The Case For Cannabis: The Market Needs to Be Regulated

One of the strongest arguments for cannabis law reform is the appeal to regulate the market. The idea that a government can make cannabis illegal and then it just “goes away” is childish, and the historical example has borne this out. As this article will examine, legal cannabis is the only realistic way to regulate the market.

Many people envision that the world before cannabis prohibition was one of chaos. Shady dealers set up outside high schools to sell to pupils, pharmacists pushed untested and unresearched cannabis products on a naive public and criminal enterprises got fat with the income from cannabis bootlegging. The reality is closer to the reverse of this.

When a substance such as cannabis becomes illegal by act of law, what that means in practice is that the manufacture and supply of that good becomes completely unregulated. Making something illegal is not a way of regulating it – it’s a way of putting it into the “too hard” basket. It shifts control from the regulators to the black market.

The black market doesn’t attract nice people. It generally attracts people with no better options – desperados. Because there is currently no opportunity to legally profit from cannabis in New Zealand, the only people who deal with the subject matter are black marketeers. There is no guarantee that such individuals will adhere to what has been established overseas as professional industry standards for manufacture and supply of cannabis products.

Regarding the manufacture of goods on the black market, it’s apparent that there are little in the way of health and safety considerations. This is a relatively minor concern in the case of cannabis, but it’s still possible that any bud manufactured by a criminal enterprise has used unwanted chemicals in the growing process. They might have used chemical fertilisers that leave side-products that people don’t want in their bodies, or treated the bud with something to make it appear danker.

When it comes to supply, the situation is even worse. A normal business primarily competes with others through advertising, whether word-of-mouth or commercial. They don’t compete through intimidation. The manager of the local Countdown would never send an underling to take out Fresh Choice workers for selling on the wrong turf. Black marketeers selling illicit drugs happily take their competitors out such ways though.

The vast majority of the criminal activity associated with cannabis comes about because of prohibition. It’s isn’t natural to cannabis. With no regulatory oversight, there’s nothing stopping the black market selling to 13-year olds or wiping their competitors out in turf wars. Cannabis is already illegal, so it’s not like the victims could go to the Police. Black market actors have free rein until they are arrested.

Practically speaking, there is going to be a cannabis market whether we like it or not, so we might as well make sure that it’s on the level.

Regulation would solve the problem of tainted product, because growers will need to be able to account for their grow methodology and process. End consumers will be prevented from becoming ill because the possibility of dangerous chemicals being used at some point in the process will be minimised. If anyone does become sick, responsibility can be placed on the correct party and appropriate measures taken.

Moreover, a regulated cannabis supplier or dealer is much more likely to comply with public requests for decency than the black market is. Regulation will inevitably mean that cannabis dealers will need to become licensed, which means that they are strongly incentivised to adhere to laws regarding not supplying to minors, not supplying to intoxicated people etc. They also can’t shoot their competitors and expect that this will lead to a greater market share.

A final benefit is that regulation will mean that cannabis suppliers cannot deal with other products as well. As mentioned elsewhere, the gateway drug effect can only occur when people seeking cannabis are exposed to hard drugs. A professional cannabis retailer will not have an incentive to offer their customers methamphetamine, unlike a gang member. In practice, they are unlikely to even be allowed to sell alcohol or tobacco.

All this means that regulation will have the effect of almost taking cannabis away from the black market entirely. Those who are allowed to compete on the legal market for cannabis will have to meet quality standards that ensure that safety of the users (to such a degree that this is possible when people take psychoactive drugs). This will have the overall effect of reducing harm.

Cannabis should be legal because regulation of cannabis causes less suffering than criminalising it. We need to abandon the childish idea that making something illegal makes it go away, and employ a sophisticated and intelligent approach to dealing with the issues caused by cannabis. The only realistic way to do this is through regulation.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

India in New Zealand 2019, First ODI Preview

Having defeated the victorious finalists of the previous World Cup in a 3-match ODI series in Australia earlier this month, the Indian cricket juggernaut now sets its sights on the Black Caps. They will contest a 5-match series beginning tomorrow at 3pm in Napier, which will tell us a lot about how the respective teams match up before the World Cup in England this winter.

The market is expecting a close encounter, with the Black Caps currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to India’s $1.72. India and New Zealand are ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively in ODIs right now, so the series promises to be a heavyweight clash. Both sides will be looking to fine-tune their XIs before the World Cup.

For the Black Caps, there are three major questions to be settled.

The first relates to the form of Colin Munro at the top of the order. The Black Caps have persisted with Munro at the top in the hope that he could replicate his T20 form there. In that format he is one of the world’s best openers, but in ODIs he only averages 26, and 23 from his last 30 matches. In T20Is he averages 33 at a strike rate of 161, and the plan is for him to do what Brendon McCullum did in 2015.

