said...

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/no-wonder-putin-sneers-at-us/

Like warning labels on records.

Trigger!

http://youtu.be/hkg2C_EIea0

Anonymous said...

+1000 to Anonymous at 1:00 AM

Strong "independent women," prefer thugs to beta male drones.

(These independent women aren't really independent but receive government assistance like welfare, government jobs, and affirmative action).

The government extra money devalues the money contributions that the beta male drones can offer, making thug qualities like drama and excitement relatively more valuable.

The solution is to cut off the welfare assistance, especially as science to women and especially especially assistance to single mothers.

Dan said...

Untrue, a conservative can't openly discuss it.

Dan said...

I foresee Elite Squad barrio and favela-ization of the blacks.

That's the natural balance without a prison industrial complex.

Dan said...

Jobs for jackboot authoritarians with average morals and intelligence, prison for the incompetent and violent.

That's what we have today.

Dan said...

Yep.

In Denmark they turn a blind eye. What is the difference in the US?

Occam's Electric Shaver said...

There are very, very few people who actually, consciously think like this, putting all the pieces together into one extremely tragic but coherent picture. But the glue that holds certain lasting social institutions together is often unconscious and buried beneath some protective psychological firewalls.

Pretty much a self-admission of a lack of actual proof. By this sort of reasoning, any argument that involves "putting all the pieces together into… [a] coherent picture" can be taken to be true. But in this case, the "pieces" really aren't very convincing in and of themselves, and without any sort of "conscious" decision to implement the alleged policy, there is in fact no actual evidence.

As the Scots might say, "not proven!"

Camlost said...

The Drug War is the only reason that young black thugs can make any money off illicit drug sales. (although most black drug dealers live with their mom or sister and can't even afford their own car, as noted by Levitt) The bottom line is that blacks struggle to understand risk/reward ratios, while whites have much longer time horizons.

If drug selling was legal white people would be doing it, and also doing it more efficiently and with better, more reliable service.

It's kinda like those pitiful recent protests where ragtag bunches of fast food workers tried to band together and demand starting wages of $15 per hour - if those jobs paid that much there would be a much better worker in that seat than those protestors.

Anonymous said...

Real reasons why the drug war exists:
- Pharma companies bribe politicians to ban the street drugs that could be competition to big Pharm (eg using marijuana to treat anxiety instead of using Paxil or some crap)
- cotton and textile lobbyists bribe politicians to ban hemp, again to reduce market competition
- Prison corporations bribe politicians to keep drug laws on the books because prison corps get paid by the govt per prisoner and drug "offenders" are easier to manage in prison than real offenders (murderers, rapists, thieves)
- many people's careers depend on the war on drugs: Drug Czars, DEA, CIA, FBI, police, etc. Some of these people are unionized & the unions use some of their dues to bribe politicians to keep drug laws on the books so that these people can continue having (overpaid) careers
- the illegality makes the profits available to outlaws instead of to legit companies (think Columbian cocaine producers vs Philip Morris). The CIA, etc can make better use of foreign outlaws (to oust regimes, create instability that "requires" American intervention, etc). It's a little harder to get corporations with reputations, PR depts & shareholders to do the CIA's dirty work.
- millions of voting sheeple have been propagandized into believing that they should have a legal say in other individuals' personal chemicle intake

Benjamin I. Espen said...

It has a certain plausibility about it. This reminds me a little bit of Frost's post about genetic pacification.

That seems even more true if you only look at the crack wars of the 1980s and the death toll from the war on drugs in Mexico.

It seems less true given that most of these young men seem to reproduce just fine.

However, that isn't really part of Handle's post, of which the really interesting part is: it this theory truly subconscious, or is it something that "we shall never speak of again".

Dan said...

You have deliberately misstated my argument.

If a person is regularly involved in other criminal activity but beats the rap because of witness intimidation or other "get out of jail free" technicalities, possession and dealing charges are easy to prove and cheap to enforce. It's rather like a referee in Rubgy. A bad sport often gets called out on minor infractions if the larger nastiness is previously missed.

Anonymous said...

