Drugs and American Youth
An insightful commentary on the long-term damaging effects of alcohol and illegal drugs on our society.
by Dr. William L. Pierce
TEN YEARS AGO the student who used illegal drugs was likely to be looked upon by his peers as both a criminal and a person with serious personal problems – as was more often than not the case.
Certainly, there were young, White drug users before 1960. But, outside a few communities, they were a rarity. Marijuana was almost as scarce on most university campuses as was heroin.
It is, in fact, quite difficult for today’s average undergraduate to imagine just how drastically student attitudes toward drugs have changed in the few short years during which drug usage has passed from a curiosity to a fact of everyday life.
Most Significant Development
Other things – attire, jargon, sexual attitudes – also underwent a fairly radical transformation during the 1960s. But the vast and sudden increase in the use of drugs by young people easily stands as the most significant social development, not only of the last decade but of our generation. If that statement sounds like an exaggeration now, it certainly will not a year from now, so rapidly is the phenomenon still developing.
The editor should confess at this point, other than a few puffs of pot to see what the stuff tastes like, he has never had any drug “experiences.” For that matter, he has never smoked tobacco and his alcoholic consumption is limited to an occasional beer.
Thus, he cannot write on some drug-related matters with the same sort of authority a member of Alcoholics Anonymous can boast of when warning others against demon rum, for example.
On the other hand, he is by no means a total outsider to the drug scene. He has many friends who use, or once used, pot regularly, just as he has many friends who use tobacco and alcohol.
Drugs a Social Evil
One of the four basic points of the NYA [National Youth Alliance, predecessor to the National Alliance — Ed.] program states our unequivocal opposition to illegal drugs and to those who promote their use. This opposition is by no means based on religious or “moral” considerations or on any sort of “conservative” foot-dragging where something new and different is concerned.
We oppose drug usage because it is harmful to human society in general and because, at this point in time, it presents a clear threat to the survival of our civilization. More inclusively, we feel that the widespread usage of any harmful, intoxicating, or debilitating substance is a social evil – and an indicator of social sickness.
Some substances are much more harmful than others, or harmful in different ways, and some types of usage of a given substance represent a greater social evil than other usages.
Tobacco and Alcohol
It may be useful to briefly discuss tobacco and alcohol before going on to the illegal drugs. There can be little doubt that tobacco causes the agonizing death of tens of thousands of Americans every year through lung cancer and emphysema alone. Tobacco is an extremely harmful substance to those individuals who smoke it.
Yet, from the racial or social viewpoint, tobacco is a relatively minor evil. Those whom its long-range effects strike down are nearly always well into middle age and have already sired or borne children. The race is neither harmed nor helped by their departure.
Furthermore, cigarettes do not play a really major or significant role in our society, despite their omnipresence. Although they are addictive, they are only slightly intoxicating, and our life mode and social institutions would change relatively little if we did away with them altogether – which is not a bad idea.
Alcohol is a different story. Its effect on our gene pool is certainly larger than that of tobacco, but still relatively minor. Its net racial effect is, if anything, beneficial, in that it tends to remove the least fit elements from the breeding population.
Its social impact, on the other hand, is vastly greater than tobacco’s. Alcoholism must be ranked among the major social problems of our day. It is extremely harmful, not just to the individuals and families it touches directly, but to society as a whole.
A Booze Tradition
And yet it is difficult to condemn alcohol itself as an unmitigated evil.
What could be more satisfying than a glass of cold beer on a hot summer evening?
Beer and wine have been an integral part of the life of the European peoples since prehistoric times, and there are so many rich and fine traditions associated with them that giving them up altogether would constitute a major cultural trauma.
With alcohol the trouble probably lies more in certain types of usage than in the nature of the substance itself. When alcoholic beverages are consumed strictly as food or refreshment, we can find little to criticize. They become socially harmful only when large numbers of people consume them for their intoxicating effect – when they become a means of escape from reality instead of a relaxing draught or a social lubricant.
Although we can certainly accept the abolition of alcohol if there proves no other way to curb its evil social effects, it would seem that the better approach is to set about building the sort of healthy society in which there will be far fewer people than at present who feel the need to escape into a bottle.
The Illegal Drugs
When we consider the illegal drugs – marijuana, hashish, LSD, cocaine, heroin… – we again must make distinctions and qualifications.
First, we can state without qualification that the strongly addicting drugs, of which heroin is the most important, have absolutely no place in our society under any conditions. The growing menace of the “hard” drugs must be countered effectively and soon.
Neither the weak half-measures presently being employed by U. S. law enforcers nor Britain’s welfare-state idiocy, which merely requires that drug users register with the government before receiving their narcotics dole from their neighborhood pharmacy, can cope with the problem.
