Essay on The American Drug War – a Conflict Theory Perspective

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In the mid to late 20th Century, the United States has experienced several states of Cultural Revolution. The Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, the anti-War Movement during the Vietnam era, and the increasing presence of a widespread, politically active and highly vocalized youth counterculture led the United States government to feel that maybe, they were losing control of their population. The white, upper class men, who for centuries had dominated the political realm, began to feel their grip on power falter. By targeting drug use, the government would be free to "deal" with minorities especially African Americans, Hispanics, the free-love generation, and left-wing "radicals," all while claiming that they were protecting…show more content…
Workers became further detached from their labor as it became apparent that though they had a job, often they did not even make enough money to be able to buy the product that they assisted in producing. Marx predicted a worker revolution, in which workers would indeed unite in their struggle for equality. This revolution never occurred, however. Possible reasons for this include improved safety standards, the movement away from heavy industrial labor towards an information and service based economy, the shortening of the work day to eight hours, the implementation of employee benefit and retirement plans, and the widespread American belief in achievement ideology. The American achievement ideology is especially notable; it has been one of the most successful pieces of propaganda promoted by the bourgeoisie, and has had such a drastic effect on the motivation of the youth in America, especially those minority youths who suffer the most from inequality. Also, the bourgeoisie could have shifted their control by manipulating another aspect of proletariat life, thus alleviating the stress from labor and placing it somewhere else – such as vice laws, including the Drug War. MINORITIES: THE NEW PROLETARIAT There are several parallels which should be addressed when viewing the Drug War in the light of conflict theory. If Marx's original conflict theory is based upon pitting the capitalist against the worker, then the Drug War
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