The Consequences of Making All Fun Illegal in Nelson

This burnt-out stolen car has sat on the side of Maitai Valley Road for over a week. Actions that lead to the consequences shown above are often the result of boredom

In the words of Doug Stanhope: “Boredom is a disease. Drugs cure it.” This might be a throw-away line from a famously irreverent standup comedian, but it points to a truth that our society lacks the sophistication to debate: boredom causes legitimate human suffering, and this costs money and even lives.

Some psychologists are aware of the consequences of boredom. It’s now believed that boredom literally causes the brain to degenerate, as it requires a certain minimum amount of excitory stimulation to maintain the strength of existing neuron connections.

This is why it seems to actually hurt. The mental pain associated with boredom is the pain of your brain dying from a lack of stimulation, in the same way that a newborn infant neglected by its mother may die of hospitalism from a lack of oxytocin.

It’s not likely that anyone in Nelson will go as far as shooting someone out of sheer boredom, as happened to the unfortunate Chris Lane in Oklahoma. But the more boring this city becomes, the further we move towards forcing people to become violent in order to combat the pain that comes from so many fun things being illegal.

Boredom is a real thing that makes people misbehave. It has been observed in British prisons that boredom leads to misbehaviour.

When there are too many recreational outlets closed off by puritan laws, people naturally come to ignore them and may purposefully break any law just to relieve the boredom

The reason for this ought to be clear by now, especially if the reader knew any juvenile delinquents while growing up. Because boredom is painful, people suffer from it, and as a result of the suffering they become willing to destroy in order to alleviate it.

Almost everyone has done something recklessly stupid at some point because it felt good on account of that it relieved boredom.

Unfortunately, the people making the laws in New Zealand are whores, not psychologists. They have whored themselves out to the pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol industries, and these industries have commanded the politicians to make recreational alternatives to their products illegal for the sake of wiping out their competitors.

Neither is the Nelson City Council any better. They have proven themselves utterly incapable of taking care of a single homeless protester outside the Farmers building, so the expectation that they could comprehend an end to the War on Drugs is far too much to ask for.

Nelson, like all provincial New Zealand towns, is not an easy place to live in when a person is aged between 18 and 30 or thereabouts. If you’re a young person and consequently have a high point of homeostasis for excitement, there are not many really good options.

Cannabis is illegal, the drinking culture is violent and disgusting, the hookup culture is vile and depressing, and the control freaks have even taken away the simple pleasure of having a cigarette to relax by making it too expensive to be enjoyable.

Well, this is the price. This is how we end up with burnt-out cars sitting on the side of Maitai Valley Road.

As this column has previously argued, there ought to be cannabis cafes on Bridge Street. Giving the young people of Nelson greater recreational options than booze and television would result in less boredom, which would result in fewer burnt-out cars.

This would necessarily require a change to New Zealand’s cannabis laws, which would have ancillary benefits, not least putting a stop to the current wastage of $400,000,000 of tax money every year.

Perhaps some of the estimated $120,000,000 of Police funding that would be saved from cannabis legalisation could then be used to clean up the mess on the side of Maitai Valley Road, as it has been sitting there for over a week.

The Police Will Kill to Enforce Any Law, No Matter How Trivial

There are many power-worshippers in the world today who think it would be just great if their area politicians passed a law banning this or that – some minor irritation that probably does not affect the quality of their life in any meaningful way but which they believe ought to be stamped out for the sake of maintaining good order at the very least.

These people are as dangerous as any fanatic that put a dictator into power.

The reason for this is that the Police, who are tasked by politicians with enforcing laws, will go as far as killing any citizen to enforce any law that they have broken, no matter how trivial.

A lot of people balk at this assertion, usually because they have neither encountered Police officers in operation nor thought the whole process through as a thought experiment.

But if you think it through as a thought experiment, the meathook clarity of it cannot be denied.

Take the case of a medicinal cannabis user. If you have a psychological condition such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or if you have pain related to terminal cancer and do not want to take opiates, you might end up as another of New Zealand’s hundreds of thousands of cannabis users.

Now let’s say that the Police come to your house with a search warrant, on the grounds that they have reason to believe that you have cannabis in your possession or a cannabis operation in your house. They are going to arrest you, and you know that you face up to seven years in prison for the offence.

You might well protest that you are fully within your rights to use cannabis as it is a medicine which legitimately alleviates human suffering, whether physical or psychological. And so the search warrant is not valid, because it was granted on the grounds that a crime had been committed, and none has.

