Monday, July 02, 2007

A venturesome view on the politics of suffering

In my view, there are presently, in our societies, NATURAL extended systems for the management of suffering. Societies are equipped with supply and security systems for our survival, our biological, psychological, social, educational, and various other kinds of needs... These systems evolved to meet two contradictory aims : the aim to avoid suffering because of its often dreadful discomfort, and the aim to inflict suffering for various advantages. What I propose is that we PURPOSIVELY develop a systematic management of suffering, and thus make clear for whose interests suffering is now going to be managed in our societies.

Let us look for example at the war in Afghanistan. The country’s main production is opium poppy, a plant indispensable in the control of many forms of suffering. In the late 1990, Afghanistan was supplying 70% of world's opium. In 2001, just before September 11, the Taliban had reduced the production to near zero, because the drug is “a great threat to personality, wisdom, life, health, economy and morality”. The US-led war (an operation called Freedom from Enduring, or rather Enduring Freedom) ousted the Taliban in the end of 2001, and the opium production came back to normal (Information taken from Poppy production soars in Afghanistan). Recently, on June 17th, The New-York Times had this cover story on its magazine: When Is a Pain Doctor a Drug Pusher? It is on medical uses of ‘the immense power’ of opioids, on how much pain is still radically undertreated, on how doctors are imprisoned or kept in fear in the name of the war on drugs. As if the international drug dealers were lobbying against doctors who could take control of their lucrative market, and as if Taliban-like moralistic governments were more responsive to these criminal money-profiteers than to our most dedicated welfare-makers… According to the latest news, Afghanistan produces now more than 90% of world’s opium: see Afghan opium production 'soars'.