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Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Black Market Correction

Center for a Stateless Society
It’s intriguing to see the progressive Left uniting against drug prohibition. They’re not with us in spirit, nor should they be, but they’ve laid the groundwork for its critique, and in a way that is sewn with the same threads of our passing commonalities. Many hold that only ”hard” drugs should be combated with force and other “safe” drugs regulated in their consumption. This is certainly disappointing, but we, the decentralist Left, can exploit this opportunity.

Despite progressive’s claim to command a substantive critique of social and systemic power, they will celebrate governmental structures of plutocracy. They see plutocracy as an externally constituted force that can combat diffused power hierarchies while failing to be a part of them. As if it were a “neutral” force, a blank executive slate upon which a rational justice can be inscribed and effectively commanded by the intended rationality of the prescribed justice itself. Exposing the modern progressive’s ignorance of the structures of oppression is another opportunity.  

We’ve all seen this mantra, “Legalize it, regulate it, tax it!” Notice the awkward position they place themselves in. The difference between regulation and prohibition, for there to be a distinction at all, is that regulation makes exceptions for the privileged – that’s little comfort when you’re the one effectively prohibited in either case. While heavy-handedness has resulted in calamity, they’re confident that a moderate application of forceful regulation is workable. Public policy writing, it seems, isn’t equivalent to playing whack-a-mole while wearing a blindfold.

“Unregulated” Black Markets? Where?

It’s often implied that the dangers of criminal drug markets are a result of their “unregulated” character. If we just legalized drugs and let the government regulate their quality and consistency, everyone would be safer. I agree that everyone would be safer under legalization, but regulation has nothing to do with it. Far from it, because the existing harm is spawned from the failures and faults of the regulatory state. Not just because outright banning the production, distribution and consumption of a good is the highest form of regulation imaginable, but because it disempowers consumers by fostering hierarchy and violence on a structural level.

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