Monday, June 20, 2011

Internationalists and Global Futurists: The Spoils (And Spoilage) Of Never-Ending Wars

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"If wars weren't so profitable, people would abandon them."
-Douglas E Castle

Prologue: Entrepreneurs, Thought-Leaders, Visionaries, Business Owners, Internationalists, Trend Watchers and Global Futurists; this article is about the long-standing international "War On Drugs." Each of us, as an entrepreneurial business owner, a private-sector "citizen ambassador" through the medium of cyberspace, and a producer of value added goods and services must see some of these "Wars" for what they are -- and perhaps they are a source of business opportunities for the sociopathic, megalomaniacal and unscrupulous minority of powerful leaders in this world.

Wars of any sort generate profits for their champions, their financiers, their suppliers, and countless other parties. The common denominator is not principle -- the common denominator is economics -- war is a money-making business opportunity; it follows that an endless war is an endless money-making business opportunity. Perhaps worst of all is that entire economies, governments and international politics are centered around it and steeped in it.

Here's a pun: Governments have become addicted to the War On Drugs. Please read on...

While the public has been conditioned to view illegal drugs (sometimes termed "recreational" drugs) themselves as an evil to be contended with in terms of their propensity to create addiction, loss of mental faculties, and other "sins" of irresponsibility and escapism, the problem has never been truly about the drugs and their effects on users.

The War On Drugs is, theoretically, targeted toward those traffickers, dealers, pushers and criminal organizations which make these substances available for public consumption in contravention of the laws.

If we dig deeper, we can follow the money trail to find out precisely who has benefitted from the prosecution of this unwinnable war. The principal beneficiaries have been:

1) Major suppliers of these illegal (and therefore high-priced) substances to the public;

2) Governments and their agencies which actually utilize various forms of partnering with drug traffickers in order to create piles of money to finance covert operations, undeclared wars, and private wealth-building;

3) Law enforcement agencies (jobs); investigative agencies (jobs); the prison system (jobs -- incarceration, especially in the United States, is a very big business) and various other insatiable, hungry consumers of taxpayer dollars and confiscated assets who render a "service" born of the criminalization of drugs;

4) Some of the large pharmaceutical companies who control the rights (either directly, by proxy, or via lobbyists) to charge enormous prices for prescription variants of these illegal drugs, and the regulatory agencies which are party to the approval process in their gatekeeper role;

5) Political aspirants needing a cheap, indisputable, traditional platform upon wish to campaign to an ill-informed constituency.

We all understand, even those of us who skipped many a class in school, or those whose wits are addled as a result of either genetics or lifestyle (with and without the use of these demonized illegal substances), that the War On Drugs cannot ever be won. It is, sadly a type of Prohibition which goes against Human Nature, but that has been providing profits and capital to all of the wrong people for a long, long time. It is an "assumed necessity" which has become entrenched into the economic structure of the entire world.

As long as the use of so many substances is criminalized, those "forbidden fruits" will sell at tremendous prices and be a magnet for violent criminal activity and "unaccounted for" governmental operations and covert enterprises.

The large pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly in the prescription drug market. They have helped to contribute to rising global costs of healthcare.

If "illegal drugs" were to be decriminalized (and became as readily available as alcohol to persons over a certain minimum age), their prices would plummet. There would no longer be a big profit in trafficking in drugs, or in the continued prosecution (by governments and their agencies) of the new, non-criminal suppliers.

Alcohol is legal, and yet not everyone becomes an alcoholic or a drunken driver. Some people do, but most people don't. I believe that the same behavioral reasoning applies to drug abuse.

The article below, which appears courtesy of Yahoo! News, talks about de-criminalizing many of these drugs. Notice how the proponents of ending the perpetual War On Drugs are "retired" politicians and leaders. They have already either made their own profits from the War, or have simply come to realize how expensive it is, and how the cure (i.e., the War) is far more expensive and violent than the disease (i.e., possible drug addiction and abuse).

After looking at the article, please come back here [we'll wait!] and I'll give you my insight, not as the Chairman of TNNWC, but as an individual schooled in economics, trend citing and event forecasting (I like to call it "Global Futurism"):

Global leaders call for a major shift to decriminalize drugs

By Liz Goodwin Wed Jun 1, 2:49 pm ET, from Yahoo! News
A slew of big-name former politicians are endorsing a report that says the war on drugs is not working and that drug enforcement policy needs to fundamentally change. The Global Commission on Drug Policy will urge a "paradigm shift" that emphasizes public health over criminalization tomorrow at a meeting in New York City, The Guardian reports.

Those backing the report include former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former Fed Chair Paul Volcker. Former elected leaders of Greece, Brazil and Colombia have also signed on. See the full list of backers here.

"What we have here is the greatest collection thus far of ex-presidents and prime ministers calling very clearly for decriminalization and experiments with legal regulation," Danny Kushlick, spokesman for the drug policy center Transform, told the Guardian. "It will be a watershed moment." [whole article...] ####

Douglas E Castle's view, from the standpoint of The Global Futurist and The Internationalist Page, is clear:

While it would benefit the peoples of the world to end the violence and expense of the War On Drugs, it is so deeply encultured and so massively profitable to an elite group of opportunists, that the War will indeed continue. It is simply too profitable for some very powerful people to allow it to end.

I believe that certain drugs, such as marijuana, may be become de-criminalized on a piecemeal basis over a span of many years, but by and large, the War On Drugs is here to stay for a very long time. The decriminalization cry is just posturing on the part of some people who don't get sufficient media exposure without finding a theme to make proclamations about.


Douglas E. Castle

Original Article Title: "A World-Changing New Direction. Maybe" and "Internationalists and Global Futurists: The Spoils (And Spoilage) Of Never-Ending Wars"

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