By: Nilo Exar, Staff Writer
According to James Stacey Taylor, of the College of New Jersey, drug peddlers are morally superior to politicians.
Taylor visited campus on Nov. 18 to speak and host an open forum about drug dealers and governmental force.
According to Taylor, drug peddlers facilitate voluntary transactions between people, while governments and politicians distribute goods and services without permission from anyone — making the drug dealers morally superior.
He continued that politicians are paid by the taxpayers to make choices that are not exactly what the people might want. In an economic sense, that is not a very fair transaction, Taylor said.
Drug peddlers are in fact “vicious” and “vindictive” in the way they go about their business practices, Taylor said, referring to the violence of drug cartels. However, he said this is as a result of government interference in their business, and that the violence stems from the illegality of the substances that they distribute.
Taylor pointed out that the Drug War in Mexico has resulted in fewer civilian casualties than the Iraq War.
Taylor did not provide numbers for domestic deaths due to local drug peddlers in the United States. He maintained, however, that drug peddlers were not violent by nature, but because of the illegality of their product.
“Drug peddlers just want to sell, not engage in war,” Taylor said. “Violent drug dealers quickly attract attention of law enforcement.”
Taylor went on to say that when a violent drug lord gets taken down, a new cartel moves in and takes its place, perpetuating the cycle of violence.
While Taylor did mention that drug dealers are completely responsible for the actions and should be reprimanded, politicians are also partially responsible for the violence due to the laws that they enacted.
“They [drug dealers] are to be condemned, but they are morally superior. Drug lords want to sell, not to start war, but are forced into it,” Taylor said.
Taylor also said politicians often make decisions without the approval of the public, and stated that if the political system hears no objection, it goes through with its plans.
“The nature of politics is based upon coercion, the nature of peddling is not,” Taylor said.
As he was concluding, Stacey said that the United States needs a paradigm shift in terms of who is looked up on.
“We should put on a pedestal the innovators and the businesspeople,” Taylor said. “No politicians have given you computers or the Internet, even though some have said they have.”
Some faculty members reacted positively to the talk, despite the fact that it had fairly controversial talking points, and those who attended enjoyed the open forum that was held after.
“[Taylor] is trained as a philosopher, I’m trained as an economist. There’s a difference is how you approach certain questions. I would have different interpretations to some of the things he said, but I thought it was a very thoughtful presentation,” Tim Sullivan, an associate professor in the economics department, said.
Towson students who attended found the talk to be very enlightening and welcomed the different perspectives seen in the open forum.
“I definitely thought the presentation was incredibly eye-opening; it expanded my horizons listening to the professor. He had a lot of interesting things to say, some that I agreed with, some that I disagreed with,” Sean Thomas, an economics and political science major, said. “But, I think being a Towson student has given me the ability to disagree more than agree. I’m not just learning, I’m also inhaling what he has to say and applying what I know.”