There is no War against Drugs.

There is a War *for* drugs that has been waged by the liberal left and media for 60+ years as part of their cultural poisoning.

Separately there is an attempt to counter this cultural war with law enforcement alone - which simply can't work without social pressure.

Thirdly there are a lot of law enforcement types who like the pretend war on drugs anyway as it's a relatively easy way to get gangsta types locked up which they believe is doing some good. I used to think that myself.

However the problems with it are:

1) Mass unemployment caused by mass immigration means a lot of people involved in the drugs trade aren't natural criminals,

2)There's only a partial overlap between the street dealers and the people who deal most of the violence,

3) There's a much bigger HBD type problem which I hadn't thought of before which is there is extreme dysgenic selective pressure on the underclass population from letting a gang culture exist i.e. the most violent 10% of young males get to have > 10% of the kids.

The answers to these separate issues are:

1) Winning the cultural war against the liberal left which means overthrowing their hold on the mass media. Easier said than done.

2) Winning the economic war with both the left and right over mass immigration so there aren't large pools of unemployed young men. Also much easier said than done.

3) Switching the war on drugs to a war on gangs without telling anyone i.e. using the drugs laws not to put lots of dealers in jail but as a means to gain leverage over them as a way of getting the most violent gang members locked up i.e. a stealth eugenic policy using the war on drugs as a tool.

This third option is doable even on an individual cop basis. Use drug busts for information on who the psychos are - not necessarily killers just the nastiest - and then work towards getting those guys locked up.

Anonymous said...

addendum:

Just to be clear, using the drugs laws to get a lot of trouble off the streets is a valid strategy but it would be much more effective long-term imo if it was used as a means to target the most violent gang members rather than the most visible gang members (street dealers).

Dan said...

Lol, dude there was a thing called segregation.

That is what drug prohibition replaced.

Dan said...

Not that I don't believe you have sources, but can you name names, suggest a book...etc etc?

Drug prohibition was an issue in the Anglo-Chinese Opium war. The RN wanted to trade David Sassoon's heroin with Fu Won Poo and emperor Ping-Pong didn't like it one little bit. British cannons settled the dispute and some Royal Marine bayonets enforced the modus Vivendi between Hairy White Man and Civilized Man.

Dan said...

Prohibition actually tends to make drugs cheaper.

If they were legalized they would be taxed to oblivion anyway. Prohibition in this case allows coppers to nab targets when and wherever they deem it beneficial. Teenage white kids are not being sent to jail for a teenth of hash or a gram of speed. A recidivist known burglar, rapist, robber caught with a Baggie is getting sent down.

EOM.

Art Deco said...

For the record, about 21% of the prison and jail census are there on a bill of particulars headed by a drug charge. The thesis is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

http://mercatus.org/publication/top-25-political-donations-1989-2014?utm

Act Blue.

Yikes.

Anonymous said...

"They are adopting Stalin's population ideas and forcing blacks and browns back into the countryside."

I guess having used them as shock troops to drive the working class whites out of the cities, they're now sending them out in pursuit via Section 8 and the like.

In the UK the current govt had a not-unreasonable policy - restrict Housing Benefit (welfare) to a maximum of (I think) £400 a week. (A lot of landlords had become millionaires from the rents).

But this means some of the most intractable workless families are being moved out and offered houses in poor, previously-white areas, sometimes more than 100 miles away. You can run, but you can't hide.

Old Odd Jobs said...

"The drug war really is the only way to control feral black men."

Or just free the weed and leave these "feral" men happily sedated.


"..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon..."

Henry Canaday said...

You can turn it into a theory of partial and passive causality that is more plausible.

Both crime and drug use exploded in the 60s after court-ordered changes in the justice system that made it harder to prevent crime and drug use. If the explosion in violent crime had largely affected middle-class white America, the judicial changes would have been overturned, one way or another, rapidly. But the body count was almost entirely in the ghetto, as was mostly the explosion in drug use and selling. The middle class was nicked by the drug epidemic, but middle-class kids had less reason to become addicted and more resources for shedding addictions than the ghetto kids did.