If Munro stays, the Black Caps have a settled top order of Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. This will be a good enough top order to mount a serious challenge at the World Cup. If Munro is not selected, they might bring in another hitter such as Glenn Phillips, or (more likely) move Latham up from 5, which would bring with it its own questions.

The second question relates to the middle order, in particular positions 5, 6 and 7.

To some extent, the answer to this question depends on the first. If it is decreed that Munro is good enough as Guptill’s opening partner, then Tom Latham bats 5 and keeps wicket. The question then becomes whether the Black Caps choose a hitter like Henry Nicholls at 6, or an all-rounder like Jimmy Neesham. Nicholls’s blazing 124* off 80 in the Black Caps’ last outing against Sri Lanka may have secured him this spot, because such innings will be necessary in England.

If they choose Nicholls at 6, then it becomes necessary to play an all-rounder at 7. This will be either Neesham or, more likely, Colin de Grandhomme. If Munro is not favoured at the top of the innings, then Latham will move up to opener, with Nicholls moving up to 5 and then probably Neesham and de Grandhomme at 6 and 7, which would give captain Williamson a range of bowling options.

The third question relates to Trent Boult’s new ball partner. That Boult is the premier bowler in the country is not contested: he has taken 89 wickets at an average of 26 since the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He will lead the attack in England and the only question is who will partner him.

Until recently, Tim Southee had a lock on the position. This was a combination of incumbency and reward for his outstanding performances in the 2015 tournament. But he has averaged 44 with the ball since then, having only taken 48 wickets in 43 matches. He seems to have fallen out of favour with the selectors as well, having seemingly been dropped for recent matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The position of Boult’s partner now appears to be a two-horse race between Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson. Until recently, Henry would have had a solid grasp on the position. He has 71 ODI wickets at just under 27, and was once ranked as high as the 7th best ODI bowler in the world. He only played 6 ODIs in 2017 and 2018 combined, however, and some feel that Lockie Ferguson has already surpassed him.

Ferguson continues to impress as well – he only has 45 ODI wickets but has taken them at an average of 24. Either he or Henry would be hot for the position of Boult’s partner, with Tim Southee’s variations possibly enough to see him take the third seamer’s spot. It might be that Henry is the better new ball choice and Ferguson the better choice in the death overs, so they might both be selected.

Predicted XI for tomorrow:

  1. Guptill
  2. Munro
  3. Williamson
  4. Taylor
  5. Latham
  6. Nicholls
  7. Neesham
  8. Santner
  9. Henry
  10. Ferguson
  11. Boult

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Dan McGlashan is the man with his finger on the pulse of New Zealand culture. His book, Understanding New Zealand, is the comprehensive guide to the demographics and voting patterns of the New Zealand people. It is available on TradeMe (for Kiwis) and on Amazon (for international readers).

Our Problem Isn’t Too Much Masculinity – It’s Too Little

Our culture is so fucked up that it has a number of things completely backwards. It’s easier to find a doctor willing to tell you about the benefits of male infant genital mutilation than it is to find one willing to tell you about the benefits of medicinal cannabis. As this essay will examine, one of the things we currently have backwards is blaming a lack of masculinity on an excess of it.

The phrase “toxic masculinity” is bandied about, ever more frequently nowadays, as if it described an established phenomenon in psychological science. Ostensibly, the term is limited to the description of particular behaviours, performed by men, that are toxic to others or to society at large. In reality, the term is only ever used in the attempt to belittle men – or masculinity in general.

People frequently use the term with the implication that the toxicity comes from an excess of masculinity. But we live in the least masculine age in the history of Planet Earth. In New Zealand at the time of the 2013 Census, around 14% of children were raised by single mothers. When they are at primary school, 88% of their teachers will be women.

This means that most of the adult influence on boys in their formative years is female. Some boys will get to school having never seen a positive male role model or perhaps any at all. If these children are growing up to cause problems because they don’t recognise other people’s physical boundaries, it’s not the sort of problem that more femininity will fix.

The phrase “toxic masculinity” is often used to attack participatory sports, especially under the guise that these sports teach men to be aggressive, domineering and invasive of other people’s personal space.

The reality is – as everyone who has played sport knows – the rules of every game force you to channel aggression into goal-directed activity that does not harm anyone without their consent. You can’t just punch someone on a sporting field, or you’ll be sent off and possibly kicked out of your team. In this regard, the older men (usually) act as models of composure for the younger ones to follow.

Moreover, participatory sports have done more than any government initiative to break down barriers between different race and class groups and encourage them to all meet on the level. On a cricket field, a three doesn’t become a four just because the batsman was brown or middle-class or for any other reason. Masculine energy can therefore be used as a leveller in the interests of horizontalisation just as much as feminine energy can.

