Overcoming the Black Pill

Many are familiar with the paralysing despair that seems to leak from the stomach, into the bloodstream, and into all the other organs, especially the brain. One looks around and examines the world, and the resulting despair makes life seems hopeless and pointless, and suicide like a viable way of ending the suffering. Those who recognise it call it the Black Pill. This essay looks at how to overcome it.

It’s worth noting that getting black pilled is very different to being depressed from a chemical imbalance or similar. The Black Pill is not the same thing as depression, which usually arises as a consequence of brain damage brought about by childhood neglect and abuse. Depression is a clinical condition; the Black Pill is an existential one.

Black pills arise for a variety of reasons. They can be generalised into three groups, however, which crudely correspond to the spiritual challenges that this column has described as the Three Hurdles.

The first major black pill is the realisation that no-one knows what the fuck they’re doing on this planet. Basically everything you’ve ever been told by an authority figure (with the exception of a few scientists and similar) has been a crock of horseshit. The world’s politicians, priests and captains of industry don’t see reality accurately. And they’re leading us to disaster.

The environmental situation on Planet Earth is a black pill so large that it has to be taken as a suppository. It’s apparent to anyone who looks at the climate science that we’re currently exhausting the Earth, and some major lifestyle changes are necessary for the human species. The alternative is, potentially, ecological collapse – a collapse that will take us with it.

Anyone searching for meaning in this place eventually realises that it’s impossible to ask any authority for this, because none of them know what the fuck’s going on either, and asking them for direction will only lead to one’s own enslavement. Authority is achieved by understanding the rules of politics and the political environment, not by understanding reality accurately. Therefore, none of our rulers can be said to be legitimate.

The second major black pill is that this life ends, and it isn’t obvious what happens then. The fact that we’re all going to die is about the only material phenomenon that we can predict with absolute certainty. Although many of us entertain thoughts of an afterlife, there are very few who are absolutely certain that they will reincarnate somewhere else.

It really seems that we can take nothing with us from this world into the next, and therefore there is nothing to be won here, nothing to be achieved, collected or hoarded. Therefore, it isn’t obvious that there’s any meaning to life in this material plane. To know that all one’s works are to be dust is not a pleasant experience, but that appears to be the fate before us.

Many who realise that all of their works will be lost with their own death try to get around this by reproducing, but the inescapable fact is that one’s offspring will all themselves die, as will theirs. Simply spawning like any other animal may be a massive distraction that lasts for decades, but it doesn’t make it meaningful. It doesn’t take the black pill away, it just distracts you from feeling it.

The third major black pill is that living for pure pleasure is not fulfilling in anything but the immediate short term. It might be possible to accept that the world is going to end and that we’re all going to die, if only we could enjoy ourselves while we’re here. But it doesn’t seem to be as simple as that.

The human brain is wired up in such a way that repeated exposure to a particular stimulus eventually leads to a weakened response to that stimulus (at least, under normal circumstances). In less technical terms, too much of the same thing eventually becomes boring. This is the reality that every hedonist has tried to escape in vain. You can’t chase the dragon forever.

It might be true that the brain has a reward/punishment system built in that makes us feel good or bad, but there’s no real meaning in just stimulating this system until we die. At least, not in the sense of trying to maximise pleasure. It’s impossible for a mortal being to maximise pleasure because their mortality, and inevitable decline into death, inherently means that their life will be one of misery.

The combined effect of these three black pills has been too much for millions of people throughout history. The butcher’s bill for suicide is attestation enough to that. As a consequence, people have devoted an incredible amount of time and effort into overcoming black pills.

The art and science of overcoming black pills is, more or less, the same thing as spirituality.

All suffering arises from the illusion of separation from God. Where it gets tricky is that all life itself is the illusion of separation from God. It was understanding this grim calculus that caused Buddha to conclude that life itself was suffering. Indeed, life itself is suffering – that is the biggest black pill of all. But the fact is that, once one has accepted this, it’s white pills all the way back up again.

Life, after all, is temporary, and if life is suffering then it follows that suffering is also temporary. No matter what might be afflicting one in this material plane, there is no guarantee that it will continue to afflict one outside of it.

In fact, if life in this material plane is both temporary and suffering, that means that the true state of consciousness is one of bliss, and only through temporarily becoming enthralled in the illusions of the material world do we ever leave it. Therefore, a return to eternal bliss is inescapable. This realisation is the true Good News of spirituality.

Understanding this requires understanding that materialism is a false ideology, borne of the same simplicity that caused people to once declare the world is flat. Just because something appears to be so, doesn’t mean that it actually is so. That is just as much true of the existence of the material world as of the shape of it.

Materialism causes black pills because it insists that the brain generates consciousness and so consciousness is extinguished with the death of the brain. This leads directly to the assumption that nothing has any meaning, and therefore that causing suffering to oneself and others is just as good as doing the opposite.

The truth is that this reality in which we find ourselves is not material, but the dream of a God, whose consciousness has been split into an infinite number of individual consciousnesses, whereupon each of those individual consciousness falls under the delusion that it is the only consciousness that exists. This is for the sake of maximising the sense of novelty arising from exploring the metaverse of illusion, something otherwise known as the Great Fractal.

The meaning of this existence is not to achieve anything in particular, because God is already perfect and there is nothing to achieve. In reality, there is nothing more to do than to entertain ourselves for eternity. God seems to be of the opinion that the game of forgetting the great spiritual truths of reality, and then remembering them again, is exciting enough to repeat over and over again, forever.

