Cocaine makes you more socialist

What if there were a pill that made you more compassionate and more likely to give spare change to someone less fortunate? UC Berkeley scientists have taken a big step in that direction.

A new study by UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco researchers finds that giving a drug that changes the neurochemical balance in the prefrontal cortex of the brain causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.

OK. The mechanism is dopamine. Both cocaine and speed increase that dopamine. Thus cocaine and speed make you more socialist.

Or, as we should properly read this, socialists are drug addled.

27 thoughts on “Cocaine makes you more socialist”

  1. Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive

    Yes. They’re called “teenagers”.

    to inequality

    Is that why most people who alter their brain chemistry with super lager or wackity tobaccy are poor?

    What if there were a pill that made you more compassionate and more likely to give spare change to someone less fortunate?

    I would force every other chump to imbibe it through the water supply, and then I would ruthlessly dominate them like Ming the Merciless.

    causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.

    If dividing resources equally is “prosocial”, how come more people have been jailed, robbed, starved, or murdered in the name of equality than by any other creed ever known to man?

    Participants then played a simple economic game in which they divided money between themselves and an anonymous recipient. After receiving tolcapone, participants divided the money with the strangers in a fairer, more egalitarian way

    Implicit bias. Objectively, the fairer way would be for Steve to keep all the monies.

    “We have taken an important step toward learning how our aversion to inequity is influenced by our brain chemistry,”

    So Dave Sparts have screwed up brain chemistry. I see.

    This still doesn’t explain why so many of the people who claim to hate inequality have two kitchens or a villa in Tuscany.

  2. Does this mean investment bankers are more socialist than they would be if they were plumbers?

  3. bloke (not) in spain

    “Thus cocaine and speed make you more socialist.”
    Uh!?!?
    I can recall a passing acquaintance with Lady Amphetamine in my youth & can’t remember her making me in the slightest way socialist. On the contrary. She strained my tolerance for the peace & love tokers & dopers to breaking point & beyond. Never looked back.
    Charlie? Dunno. Girls’ drug..

  4. Bloke in La Mancha

    Parkinson’s is caused by a deficiency in dopamine. Greedy, rightwing bastards those Parkinson’s sufferers, as I’m sure we’ve all noticed. In any case, these studies tend to be poorly designed, poorly interpreted and hugely biased by the sample.

  5. Compassion has nothing whatsoever to do with socialism. They cannot even see each other across the universe-wide gulf that separates them. If there was a drug for boosting sanctimony however…

  6. “causes a greater willingness to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.”

    That’s not socialism. Socialism is ensuring that OTHER PEOPLE’S resources are divided more equally.

  7. All experience I’ve had with users of coke is that it turns otherwise nice people into utter self centered cunts.

  8. Socialism has nothing to do with giving your own money to others. It’s been shown that the people most likely to give time and cash to charity directly are conservatives.

    Socialism is more a vicarious self-regard based on giving other people’s money to yet more other people, who will do good works for you.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    “All experience I’ve had with users of coke is that it turns otherwise nice people into utter self centered cunts.”

    AKA socialists.

  10. The primary effect of cocaine appears to be convincing the user that whatever they’re doing is much more fabulous than it is; which is one reason so many musicians’ output declines in quality as their cocaine usage ramps up. It’s sort of like beer goggles that look at yourself rather than other people.

  11. It’s nothing to do with being ‘prosocial’. When you’re stoned you don’t give a toss. Peace and love man.

  12. This all seems obvious. Apart from drugs-medicinal or oratorical-there is no reason to adopt socialism..

  13. It’s been shown that the people most likely to give time and cash to charity directly are conservatives.

    So it’s conservatives who are drug-addled?
    Unless, perish the thought, Tim’s analysis is simplistic.

  14. I have dabbled* with controlled substances of various sorts and have not found a resulting affinity for socialism or a desire for ‘social justice’.

    Incidentally, for those who have not tried it, cocaine is really rather good. Don’t make a habit of it, and fork out for the good stuff, but well worth a try. And ecstasy is even better.

    * i.e. hoovered up like they might actually run out

  15. “cocaine is really rather good . . . ecstasy is even better.”

    . . . and that’s why people get addicted, Captain Obvious.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    The Thought Gang – “A truly courageous state would put this in the water supply.”

    People are talking very quietly about adding lithium to the water. To prevent suicide of course.

    So don’t give them any ideas.

  17. So Much for Subtlety

    Bloke in La Mancha – “Parkinson’s is caused by a deficiency in dopamine.”

    Ecstasy is interesting from that point of view because there have been studies that say it may cause Parkinson’s. And other studies that say it may prevent it.

    Essentially we are engaging in a massive experiment in brain chemistry that could be very important. Normally we cannot experiment on humans and especially their brains. But now any number of young people are volunteering for a mass trial – and putting chemicals in their brain tissues that have not been approved or, all too often, tested. They come from some Dutch criminal’s basement and God knows whether he knows what he is doing or not.

    The irony is that the people doing this also tend to be the same people who think Big Pharma is evil. But for some reason unlicenced criminals are not. The next time GSK wants something tested on humans, they should just tell some school children that their parents wouldn’t like them volunteering and having concerns for their safety is what the uncool kids do and watch them queue up to try it.

  18. Gamecock “and that’s why people get addicted, Captain Obvious”

    No I don’t think it is. Alcohol is a very popular drug delivered in a range of tasty formats but very few are addicted. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anyone addicted to ecstasy.

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