Our time in history is so completely feminised, and so confused, that hardly anyone even knows what masculinity is any more. It’s little wonder that some people can call it toxic with a straight face, when they have such a confused conception of it.

We’re so confused nowadays, that we have to go right back. Way, way, way back before even Jesus and even Socrates and Plato, back to the real ancients, who told us: masculinity is the ability to impose order upon chaos. Fundamentally the world is made of a feminine yin-chaos and a masculine yang-order, and in much the same way that the feminine makes chaos out of order, so too does the masculine make order out of chaos.

There are several ways that a person can impose order upon chaos, but correct conduct means that you impose order upon yourself first. This is something that is understood by every actual man, and is not understood by boys or by boys masquerading as men. They go out to impose order upon the world first, and do not realise that the strongest influence is the most subtle.

Socrates, perhaps the foremost Western example of manhood, taught that happiness came from making peace with death. Esoterically, one might describe this as imposing order upon one’s own spirit. As a previous article here has discussed, a failure to impose order upon one’s own spirit by making peace with death is akin to labouring under chains of gold, such that one becomes the slave of anyone who can credibly promise absolution.

A person who has imposed order upon their own spirit is able to impose order upon their mind also. Not being afraid of death means to not be in a state of constant panic at the inevitability of it, which means that it becomes possible to use one’s time on low-intensity pursuits such as reading. They will also be much more able to behave appropriately, on account of having imposed order upon their emotions.

It can be seen here that the common modern conception of masculinity is completely arse about face.

A properly masculine man will not sexually harass women for the simple reason that he has imposed order upon his reproductive instincts and, as such, can discharge them when appropriate, as a matter of will. His animal instincts don’t lead him – that would be an example of chaos being in control.

Likewise, a properly masculine man doesn’t feel the need to dominate everyone, or to boss them around, or to avenge minor insults with violence. He has imposed order upon his own ego, and as such does not have the same insecurities that a less masculine man would have. A truly masculine man has imposed such order upon his emotions that others can not easily knock him off balance. He is in charge of himself.

As such, a properly masculine man attracts the feminine not through force and aggression, but through attracting its freely-willed devotion. Rapists and molesters are not examples of too much masculinity but too little. A real man will have imposed such order upon his life, his behaviour and his appearance, that women will naturally want to be devoted to him, and therefore he doesn’t feel impelled to move on them without their consent.

Men who act on their impulses without consideration for the well-being of others are not “toxic males” – they are shitheads. What our society needs is more masculinity, so that young men can see examples of the correct imposition of order upon chaos. If young males are shown older males being rewarded for correctly imposing order upon themselves, they will imitate it. Thus, what we need is more masculinity, not less.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: It Doesn’t Matter That People Have to Pay For Cannabis Users’ Healthcare

One argument that is often made by people in response to proposals for cannabis law reform is that they don’t want to pay for cannabis users’ healthcare. The logic goes that cannabis law reform is unfair on the general populace, because they have to fork out for the inevitable increased healthcare burden through general taxation. As this article will examine, such an attitude is mistaken.

Like many of the false arguments against cannabis law reform, this one relies on another bogeyman. In this case, it’s the supposedly heavy burden that the health system would suffer under if cannabis were to be made legal. This burden would have to be borne by everyone, and it isn’t fair to expect them to do so.

As with many examples of false logic, this argument depends on seeing the situation incorrectly.

For one thing, it’s possible that, if cannabis were to become legal, some of the adverse consequences of its use would become more widespread. But it’s foolish to think that, in such a case, cannabis use would go up while the rates of all other recreational drugs would stay the same.

In reality, recreational cannabis is a competing good to alcohol. A lot of people use it because they find the ritual of rolling up and smoking a joint as relaxing and enjoyable as drinking a beer, and at least as social. Everywhere that cannabis is legal, at least some of the population have decided that they prefer to socialise over some weed than over some booze.

So the supposed “extra” healthcare burden that would be caused by increased cannabis use is balanced, perhaps even several times over, by the savings that accrue from health problems that were prevented by the reduced use of other recreational drugs.

Alcohol abuse is believed to cost the country $4.9 billion per year. The total cost of cannabis use on our health system right now is, even if one uses the ultra-conservative Drug Harm Index, $431 million. This latter figure is not merely the cost of cannabis use to the healthcare system but also ancillary costs, so the true figure is much lower (this latter figure also includes $126 million of costs due to premature death caused by cannabis use and is therefore somewhat fantastical).

So even if legal cannabis doubled the total harm that the Drug Harm Index says that cannabis does to society, this would be more than compensated for if it reduced the total harm done by alcohol by 10% or more.

A second factor to consider is that the cost of cannabis damage is small compared to the cost of old people just clinging onto life for a few more years.

New Zealand’s total healthcare expenditure was $16.8 billion last year, and people aged over 65 used over 42% of that – and that percentage is increasing. So people over 65 use roughly $8 billion dollars’ worth of taxpayers’ money on health costs every year, much of which is wasted on futile attempts to delay a terminal illness.

