Dalrymple recently participated in another Intelligence Squared debate on drug legalization, this time in the US, alongside former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency Asa Hutchinson, and against Reason magazine editor Nick Gillespie and law professor Paul Butler:
(H/t Teddy M.)
I haven’t seen all the debate but what I have seen, well, finally TD gets to make a considerable contribution. To quote TD from an old essay.
“In the prison in which I work I see many men who have a grossly inflated and indeed repulsive self-esteem. They are young criminals who walk with a swagger, who have frequently committed acts that have caused deep misery to others, who have fathered children without the least concern for their welfare and yet who project a self- satisfaction that is horribly at variance with their actual place in the world.”
Their actual place in the world, think about that.
To quote the recent excellent article Taliban of Austerity
“But to call the attempt to balance a budget ‘austerity,’ in other words to say living within your means implies ‘rigorous abstinence, asceticism,’ a kind of killjoy puritanism, is to suggest that it is both honest, just and decent to do otherwise. And this is indicative of a revolution in our sensibilities.
In fact, it is grossly dishonorable to live beyond your means, at least when you transfer to the cost to others, as is inevitable when borrowing becomes an entire, chronic way of life – as it has in many countries. Then repayment becomes impossible and is known in advance to be impossible; you continue to borrow so that you may continue to live at a higher standard of living than your earnings justify, in the full knowledge that you will either eventually default…”
“The idea that living within your means is a form of austerity, and not (other than in exceptional circumstances) the elementary moral duty of people of honor, shows that, underlying the economic crisis is a profound moral crisis in western society.”
This moral crisis is on such a breathtaking scale a lot, a LOT, of people consider their actual place in the world with the pot stoner like vagueness that they consider their financial affairs, the two are related funnily enough.
When Paul Butler discusses black and latinos copping the brunt of law enforcement in places like south America – these are countries that have not become civillised to anywhere near the degree that the English speaking world has – it’s particularly difficult when so many in the English speaking world take such privilege for granted and create demand for drugs in less civilised world.
As for the racial dimension in, say, New York… I don’t doubt there’s a very serious problem there – poor families will be much less likely to assimilate, to aspire, to a civilised state when people like Nick Gillespie are making reckless trivialising statements, apologetics, ‘victimhood’ excuses – Paul Butler expressed what I might call moralphobia when TD made it perfectly clear that this is problem is largely moral in nature – and it most certainly is – how can ethnic minorities pull themselves out of their own mess when morality is so considered – this is a deplorable state of affairs; Butler should be deeply ashamed.
“Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
And Butler talks of the ‘Nanny state’
You should let the APA know and they can put it in the DSM and then it will be a real condition. Of course, its antithesis would be hypermoralism which would have the potential to be equally destructive.
An ex-federal prosecutor complaining about the ‘Nanny State’?
I think I see your point. That first sentence, by the way, was shaping up to be a good Rap song methinks.
hypermoralism? Dalrymple writes well on this, as you may know, in Sex and the Shakespeare reader.
I’d probably rather enjoy if someone accused me of being hypermoralist – I think I’d take them to the magazine section of a supermarket, get them to read out the headers and ask “Where is your actual place in the world according to this lot?”