THE POLITICS OF DRUGS IN AMERICA
(Part one of two parts)
By Frank Morales

The United States Government, which for years shipped heroin to American ghettos in the caskets of Vietnam war dead, is currently facilitating the importation and sale of cocaine and heroin worldwide. Global ruling elites, by way of CIA covert mechanisms, are actively involved alongside corporate drug profiteers, in widespread chemical warfare against the poor, especially African and Latino oppressed nations within the US.

These drugs allow the State to criminalize large segments of poor communities, providing the climate and the pretext for police intervention and occupation of these areas by the "colonial army", all the while rationalizing to the racist middle classes the overt police repression designed to "stop drugs." The police are alien troops sent in by the bosses not to protect the people, but to defend the interests and private property of the rich, who, along with elements of the mafia (another organized crime group) are literally calling the shots behind the scenes. In neighborhoods across America, they function as private security for drug dealers, arresting via "buy and bust" operations, massive numbers of poor people, weakened and dependent on chemicals. They allow for streetlevel thuggery and theft (so called crime), some of which they participate in.

These drugs are the weapons of a "health establishment" whose enslavement to profits and the needs of the white ruling class spell death and genocide for poor people, particularly poor nonwhite people. The socalled clinics, mental health offices and correctional liaison are the appendages of a medicopsychiatric apparatus of repression which criminalizes deviance as readily as it creates it. Part and parcel of a generalized pharmaceutical assault upon all the people, the drug industry epitomizes and implements the oppressor's craving for profits and social control.

These drugs, second only to bombs in overall GNP, provide the basis for a market that offers the State, via legal and illegal means, the way in which to prop up a crisisridden economy where drug infusion equals capital infusion. These chemicals facilitate the State in its effort to stabilize poor communities, by creating grass roots survivial economies, which along with military recruitment, lessen the pressures of high unemployment.

Dope selling is one of the most profitable enterprises undertaken by capitalist billionaires. In the twenty years that have followed America's first "war on drugs", illegal global opium consumption has increased by more than 470 per cent, rising from 1,000 tons in 1970 to 4,700 tons on 1990. The linkage between drugs and US militarism worldwide is now well established, giving real meaning to the phrase "drug fascism". A repeated coincidence exists between CIA covert action assets and major drug dealers worldwide. Global trafficking in drugs could not operate without the complicity of the CIA, who block investigations and protect pushers, just like domestic police departments in cities across the US. Agency alliances with Third World drug brokers have, at several key points, amplified the scale of global drug traffic. Along with the USCIA, many other government espionage agencies have acted to structure the drug market, not to destroy it. Instead of reducing or repressing drug supply, most clandestine outfits regulate drug traffic by protecting favored dealers and eliminating their rivals.

As ideal consumer products, drugs function as instruments of pacification and mind control. The use of drugs as a tool of counterrevolution grew out of CIA research into behavior modification which began in the mid1950's. From the perspective of class, their utility grew more obvious during the decade of the 60's as mass resistance to the capitialist State was peaking. Psychologically, the drugs that are pumped into poor communities meet a real, if thwarted need for a new world, a new reality. They provide escape from the deprivation, the degradation and the suffering of survival in Amerikkkan bantustans, reservations, ghettos, prisons and homeless shelters. They help to alleviate and medicate the stench of living under domestic apartheid. The addict imagines that he/she is oblivious to the ugly realities of ghetto "life". Although, for the impoverished addict who is not busy getting high, but getting straight, the escape offered by drugs is mostly a flight away from negativity, from repressed emotions and rage. For the oppressed, a bag of dope is nothing more than relief... The problem is that addiction to heroin and/or cocaine make it impossi ble to resist and actually realize a new world. They make clear thinking and collective action impossible. Drug addiction is a full time job, eating up a person's time along with their brain cells. The ingesting of 25 to 125 milligrams of these drugs each day by growing numbers of both "legal" and "illegal" addicts, results in the dulling, if not the suffocation of consciousness, the sense of the depth in life, the basis of ethics and morality. Under their spell, the high level of commitment and awareness required for successful revolutionary struggle is doomed, captive to a caged mind and sick body, stuffed with fear. Feelings of inferiority flood the souls of the oppressed. Psychological and physiological dependency insure that the addict continues to dutifully pay to be killed.

The chemical bullets, fired upon colonized neighborhoods of the poor and the marginalized, murder the street level unity and power of the people. Direct military assault, except in exceptional circumstances, managed via the media spectacle, could possibly galvanize popular opposition. Therefore, the masters of counterinsurgency rely on the more covert means of chemical warfare to prevent the spread of popular revolutionary consciousness and organization, particularly that which is based in the urban centers where African and Latino people are in the majority. The lucrative chemicals also provide ample barter for US government funding of fascist gangs worldwide who target democratic/socialist governments and poor people's movements which threaten American pentagon/corporate hegemony.

Laws are passed which give away all of our rights, giving narcotic agents, pigs who never knock, the "right" to kick down a person's door. The drugs that are sometimes seized are eventually resold on the streets to police informers or are ingested by the cops themselves. The prisons, legitimized torture chambers, encircled with the chains of slavery, are filled overwhelmingly with nonwhite people jailed for drugs. The extreme violence of the American penal system is sanctioned within the sway of a mass sadism, rooted in the logic of public executions. In these US penal colonies, personal privacy is subject to universal surveillance, where control is absolute...What are we gonna do?