Even if we ignore that cannabis use is not higher in jurisdictions where it is legal, and even if we ignore that legal cannabis would mean users could use much less harmful routes of administration, and even if we assume that the total healthcare damage would be double under legalisation than what it is now, it still wouldn’t be a great amount of money compared to what is already spent.

The third argument is, of course, that it simply doesn’t matter if cannabis users’ healthcare has to be paid for out of general taxation. As mentioned above, alcohol abuse costs the country almost five billion dollars a year, which amounts to close to $1,600 per taxpayer. If such a high bar is acceptable for alcohol, then its acceptable for cannabis as well.

Cannabis users are, or should be, part of our society the same way as anyone else is. So in the same way that we’re happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cigarette smokers, alcohol drinkers, Olanzapine takers (the side-effects of many psychiatric medicines are bad for the physical health), rugby players, horse riders and mountain climbers, so too should we be happy to pay for the healthcare costs of cannabis users.

Legal cannabis would make it easier to minimise healthcare costs anyway, because doctors would be able to encourage cannabis users to avoid joints and dabs in favour of edibles and vapourisers. So if healthcare costs really are a concern, legal cannabis is better for more than one reason.

In summary, it’s not fair to object to cannabis law reform on the basis that the general taxpayer would have to pay for a sudden massive healthcare burden. A repeal of cannabis prohibition would not lead to such a burden – in fact, a sober look at the experience suggests the overall healthcare cost of recreational drug use would fall if cannabis became legal.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Why Intelligence Can Never Be a Fixed Concept

Intelligence is something that everyone appears to understand, but no-one can agree on a definition. Despite this, people are pretty sure that it can be measured. Although tests that measure IQ have been shown to have a lot of predictive value, a precise definition of term remains elusive. But as this essay will examine, intelligence can never be a fixed concept anyway.

What is intelligence? A common definition of intelligence is “ability to recognise patterns and avoid dangers”. Another is “the ability to apply knowledge and skills”, which assumes that intelligence is an entirely different thing to instinct. Other definitions involve a capacity for learning, logic, reasoning, self-awareness etc. Despite this variety, most people think they know it when they see it.

A previous essay here discussed how there are at least two different spectrums of intelligence, and how both of them might appear to be intelligent in some situations and not in others. Another essay suggested that there is both a masculine and a feminine intelligence and stupidity. What’s apparent from all of these different definitions is that some behaviours are intelligent in some circumstances, and unintelligent in other circumstances, depending on how adaptive they are to the environment.

For example, being able to faithfully repeat what you are told is a sign of intelligence when a student has a good teacher who educates them honestly. When the student is a political cadre being indoctrinated into a dangerous ideology, it’s not a sign of intelligence. However, the underlying neurological and psychological attributes that enable either are roughly the same.

Most people can also accept that intelligence is something that evolved, controversial as that may be when one gets into the specifics of it. The reasons for this evolution are presumably because intelligence provided a selective advantage in either staying alive or finding mates and reproducing.

The first one of these points seems pretty obvious: if you are smart you are better able to avoid the dangers that the natural world has created. Intelligence is highly correlated with pattern recognition, and recognising patterns is the key to recognising dangers. If you notice that the last person who did something died, you are less likely to do it. Therefore, you are more likely to survive to reproductive age yourself.

The second point is more subtle, but equally clear if one thinks about it. The more intelligent a creature is the better shape it will keep itself in, therefore the healthier it will be, and the more attractive a mate it will seem to others of its kind. This greater attractiveness will lead to more mating opportunities, and therefore more offspring (all other things being equal).

However, there’s a hidden paradox in this simple biological definition. If intelligence is biological, then it cannot be a fixed concept, because if it’s an adaptation to the environment it will change along with that environment.

Aside from the odd species like crocodiles, who have found one evolutionary niche and just stayed there, animal species tend to be opportunistic. They tend to range across a number of niches and take food, water and reproductive opportunities when they arise. The most excellent example of this is the human being, who has adapted to many environments and who is capable of anything.

As the environment keeps changing, so too will the optimal behaviours within each environment change.

For instance, much of the behaviour that we currently associate with intelligence has much to do with avoiding impulsive behaviours. Someone who stops and thinks before taking action will be almost universally considered more intelligent than someone who does not. Likewise, someone who saves money will be considered more intelligent than someone who wastes it, and someone who reads books will be considered more intelligent than someone who parties.

This is all well and good in a civilised, industrial society like ours. But if society should break down, then the equilibrium point will shift back from cautious deliberation towards opportunism. If there is no law and order, then there’s no advantage in taking one’s time to consider things. The advantage shifts towards those with the propensity to hit and run before the opportunity is lost. Intelligence would then become a matter of understanding the importance of not hesitating.