We can take our frequency of consciousness with us from moment to moment, and it may be true that we take it past the death of the physical body as well. The Black Pill can thus be overcome by focusing on being the kind of energy that one would like to see expressed in the world. This will cause one to eventually incarnate in a part of the Great Fractal that reflects this energy.

*

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.

Signs That A New Spiritual Order Is Arising

With every era that passes, old orders fall and new orders rise. Some of these old orders are military, some are technological and some are spiritual. With every Great Month that passes, a pre-existing spiritual order falls and a new spiritual order rises. This essay explains how we find ourselves now in such a time of change.

Some have described the changes upon us as the transition between the Age of Pisces, the old order, and the Age of Aquarius, the order to come. With the human entry into the Age of Pisces some 2,000 years ago, we moved out of the Age of Aries, which had been characterised by brutal militaristic sentiments. The Age of Pisces was, then, a reaction to the excesses of the age before it.

Pisces is the mutable water sign, which means that it has a double feminine energy. Arguably, the dominant spiritual ideology of the Age of Pisces has been Christianity, which also has feminine energies – it can be best understood as an attempt to reform Abrahamism from its brutal and hyper-masculine Arian frequency. Christianity has taken a watery form to counter the fiery nature of its predecessor, and the multiplicity of such forms reflects the mutable quality of Pisces.

In this Age of Pisces, people with this double feminine quality have done fairly well. This is not an age in which the strong conquer and dominate, but rather an age where the kind rule through the consent of the masses. The zeitgeist of the age has been to raise up those low down, and to pull down those up high.

Like everything else, however, it has become corrupted over time, and the form of it we now have is a degraded one. In its pure form, those unfairly cast down were lifted up, and those unfairly raised were pulled down. Now, a person is lifted up even if they were low down for natural reasons, or because of their own moral failings, while people who are high for just reasons are dragged down out of resentment.

It has been too long since the original spiritual revelations that began the Age of Pisces for them still to have power, and now a great counter-reaction against their present degraded forms is under way.

This means that the Age of Aquarius will involve a reaction against Christianity and against the ethos of passivity and agreeableness. Unlike the mutable water, the avatars of the Age of Aquarius will move ever-forwards. However, they will also be sure not to fall back into the patterns of the fiery ram-headed Arian aggression. Therefore, the Age of Aquarius will strike an airy balance between the watery Pisces and the fiery Aries.

Aquarius is the fixed air sign, which suggests a dogmatic and inflexible form of intellectualism. Combining this with the gentle masculinism of the age suggests that a kind of nerdiness might be the characteristic of coming centuries, perhaps an uncompromising kind of autism. This may be an outgrowth of today’s scientific materialism, the current dominant paradigm among the world’s ruling classes.

It might be that some kind of scientific materialism remains the dominant intellectual paradigm for the next 2,000 years, with all talk of the spiritual discouraged. It could also be that scientific materialism becomes the dominant paradigm for the ignorant masses only, while the enlightened and the initiated will be aware of the perennial truths that underpin the true philosophies of all times and places.

Certain phenomena predictably arise every time we near the end of a great age, as we now are. The foremost is a gross and paralysing apathy that drives all talk of the spiritual from public life. This can be seen with our current crop of atheistic rulers. However, this enormous apathy is necessary to wash away the vestiges of the old ways, and at its heart is the seed of a new spiritual order. The Age of Aquarius proper will begin when this new spiritual order begins to impose its will upon the world.

The first harbingers of this new spiritual order are those men and women who are rediscovering the spiritual sacraments that revealed the great wisdom that the ancients possessed. The vanguard of the new age of light returning to our benighted world is in those who have learned that psychedelics such as cannabis and psilocybin are capable of reconnecting a person to God and to the perennial wisdom.

There have always been small, clandestine groups of spiritual seekers who have kept the flame of genuine spiritual knowledge alive, despite the oppression from hate ideologies like Abrahamism, Nazism and Communism. These people have retained knowledge of the use of spiritual sacraments and techniques, even though the governments of recent decades have fought to suppress use of them. Most people now accept that the Governments are fighting a losing battle, so these groups have grown rapidly in number and influence.

However, it’s only now that a mass of people are starting to realise that these sacraments have revealed genuine spiritual knowledge to those brave enough to experiment with them. Bearers of light such as VJM Publishing are now able to publish information about spiritual alchemy without persecution – and we are far from the first or only ones. The spread of this knowledge will not stop until a new spiritual age exists upon the Earth.

It’s already possible to see magic mushrooms becoming legalised in places such as Denver. When magic mushrooms become legal more widely, it will become common for intelligent men and women to get together and use them sacramentally, to reconnect with God. When they do this, genuine spiritual knowledge will come to return to the Earth.

Although public sacramental use along the lines of the Eleusinian Mysteries are still some way off, in this general atmosphere of intellectual and spiritual exploration, it won’t be too long before there are some quasi-public rituals involving mass consumption of psychedelics. When this occurs, an entirely new consciousness will arise upon the Earth, involving new ways of relating to and identifying with each other.

If the Age of Aquarius means that scientific materialism completely destroys Abrahamism and the other superstitious cultures, this should clear the way for a return of those schools of thought that had been superstitiously attacked. This could very well lead to genuine spiritual revelation, and this could lead to a new spiritual era of human history and a new Golden Age.

*

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: Prohibition Doesn’t Work

Although this book is full of arguments for cannabis law reform, all of them are technically forms of one great metaargument. All of the arguments for cannabis law reform, as the reader will discover, explore different facets of the failure of cannabis prohibition. This essay examines the fundamental argument at the core of the case for cannabis law reform – that prohibition doesn’t work.

