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The Lost War

Kanada Kev

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The Lost War

We've Spent 36 Years and Billions of Dollars Fighting It, but the Drug Trade Keeps Growing

By Misha Glenny

Sunday, August 19, 2007; B01

Thirty-six years and hundreds of billions of dollars after President Richard M. Nixon launched the war on drugs, consumers worldwide are taking more narcotics and criminals are making fatter profits than ever before. The syndicates that control narcotics production and distribution reap the profits from an annual turnover of $400 billion to $500 billion. And terrorist organizations such as the Taliban are using this money to expand their operations and buy ever more sophisticated weapons, threatening Western security.



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I remember Michel Foucault making much the same point - that all the new categories of crime (etc.) that came out through the 19th century had the net effect of entrenching the systems of their repression. In other words, categories of criminality are set up to give people the work of pro/persecuting them. Get rid of criminality, and cops will be out of work; then, look out, as Foucault's argument goes, because cops often enough come out of the same social classes as the criminals they're after. So, we'll always need more criminals to keep things rolling, even if we have to invent new crimes to hunt down.

If the idea seems laughable, just imagine a cop losing his job because there aren't enough people breaking laws.

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