So society, not the cops who do not really have much influence on criminal justice policies, tolerated the breakdown for a long time. When life became, not so much really dangerous as inconveniently worrisome, in rich parts of Manhattan and other cities, change came, but of a particular kind. We simply warehouse the career criminals, who eventually get caught even by a still-loose court system.

E. Rekshun said...

Hhhmmm, maybe Handle's Haus is on to something; after all, the CIA introduced crack cocaine into America's inner cities.

E. Rekshun said...

@Dave Pinsen: Obese young men have less energy for criminal violence and lower testosterone, on average, so they are less aggressive.

And they die younger.

E. Rekshun said...

If the war on drugs ended, then hundreds of thousands of local/state/federal cops, jailers, probation officers, prosecutors, & defense lawyers would be unemployed. Not to mention all the US Coast Guard and other US military "interdiction" and "eradication" teams, and all the private sector firms that provide armaments and high-tech gizmos to support the "war."

Xavier R said...

From City of God:
Lil Ze: look at these fat cats. Hold ups bring in chickensh$t. Drugs is where the real money's at. We should kill all these dealers and take over their territory
Bene: *lol* when do we start?
Lil Ze: NOW!

In northern NJ I've now read about 2 black bands of organized burglars (eg, the James Bond gang). One recent band of punks were nabbed when (cue Bell Curve comment) one of the burglars left a cell phone (Obama phone!) At the scene of a crime. Leave it to Walt white higher IQ types to 'break bad' cooking meth

Crawfurdmuir said...

The chain of causation in this aryument is mixed up.

Over-the-counter purchase of narcotics was perfectly legal until the passage of the Harrison Act of 1914, which restricted their sale to those who had been prescribed them by a doctor. The legislative history of the Harrison Act shows that the concern behind it originated mainly from the potential of patent medicines containing opiates or cocaine to create addiction in unwitting users, and in the possibility of death by misadventure from the misuse of such nostrums, as when (let us say) a excessive dose of an opiate was administered to an infant.

There was not then a large recreational drug culture like that familiar to us today. In the nineteenth and previous centuries, a person might engage in all sorts of self-destructive habits, and ended up dying in the gutter. There was a minimal social safety net, and the wastrel who destroyed himself - whether by drink, dope, gambling, whoring, or general ne'er-do-weel habits - was pointed to as an object lesson in why the prudent person avoided such behavior.

Anti-drug legislation underwent a transformation of purpose as the welfare state burgeoned. As the social safety net (and its expense) grew, there was naturally a desire on the parts of the powers-that-be to discourage people from becoming public charges. Like liquor prohibtion and all sorts of other prohibitions and regulations (seat-belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, laws prohibiting the sale of firecrackers, etc.), regulation was used to control the "moral hazard" of the social safety net - namely, that people who knew they would be taken care of at the expense of the taxpayer had less reason to avoid foolish and dangerous activities than they would if they had to rely on their own resources.

In looking at the thug culture of the inner cities, which is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic, we have to add to the moral hazard of the social safety net the disincentive it creates for honest, on-the-books work at the sorts of jobs open to the unskilled. Most Americans of middle age or older can recall a time when jobs like those of hotel chambermaids and bellhops, waiters, bootblacks, railroad porters, and taxicab drivers were filled by American negroes. When was the last time you rode in a taxi driven by an American black, were waited on at a restaurant by one, or saw one cleaning floors and making beds at an hotel?

By and large, American negroes do not take such jobs any more. They are filled by recent immigrants, the legality of whose presence here is questionable. Blacks and US-born Hispanics collect welfare, live in subsidized housing, and supplement their EBT cards with cash derived from the proceeds of crime. They do so because earnest liberals long ago decided that menial work (at so-called "dead-end jobs") was degrading and that to see American negroes doing it was too remindful of the days of slavery. Better, they thought, that such people should not have to work at all, than to work as maids and bootblacks.