Although there are a plethora of different kinds of cannabis law reform, all of them are based on the recognition that cannabis prohibition has a number of costs that could be saved. Although it’s denied by many, prohibition does have costs – the cost of law enforcement, the cost of prisons, the cost of faith in the Government, the Police and the medical establishment, among others.

Therefore, in order for this cost to be justified, cannabis prohibition has to do something good. There have to be profits somewhere to make up for all the costs. If there aren’t, then cannabis prohibition is a failed experiment and must be ended.

So let us ask: what is the objective of cannabis prohibition?

If the objective was to prevent people from using cannabis, that has failed. In 2008, 14.6 percent of the New Zealand population had used cannabis within the past 12 months, which is comparable to the prevalence rate of tobacco use. A decade later, cannabis is even more popular than before, and tobacco even less.

No intelligent person seriously believes that the law can override the people’s will to use cannabis. Exactly like alcohol prohibition, which failed to stop people from using alcohol, cannabis prohibition won’t stop people from using cannabis. Not only do people have a will to use it, but they feel that they have the right to do so. They’re going to keep using it forever.

If the objective was to protect people’s mental health, that too has failed. Not only is there no correlation between rates of cannabis use and prevalence of mental illness on the national level, but there is ample scientific evidence that cannabis does not cause psychosis or schizophrenia. The cannabis-psychosis link is best explained by the fact that cannabis is medicinal for many mentally ill people, and so they seek it out.

Instead of protecting people’s mental health, cannabis prohibition leads to the further social isolation of cannabis users by making them unwilling to speak candidly to mental health professionals, or to their friends or workmates. If cannabis is illegal, then confessing to using it is tantamount to confessing to criminal activity, so many mentally ill people who need help would rather just sit in silence.

If the objective was to protect children from psychoactive drugs while their brains are still developing, that too has failed. Because cannabis is on the black market, and therefore sold by criminals, there is nothing in the way of age checks between young people and the cannabis supply. Gang members will happily sell bags of cannabis to 12-year olds if they have the cash.

People often make the “think of the children!” argument when it comes to cannabis law reform, but the simple fact is that prohibition makes it easier for minors to get hold of cannabis. Proof for this is as simple as asking a minor if it’s easier to get hold of alcohol or cannabis. They’ll tell you that it’s harder to get hold of booze because those selling it are serious about keeping their liquor license.

If the objective was to instill respect for authority, that’s completely backfired. Cannabis prohibition is so stupid an idea that the people at large have lost respect for those pushing at and those enforcing it. Although the idea that one’s politicians are stupid and evil is far from new, these sentiments become problematic when they’re applied to other segments of society. Prohibition, however, makes this all but inevitable.

Many New Zealanders have now come to feel that the Police are their enemy, because Police officers have shown themselves willing to confiscate people’s medicine and to imprison them for using it. Far from being the trusted community servants that they are seen as in places like Holland, they’re seen as enemy soldiers waging an immoral war against an innocent people. To a great extent, this is the fault of cannabis prohibition.

All of these arguments (among others) are discussed at length in the various chapters of this book, but they all support the central thesis – that cannabis prohibition doesn’t work. It doesn’t achieve its stated aim of reducing the sum total of human suffering, and if it doesn’t achieve its stated aims, then it isn’t justified to continue with it any longer.

The men who pushed cannabis prohibition on a naive and unsuspecting public almost a century ago are now dead. Whether they knew they were speaking falsehoods or whether they were genuinely misled is no longer material. The right thing for us to do is to assess reality accurately, so that we can move forward in the correct direction.

If we look around the world honestly, it’s obvious that prohibition has failed. Not only is cannabis culture thriving, even in the most unlikely places, but support for cannabis law reform is rising almost universally, across all nations and demographics. The most striking sign is the ever-increasing number of states, territories or countries that have recently liberalised their cannabis laws.

The cynic might say that this is an example of the bandwagon fallacy, but that is not an accurate criticism. The reason why so many countries are changing their cannabis laws is because the evidence against cannabis prohibition has now mounted so high that it can no longer be ignored. There are now many countries liberalising their cannabis laws for the simple reason that the evidence suggests that it’s a better approach.

Cannabis prohibition simply doesn’t work. There is nowhere in the world that has prohibited cannabis and observed any result other than more poverty, distrust, misery and hatred. It’s fundamentally for this reason that the cannabis laws ought to be reformed.

*

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.

The Occult Background of The Magic: The Gathering Five-Colour System

The magical and mystical references and themes of Magic: the Gathering are a rich part of the background of the story world, and many play it for that reason. The reality is that Magic is not just occult in flavour and appearance but also in fundamental structure and gameplay. As this essay will describe, the layout of the five fundamental Magic colours maps out a space in occult philosophy.

Many people are familiar with the conception of four classical elements of earth, water, air and fire. These are said to represent various elemental forces, viz. being cold and dry in the case of earth, cold and wet in the case of water, warm and wet in the case of air and warm and dry in the case of fire. More precisely, these are what are known as the four feminine elements, because they all have equal value.

Being four elements of equal value, they can be distinguished on the basis of yin and yang. The yin elements are Earth and Water, because they are cold and passive. The yang elements are Air and Fire, because they are warm and active. Earth relates to inertia, Water relates to cohesion, Air to expansion and Fire to heat.