This is perfectly reasonable – after all, you have harmed no-one. But what will happen at that stage is violence. The Police will escalate to violence at this point, probably by forcing their way into your home.

Let’s say that they are unsuccessful at doing so, either because you manage to lock the door in time or because you brandish a weapon in an effort to show them that you are willing to respond to their violence with violence of your own in order to defend yourself and your home.

In that case, you can probably assume that the Police officers will withdraw – and come back with the Armed Offenders Squad. They will call the AOS on the grounds that you threatened a Police officer with a weapon – the fact that you were only doing so to defend yourself against an immoral attack will not help you at all.

The AOS will then lay siege to your house, as they did to Jan Molenaar. This may even involve, as it did in Molenaar’s case, the Special Tactics Group – formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad.

Jan Molenaar ended up shot dead at his own hand, probably in full awareness that escape was impossible.

Note here that this pattern of escalation of violence all the way to your death will happen if you don’t submit to the Police for any reason, no matter what it is.

It doesn’t matter what the crime is. It could be a hundred counts of serial murder, or it could be a parking fine. The inescapable rule is that you must submit to any state-allocated legal punishment for any offence you have been deemed to have committed, no matter how vindictive and cruel the punishment or how petty and victimless the offence, or the Police will kill you in the enforcement of it.

This is why there is cause to think very deeply before deciding that something should be illegal. Constable Len Snee would not have been shot dead if cannabis had not been legally prohibited, as Jan Molenaar would have been left in peace to treat his mental condition in the way that he knew best.

Anyone who supports a law also supports the consequences of enforcing that law. Those consequences might involve the Police shooting up a house with no-one in it, as happened in Napier last year.

In the case of cannabis prohibition, this means also supporting the expense of $400,000,000 per year and the occasional death of a Police officer – is it worth it?

The Fallacy of Pre-Emptive Violence

At a march in Washington D.C. this week, accused neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was kinghit from the blindside by a mystery black-hoodie-clad protester. Footage of the incident was the most viral meme of the entire Inauguration period, trumping even anything the U.S. President said. The reaction of the Internet, predictably, was divided.

One part of the viewership was appalled by the purposeless attack on the sacred value of free speech; another part was excited to an almost sexual state of arousal by the sight of a Nazi getting what they thought he deserved.

Justification for the latter reaction began almost immediately, and was earnest, although convoluted. The basic premise, however, was eerily familiar: Spencer was a Nazi, Nazis want to violently take over the world, therefore they can essentially be attacked at any time in pre-emptive self-defence.

On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with that line of reasoning. The excuse that “I just got the bear before the bear got me” was after all, the excuse George W. Bush used to invade Iraq and kill a million people – and he completely got away with it.

There’s one glaring problem with the Bush Doctrine though, especially when it is applied to blindsiding people in the street for their political opinions: the potential excuses that a person might make to conduct ‘pre-emptive’ violence against another is limited only by human ingenuity.

In the same way that conservatives delude themselves into believing they are compassionate, liberals delude themselves into believing they are tolerant.

For a start, the logic that any violence against Nazis is justified because Nazism is a supremacist political movement also justifies violence against any of the Abrahamic cults, as they are also supremacist ideologies.

It would then be legitimate to beat the shit out of any Christian or Jew one met on the grounds that their holy book contains a command from God to kill homosexuals. One could also conduct pre-emptive violence for a number of reasons against any Muslim you met.

Any American could be dealt to under the logic that American imperialism is one of the prime threats to the stability of the world order, and any European could be shown some fist on the grounds that prior imperialism suggests a high likelihood of future imperialism. Any Chinese or Indian could be bashed because their massive populations threaten the viability of the biosphere.

If someone calls you a Nazi, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Nazi’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the right of the speaker.’

If someone calls you a Commie, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Commie’ at ever-increasing rates – it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the left of the speaker.’

This means that anyone can find a reason to attack anyone else pre-emptively. It’s just a simple matter of knowing if you are doing it because your target is a Nazi or because they are a Commie.

As anyone who walked the streets of Weimar Germany could tell you, National Socialists and Communists are just ready made for fighting, like the yang and yin of violence. Their natural instinct is to go each other like two stags in rutting season.

Perhaps the best course of action for reasonable people is the Churchill Doctrine that served Britain so well in World War II: just stand back and let them kill each other.

P.S. Our anarcho-homicidalist readers usually enjoy seeing any kind of political extremist get punched in the head, so here’s the funniest dubstep remix of the incident we could find.