Taking the 'High' Road

In one commentator's view, everyone in the entire United States — except possibly the actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise — is on drugs.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

I'm Robert Siegel.

And as we near the end of this hour, we figured that we'd let our commentator, Andrei Codrescu make a declaration that he wishes to make or at least a wide generalization.

Mr. ANDREI CODRESCU (Author, Novelist): The entire population of the U.S., with the possible exception of Tom Cruise, is on drugs. Like everything else in American life that used to be optional, like cars, cell phones, computers, GPS, IDs, drugs are no longer an indulgence. They are a part of our body, the brain regulators.

Capitalism triumphed over our bodies not over any ideologies. The chief U.S. problem in the world is the soon-to-be-remedied fact that most foreigners are not on drugs yet. This will change as national states wither.

Our military objectives have been achieved, there is a bumper opium crop in Afghanistan, the Saudis will be in rehab as soon as they run out of oil, and Eastern Europe will turn into Las Vegas. This is Utopia, and it didn't take eons to get there. We are there. Earth to Karl Marx, the state withers under capitalism not socialism. It is your oxycodone happy script.

SIEGEL: Andrei Codrescu teaches English at Louisiana State University.

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