Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Killing them with euphemisms

B.C.’s chattering classes find an Orwellian
strategy to further encourage drug addiction

Greg Klein | February 4, 2017
Vancouver junkies shooting up
According to B.C.’s official ideology, predestination forces these
“victims” to live for nothing else but getting high. (Photo: CBC)


The good news is we likely won’t see a movement called Junkies’ Lives Matter. But Vancouver’s unique brand of political correctness reached another level of absurdity with calls to ban the words “junkie” and “addict.” Apparently they stigmatize people with a “substance-use disorder,” according to people quoted by Canadian Press.

“Junkie” of course is slang, although addicts quite possibly coined and popularized the word. As for “addict,” maybe it’s time for an arbitrary ban, just as a perfectly harmless word like “handicapped” was for some reason decreed offensive.

There’s an element of Newspeak to this linguistic meddling. That concept might evade Ruth Derksen, described by CP as “a former English professor who specializes in the philosophy of language at the University of British Columbia.” She’s also an empty-headed flake who thinks teenage criminals should be called “kids at risk.” So Derksen would no doubt disagree that, wittingly or unwittingly, she’s pushing the ideology that junkies can’t be blamed for their plight. They’re victims of an illness.

That ideology serves an emotional need of the chattering classes who like to express compassion for an officially designated victim group—“our most vulnerable people,” as Vancouver mayor and addiction advocate Gregor Robertson calls them. It also offers material benefits to expansive big government and public sector unions who’d just love to have a wholly dependent social group to babysit. The ideology also increases the power of a growing industry of poverty pimps who manipulate these issues for their own ambitions.

Together they’ve encouraged addiction by telling people they can’t help taking drugs.

The ideology is false. Some people have certain predilections, but we don’t excuse that in rapists. Additionally, some addicts got that way simply through careless use of the recreational drugs that B.C.’s lax enforcement has made so readily available.

The CP reporter did interview an addict who said he got that way after taking painkillers for a back injury. It’s highly doubtful that he represents a significant number of junkies, although drug advocates probably went to some effort to present him as druggiedom’s poster boy. This entire CP story, including the people quoted, appears to have been packaged and delivered to an unthinking, compliant reporter—that’s to say, a typical reporter.

With public discourse controlled by drug advocates, opposing comments remain beyond the pale. Vancouver’s official ideology insists that addicts suffer from predestination. So forget about self-restraint and self-responsibility: Take all the drugs you want.

Now look at the results. This made-in-B.C. crisis resulted in 914 fatal overdoses last year. That’s up from “only” 510 the previous year and 366 in 2014.

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B.C.’s junkie/homeless hustle
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