There are also such things as the four masculine elements, which all have differing value. These four elements collapse into a basic dichotomy between precious things that need to be guarded or defended and base things that do not. These precious things are usually characterised as white on account of the light nature of silver and gold, whereas base things are usually characterised as black on account of the dark nature of clay and iron.

This masculine dichotomy and feminine quadrichotomy combine to give us a system based around six separate points – a system that the reader may have previously seen diagrammed (as below) in various occult symbols and drawings. 

In this model, Air and Fire are the bottom corners of the white triangle, because they are warm and therefore rise upwards. Earth and Water are the top corners of the black triangle, because they are cold and therefore sink downwards. The uppermost point of the white triangle represents spirituality, which seeks to rise above matter, and the bottommost point of the black triangle represents materialism, which indulges in it.

The masculine axis is represented by the vertical line of the central ankh, and the feminine axis by the horizontal line. So in this diagram all of creation is represented: all of the physical, the metaphysical, the feminine, the masculine, the spiritual and the material worlds can be found therein.

Where it gets interesting is how this esoteric diagram maps to the five different colour types in M:tG.

Blue represents both Air Magic and Water Magic. In this it combines the intellectualism of Air with the flexibility of Water to create a magic that tricks, deceives, binds and maddens. It’s also a magic that can open up new intellectual possibilities and mental realms. Air and Water are the two wet elements, and so it’s fitting that blue is a slippery and ephemeral colour. 

Red represents Fire Magic. This is encapsulated not only in the obvious fire, lightning and volcano-related imagery but also in red magic’s use of chaos. Fire is the most chaotic form of matter, because solids, liquids and even gasses all behave in reasonably predictable ways. This is why red uses cards like ‘Wheel of Fortune’.

Green represents Earth Magic. This refers to the natural world and to the procreative qualities of the natural world. The classic Green Magic strategy is to overrun one’s opponent, to crush them by sheer mindless mass or weight of numbers. Trample is the quintessential ability of Green Magic, as are magics that represent damage done by natural phenomena such as hurricanes and poisons.

White represents spirituality, or White Magic. To this end, most of the healing magic is white in nature (in this sense, M:tG lifts many of their concepts from existing esoteric philosophy). The point of White Magic is to banish the darkness or suffering, hence their use of wards and salves. White also plays on the idea of God acting upon the world through cards such as ‘Wrath of God’ and ‘Armageddon’.

Black represents materialism, or Black Magic. Perhaps the characteristic card of this colour is ‘Greed’. Elegant practitioners of Black Magic will use other people’s materialistic desires to exploit them, or to manipulate them into furthering the magician’s wishes. Life imitates art in the sense that Black Magic is essentially the same in M:tG as in real life.

So the five colours of a Magic game represent five alchemical positions on two fundamental axes: masculine on the masculine axis (white), feminine on the masculine axis (black), masculine on the feminine axis (red), feminine on the feminine axis (green) and neutral on the feminine axis (blue).

A game of Magic can be thought of as an alchemical battle, with the player who is greatest able to project power through their mastery of the elements the winner. Curiously, there is no guarantee that the forces of “good” will win any given battle, which is what gives the game its dramatic potential. The side with the angels and God on it can still be defeated by competent Black Magic or by any other alliance.

*

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.

Should New Zealand Reduce Pensions To The Level of Other Benefits?

When the pension system was introduced in New Zealand in 1898, the average life expectancy was less than 60. Today, it’s closer to 80. Consequently, pension expenses have ballooned. This article discusses whether New Zealand should lower the pension to bring it in line with other main benefits, and what we could afford if we did.

A lot of words are being written lately about universal basic income, but few realise New Zealand already has a universal basic income for the over 65s, known as National Superannuation.

The argument for paying out this universal benefit is that people older than 65 cannot reasonably be expected to earn a living through the workforce, and therefore would starve without a pension. That seems entirely fair. Not many people would argue that a person should be forced to starve, in this age of plenty, just because they were too old to work.

However, the amount of money paid in pensions is taking the piss. $360 per week to every person over 65, when a majority of them own their own house, is an obscenity, when we expect severely mentally ill people to survive on $273 per week, out of which they almost always have to pay rent.

As of June 2019, the New Zealand Government spends over $12,000,000,000 every year on pensions (see table at top of article). This mostly consists of the $20,000 of yearly pension payments per recipient, multiplied by the 600,000+ eligible pensioners in New Zealand. Pension spending is projected to be $20,000,000,000 by 2031.

Although most people can agree that it’s cruel to leave people to starve on account of that they’re too infirm to work, there’s no reason for the Government to be granting pensioners a lifestyle that compares with what people make from working. Indeed, if they’re not working, why should they be paid any more than the unemployment benefit?

A fair compromise between the current luxury pension model on the one hand, and reducing the pension to the level of the unemployment benefit on the other, might be to reduce the benefit to a midway level. This would recognise both that current pension spending is an unsustainable and unfair burden on the under-65s, and that the infirmity of old age demands more expenses than the health of youth.

If the pension was cut by 25%, from its current $360 per week to around $270, this would bring it in line with other main benefits such as the Supported Living Allowance. This 25% reduction would equal a savings of $3,000,000,000 per year in pension expenses.

To give an example of how much money that is, it’s roughly equal to the $3,000,000,000 in tax revenue that the Government gets from the 10.5% tax on the first $14,000 of income. This tax works out to slightly less than $1,500 per person for each of New Zealand’s roughly 2,000,000 wage or salary earners.

So lowering the pension by 25% to bring it in line with other main benefits could be balanced by making all income up to $14,000 tax free. This would be a revenue-neutral move – there are plenty of other ways to spend $3G, but this would be one of the most popular.

