Original Kleptonian Neo-American Church

Art Kleps, letter to the editor, Rolling Stone, July 4, 1974

By including “drugs” in his list of “radical forms of modern social behavior” which are “allowed” because they are “consistent with the dominant economic relationship,” Richard Goodwin once again demonstrates that Marxism is the opium of the unstoned classes. What are actually “allowed” in our society are any and all forms of economic arrangement any group of people want to cook up for themselves, and unlimited opportunities to propagandize in favor of them. The point of view expressed by Goodwin and reviewer Michael Harrington (economic determinism), as a matter of fact, is the conventional wisdom of large segments of academia and the publishing business. Theory tells these people that “drugs” should not be a matter of serious concern to a government dominated by Exxon and AT&T, so they blithely ignore all the evidence to the contrary.

The truth is that the clas[h] of economic interests, although important, ranks well below several other games on the scale of what people in general are most uptight about. People (including very rich people) will risk their lives and murder their neighbors with carefree abandon to protect what they believe to be “sacred” philosophical and religious convictions, their languages and their community customs in situations which, if mere economic interests were at stake, would quickly be resolved through accomodations.

All the good drugs are forbidden both here and in the USSR because they change perception and thought directly, across the board, as it were, and that cannot be “allowed” because it represents a genuine change rather than the mere shifting of scenery about on the same old stage.

The genuine radicals, now as always, are not those who are trying to “put over” this or that program, but that tiny minority who try to find and tell the truth, no matter what the consequences.

Art Kleps,
Burlington, VT