Another problem is that the kind of skills and aptitudes that made a person become considered intelligent by their peers in the ancient past are not necessarily the same today. Human survival in the past had a lot to do with astrology, animal husbandry and swordsmanship – all skills that are now only practiced by small minorities. A person might have been considered highly intelligent in the past on account of that their brain made them good at animal husbandry, but the same person might be considered low intelligence today if they can’t find a technological skill.

It might even go the other way. Society might continue to become more and more technological, so that the selective advantage wasn’t in favour of impulsivity but in favour of the kind of semi-autistic gadgetry obsession that distinguishes people who are today considered nerds. Such a society might no longer have any need for social intelligence but would rather operate on computer science aptitude.

In all of these cases, the society that results after massive environmental change will define intelligence as adaptation to it, not as adaptation to some other time and place. Neither will they define intelligence as an adaptation to the natural world in which we evolved, because such a thing no longer exists.

In the end, the concept of intelligence is a biological one, and therefore can only be understood relative to a specific environment, or set of environments. Because the natural world keeps changing – and our social world even faster – the concept of intelligence will keep evolving as humans do. It can therefore never be a fixed and clearly defined concept.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Peterson Derangement Syndrome

Many words have been written about Trump Derangement Syndrome, and Obama Derangement Syndrome, and Bush Derangement Syndrome. This refers to the ability to cause people, who are otherwise reasonable, to go insane at the mere mention of your name. It’s rare for anyone who is not an American President to achieve this power level, but recently one man has threatened to: Canadian Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson.

Peterson was a minor celebrity among YouTube psychology nerds for his insightful lectures into psychopathology and Nietzsche when he inadvertently decided to tell the world that the emperor had no clothes. This he did in the form of refusing to accede to compelled speech in the form of pronouns.

In particular, he spoke out about a Canadian bill called C-16, which – according to Peterson’s interpretation – would lead to people facing criminal charges for referring to a person with a pronoun other than the one they would prefer to be used. The collective consciousness was shocked, at first, but Peterson insisted that refusing to use a person’s preferred pronoun was a fair thing to do, in cases when that pronoun clearly wasn’t accurate.

It was then the shitstorm began.

Accusations of “literal fascism” began to fly as the social justice warriors demanded Peterson’s head for refusing to meet their demands to dance on command. In response, he threw more petrol on the fire. The psychologist was not content with merely saying that transgender pronouns were bollocks, but that an entire suite of leftist shibboleths were all garbage as well.

Communism was crap, the gender gap was false, most of the racial IQ difference is genetic and – worst of all – he refuted the tabula rasa theory.

Peterson Derangement Syndrome is when an individual is reduced to a hissing, demented rage merely at the mention of the name of Jordan Peterson. Much like the derangement syndromes named after American Presidents, a person with this condition is unable to concede that there might be anything good about Peterson, or that he might have any ideas worth listening to. The mention of his name seems to trigger a limbic hijack in those with the condition.

Unlike the majority of talking heads in the media, Peterson is a legitimate intellectual. Not only does Peterson actually have a Ph.D, but he has also worked for many years as a Psychology lecturer at both McGill and Harvard Universities. On top of that, he has over 10,000 academic citations.

So part of Peterson Derangement Syndrome is believing that a man with a Ph.D and over 10,000 academic citations is not a legitimate intellectual. Sufferers of it are happy to dismiss him as a charlatan and a fraud, someone who simply makes things up with no basis in reality at all. This is clearly absurd when the man in question has passed peer review with such accolades.

The anti-Peterson movement has taken on cult-like properties, in the sense that for people with Peterson Derangement Syndrome, the rest of the world is either with them or against them on the matter. Social media has induced them into believing that Peterson is a Hitler-like figure who campaigns tirelessly for the reintroduction of some kind of fascism. It can be seen from this, that part of Peterson Derangement Syndrome is simple mass hysteria.

Many Peterson haters deride his fans as a horde of incels, desperately looking for a father figure to help them replace their lost masculinity. In this, they have half of a point, but they also betray their own neurosis. Most Peterson haters also hate their own fathers, and usually because those fathers failed to provide a space of order in which those people could grow. This father-hate is then displaced onto the foremost father figure, which is Peterson.

Many of the people who become deranged at the mention of Peterson’s name are living out some unresolved conflict with an authority figure, from some point in their past. Usually this adversary is their father, but it could also be a teacher, guidance counsellor or even a Police officer. To these damaged souls, Peterson represents a force trying to suffocate their free spirit.

At the core of Peterson Derangement Syndrome is a hatred of masculinity, in particular a hatred of order.

Peterson is himself an exceptionally masculine figure, having succeeded in imposing major order upon his own life. It’s extremely difficult to become learned enough to get tenure as an academic professor, especially if you weren’t from a family that groomed you for such a role from youth. It takes incredible amounts of will and commitment, and many people see such a thing and feel self-hatred.