Introducing a $14,000 tax-free threshold would make two million New Zealanders much happier about going to work every day. It would revitalise the workforce by giving every worker an extra $1,500 per year. This works out to almost $30 per week. That would make a huge difference to standard of living given the cost of living and cost of housing at the moment.

For two-parent families, such a saving would equal roughly $60 per week. For many Kiwi families on the breadline, this would be enough money to make the difference between survival and disaster some weeks.

There’s no loss to bringing this in, apart from a reduction in luxuries for our current crop of pensioners. None of those pensioners will go hungry because they would still get as much as an invalid’s beneficiary, and considering that these same pensioners had the luxury of being able to buy a house on one income – a luxury that younger generations will never have – there’s no reason for the rest of us to spend empathy on them. We ought to keep it for each other.

At the moment, New Zealand is being sucked dry by a cohort of super-entitled Baby Boomers who feel that they have the right to party it up for 20 years after they reach 65. This was only sustainable when pensioners were a small percentage of the population, but with as much as 20% of the population soon wanting a slice of the pension pie, it no longer is.

We need to bring the pension in line with other main benefits in order to rein in our bloated Superannuation expenses. Reducing it to the same level as the Supported Living Allowance would free up roughly three billion dollars every year. Freeing our economy from this burden would make life a lot easier for the vast majority of Kiwis.

*

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: Cannabis Does Not Make People Violent

As ridiculous as it may sound to many, the public opinion of cannabis and its effects have been informed by images like the murder scene from Reefer Madness. In the minds of a large section of the voting-age population, using cannabis leads directly to a desire to murder other people just for the thrill of it, or at least to an meth or alcohol-like aggression. This article looks at the truth.

Anyone who has been part of a cannabis-using scene knows that the supposed link between cannabis and violence is bullshit. It’s simple enough to just contrast the results of cannabis cafes in Amsterdam, or cannabis festivals, with bars and pubs just about anywhere else. Cannabis, by itself, makes people mellow in the vast majority of cases.

The myth that cannabis makes people violent was proven false as far back as 1977. A review published that year in the Psychological Bulletin stated that “The consensus is that marihuana does not precipitate violence in the majority of those using it sporadically or chronically.” All of the further research since then backs up this point.

Interestingly, that article cites the importance of set and setting, which is something that any responsible person would emphasise if they wanted to reduce harms (more on this below).

The presence of a scientific consensus that there is no causal link between cannabis use and violence doesn’t stop prohibitionists from cherry-picking data and research to create the impression that such a link exists. After all, there are correlations between all kinds of things, but (as any honest scientist knows) these correlations are often best explained by underlying third factors.

There is certainly a correlation between violence and cannabis, as there is between violence and everything on the black market. This is inevitable, because anything on the black market is all but guaranteed to be sold by someone who won’t go to the Police if they are ripped off, stood over or killed. Cases like the example of Marlborough man Colin Farrell, who was robbed of his cannabis plants in a home invasion, only happen because of prohibition.

It’s true of everything that if only criminals use it, it will have an association with crime. It’s also true that if something is illegal, then only criminals will use it. Therefore, anything that’s illegal will have an association with crime. This, by itself, explains most of the link between cannabis and violence.

Another reason why an association exists between cannabis and violence is that some people use cannabis as part of a pattern of polydrug usage during nihilistic benders. There are a lot of meth benders that end up with a person smoking cannabis to try and calm themselves down and get to sleep, only to find it not quite working, at which point something really out of order often happens. The same is true of alcohol benders.

This is why the headlines proclaiming things like “Cannabis Crash Tragedy Kills Five” inevitably lead into an article that describes how the driver was also drunk, and/or on meth and/or on prescription sleeping pills. The mainstream media is happy to play up the cannabis angle to these stories, partly because drink driving fatalities are not news and partly because it pleases the alcohol manufacturers who spend millions advertising in that same media.

Logical thinking tells us that, just because a person smoked cannabis and became violent later doesn’t mean that the cannabis caused the violence. This is an example of the informal logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, or “after this, therefore because of this.” This is because people who smoke cannabis and become violent have usually been drinking alcohol or doing methamphetamine at the same time, or haven’t slept for days.

Logical thinking would ask: “Where are the cases of murders and violent crimes being committed by people who were only on cannabis and nothing else?”

Of course, there are few or none – even making an Internet search for examples comes up with little. This is because the people who are using cannabis without also using alcohol or methamphetamine are almost always just quietly using it at home, to relax, in a similar manner to how many responsible people drink alcohol daily.

Much like alcohol, the emphasis ought to go on educating people about the real effects of the substance. Absurd lies like the Reefer Madness story have to be consigned to history, where they belong alongside witch hunts, virgin sacrifices and the persecution of left-handers as embarrassing examples of human superstition, cowardice and stupidity.

The truth about things like set and setting have to be explained to people, so that they can make intelligent decisions about their cannabis use instead of relying on abstinence-based fearmongering (this is true of alcohol as well as cannabis). Part of this involves only using cannabis in situations where they are safe and where they don’t have to be responsible for anything, and preferably around people they like and who won’t harass them when they are high.

Any correctly informed person who is concerned about violence would support the legalisation of cannabis, because it would replace known violence-causing drugs (in particular alcohol and methamphetamine) with something that causes less violence. In reality, the connection between cannabis and violence is so weak that, far from being an argument for its prohibition, it’s an argument to legalise it.

*

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.

