GQ:Are there political or social ills that that you think might benefit from the sort of entropy that psychedelics can introduce into our consciousness?21 posts and 6 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.
Pollan:I do and I don't. I do in the sense that the experience addresses what I see as two of the biggest problems we face as a society. One is an environmental crisis, born of our sense of distance from nature: our willingness to objectify nature and see it merely as a resource. The other is tribalism: our inability to see the other as like us, and the egotistical zero-sum game with other people, whether it's other countries, other races, other religions.
Along comes these medicines that actually change consciousness in those two domains, very specifically, by making us feel really connected to nature, that we sense the subjectivity of other species. Which should lead to treating them with more respect and care, and feeling a deep implication that you're part of nature, not just a spectator. And then, on the tribalism side, [it] makes you feel deeply connected to all different kinds of other people. So you could argue that this is exactly the drug we need right now.
But then you need to stand back and say, “Wait, is it possible to prescribe a drug for an entire country?” How many people do you have to give this experience before you change the culture? And that was something Timothy Leary spent a lot of time on, he had these predictions of how many people he'd have to trip before the world changed. There's no model for prescribing treatment to a culture. That takes you into a really terra incognita of social change. I think, for that stuff, we still need politics.
Is he right? Will Psychedelics help with archieving the lower stages of communism, or are they to advanced, so that only in a well developed democratic dictatorship of the proletariat they can help transition further into full gay luxury psychedelic space communism?
I've managed to turn two people into communists while under the influence of LSD (or LSD+cocaine). Even after their trips they started reading leftist literature. Im not saying drug use is good or enlightening, but I do genuinely believe the use of psychedelic drugs can tear down mental barriers/biases built up by bourgeois culture,