The result of this thinking is that (as Tom Sowell has pointed out) the rates of bastardy, incarceration, and unemployment are much higher today than they were in 1950. These circumstances can't be blamed on "racism," for there was much more racism in American society in 1950, and it was voiced much more overtly and unapologetically, than is the case today. No - the condition of blacks, and the criminal culture that is so large a part of lower-class American negro life today, are the direct consequences of the welfare state, the creations of well-meaning liberalism.

Anonymous said...

The book Oklahoma Tough, about the criminal career of an OK bootlegger after dry Oklahoma finally legalized alcohol in the fifties covers some of this ground. There was a crime wave of out of work bootleggers, including the author's father.

Svigor said...

The result of this thinking is that (as Tom Sowell has pointed out) the rates of bastardy, incarceration, and unemployment are much higher today than they were in 1950. These circumstances can't be blamed on "racism," for there was much more racism in American society in 1950, and it was voiced much more overtly and unapologetically, than is the case today. No - the condition of blacks, and the criminal culture that is so large a part of lower-class American negro life today, are the direct consequences of the welfare state, the creations of well-meaning liberalism.

I think that's nonsense. If we examine sub-Saharan Africa today, we get a pretty good picture of what the black norms are in terms of rates of bastardy, crime, and unemployment. Current black American norms look more like current sub-Saharan African norms than black American norms did in the forties. I think The Razor suggests that there was something in the past artificially improving black American norms, and today's black American norms have simply regressed to the black mean, as evidenced in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, I don't think it's accurate to say that today's black American norms are a result of the welfare state or liberalism, but rather the reverse; previous, better black American norms were the result of Jim Crow and the white right.

Importantly, this calls very much into question the sustainability of the improved norms.

jody said...

these threads are always entertaining, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

This third option is doable even on an individual cop basis. Use drug busts for information on who the psychos are - not necessarily killers just the nastiest - and then work towards getting those guys locked up.

That's not necessarily going to keep them from reproducing...

Agnightstic said...

Black norms seen in Africa today aren't necessarily what they were in the past either.

Anonymous said...

Real reasons why the drug war exists:
- Pharma companies bribe politicians to ban the street drugs that could be competition to big Pharm....
- cotton and textile lobbyists bribe politicians to ban hemp....
- Prison corporations bribe politicians to keep drug laws on the books....
- many people's careers depend on the war on drugs: Drug Czars, DEA, CIA, FBI, police, etc....


You forgot about the Christian Right* and its crusade against drugs and altered states of consciousness. Some of this is a front, pressure and bribery from Big Pharma, the cotton lobby, the prison lobby, and government "drug czars". They want to CR to do their dirty work (and sound like idiots in the process) and fill impressionable people's heads with lurid horror stories about the EEEEEEEEEVIL of drugs.

Anonymous said...

"Importantly, this calls very much into question the sustainability of the improved norms."

If it's correct that the urban gang culture operates as a reproductive strategy that breeds psychopaths then it implies that the "rates of bastardy, crime, and unemployment" should vary dramatically between rural southern black populations and the urban populations descended from the great migration.

That wouldn't prove causation but if it's not true that would disprove the gang culture theory.

.

"That's not necessarily going to keep them from reproducing..."

True, most of them though.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Svigor wrote; "I think that's nonsense. If we examine sub-Saharan Africa today, we get a pretty good picture of what the black norms are in terms of rates of bastardy, crime, and unemployment. Current black American norms look more like current sub-Saharan African norms than black American norms did in the forties. I think The Razor suggests that there was something in the past artificially improving black American norms, and today's black American norms have simply regressed to the black mean, as evidenced in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, I don't think it's accurate to say that today's black American norms are a result of the welfare state or liberalism, but rather the reverse; previous, better black American norms were the result of Jim Crow and the white right."

My point does not exclude the possibility that your point is correct.

My feeling is that the majority, at least, of the American negro population needs an environment subject to strict discipline imposed from without by the larger white-dominated society in order to maintain minimal standards of civilisation. Its current problems began when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the analysis of a Swedish sociologist of pronouncedly left-wing views was to be preferred as a guide to future policy over the cumulative lessons of America's post-bellum experience in dealing with the negro.