The Best Way to Raise Wages Is to Strengthen The Negotiating Position of The Working Class

Low wages are blamed by many for the various social ills befalling the nations of the West. If only wages were higher, a lot of problems with housing, education and healthcare would be solved. Although this is true on the face of it, little thought goes into what actually leads to high wages. This essay explains.

A popular belief, particularly among young leftists, is that the wage being paid reflects the employer’s goodwill. This is true to a minor extent (it reflects the degree of solidarity that the employer has with their employees), but in practice the size of a wage reflects little else than the respective negotiating strengths of the employer and the employee.

These people don’t understand that a person’s wage is the result of a negotiation process, and that this process is determined by economic principles. In particular, the wage reflects what the employer and employee each have for a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) – the alternative that would arise if negotiations failed and both parties walked away from the table.

If the employer’s BATNA is to lose production and fail to fill orders because they are short-staffed, that employer’s negotiating position is weak. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is to get a well-paid job somewhere else, that employee’s negotiation position is strong.

Conversely, if the employer’s BATNA is to get the Immigration Minister to import cheap labour from the Third World and to hire them instead of a local, then that employer’s negotiating position is strong. Likewise, if the employee’s BATNA is that his family back in the Third World starves, that employee’s negotiating position is weak.

So it can be seen that a person’s wage is chiefly a function of the demand for that person’s labour and the supply of competing labour. All other factors being equal, the greater the demand for that person’s labour, the higher the wage, and the greater the supply of competing labour, the lower the wage.

If one wishes to raise wages, then, the only thing that will reliably work is to restrict the supply of the labour competing for those wages.

The capital owners of the West have always striven to minimise their labour expenses. The most effective way to do this is through slavery, because then the capital owners get labour (effectively) for free. The American cotton and sugar plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries were profitable because slavery minimised their labour expenses, and the closer a modern company can get to free labour, the better.

In the 21st century, the way to keep wages low is to import cheap labour from overseas. This has the massive benefit of allowing the capital owner to undercut the native working class, and to pay a fraction of their wage to the new imports instead. If the cheap labour is from a poor country, they will often be happy to live 20 to a house so that they can send some of their wages home in remittances.

Many modern enterprises in the West are only profitable because of importing cheap labour, but allowing this is a form of corruption that harms the working class. In a natural capitalist system, companies that can’t pay a living wage to their employees go out of business because they can’t find staff. Under the system we have, those companies import cheap labour and their previous staff go on the dole.

Despairingly, many leftists now think it is “racist” to oppose open borders, on the grounds that it’s mean to tell non-white people they can’t live in the West. These leftists are indifferent to the argument that opening the borders to cheap labour is against the class interests of the working poor. In fact, they often verbally abuse those working-class people for agitating for their own class interests, while the capital owners laugh all the way to the bank.

There is only one reliable way to increase the wages of labour. This way is to improve the negotiating position of the working classes. The negotiating position of the working classes can only be increased in two ways: by increasing the demand for labour, and by decreasing the supply of labour.

Only if the best alternative to a negotiated high wage is another high wage will the employer pay one. If the worker asks for a living wage and cheap labour is available, the employer will go with the cheap labour in almost every case. The employer doesn’t give a shit if this leaves the original worker unemployed – the cheaper the labour, the more profits for them.

The sad truth is that the international capitalist interests who have created this arrangement also own the mainstream media. As a result, this media has convinced us that this state of affairs is natural and that anyone who complains about their wage must be a racist. They don’t care if they’re hated – they still own everything and hate doesn’t stop them. What they do care about is a weakening of their negotiating position.

The New Zealand Labour Party – like neoliberal parties everywhere – has completely betrayed the New Zealand working class by keeping the floodgates of cheap labour wide open. It is by doing this that the Labour Party have kept wages low and contributed to the current social problems. As this magazine has argued previously, this betrayal risks that the New Zealand working class turns to fascism. The only way out is to strengthen the negotiating position of the workers.

*

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.

ACT Could Get 5% If They Became The Alt-Right Party – But It’s Risky

The ACT Party and David Seymour are the darlings of the globalist mainstream media, but despite being soaked in positive coverage, they win little real support from the New Zealand public. Clearly a change in policy is needed. Numbers man Dan McGlashan, author of Understanding New Zealand, explains the considerations of the ACT Party staking a claim for the alt-right territory.

A number of parties larger than ACT have staked their claim for a part of the political landscape. Labour represents the old left and National represents the old right. The New Zealand First Party represents the opportunistic centre, that which seeks to play the old left off against the old right. Peters’s crew are, however, very much part of the Establishment themselves.

The Greens represent an alternative to this arrangement, as can be observed by their unusually young candidates. They are not shy about claiming to represent the left, which makes them the alt-left. Parties like The Opportunities Party and Sustainable New Zealand make up the alt-centre.

The ACT Party has struggled to find a place in this arrangement. For the duration of the Fifth National Government they were content to merely drift along in support in the belief that, no matter how badly National ran the country down, at least it was cheaper than if Labour was in charge.

Looking at the description above, one clear niche presents itself. If the Greens are the alt-left, then the ACT Party is the alt-right.

They have already made large strides in this direction by coming out in favour of laws entrenching our right to free speech. The right to free speech is something that the alt-left is notoriously weak on. They are so weak that this magazine has previously joked about them giving us a list of opinions that we’re allowed to express.

If the ACT Party would properly declare itself a right-wing alternative to the Establishment – i.e. an alt-right party – and adopt a mission statement of opposing the excesses of the left, they could gain a tremendous amount of support from the currently disenfranchised. Despite the television news readers breathlessly telling us how Jacinda Ardern is the most popular leader in world history, there are plenty of people who hate her for her authoritarian style and her commitment to the United Nations before New Zealand.

