Weekly Standard Accidentally Comes Out Against Drug War

05/25/2011 01:55 pm ET

This is a grand day for lovers of liberty. Though historically hostile to the right of American citizens to use drugs such as marijuana without fear of arrest by agents of the state, the Weekly Standard has suddenly come out in favor of ending the drug war and restoring that measure of individual liberty which has been stripped from the American people in a misguided instance of statism. Contributor William Anderson does the honors of announcing the magazine's new stance:

Thus arises the question of corporal ownership. For Americans, the answer has been settled. Since the terrible bloodletting of the Civil War, and now excepting military service, ownership of one's body is a matter between the individual and God, with no intermediation by government. Yet assertions are now being made that government should have responsibility for, and thus authority over, the maintenance of our bodies ... So let's make up our minds. Does the government, in the last analysis, own your body, or do you?

That is, in the last analysis, the pertinent question. And though in this instance Anderson is actually talking about the president's efforts to institute a greater degree of socialized medicine than we have at present, he certainly couldn't have written such a thing as this -- and the editors couldn't have run it -- without realizing its extraordinarily obvious implications with regards to a whole range of consensual crime laws that the magazine, its contributors, and its readership have largely supported until now. One would have to be a damned fool to not see the logical consequences of such a statement as Anderson's, and of course the Weekly Standard does not publish the work of fools nor employ them as editors nor depend on them for their readership.

The magazine's new position is all the more admirable in light of what it tells us of its editors' willingness to follow its principles wherever they lead, even at the risk of implicitly admitting that they'd been wrong in the past when advocating statist policies for purposes of social engineering. It is one thing to take a risky position, but it is quite another to take a risky position after having previously taken a contrary one. The former is well and good; the latter constitutes a clear sign of intellectual maturity.

And here I had thought that the Weekly Standard was a ridiculous mess of transparently contradictory positions thrown together by a gaggle of degenerate patriarchalist mediocrities who are wholly incapable of articulating a consistent worldview. Apparently it's not, though.

[Cross-posted from True/Slant]