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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

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Why I am not a Libertarian
If it may be permitted, I would like here to quote in full an article which argues against the legalization and the award of social sanction of that form of mental self-mutilation known as recreational drug use, and does so with more authority than I command (since the author speaks from personal experience--note particularly his anecdote about building a road in Africa, when the construction workers were given free booze) . 

The article is from Front Page magazine, and the author is the skeptical doctor  Anthony Daniels, writing as Theodore Dalrymple

Don’t Legalize Drugs
Theodore Dalrymple

here is a progression in the minds of men: first the unthinkable becomes thinkable, and then it becomes an orthodoxy whose truth seems so obvious that no one remembers that anyone ever thought differently. This is just what is happening with the idea of legalizing drugs: it has reached the stage when with the idea of legalizing drugs: it has reached the stage when millions of thinking men are agreed that allowing people to take whatever they like is the obvious, indeed only, solution to the social problems that arise from the consumption of drugs.

Man’s desire to take mind-altering substances is as old as society itself—as are attempts to regulate their consumption. If intoxication in one form or another is inevitable, then so is customary or legal restraint upon that intoxication. But no society until our own has had to contend with the ready availability of so many different mind-altering drugs, combined with a citizenry jealous of its right to pursue its own pleasures in its own way.

The arguments in favor of legalizing the use of all narcotic and stimulant drugs are twofold: philosophical and pragmatic. Neither argument is negligible, but both are mistaken, I believe, and both miss the point.

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Somone asked me to stand for public office
Sun_Stealer remarks: "Have you ever considered running for political office, Mr. Wright? You'd have my vote."

Heh. I am a failed attorney, because I found law work boring, and unrewarding, and I was (to be frank) not an asset to the firm that hired me. Writing law is just as boring as reading it, but has the added drawbacks of being a job where one must meet, greet, and please the public, plus one must chiffer and bargain with one's fellow politicos to get things done.

If the Lord recalls my sins, then in the next life my punishment in purgatory will be doing law work combined with public relations, public appearances, and negotiation. You will see me on one of the shelves of Dante's mountain, singing hymns, on fire while I drag a huge boulder on my back, eyelids stapled shut, or something like that, with an accordion file of legal documents in my hands, and an appointment where I have to dress up in a suit and tie, explaining to ignorant voters that I cannot both lower taxes and give them more goodies.

No, the idea of a political career is flattering but without merit. Besides, any Christian man of letters already has more power than an earthly prince. The true leadership in any civilization is in its philosophers and thinkers, its writers and men of the mind. The political leaders, by and large, merely carry out the popular will, which, by and large, is controlled by the ideas of the writers and thinkers of the previous generation.

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