Fair Trade Cocaine Anyone?
Once again, well meaning concern for the environment is being recuperated and redeployed as a new mechanism of social discipline. Just spotted this article on the Guardian’s website. A new campaign will seek to ensure children think about endangered Colombian bio-diversity before they rack up their next line of Charlie. Growing environmental awareness is being tapped into in order to pursue a global “war on drugs” most of us find ourselves, inconveniently, embroiled within. Rather than discuss the horrendous and irrational effects of the outlawing of cocaine and the pursuit of a militarised and authoritarian drug control strategy, the blame is lain squarely at the feet, or nostrils, of consumers.
The Colombian minister for the environment, Carlos Costa Posada, articulates the increasingly apparent synergy between environmentalism (and its accompanying horsemen of guilt and austerity) and social discipline
“We are not saying this issue [cocaine’s role in the destruction of the rainforests] is the most important issue, but it is something people can identify with.”
This campaign hinges upon the ground work lain by tireless environmental activists focused on raising “awareness” about our unsustainable production processes. The de-politicised way that this environmental campaigning is often approached leads rather neatly to its recuperation by disciplinary mechanisms.
The way forward seems clear, Campaign for fair trade cocaine anyone?