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Yup. There's a certain irony how, a century and a half after Britain and the U.S. managed to reduce the greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts and trigger a civil war and the fall of the empire, the rump state of that civilization is now reducing the new greatest civilization on earth to a bunch of drug addicts, triggering the fall of its empire and a potential civil war.

There is a really interesting tension in the world of propaganda - I see it in the modern Hong Kong situation. The better job the propagandists do of minimising Tienanmen for example the more likely China is to get Tienanmen-like protests again.

From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework. That probably leaves a vulnerability to being toppled in the same way.

>From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework

I think that's a post internet thing. Pre-internet most of us got all of our historical information from school, and there weren't places like Twitter or Facebook to spread what were previously dismissed as fairy tales.

I certainly wouldnt have been aware of much of the shitty "world building" that the US goes around doing without having visited some of the internet's scummiest corners in the last decade or so. It's actually amazing to see how much of this has trickled into the mainstream as it became acceptable discourse on more mainstream places like Reddit and eventually FB and such.

I mean sure, you had things like Vietnam which were polarizing along this very dividing line, but the average person was fed a different set of spin on much of what they ultimately grew up learning, and I think that may have played a role in American Exceptionalism. Nowadays people, especially young people, tend to be far less patriotic and I would attribute this apathy or even disdain for at least part of the current breakdown in political discourse and ostensible early decline stage of the American Empire. Of course it's worth saying that much of this divide falls neatly along left/right as critics/apologists of/for American realpolitik.

This is 100% a function of your age and has nothing to do with the availability of reddit(?!).

Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.

>Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.

And the ones who don’t are the ones who actually move the needle. ;)

I'm talking young adults. 20 somethings. They won't grow out of it if they have nothing cohesive to grow into, and I think many see a broken history as a huge smear on the country. There were fewer of these people pre internet because most then learned a somewhat biased account in school and then went off to join society with little chance of encountering revisionist history, outside of certain relatively small social circles.

Now it's all over the internet, a sort of radicalization-lite that starts in tighter circles where kids swap conspiracy theories and alternative perspectives, and more of this stuff quickly starts leaking mainstream.

I think any dominant culture de facto produces and consumes its own propaganda, to some extent. That's good and bad. The information age has made the system more chaotic because of the speed and convenience of data exchange, and that leads to more frequent clashing and fracturing in society, as common indoctrination does lead to greater social cohesion, across cultures. Propaganda has less of an effect and people have less reason to rally together because of different views on, say, in America's case, history and even some of our modern world building.

What, you think radicalization is unique to the chans? You'll see it's all around us if you're not unfairly exclusive in your definition of radical.

Very refreshing to read what I hold to be both a simple and material conception of present political currents. The internet is a complicated blessing.

Separate and beyond your point, which I very much agree with, I predict this will ultimately re-center a focus onto publicly ratified power. As it stands, corporations are effectively state institutions with no public ties. There are some striking congruencies with feudalism in modern capitalism, but technology makes it all virtually incomparable in the big picture. The internet transcends beyond physical empire not only for worse but ultimately for better in this case. If only the road to democracy from here were not so bloody nonetheless.

Are we overreacting a little? Drug addiction is a serious problem, as it has been for many decades, but it’s not on the verge of collapsing US society. The vast majority of people aren’t addicted to opiates and aren’t going to become addicted to opiates, and of those they are... well, most of them would otherwise be addicted to something else anyway.

Why is this comment getting downvoted?

Probably because of that part

well, most of them would otherwise be addicted to something else anyway.

I've spent a good deal of time reading opioid users forums and I think that statement only half tracks. The way opioid users describe the high of slower release opioids (i.e. oxycotin pills), and to some degree snorting/smoking opioids, is not radically different from other drugs. The way opioid users talk the high of injection opioids is totally different: they describe an immediately obsession-inducing experience. As one user said, injection "fundamentally changes your relationship with your self."

Non-injection administration dominates illicit opioid use* overall[1], but injection causes most overdoses[2]. Illicit use and overdoses are two related but separate aspects of the opioid crisis, so I think it's fair to say that many illicit users would be addicted to something else anyway, but the same cannot necessarily be said for injection users.

*I say illicit opioid use instead of opioid addiction or abuse because this study includes users who might not be addicted or might be using it for medical purposes

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967505/ [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11964108

That doesn’t seem so obviously wrong that one should simply downvote rather than counter-arguing.

Drug trends come and go. People who for whatever combination of reasons (genetics, life circumstances, surrounding culture) are likely to get addicted to drugs seem to find their way to whatever the currently popular drug is.

> genetics, life circumstances, surrounding culture

Life circumstances like “needing to get their wisdom teeth removed.” The doctor prescribes you painkillers afterward and makes absolutely no mention of how addictive they are, or even that they’re opioids.

I don’t think those people were going to wake up one morning and start using on heroin on their own, so I have a hard time writing them off as “well, some people would have used drugs anyway.”

Oh please spare me the sermon. You dont just wake up one day an addict. Its similar bullshit to "the first hit is always free". Its propaganda. As much as wide parts of American society dont want to believe it, as an addict you make a choice. Its your god damn agency. You dont just find out that the yummy candy made you an addict. Thats nothing but a nice excuse. You keep using stuff that you know you shouldnt use, because it feels good and it often beats the alternatives. The quote that stuck with me most was an Heroin addict who explained how he started using. "At that point it was either becoming an addict or becoming a corpse". When you think that your sober life sucks this hard that you perceive a noose as the likely next step for you, hard drugs look like a bloody good deal. Demonizing a drug is just much easier then accepting, that someone you know and love made that choice. Its absolutely mind boggling how many non experts and non addicts suddenly have "informed opinions" on how opioids are basically the new materialized evil. They are the same stuff it always was, you just gave people a socially acceptable way to use that stuff recreationally.

The problem starts when this social shaming of illicit drug use swaps over from American suburbs to the rest of the world. And we are, yet again, faced world wide with American fundamentalists who are going on a crusade on necessary medication that could spare millions of pain patients world wide an existence of utter torture. In case anyone isnt aware of the situation, morphine based pain medications is what the large majority of the world population is using for pain relief. All those fancy analgesic the pharma industry pushes as an alternatives are too expensive for the majority of countries out there.

The direct result of the absolutely thoughtless scapegoating, that millions of people are suffering an easily treatable existence that amounts to torture. About 20 million people that live without access to pain medication in “untreated, excruciating pain” and could be treated with cheap-ass morphine. With no patent and a production price of cents.


If this is all to abstract for you, my grandmother recently passed away. Cancer and the painful kind. I unfortunately only later found out that she wasnt given proper pain medication until she had to be moved from her home to palliative care. Because it apparently was thought to be too risky for the doctor in charge to give it to a dying women at home, since who knows who will clear up the estate afterwards?

So if you want share your opinion about opioids, please think about the consequences of your action. You having a fuck up in your family or watching too much TV doesnt make you an expert on pain treatment worldwide.

You don't have to believe that addiction is a choice to think that painkillers should be more widely available. It really sounds like you are reacting to a bunch of shit that is not in this thread.

I agree with much of what you say, but it would have a much better impact if you didn't phrase it in such an angry, finger-pointing rant that doesn't really seem to fit here. Yes, a lot of people become addicted to drugs via their own "god damn agency", but it's also true that those who haven't experienced such addiction have no idea how overwhelming it really is and how insidious the addictive process is. It's also true that a lot of the people who become addicted started because

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