So some of what causes Peterson Derangement Syndrome is simple Tall Poppy Syndrome. The majority of his critics are bleating soyboys who would struggle to read a book, let alone lecture an academic discipline for many years and then write a book. Much of their opprobrium can be chalked up to the simple envy of a lesser towards their better.

At the core of it, though, is a depraved alliance of trans activists, Marxists, fedora-tippers, neo-Luddites, anti-science morons and, ironically enough, actual Nazis, all of who have generated so much collective outrage that encountering someone who likes Peterson is enough to tip them over the edge into derangement. Claiming to be a Peterson fan is to declare yourself the enemy.

Now that Peterson has been invited to speak at a Trilateral Commission meeting we can guess that his influence will be around for a very long time. This will mean that Peterson Derangement Syndrome will only become more intense, pushing up towards Donald Trump levels.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

The Case For Cannabis: Reform Would Not Send The Wrong Message to the Children

One of the usual reasons trotted out for opposing cannabis law reform is that it “wouldn’t send the right message to the kids”. This was the statement that John Key frequently made to the media when pressed on the subject. As this article will examine, however, this thought-terminating cliche also attitude is mistaken.

It might sound laughable, but there are many in the New Zealand Government who believe that their personal conduct sets an example for the rest of the country to follow. These deluded fools genuinely believe that the young people of the nation look to them as an example of integrity, honesty and correct conduct. So detached from the people are they, that they are entirely unaware of the contempt in which they are held.

Some of these egomaniacs are afraid that making any move on cannabis law reform would “send the wrong message to the kids”. By this, they think that liberalising the cannabis laws will lead to a spate of young people taking up cannabis use as a habit, on account of that their elders had sent them the message that it was okay.

Leaving aside the obvious retort that this would actually be a good thing if it stopped those young people from doing as much alcohol or synthetic drugs, there are a number of reasons to think that this reasoning is illogical.

For one thing, the message that the politicians appear to be sending by example of their conduct is one of alcohol, tobacco and sleaze. If they are the ones setting the standards for the young to follow, then we can look forward to many decades of boozing, bribery, infidelity, dishonesty, backstabbing and all manner of petty quibbling and bitching.

For another thing, we have to ask ourselves if prohibition itself is actually a good message to be sending out.

The message that the Government seems to be sending by enforcing cannabis prohibition is that the best way to deal with drug problems is by putting people in cages. If someone has a drug dependency of some kind, the way to help them is not by giving them medical care, but by physically forcing them into a cage full of rapists, murderers and thieves.

They seem to be telling people that empathy and compassion don’t factor into government decisions, and that they are more than happy to brutally force citizens to conform to arbitrary laws, even when those same citizens don’t consent to them. Your body is the property of the Government, and they can do what they want with it, including put it in a cage if you use a medicine they don’t approve of.

Worse, they’re also sending the message that science, logic and reason don’t factor into government decisions. The Government is happy to go along with foreign mass hysteria about reefer madness, and thinks it acceptable to force laws onto New Zealanders on the grounds that they have been introduced overseas, with no consideration given to the science or to the need for evidence.

Perhaps the worst message of all has been that sent by Parliamentarians who have ignored all the letters and emails they have received from their constituents about cannabis law reform. For decades, Kiwis have been entreating their Parliamentarians to do something about cannabis prohibition, knowing how much access to cannabis medicine would improve their life quality. And for decades, those Parliamentarians did nothing – the vast majority too cowardly to even raise a peep.

By ignoring the will of the people for cannabis reform, the Government is sending the message that it’s acceptable for the Government to impose whatever arbitrary laws it likes on the population, even without that population’s consent, and then to ignore them when they complain about the suffering caused. This is far more of a danger than the risk of Parliamentarians sending the message that it’s okay to use cannabis.

If the Government is truly concerned about the message that their conduct sends to the people, they ought to legalise cannabis today, and make an apology for all the suffering their actions caused by waging a War on Drugs against their own people. This would send a message of humility, integrity and contrition – much better than imprisoning people for using a substance that the New Zealand people think should be legal.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Esoteric Aotearoanism

If the Spear of Destiny ever comes to New Zealand, we ought to be ready to receive it. To that end, we can act to attract it, by employing the Law of Attraction. We can do that by promoting a cultural movement that recognised the excellence of New Zealand and our future greatness. This essay describes a mystical tradition that could serve these ends: Esoteric Aotearoanism.

Elementary alchemy has it that if one combines masculine and feminine in the right manner, one achieves a combination that is greater than the mere sum of its parts. By combining the feminine clay and the masculine iron, it’s possible to get silver, an element neither feminine nor masculine but somehow both, and not just both but the correct proportion of both.

