How To Stop a War
(Perspectives from a Child)
Written as the cultural criticism of an unhappy citizen
When I envision progress, I imagine striving towards an end. I think of traveling down a road towards some distant utopia, where one's ultimate reality will be encompassed within a present moment to be conditioned on the premise of action in the past. In this respect, wherever murder, imprisonment, theft, pain, and death exist, the goal of progress will remain ever further from us. Freedom from oppression and violence will forever stay within the context of "the future" for as long as war exists "now."
At the time this post is distributed worldwide, a sentenced Reverend (and Vietnam veteran) will have already been imprisoned, possibly for the rest of his life. His crime: providing medicine to a congregation of patients in desperate need. The following passage will attempt to rally enough support to pardon this man, while ideally creating a system of thought aimed at preventing the obliteration of man’s environment, and so, his Self…
Marijuana. That utterly feared word. Conjuring up images of licentiousness, promiscuity, lethargic dissent, and reckless abandon. Never mind the hypocrisy of an imposed authority employing millions to wipe out alternative power structures, conquering and displacing countless natives, and justifying the suppression of civil rights for everyone but a selected elite. Never mind that man’s law directly contradicts even God’s own words, “behold, I have given you EVERY herb yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, that it may be your food.” (Genesis 1:29) Never mind that another plant, tobacco, is harvested and cultivated to the detriment of so many, all in the name of profit. And never mind the exorbitant amount of human resources allocated to destroy the livelihoods of others, at the expense of unwilling participants.
For everyone not in line with the legitimized principles of the established community is considered an “other,” and those who oppose our laws, thereby terrorizing our way of life, must be dealt with swiftly, and strictly. Right?
Perhaps not. Those members of a governing body, sustaining the comparative advantage and privilege they receive, have historically been opposed to that which is different from what they have been conditioned to know. The Ecofeminist (aaahh!!!) philosopher Karen Warren describes the resulting oppression beautifully: “[It] consists in institutional structures, strategies, and processes whereby some groups (Downs) are limited, inhibited, coerced, or prevented from mobilizing resources for self-determined goals by limiting their choices and options. Oppressive institutions use various tools of subjugation to reinforce the power and privilege of Ups in oppressive systems and to enforce the subordination or domination of Downs.”
Yet as time progresses, change comes with it. Just as laws that once concerned marriages between “different” races were called into question, laws involving plants are being readdressed today as well: if one is drawn naturally to a calling, and some ulterior force presents itself— separating and dismantling the potential for this divine relationship— then that force must be eliminated, else despair ensue. Empirical evidence (deemed truth by oh so many) would confer that the racism, oppression, and natural domination that the hegemonic leaders of the “free world” propagate is in fact creating the fundamental separation between man and his environment that has spiraled into the catastrophe we see before us.
In retrospect, and with all the education and knowledge that has been afforded to us, I believe it can be stated as truth that we are still not free. We are still not free to grow our own plants. We are still not free to grow our own food. We are still not free to provide ourselves with our own medicine. We are still not free to practice our own religions.
Furthermore we are still not able to marry those we want to marry. We are still not allowed to go where we want to go. We are still not allowed to live our lives in those ways we would like to. Still, the question remains: why the hell not?
A series of written marks that assumes how we ought and ought not to live. Our communities are governed by these words, guided by the legislation that harnesses the collective potential of our world to move individuals to action, as if by magic.
If we are trying to instill the idea within our culture that we must live in harmony with the natural world to survive (as this environmental crisis has no doubt helped us to realize), then we must embrace this notion in its entirety, decriminalizing the utilization of all plants on earth. Hemp cultivation can alleviate energy, health, clothing, and food concerns across the planet to decrease violence, economic inefficiency, and environmental degradation. We must not see these plants as commodities to be made illicit, or we return to those “conquering” individuals who see the earth as apart from their selves.
If land is indeed a fountain of energy, then to make illegal those plants that grow on that land is truly a mistaken response in reaching a sense of unity with the natural world. The upward flow of energy is hindered by the “federal” ban on marijuana, affecting the lives of those engaged with these plants, their families, and the society they are absorbed within. If we choose not to acknowledge a system or plant or animal or person for what it is—a unique and acceptable part of the environment—then we doom ourselves to an irreparable separation that may prove to be too challenging to fix.
So then, how does one stop a war?
DO SOMETHING ELSE. Don’t abide by a law that an authority imparts to you. I think it is fair to say that blind obedience to “the law” is catastrophic, as illustrated by the Nazi regime. Similarly, raids and “drug busts” have seen a massive swell to over tens of thousands each year now, often times harming the most innocent bystanders in the process.
How can we combat these atrocities?
Break “the law.” Or better yet, ignore “the law” completely. Create your own “law.” Create your own institutions. The internal state of a human mind, linked to the internal state of another human mind (through the internet?), and properly defended from the most vicious weaponry available will initiate a new reality to live within in peace.
Rev. Eddie Lepp pled for his life in a Federal court earlier this year, arguing that his chosen profession was critical for the survival of those most dear to him. The judge's response: "Maybe you want to be a martyr for the cause."
Anyone who gives a fuck about that ridiculous, abstract, human construction called “liberty” should shudder to hear this cold, callous, judgment of another human being.
Perhaps a president elected on a platform of comprehensive drug reform should be made to pardon this religious leader. Perhaps an indignant public should take a good hard look about the reality they face and decide whether the time for hoping is over.
Though an obvious criticism to the above selection should be that “what is good for one perhaps is not good for another,” a more basic truth might establish itself: “whatever is done IS good, BECAUSE it exists.” Because without a thesis there is no antithesis and therefore no potential for synthesis; because without war there is no striving for peace and no celebration when it comes; because without a Christ there is no Antichrist and no revelation of Apocalypse to look forward to.