Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Stuff

The latest Socionomist is out with a nice article comparing alcohol prohibition to the War on Drugs with some really fascinating correlations and interesting detail on the current status of the narcotraficantes in Mexico. In addition, for those of you that remember the "U.S. Serial Killers and Bear Markets" chart from the 2004 Theorist, it is reprinted here along with a some updated info from Dr. Ken Olson on murder rates vs. social mood (as measured by market indices).

Good stuff. Feel free to discuss in the Comments section if you are so inclined.


Greg B said...

I can see the Prohibition parallel, but wonder about the personalities involved...

Today the personalities of the old prohibition days are portrayed as hero's. Definitley dark heroes though. The perception is that they came from un-privileged backgrounds to rebel against an unpopular law.

It would be very interesting to KNOW how they were seen and received by the people living through the Prohibition. Perhaps as vicious criminals rather than dark hero's?

Fast-forwarding to the War on Drugs, it seems unlikely the the Mexican "narcotraficantes" are going to become the future hero's of this episode. They are definitely not being protrayed that way now.

I wonder who will someday be labelled the hero of the War on Drugs? Perhaps those who fight for it's end from the top (like politicians, doctors, and columnists?).

This would create a theme alternation from the Prohibition days where the hero's came from the bottom...

Flagg707 said...

Well, as for the narcotraficantes being portrayed as heroes - probalby not up here in El Norte, but in Mexico, there is a large body of folk music that has grown up extolling the lifestyle.

It's corridos narcos or corridos narcotraficantes and has its roots in earlier music traditions that extolled the virtues of folks like Pancho Villa, if memory serves.

From the bottom of the social heap, I think the narcos will get a lot of glory - they have guns, fast cars and women at their disposal - at least until they are caught or killed. For a kid who has nothing to lose, such a lifestyle would have a certain appeal.

I'm sure whatever movement that grows up to push for legalization will have its heroes and martyrs as well - and they'll be far more acceptable to current tastes (I hope).

You pose a good question, though. Depending on which side of the Rio Grande you live will determine who the heroes are, I imagine.

Greg B said...

From the front page of Yahoo this morning:
Calif. tax officials: Legal pot would bring $1.4B

They are proposing it as a way to "puff" a little life back into the CA budget...

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