This is represented in Taoism by the Taijitu, which combines the white yang and the black yin to create a shape that has a life of its own, one that tells a story. The energy, light and life of the yang projects itself into the darkness of the yin, which in turn follows the yang in devotion. The result is a spiral that turns for eternity.

Esoteric Aotearoanism tells a similar story. This story is represented in the flag of Esoteric Aotearoanism, which consists of three vertical stripes: the leftmost white, the rightmost black, and the central one silver. It is crucial to note here that the central band is silver, and not grey, because the combination of the two parts has created something more valuable than their mere summation.

The opening degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism is that the Esoteric Aotearoan flag represents the nation of New Zealand in the Kiwi people. 

The white is yang, which represents the British. This is not just because the British are white, but also because they are orderly. The British came from the West and therefore the leftmost third of the flag is white. It is from there that the energy and organisation to create the institutions of New Zealand came.

The black is yin, which represents the Maoris. As with the British, this does not simply reflect skin colour, but rather a vital, invigorating passion. Because the Maoris come from the East, the black occupies the rightmost third of the flag. It is from there that the soul of the nation comes, and how we get direction to differentiate ourselves from the globohomo masses (and from Australia in particular).

The silver stripe represents New Zealand, the space where those two ingredients meet, and where they combine to become something more valuable than either. The yang is bright but unyielding; the yin is gentle but dull. Together they are colourful, and shine as silver. As silver is more valuable than either iron or clay, so too is the combination of British and Maori more valuable than either alone.

The silver stripe also represents those who have come together under the silver fern, because they have acted to create something that is greater than either the British or the Maori components. It signifies that what we have of greatest value is that which comes from the land here. It’s not what we imported from Britain or from Polynesia – it’s what we have created ourselves here, according to the direction of our own wills and of the spirit of the nation.

It’s also a reminder that our future lies in the unity of these two forces.

Sir Apirana Ngata hinted at Esoteric Aoteraroanism being the way forward when he said:

Ko to ringa ki ngā rakau a te Pākehā

Ko to ngakau ki nga taonga a o tipuna Māori

Ko tō wairua ki to Atua

In English this means “Your hands to the tools of the Pakeha, your heart to the treasures of your Maori ancestors, your spirit to God.” The sentiment behind this was that we ought to take the best of both worlds. Both the Maori and the European world brought things that were good and things that were bad. We can take the best of both, and leave the worst of both.

This leads naturally into the teaching of the second degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism, in which the various qualities contributed by the British and the Maori are mapped onto the four masculine elements.

The clay represents the Maori. This is because he is vital and passionate, but has a dark side of sometimes expressing unrestrained violence. He is soft and likes to share, but this can sometimes lead to a lack of discipline.

The iron represents the Briton. This is because he is hard and disciplined, but has a dark side of sometimes being cruel. He is orderly but can sometimes be hard-headed, unforgiving and pedantic.

The silver also represents the Briton (this conception of silver is related to, but separate from, the conception of silver in the first degree). This is because his scientific and technological prowess made it possible for New Zealand to become wealthy and prosperous, and for us to defend ourselves without need for submission.

The gold also represents the Maori. Like the clay, the Maori is soft, but he is also colourful. This represents spirituality and an understanding of the world beyond. The Briton is intelligent but he is spiritually ignorant. The realm of gold is where New Zealanders connect to God, and the Maoris, particularly those with an enthusiasm for cannabis or psilocybe wereroa, have a vital role to play here.

Esoteric Aotearoanism considers it a tragedy for a Kiwi to identify as either a white person or a Maori. This would be like denying one of your parents. It’s a small-minded and petty thing to do. That sort of solipsistic narcissism will lead to the nation tearing itself apart down the centre. To identify as one and repudiate the other is an idiocy that is promoted by the enemies of this nation.

In reality, Kiwis are already so intermixed that as many as a quarter of us are some kind of Northern European-Polynesian hybrid. It is this sort of person – not Maoris – that is unique to these isles, the true tangata whenua. There are Europeans in Europe and Polynesians in the Pacific, but only in New Zealand can those who are a mix of the two truly say that they have a home.

This leads onto the third degree of Esoteric Aotearoanism, which deals with the future of the two contributors to Aotearoa. The fact is that white people and Maoris are interbreeding at an extremely high rate, and therefore will eventually mix into one people, who are not separated by category but only by degree. Even then, it will not be a degree of value but simply a degree of proportion of yin or yang.

This people will be a true Kiwi people, and they will best be able to channel the best of the yang and the best of the yin to create something truly precious. Many of them will be among the most excellent individuals on Earth on account of hybrid vigour. There are already plenty of examples of this, such as Buck Shelford, Shane Bond, Michael Jones and (allegedly) Dan Carter.

