"a pretext to set up an international police apparatus"

Reading today that "there'll be nowhere to run from the new world government" which will use "climate change" as a pretext reminded me of a prediction repeatedly made by William S. Burroughs, as immortalized in 1989 in a marvelous film clip from "Drugstore Cowboy". Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled, so you'll have to click on the link if you want to see it. The caption reads "William S. Burroughs pontificating on drug hysteria in a scene with Matt Dillon in his best role," and I went to the trouble of transcribing the old man's rant, which is a classic example of Burroughs' eloquently bitter but cynically resigned, drawling style of speech.

Narcotics have been systematically scapegoated and demonized. The idea that anyone can use drugs and escape a horrible fate is anathema to these idiots.

I predict in the near future right-wingers will use drug hysteria as a pretext to set up an international police apparatus.

I'm an old man and I may not live to see a final solution of the drug problem.

He didn't live to see that, of course.

If the goal is to find a pretext to set up an international police apparatus, climate change hysteria works a lot better than drug hysteria. That's because drug users hurt only themselves, and not everyone uses drugs, while carbon users hurt everyone, and everyone uses carbon. (At least, so goes the narrative.)

What carbon has in common with drugs is that it is an addictive substance. The difference is that unlike drugs, we are all hopelessly, abjectly dependent on carbon, and thus perpetual victims of the carbon cycle. Without carbon we would of course die.

Will there be a final solution of the carbon problem?

posted by Eric on 12.21.09 at 11:25 AM


I liked the movie Burroughs was in where he was shooting a shotgun and discoursing with a couple of "kids". I can't remember the name.

M. Simon   ·  December 21, 2009 6:36 PM

I think that might have been the one in which he got stoned and chats with Terry Southern. Let me check....

Yup! A 1983 documentary titled "Burroughs":


Here's the imdb link:


A fun film. I'd love to see it again.

Eric Scheie   ·  December 22, 2009 11:22 AM

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