DESTROY THAT WHICH DESTROYS YOU!! +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++ Kicking It

I woke up with a start, like I always did. Immediately, felt regret over the morning, preferring the sweet rest of dreamless sleep, the nirvana of death. It means little when to die in sleep is preferrable to living awake, when you ache with premonitions of withdrawal, of crashing before coffee. You have to get up.

Get up. Ooo, that hurts. Re-enter the junky's closed universe of cold cruel pain. Leave behind unconscious buried truths, ways out of the hellish forest, hit with the stark realization of another day, another challenge, another same old routine. Get the bread to feed my head, or actually my aching, shivering, paranoid body. Integrity in the corner green with rigamortis. My soul has long since split and moved in with my departed self. I am a slave on King Heroin's plantation, my chains are spiritual biological hard as the sidewalk.

One morning, the absolutely coldest day ever, snowing like the North Pole, I ventured out as I always would, rejecting yet again my inner voice, crying through the pain, that this day, this moment, I was gonna kick...put my head under the pillow (in my case no pillow, barely a blanket)...and wait it out, beg St.Michael the Archangel, to stay with me, by myself, in my wounded room, to meet the demons head on while my life was decomposing, turning to boiling liquid, frozen inside.

Fear rises in me along with the morning sun. Being broke at daybreak. I put my shoes on, holes in the soles, given to me by a peddler on 2nd Avenue one adventurous night, who showed me the kindness of a stranger who knew what I knew. Such was our suicide pact. In that we were one. The awareness of being on both ends of a firing squad. No matter. The solitary realty is the moment reduced to immediate need. Looming desperation. The need to get straight. To shake the devil, arms outstretched, whispering to me from the bottom of a grave of one's own.

But this work wasn't always so easy. No labor of love except through liturgies of search and seizure, rituals with icy street corner medicine men in black hoods using codes like "The End" with pictures of crosses, "Body Bag" and "Nightmare". This morning the snow is a storm, an obstacle swirling in my mind, reminding me of my obligation to myself, though I can barely remember anything, have no memories or history, a thousand miles from home, where consiousness gives way to feet, now frozen that walk on their own, legs that lead only to the cop spot, a fix, now, not later, now.

Bowery took on the appearance of a desert Artic. Limitless tundra, white glare, uphill myths in my brain. Chills, sweats, running nose and aching joints warned me of the coming doom. With tombstones in your eyes you push on, you've no choice. You are dedicated, relentless in pursuit of relentless. Each day I would conjure up a miracle, more than that, like God did, create something out of nothing. In my case, a bag of dope from an empty wallet. Squeeze cash out of a stone, apply all remaining senses, a full battery of instincts to the project: Get the bread, buy the dope. I was running out of options, sighing a prayer for one more way.

No bread, can't get a front from all the sweet guys who are gunning for you already. If only they understood...Creative financing called for but it's hard to plot, think on your feet in the frigid wind, bum a smoke, tell a joke to your running mates, a solidarity built on the edge of life. I cry when I think of my friends whose names I never knew with whom I shared such suffering. But in the end it's everyone for themselves. It's accepted, though I expect to meet them all in heaven, these men and women stripped of mostly everything in back alley Auschwitz.

Once I forged checks, rolled a yuppie resturant, stood watch for a B&E job on Mott St. with some Italian smoothy whose uncle would get us the pure stuff, sold anything not nailed down including the nails. But today was different. I lacked enterprenurial zeal. Something was happening. I wasn't sure what it was, but I was losing the zest for death. Nonetheless, I went through the motions because I had to, as I had for so many months, for so many years.

I staggered down East 4th St. which I often did being that it was the kind of street helpful to people like me...and there it was, a wine colored sofa chair with wooden arms one arm slightly in disrepair needs glue. It was covered in roses. Placing it gently in my pushcart I breathed the eschatalogical sigh of relief, having seen the future and it was mine ie. a bag of D as soon as I made it to the furniture man on Houston. No sweat Mr.Jones. In joyous anticipation and a spring in my step I ploughed through the snow and angry wind towards Houston and salvation.

Sliding along Bleecker Street I saw her for the first time. I felt her strong arms reach across the wide boulevard towards me like branches of a ancient flowering tree, trying to look away from her, for her light exposed me, this Madonna of the streets, surrounded by children. Icy tornadoes, wine soaked roses swirled and curled around me. Often I think of her, and if Jesus would approve of me walking among the downcast, the beggars, the plague, following in his frozen footsteps...if God could tell me how I got here, or better yet, how to get out. Then turning the corner onto Houston I was struck dumb with unbelief. It was Christmas and the furniture guy was closed, probably home with his kids, his tree and his gifts.

From then on it's all a blur...Fevered frames still appear in my mind's eye from time to time. I remember returning to a room which didn't look like my room, empty handed, sin tecata, without hope, in a garbage bag placed some files full of strange papers about violence and spirit, dirty shirts, many good luck charms, my dad's cross, a nail, and took off walking to the Bronx. The Willis Avenue Bridge is high and I can't swim so why jump. The rain was pissed but the lightning understood, my thumb pointing up the thruway. Then suddenly a trucker yelling what the fuck are you doing out here. Her eyes had colored a thousand nights. She said get in.

Forty days and forty miles later I was spilled out on some high way north of nothing. Dizzy as hell. The wet pavement cushioned my fall. Crawling to a park bench, mall shoppers watching me, in rapture, I died. When I awoke I was lost but I was home. At sunrise, I strayed to search for coffee and a smoke. I'd done it.



f.morales the end 1/15/95


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