In all, Esoteric Aotearoanism is a new narrative for a new century, one that repudiates the nation fighting against itself, and one that encourages the nation coming together to embellish the strengths and ameliorate the weaknesses of its constituent parts. This is a narrative that, if supported, can bring peace and prosperity to all Kiwis.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.

Best of VJMP 2018

Best of VJMP 2018 is a collection of the year’s best essays from VJM Publishing, an alt-centrist mystic collective located in the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island.

For those of us who have seen the brick wall at the back of the theatre, all that remains is to be the unwobbling pivot while the rest of the world is torn to pieces by centrifugal force.

We have spent the year growing in wisdom: researching, analysing, conducting thought experiments, all towards the goal of being in a position to rebuild society after it collapses and dies for real. We are alt-centrists, rejecting and accepting all other political positions and ideologies.

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The Paperback version of the International Edition of the Best of VJMP 2018 is available from Amazon for USD12.99

The Kindle version of the International Edition of the Best of VJMP 2018 is available from Amazon for USD4.99

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis is Not Addictive

One of the most common arguments against cannabis is that it is an “addictive drug”. People making this argument raise images of zombie-like addicts burgling houses and selling their bodies in dark alleyways for the money to finance their addiction. Leaving aside the fact that this fear-mongering is bollocks, the argument isn’t even accurate.

The scientific literature warns us of “irritability, anxiety, decreased appetite, restlessness and sleep disturbances“, sleep problems and “a constellation of behavioral, somatic, and mood symptoms.” It’s clear that to stop using cannabis often means that one encounters these problems, but they soon go away. People enjoy using cannabis, but use alone does not count as addiction.

Psychology Today ran an article that stated “The vast majority of those who use marijuana do so occasionally and exhibit no addictive symptoms — no increased tolerance, no cravings and no withdrawal. In other words, they can take it or leave it.”

It’s true that cannabis does not cause meaningful physical addiction. Something that’s really addictive is alcohol. Withdrawals from alcohol are known to cause delirium tremens, a phenomenon known as “the DTs”, which can kill the sufferer. If this is considered an acceptable side-effect of a recreational drug, then the physical addiction potential of cannabis is nowhere near objectionable.

The counter-argument to this is to say that cannabis can still be psychologically addictive. Psychological addiction is a kind of excessive habituation, where a person does not become medically ill but who can suffer “psychological symptoms like anxiety, mood swings and depression”.

At this point, another frightening image is formed. Here, instead of burglars, the stereotype is of slovenly, morbidly obese videogamers who lie around all day drinking Mountain Dew, completely without ambition aside from securing their weed supply, all social bonds long since abandoned in favour of the next puff.

The reality is that it’s not so much a matter of cannabis being addictive, as that people who do not have adequate levels of stimulation search for anything they can to fill the gap, and cannabis fills the gap. Anyone who smokes cannabis every day can tell you this – it’s frequently a matter of having nothing better to do.

As was demonstrated by the Rat Park experiments carried out by Professor Bruce Alexander, addiction is a function of both available addictive substances and a lack of environmental stimulation.

The Rat Park experiments showed that rats that lived in a stimulating and interesting environment, where a variety of exercise, food and mating opportunities were available, were up to 19 times less likely to consume water laced with morphine when compared to rats that lived in a standard laboratory cage. Given that rats are also social (or at least semi-social) mammals, this can teach us some things about the nature of addiction in humans.

The fact is that human society of 2019 has left some people behind to die, and for these unfortunate masses there is not a lot of pleasant stimulation to be had. Some of these people turn to alcohol to fill the gap, some turn to opiates, some turn to tobacco, some turn to cannabis. In all cases, the problem is not the drug itself, but an environment that fails to provide stimulation enough to meet people’s psychological needs.

If sufficiently fulfilling stimulation is available (or at least entertaining stimulation), people don’t tend to smoke cannabis all day. Therefore, the emphasis shouldn’t be on putting people in cages for using cannabis, it should be on creating a society that people freely want to engage in.

Most of the reason why cannabis users have had to take all the blame, instead of the people responsible for constructing society in a way that others want to escape it by using cannabis, is that the people responsible for designing society have all the power. Naturally, therefore, they design society in such a way that all of the other members of it have to take the blame for its failures.

What cannabis addiction ultimately amounts to is blaming cannabis for the problems caused by cannabis prohibition. Just because bored people with nothing to do sometimes smoke cannabis all day doesn’t mean that the cannabis forced them to do it. A healthy society that allowed people to freely use cannabis in (e.g.) coffeeshops, would soon find that people soon get bored of it and drift into other things.

The argument that cannabis is addictive is not sufficient to justify making cannabis illegal. The addictive potential of cannabis is minor, and the withdrawal symptoms from it not severe. Focus should be placed on organising society in a manner that inspires ordinary people to engage with it of their own free will, not punishing cannabis use.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.