In the news today, I read how 130 million Americans are on medically prescribed medication and that lovely little number made the U.S., the most medicated country on the planet. Though in many ways that might seem funny, and I'm sure many a comedian could really get a lot of mileage out of it, it certainly makes one think about where society, culture, and the economy may be going today and where we'll end up in the future.
For a while, the world was depressed and on Prozac. Once that took care of eliminating emotions, it led to the problem of a lack of arousal and most of all, in men, a lack of erections. Erections became the next big thing, with Viagra taking a "hard" look at the problem and solving it. But with all the attention on getting it up, people were too distracted for anything else, so now it's Ritalin that's focusing everyone's attention. Could it be that society might end up where you can't live or breathe without a pharmaceutical? Could we be close to George Lucas' view of the future from THX 1138 where everyone was taking pharmaceuticals and sedated by law?
Many people on the planet think the U.S. is many things, but this statistic shows that it's not religious zealotry, ignorance, or an inferior education...They're on Drugs!!! Seriously, this is a problem that if not addressed, will have profound implications at every level of the social structure. There are implications to this that go beyond our understanding of biology and even genetics. How could living on pharmaceuticals affect the biology or genetic structure of a person and could that change affect that person's children and so forth? I'm not a biologist but I certainly know this can't be good for society and its future at that level.
A sedated society is a calm society. If everyone's on drugs, where will production go? If you're sedated, then where will your creativity go? Where will the industrialist get his energy, his drive? Look at children. The way that society has medicated children to where they are calm and obedient to an extreme affects the decisions and careers they take. A child whose curiosity and creativity has been hampered or even destroyed by Ritalin and its excuse for a disease, ADD/ADHD will grow up to be someone that makes or creates nothing.
American inventiveness and leadership will disappear should this trend continue. Where will Sony get its inventions to miniaturize and perfect? From China? From India? Comedians will disappear from American entertainment because the class clown will be doped up on Ritalin all his life and therefore a sedated robot that does what the parents, teachers, boss, government says he must do at all times for the rest of his life. No clown equals no comedian.
The educational system in the U.S. is going down the drain with every child left behind, considered an enemy of the state, and not allowed to have a single creative thought lest be labeled with ADD/ADHD and be sedated with Ritalin. The robot cannot compete with the free and analytical mind of the Indian programmer who is, already, employed by all the U.S. corporations.
Where will the jobs of the future be for Americans? I can tell you right now that at this pace and at this rate, they will have no place in Peter Drucker's "knowledge economy". I sure need my lawn mowed and my house cleaned, though. There's a thought. You want to see a decadent empire? Look at the U.S. It was once the pinnacle of freedom and knowledge and invention, where everyone in the world wanted to be, where every scientist wanted to go and explore their ideas and creations. Now, it's on drugs, and with the internet, the Indian programmer has a better life at home inventing the future and creating his empire, enriching himself until he controls the world.
Let's get off the drugs people and back to creating the world.