For Addicts: Rat Cages or Playgrounds?

11 Ways Our Society Treats Us Like Caged Rats: Do Our Addictions Stem from that Trapped Feeling?

Rat-Cages-or-Playgrounds

Be it drugs, alcohol, porn, overeating or whatever your personal addiction, put an abuser in a playground and see what happens.

Instead of a moral failing or physiological malfunction, is addiction an adaptive response to circumstances?

You’ve probably heard about those addiction studies with caged lab rats, in which the rats compulsively press the heroin dispensing lever again and again, even to the point of choosing it over food and starving themselves to death. These studies seemed to imply some pretty disheartening things about human nature. Our basic biology is not to be trusted; the seeking of pleasure leads to disaster; one must therefore overcome biological desires through reason, education, and the inculcation of morals; those whose willpower or morals are weak must be controlled and corrected.

The rat addiction studies also seem to validate the main features of the War on Drugs. First is interdiction: prevent the rats from getting a taste of drugs to begin with. Second is “education” – conditioning the rats into not pressing the lever in the first place. Third is punishment: make the consequences of taking drugs so scary and unpleasant that the rats will overcome their desire to press the lever. You see, some rats just have a stronger moral fiber than others. For those with a strong moral fiber, education suffices. The weak ones need to be deterred with punishments.

Perhaps marijuana is a gateway of another sort – a gateway to broader drug decriminalization, and beyond that, toward a compassionate and humble justice system not based on punishment.

All of these features of the drug war are forms of control, and therefore sit comfortably within the broader narrative of technological civilization: the domination of nature, the rising above the primitive state, conquering animal desire with the mind and the base impulses with morality, and so forth. That is, perhaps, why Bruce Alexander’s devastating challenge to the caged rat experiments was ignored and suppressed for so many years. It wasn’t only the drug war that his studies called into question, but also deeper paradigms about human nature and our relationship to the world.

Alexander found that when you take rats out of tiny separate cages and put them in a spacious “rat park” with ample exercise, food, and social interaction, they no longer choose drugs; indeed, already-addicted rats will wean themselves off drugs after they are transferred from cages to the rat park.

The implication is that drug addiction is not a moral failing or physiological malfunction, but an adaptive response to circumstances. It would be the height of cruelty to put rats in cages and then, when they start using drugs, to punish them for it. That would be like suppressing the symptoms of a disease while maintaining the necessary conditions for the disease itself. Alexander’s studies, if not a contributing factor in the drug war’s slow unraveling, are certainly aligned with it in metaphor.

Are we like rats in cages? Are we putting human beings into intolerable conditions and then punishing them for their efforts to alleviate the anguish? If so, then the War on Drugs is based on false premises and can never succeed. And if we are like caged rats, then what is the nature of these cages, and what would a society look like that was a “rat park” for human beings?

Here are some ways to put a human being in a cage:

—Remove as much as possible all opportunities for meaningful self-expression and service. Instead, coerce people into dead-end labor just to pay the bills and service the debts. Seduce others into living off such labor of others.

—Cut people off from nature and from place. At most let nature be a spectacle or venue for recreation, but remove any real intimacy with the land. Source food and medicine from thousands of miles away.

—Move life – especially children’s lives – indoors. Let as many sounds as possible be manufactured sounds, and as many sights be virtual sights.

—Destroy community bonds by casting people into a society of strangers, in which you don’t rely on and needn’t even know by name the people living around you.

—Create constant survival anxiety by making survival depend on money, and then making money artificially scarce. Administer a money system in which there is always more debt than there is money.

—Divide the world up into property, and confine people to spaces that they own or pay to occupy.

—Replace the infinite variety of the natural and artisanal world, where every object is unique, with the sameness of commodity goods.

—Reduce the intimate realm of social interaction to the nuclear family and put that family in a box. Destroy the tribe, the village, the clan, and the extended family as a functioning social unit.

—Make children stay indoors in age-segregated classrooms in a competitive environment where they are conditioned to perform tasks that they don’t really care about or want to do, for the sake of external rewards.

—Destroy the local stories and relationships that build identity, and replace them with celebrity news, sports team identification, brand identification, and world views imposed by authority.

—Delegitimize or illegalize folk knowledge of how to heal and care for one another, and replace it with the paradigm of the “patient” dependent on medical authorities for health.

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Alien Base for Giants Discovered in the Bucegi Mountains

In the summer of 2003, in an unexplored area of the Bucegi Mountains, a team from Zero Department (a top secret section of the...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

$1 Trillion Spent on US Police State Since 9/11 — If they ‘Hated Our Freedom,’ They Must Love Us Now

Never let a tragedy go unused. This mantra of the State is as strong today as it was the day after 9/11. As 9/11 was...

Liens Filed Against the Federal Reserve: The Key to Trump Ending the Fed & Returning the Gold Standard?

While there are certainly forces within the “Deep State“ or “Shadow Government” that obviously oppose any moves to bring back the gold standard and...

Conservatives Criticize Michelle Obama For Bare Arms, Stay Silent On Melania Trump’s Nude Poses

Since Michelle Obama first became the First Lady of the United States, criticism of basically everything about her has been rampant among right-wing voters...

Two Myths

There are two distinct ‘Creation myths ’ at the heart of Western civilization Two myths which tell the same basic story but in two very...

Joe Rogan on Invisible Aliens, String Theory & Collective DMT Dreams

Abby with Joe Rogan, host of the Joe Rogan Experience, discussing everything from aliens communicating with earth to marijuana legalization. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYCDBwCjXN4 See also: Rethink Your Life Great interview!...

How Many Wars Is The US In Now?

The US is now involved in 134 wars or none, depending on your definition of ‘war’ The White House spent much of last week trying...

While You Were Distracted by BREXIT and TRUMP, Monsanto’s Senate Puppets Push Through Bill to OUTLAW GMO Labelling

As European citizens were concerned with Brexit, the US government took it's chance to sneak through a new law to COMPLETELY ban all GMO...