Jim Crow and various other laws having primary impact upon blacks (e.g., providing the death penalty for rape) were devised during the Redemption period in response to what had happened during Reconstruction, when carpetbag governments had not simply permitted, but positively encouraged the newly-freed blacks to run wild in victimizing ex-Confederates. The white South knew what sort of character to expect from the rnu-of-the-mill black. This is made amply clear in the memoirs of this period.

To say that white liberalism has merely allowed blacks to return to the sub-Saharan norm is inaccurate. White liberals have functioned as apologists and "enablers" for the low-grade psychopathy typical of the urban black underclass. Like a battered wife or the adult children of an alcoholic, they make excuses for the aberrant behavior of the objects of their misguided and hopeless affection. This serves only to worsen the state of affairs.

Had the American negro been treated with the "benign neglect" advocated in the 'sixties by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it is possible that some of the social pathology that is so evident in the black community would not be so pronounced. Absent indulgent treatment, behavior characterised by laziness, fecklessness, and vice has a tendency to be self-limiting just by virtue of its normal consequences. Earnest white liberals have worked diligently to relieve the severity of those consequences, which has in its turn led inevitably to even more debilitating ravages.

Anonymous said...

Say four populations have a psychopath rate of 1%, 2%, 4% and 6%.

A psychopath breeding program for one of those populations could make it 1%, 2%, 4% and 8%.

There's no inconsistency between a population initially having a worse norm and that norm subsequently becoming more worse.

.

"providing the death penalty for rape"

This would have a pretty dramatic impact. A major part of the media's Big Lie is hiding the huge scale of within-group rape in the underclass gang culture.

Crawfurdmuir said...

Further to Svigor, who wrote: "Thus, I don't think it's accurate to say that today's black American norms are a result of the welfare state or liberalism, but rather the reverse; previous, better black American norms were the result of Jim Crow and the white right."

The point that deteriorating norms with respect to bastardy, unemployment, and incarceration are results of the welfare state and indulgent liberalism is corroborated by what has happened among poor whites. See, for many examples, Charles Murray's recent book "Coming Apart."

The rate of bastardy amongst whites is now higher than the comparable rate among blacks was back in the 'sixties when Moynihan warned about the deterioration of the black family. The welfare state has certainly enabled this abandonment of older social norms. We may, in due course, expect to see increased unemployment and incarceration amongst poorer whites. This segment is now succumbing to the same perverse incentives that blacks did earlier.

Why did blacks succumb to it earlier? Feebler average intelligence has something to do with it, but so does the fact that they were but superficially Christianised. The earliest importation of black slaves to North America took place in 1619, so the oldest domestic black population in the United States is even now less than four centuries removed from the heathen superstition and cannibalism of the African jungle.

Any perceptive observer of black churches will quickly discern that hardly any serious moral teaching goes on in them, and what little does goes in one ear and out the other. Vachel Lindsay's poem "The Congo: A study of the negro race" is still an apt summary of negro religion. To it today we need add only the more recent functions of cultivating grievance against whites and turning out the vote for Democrats à la Jeremiah Wright. Thus, while churches still have an important place in the American negro subculture, they have little influence in discouraging their votaries from fornicating, stealing, raping, murdering, etc.

Poor whites trace their ancestry to European peoples that have been Christian for perhaps four times as long as blacks. Europeans were moreover subjected for more than a millennium to artificial selection - lawless and violent elements amongst the European peasantry underwent a rigorous culling through the vigorous application of capital punishment, whilst voluntary obedience was inculcated in the remaining stock by priests who repeated the Decalogue and admonished them every Sunday with imagery of the torments of Hell. The profound influence of this lengthy immersion in Christian moral teaching is naturally more stubbornly lodged in the minds of people of European descent than it is amongst blacks.

Yet, with persistence, it can be eradicated, and that is just what the left-wing intelligentsia has worked sedulously to do since at least the time of Rousseau. The effort has been strengthened with the advent of socialism and social-democracy, and the statistics presented by Murray suggest that it is at long last showing results amongst poor whites, just as it earlier did amongst blacks.