What ACT will need to achieve is to provide a genuine alternative to both the Establishment (in its form of Labour/National/NZF) and the new parties (in the form of Greens, TOP etc.). This will require that they take policy positions that explicitly repudiate positions that the Establishment has taken on – for example – gun control, free speech, the importation of cheap labour and drug law reform.

To some extent, ACT has done this already, but if they want 5% of the vote they need to go further.

This might require that the ACT Party acknowledges the truth in a number of alt-right talking points, such as some of what figureheads such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux have to say, particularly when it comes to their criticisms of globalism, the correlation between race and intelligence and the effect of mass immigration on social cohesion and working-class wages.

At this point, it has to be made clear that the ACT Party does not in any way have to align itself with the seedy and hateful side of alt-right culture. They do not have to campaign for a whites-only state and they don’t have to campaign for the release of Branton Tarrant. They don’t need to campaign to remove the Jews or to roll back women’s suffrage.

They just have to provide an alternative to the insanity of the left, and they can do this simply, by deploying what has become like kryptonite to leftists: cold, hard facts.

They may have to come out and state outright, for example, that mass immigration of Muslims and Africans to Europe has been a catastrophe, and that this was all but inevitable on account of their lower IQs, and that ACT opposes it. This doesn’t mean they have to support a white ethnostate – ACT could, for example, take a selectionist approach that would already be broadly in line with New Zealand’s current merit-based approach to immigration.

This synergises well with their pre-existing policies. For instance, ACT’s “Freedom to Earn” policy suggests a flat tax rate of 17.5%. This will certainly demand a sharp reduction in Government spending. Things like importing refugees to live on the benefit forever, as Europe has been doing, will be impossible if public spending is cut to the bone (assuming the ACT Party doesn’t want to start nativist riots).

However, if they did the exact opposite of this, and slashed the refugee quota on alt-right grounds, they could find themselves rewarded with much support. There are tens of thousands of Kiwis in precarious housing situations, and they have watched on bitterly as the Sixth Labour Government doubled the refugee quota and housed foreigners while they went cold. They might support ACT even if ACT did nothing more for them than to reduce competition for housing.

Of course, if ACT should decide to take this path, they will have to contend with a suddenly hostile media. The Establishment media is currently in the hands of the globalists, and for these globalists the more cheap labour the better, and the more pressure on housing the better. Since they own all the capital already, anything that increases the leverage of that capital is a good thing. An ACT shift to nationalism would lose them their current darling status in the eyes of the mainstream media.

However, if they did take a nationalist path, some other policies would become obvious, and they could pick up more votes by becoming more credible on these issues.

Cannabis law reform is perhaps the most obvious. Because cannabis use is an integral part of Kiwi culture, there is a strong overlap between those who want legal cannabis and those who have nationalist sentiments. If the ACT Party would shift to nationalism, they could emphasise this side of their policy more. This would help them make inroads into the large number of cannabis law reform supporters who do not vote.

Shifting the focus of ACT Party representation from globalism to nationalism would be a risky move. There is much to gain, but it risks losing favourable mainstream media coverage. Although the alt-media would step into that breach in such a case (indeed, the VJMP Reads column has already covered Seymour’s Own Your Future), there is no guarantee this would work better for ACT than the current cozy arrangement.

*

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: An Elderly Perspective

The perception that old people are generally anti-cannabis is far from a myth. Although many elderly cannabis enthusiasts have plenty of friends who are pro-cannabis, statistics show a strong negative correlation between being aged 65+ and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017. This essay describes what those enthusiasts already know: that there is a strong case for cannabis law reform from an elderly perspective.

The unpleasant truth about getting old is that it tends to involve a lot more healthcare than being young. Getting old is tantamount to the body crapping out. It’s a miserable truth to acknowledge, but there is a strong correlation between aging and physical suffering.

Because of this elevated degree of physical suffering among the elderly, there is an elevated demand for medicines of all kinds. Everyone knows that old people are always popping pills for some ailment or other. The increased sickness and frailty that comes with aging means that elderly people are interested in all kinds of medicine and, increasingly more nowadays, in cannabis.

One of the areas in which cannabis has shown the most promise for the elderly is an alternative to opiates for the sake of pain relief, particularly in the case of cancer and terminal illness. An article in the European Journal of Internal Medicine describes how cannabis was found to be a safe and effective medicine for the elderly population in this way. Its greatest benefit seems to be found in replacing opiates and thereby avoiding their profound and unpleasant side-effects.

Cannabis has also shown promise in treating a number of conditions that are much more likely to afflict the elderly, such as Parkinson’s, insomnia, some forms of chronic pain, age-related cognitive decline and hypertension. This is only a small sample – cannabis has also shown promise in treating entire classes of illnesses, in particular inflammatory ones.

Despite the attempts by prohibitionist interests to equate cannabis with more harmful substances such as tobacco, the fact is that a vast range of medicinal uses for cannabis are already known. It’s very possible, given the evidence thus far, that further research into cannabis will uncover new ways to alleviate the suffering of the world’s elderly.

Some will make the argument that all of this evidence in favour of medicinal cannabis, which is an entirely separate issue to recreational cannabis. But just because the elderly have plenty of reason to support medicinal cannabis doesn’t mean that they have reason to oppose wider cannabis law reform.

