We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, January 28, 2017

You’ll Never View Addiction The Same After Watching This Brilliant Video

Click here to access article by Amanda Froelich from True Activist. (Commentary edited for clarity at 5PM Seattle time.)

Although I haven't thoroughly studied the issue, this take on drug addiction makes a lot of sense to me. If Johann Hari is correct, and I think he is, then this would explain why drug addiction is viewed as it is presently is by ruling class authorities: they don't want Hari's research to undermine all their propaganda about the benefits of American capitalist society. History teaches us that whenever evidence of a sick society contradicts ruling class ideology, the latter will always be purveyed by their ideological institutions until they are forced by revolution to relinquish power.
Everything we thought we knew about addiction is wrong.


  1. I noticed your piece on Johann Hari tonight and felt I should urge everyone to take a closer look:

    In June 2011 Hari was accused of plagiarism through the use of unattributed quotations in interviews, by using previously published quotes in place of his interviewees' recorded answers. The Orwell Prize, which he had won in 2008, was withdrawn following a comparison between one of the articles for which he had won the award and the original Der Spiegel article on which it was based. Hari was also revealed to have used Wikipedia to libel journalists who were publicly critical of him.[10][11][12] Hari later wrote a public apology in The Independent. The British magazine The Economist questioned Hari's sincerity in accepting blame.[13] Hari left The Independent shortly after.[14]

    Then, as for the research on addicted returning veterans:
    https://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2014/11/09/breaking-bad-habits/ James Clear
    *There is an additional caveat to the Vietnam study that I believe is worth mentioning. The percentage of soldiers who remained addicted after returning to the US was very similar to the percentage of addicts we typically find in society. I’m not an expert on addiction and can’t say what the answer is, but it’s obvious that environment change is not a magic cure to all addiction problems. It is best to view this simply as another tool in your tool belt that you can use to build new habits and break old ones.

    Book review of Chasing the Scream
    GUARDIAN Review was "guarded"...

    Clear's statistics (op cit) are most telling: the percentage of returning Vietnam vets who could not kick their drug habit matched the percentage of the general population addicted to drugs.

    This strongly suggests that the vets who "kicked the habit" could be said to have done just that - let go a habit that was place-specific and intentionally caused by the CIA and the horrors of Phoenix. It was a coping mechanism, more than an addiction, dropped/weaned when it was no longer needed.

    The rest of the vets were, then, actually addicted. And, like all addicts, could not stop without major treatment, if then.

    I remember reading about Hari's Chasing the Scream when it first came out (2013). It looked like a breakthrough - because we all want a breakthrough. But, the more I read, the more I was repulsed by the egotism and histrionics of the author.

    Finally, Hari never touches the fact that addiction was purposely made inevitable in Vietnam by the CIA, who ran the drugs, used the money to finance Phoenix operations, and purposely made the drugs available to soldiers - who, of course, paid for them. This fact is well documented in Douglas Valentine's new book (2017), CIA as Organized Crime. Prior similar documentation cost journalist Gary Webb and former cop Michael Ruppert, their lives. Add to that the enormous support Hari's book received from all the top gatekeepers: Chomsky, Greenwald, Goodman, HuffPo, NPR, etc., etc., etc.


    Because a tried-and-true tactic of the ruling class is "blame the victim". Best distraction around! If by "simply" returning home, soldiers could break their "addiction", then by extension all addicts could stop if they wanted to. Blame the addict, not the CIA, the ruling class' praetorian guard.

    1. Thank you Caren for your diligent research efforts and critical thinking to expose more of the background on Hari.

      Although Hari overstates the influence of stress and isolation of drug addicts, I think that a major factor in drug addiction is facilitated by stressful situations confronting many Americans, and isolating them after criminal arrests doesn't help in their rehabilitation.


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