Psychedelics, Consumer-Capitalism, Power & Authority

1. Consumerism depends on discontent. If you were content, you wouldn’t feel the need to buy all the pointless stuff on offer: if every one was content the system would break. Adverts are designed to produce discontentment, simple as that. All forms of true spirituality work towards contentment and therefore pose a threat to consumerism and the capitalist system. The myriad forms of spirituality all warn against selfishness, greed, envy and desire: spirituality and consumer-capitalism are thus diametrically opposed.

2. Psychedelics can cause spiritual insights about the nature of the self and the illusory nature of the “material” world. They are known to bring about states of ego-death, i.e. self-less-nes, the same goal of many of the major religious and mystical traditions. The endless pursuit of consumer-capitalist goals, with all the greed and selfishness that is entailed by that pursuit, is challenged by the insights provided by psychedelics. Psychedelics can show individuals how insignificant the accumulation of material wealth is.

3. Psychedelics may offer insights that make people less willing to “work the jobs they hate for shit they don’t need” (thanks Tyler). The option to not comply with the games of consumer-capitalism is excluded from the mass-media, the establishment, and the discourses it presents.

4. Psychedelics are more rewarding than the socially constructed goals that the system depends on the population striving for. They produce experiences whose value far outreaches the experiences possible in the realms of the five-senses. They are cheap (sometimes free) to produce, are difficult to incorporate into the system of money trading, and thus provide an inadequate incentive to keep people working. Psychedelics are thus problematic to a capitalist system.

5. Psychedelics allow people to see through the constructed and artificial power hierarchies that protect the privileges of small minorities: the status quo and the wealthy. In short, they show people the unreality of power and authority. Guess what? those who claim power and authority would rather people believe they have it. Power is socially and psychologically constructed: The “Prime-Minister” only has power because enough people believe he has power, if no one in the country believed he has power, he would not have power.

6. The smooth-running of the economy, the expansion of consumerist capitalism, the progress of the military-industrial machine, and the protection of the wealth and privileges of the small elite (in terms of wealth distribution) that control these systems, is aided by a set of delusions, assumptions, and games, that the status quo would rather went unquestioned and unchallenged. Examples of such games/delusions are: that little bits of paper have “value”, that humanity is divided into “nations”, that laws have some kind of reality to them outside the heads of those who believe in/enforce them, that being a soldier is admirable, that we are all in competition, that you need a load of pointless shit to be happy. Psychedelics allow people to see through these systems of control and thus present a threat to the present power-structures.

7. The state understands progress mainly in terms of economic progress. Psychological wellbeing and spiritual developement are not priority: especially where they conflict with economic progress.

8. Much of the drug-legislation we work under, finds its genesis in attempts by the US government in the 60s to control left-wing radicals who: firstly,could be arrested and silenced under the pretense of drug-laws (because they often used drugs) and secondly, often used drugs, particularly LSD, to raise political awareness and show people the truth of what was (is) going on. Edgar Hoover, the then First Director of the F.B.I. wrote in a top-secret FBI memo:

“Since the use of marijuana and other narcotics is widespread among members of the New Left, you should be on the alert to opportunities to have them arrested on drug charges […] Any information concerning the fact that individuals have marijuana or are engaging in a narcotics party should be immediately furnished to local authorities and they should be encouraged to take action.” (Lee and Shlain, 1985)


Psychedelics were never banned for the sake of you as an individual, they were banned to maintain a particular type of social order.

Those who currently have power desire only one thing of you: that you keep working to make them more wealthy; any other goals or liberties that do not tie in to that project can be discarded: this is why your cognitive, spiritual and religious liberty is simply not a part of the government’s agenda.

An excellent historical overview of the relationship between psychedelics and the Western establishment can be found in:

Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond is available to read at Erowid:


  1. minna420 said:

    So succinct and well-stated! Rock on!

    • cognitivelibertyuk said:

      Many thanks 🙂

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