Our Addictive Society

“There is no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done. Sometimes breaking rules, initiating a revolution in our life and overthrowing the tired patterns that are keeping us stagnant is the most sensible way to go.” that is according to John Kehoe award winning author of Mind Power into the 21st century.

My understanding about this is: By breaking the rules you will break habits.

Now, would it be possible that our modern society can break this age old rules about addiction and be able to move forward without the addiction label?

The concept of addiction is used as a fear tactic, on everything from video games to smart phones and beyond. You control people by Fear.

Perhaps we should start contemplating the meaning of our societies -addiction – to addiction terminology.

 The numbers of things that we are potentially at risk of becoming addicted to, is a staggering list of 230+ different addictions.  This excludes things like alcohol, drugs (illegal and legal), caffeine and nicotine. That makes me wonder if there is anything out there that is not seen as potentially addictive.

The true meaning of this never-ending list of pseudo-addictions is that society IS addicted all right, to the concept of addiction itself. Once, addiction meant only a few things. But our tolerance grew, and society needed more and more addictions to feed our cravings. If we try to stop, we go into withdrawal, unable to find any way to distract ourselves from responsibility, unable to avoid the consequences of our choices. Every time a new technology surfaces, we use it to the point of self-destruction, and then label it as addictive to try to regain some control over our use of the technology. We use the concept of addiction more every day, despite our growing knowledge that it is destroying our culture, our legal system, our ability to hold ourselves responsible. Our brains are changed, affected by the neurochemical rushes we get, from seeing people on television, their lives destroyed by their addictions. We get that rush from the voyeuristic insight into the suffering of others, from the joy and jealousy of watching the mighty fall, and from the relief that it’s not us up there.

We do live in an “addictive culture.” The addiction lies in our society’s desire to label our behaviors as addictive and compulsive.

This I would like to ask, “Where is the 12 step program that our society can attend, to confess its powerlessness over this addiction to addiction.”

The media, churches and government uses the concept of addiction to create moral panics, triggering fear and anxiety into parents and society. Most parents have never even seen illegal drugs. They are so fearful and paranoid about this illegal drugs that they will easily spend R 30,000 to R 50,000 to get their children rehabilitated, to no avail. Society uses the concept of addiction to justify laws and restrictions and giving young children criminal records, putting them in jail, destroying their lives forever.

Before you go on another march against drugs, or decide to throw your child out in the street, please think.

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