From Liz Berry, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK
Peter Byrne points out that no classic intervention strategy to combat radicalisation seems to work and that the UK parliament’s human rights committee reported that the nation’s Prevent strategy may actually make matters worse. Suggested countermeasures were to encourage community engagement; to break down stereotypes, rehumanising collaborators; and encouraging empathy and compassion through brain training. Those most susceptible to the propaganda were identified as being uncertain about their lives, or having psychiatric problems.
Then I read Graham Lawton’s interview with Robin Carhart-Harris. Carhart-Harris reports that subjects on psilocybin experience profound feelings of connectedness to others. Even a single dose can make the subject more politically liberal and more connected to other people.
Is it worth a try? (New Scientist, 16 Sept 2017)
I am in favour of extensive trials of psilocybin. I would start with the right wing of the British Conservative Party, the leading Brexiteers and advocates of neo-liberal government policies. I would then move across the Atlantic and try the drug on members of the Tea Party, workers in the White House and top government panjamdrums who are undoing all those humane policies in health, the environment and so on. At which point so many angry sociopaths would be taking the drug that it would have run out. But, on the other hand, the planet might possibly have been saved. Worth a try? You bet!