It has been discovered in Canada that freeing up restrictions on recreational cannabis encourages doctors to write prescriptions for it. When “recreational” cannabis is illegal, this normalises the idea that cannabis itself is harmful, and discourages doctors from writing prescriptions for medicinal cannabis. Therefore, the two issues are inseparable.

The fact is, as Edward Bernays might have told us, that the amount of research that gets done into cannabis medicine for the elderly is a direct function of the degree of positive sentiment towards cannabis that exists in the wider society. The more people in general feel that cannabis is helpful and not harmful, the more likely someone is to suggest to research its medicinal qualities, or to agree to fund such research.

So the elderly everywhere have an interest in liberalising restrictions around cannabis, because this will lead to doctors taking an interest in the application of the plant to alleviating the suffering of conditions that afflict the elderly.

All of these things add up to there being good personal reasons for elderly people to support cannabis law reform.

After all, the elderly overseas support cannabis law reform – it has been noted that many of the beneficiaries of cannabis law reform have been elderly. The fastest-growing group of cannabis users in legal jurisdictions are the over-65s. The article linked here, from the Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, states “marijuana use seems normalized among the older populations as more of those who ever used marijuana age.”

The fact that many elderly are against cannabis law reform, despite being the major beneficiaries of it, is not a contradiction. Those generations were the ones exposed to a viciously anti-cannabis mentality that was not above telling lies to demonise the plant. Because of this normalisation of the idea that cannabis is harmful, it’s understandable that someone raised in this era might still believe so.

However, there remains a moral imperative to look honestly at the evidence for and against cannabis before making a decision to support its prohibition. This ties in with one final thing the elderly might like to consider: the question of goodwill. This is a question of what kind of legacy they want to leave for those who come after them.

The Police are unlikely to arrest old people for cannabis offences (although they do). They are much more likely to go after the grandchildren of those old people. When the grandchildren of old people get criminal convictions for using cannabis, they have to live with those for the rest of their lives, and (as argued in another chapter) the effects of a criminal record are disproportionate to the suffering caused by cannabis offences.

The elderly don’t win from their offspring getting criminal records.

Ultimately, the elderly might like to think about cannabis law reform, not just for their sake but for their children and grandchildren. It will be those generations who will be looking after them in the old folks’ homes, and many of the nurses who work there would like to have access to cannabis to unwind after a day of work. The smart thing to do might be to stay on their side.

*

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.

It Doesn’t Matter What The Polls Say Or What The Referendum Says – We’ll Use Cannabis Anyway

Kiwi cannabis enthusiasts were alarmed this week by a couple of polls that suggested a majority of people might now be against cannabis legalisation in New Zealand. A Reid Research poll for Newshub and a Colmar Brunton poll for One News both suggested this. As this essay will argue, what the polls say is just as meaningless as what the law says.

Cannabis prohibition has failed. There’s no doubt about it. With every year that passes, another overseas jurisdiction repeals prohibition, and society in general is starting to move on from it. The most glaring example of this are the falling rates of convictions for cannabis offences, as not even the Police can be bothered enforcing this law.

People miss the point if they say that this means that murder and rape prohibition has also failed because they keep happening. Murder and rape have victims. They are therefore categorically different to using cannabis, and there’s no reason to treat them the same.

Statistics show that using cannabis is one of the most Kiwi things that anyone can do. The correlation between being born in New Zealand and voting for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2017 was 0.77, which tells us that cannabis use is an integral part of our national culture. The deeper a person’s roots in New Zealand, the more likely they are to be a cannabis user.

So in reality, there’s no need for a referendum, because we live the referendum all the time. Every single day, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis choose to use cannabis, for a wide range of ailments, to socialise, to destress or simply for a laugh. We signal our approval of cannabis every day from the simple fact that we choose to use it every day.

Almost everywhere and everytime Kiwis gather outside of Government supervision, there’s some weed involved. When we go tramping and hunting, we take some smoke with us. When we meet up for a barbeque, we like to break out the bongs. After we play touch or cricket we like to have a puff. And at the beaches, and in the parks, and in the bedrooms, etc…

We’re going to keep doing this, and the Government will not ever be able to stop us. The Governments of far more submissive and less free-thinking peoples than New Zealanders can’t stop their people from using cannabis – how can they stop us?

The number of cannabis seeds in private hands must number in the multiple billions. Law or no law, there is an entire underground network of cannabis enthusiasts who have been sharing seeds, clones and cultivation techniques for decades. These people love to help new people become growers themselves and defy prohibition. This culture has no intention to go anywhere.

Neither is it going to go anywhere. No Government can come up with a justified reason for making a medicinal plant illegal. Whether now or a thousand years from now, human beings will always intuitively feel that a law prohibiting them from using a part of nature to heal themselves is obscene.

This intuitive feeling is not just a delusion brought about from cannabis-induced psychosis. Far from it. It reflects something much deeper, namely the fact that we have a God-given right to use any spiritual sacraments we see fit. This is described elsewhere as the Golden Right, and the Government may not violate it because violating a person’s ability to connect to God causes suffering.

Because of all this, it doesn’t matter that a couple of polls might have suggested that the cannabis referendum result could be negative. I was stoned when I wrote this article, I will be stoned on the day on the cannabis referendum, and I will be stoned the next day too, regardless of the result.

People have an obligation to defy unjust laws. Even if the referendum result is negative, prohibition will still be an unjust law. Because it will still be an unjust law, people will keep defying it. The control freaks in the Government can hiss and rage all they like – Kiwis are going to use cannabis anyway, because it’s our will. Refusing to recognise this fact is futile.

*

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.