The National Youth Alliance believes that a two-fold approach must be used. First, a steel-hard enforcement policy is required. Those who illegally manufacture, import, broker, transport, distribute, promote, or sell hard drugs or in any way collaborate with or aid those who do should be dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly. Publicly hanging these people, after summary trials, is too good for them, but it should suffice. And that is meant literally, not figuratively.
Second, just as in dealing with alcoholism, a long-term mending of the flaws in our society which cause so many people to turn to drugs is required.
Actually, these two phases of our approach to the drug problem must go hand in hand. Clearly the decrepit, liberal, corrupt, and gutless government with which America is now cursed will never adopt a really tough and effective enforcement policy.
Problem Grows Worse
Nixon and his predecessors have financed innumerable studies, issued solemn reports, made inspirational speeches, instituted new “get-tough” policies, announced sensational drug seizures – but all that is just so much sound and fury, signifying nothing. The hard reality remains that the drug menace continues growing year by year, day by day.
Can you imagine the present administration ordering the public hanging of even one heroin peddler – and even if the law allowed it and even after he had been duly convicted and that conviction had been upheld by every appellate court in the land? Unthinkable!
Prohibition as an Example
The problem of effective enforcement goes far beyond the liberal paralysis of our legislatures and courts, to whom the civil rights of the drug pushers are more sacred than the health and well-being of all the rest of society. The 13-year attempt by the United States government, between 1920 and 1933, to curtail the sale of alcoholic beverages serves as a cogent and concise illustration.
After prohibition legislation had been enacted, the government put a great deal of effort into its enforcement. And certainly the authorities did succeed in putting many a speakeasy out of business, breaking up many an illegal distillery, and putting a number of gangsters behind bars. But the government failed utterly in achieving the basic aim of prohibition, namely, the prevention of the consumption of alcohol and the corollary suppression of all alcohol’s attendant ills.
A key element in this failure was the government’s inability to deal effectively with the organized criminals who controlled the immensely profitable liquor business. The gangs diverted millions of dollars of their illegal booze profits into the pockets of corrupt judges, police officials, mayors, governors, and Congressmen.
This massive bribery gave the gangs the protection they needed to carry on their business. Unless the government were prepared to thoroughly clean out its own stables at every level, from the ward and precinct headquarters on up – and it was not – it could not realistically hope to stamp out the prohibition-era gangs, thus breaking the backbone of the booze trade once and for all.
And we are faced with even worse official corruption today than in the 1920’s. It would be going too far afield from the central topic of this policy statement to explore all the ramifications of governmental corruption and its possible cures.
Without attempting to present a solution for that problem here, let us simply reiterate the two steps which, in one way or another, must be taken in order to eliminate the menace of hard drugs: (1) ruthless, even brutal extermination of the organized criminal apparatus of drug distribution and (2) a long-term rebuilding of our society on a sane, healthy, and natural basis.
The Pot Problem
Marijuana is really in a class by itself. All available evidence seems to indicate that its use does not result in physical addiction. Although experimental data on the long-term physiological effects of pot smoking are far from complete at this time, the smoke from marijuana does seem to be at least as rich in tar and other carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
It would be the sheerest folly, however, to rate pot as no worse than tobacco. The reason is that a substantial portion of the persons who smoke pot regularly do so in order to become intoxicated – to have a “high.”
Marijuana is the accepted means of escape from reality for the rapidly growing number of young, White Americans who have decided to drop out and turn on. A whole subculture based on the weed has sprung up in the last decade. And, in case you didn’t know, it’s another world, man!
Now, the NYA is not alarmed because we have a small minority of persons in our society who have self-destructive urges. If an individual wants to mess up his insides by drinking Sterno squeezings – or even Drano, for that matter – that’s his business. There’s very little danger that either Sterno or Drano will catch on.
But pot has caught on. It is no longer an individual problem, but society’s problem. It is a problem because it offers an escape, an easy out, for those who have taken a look at the world and found it so seriously wanting that they don’t want to become a part of it.
There is, of course, plenty of plain human garbage – weaklings and rejects and anti-socials of every sort – among those who have joined the drug culture. But there are too many who are basically sound – and perhaps because of that very soundness have rejected an ugly, dirty, and senseless world with which they feel out of tune.
We need those people; America needs them; our race needs them. They should be even more highly motivated than most of the members of the “straight” culture to make the revolutionary changes in our world that must be made if we are to survive.
Withdrawing… escaping… dropping out may ease the pressure on the individual, but it will never get the problem solved – regardless of all the hostility and revolutionary rhetoric directed at the “pigs” and other straights.
Revolutions are made and civilizations are maintained by people with clear heads and the self-discipline to face problems squarely until they are solved, not by those who head for cloud nine whenever the going gets tough. So let’s get with it, man!
From Attack! No. 3, 1971, transcribed by Michael Olanich, from the book The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard, edited by Kevin Alfred Strom