As stated by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on 1985, “Drug abuse presents as destructive a threat to this and coming generations as the plagues which swept many parts of the world in earlier centuries” (UN Chronicle 1987, 44). Similarly, contemporary scholars, like Michael Taussig and Paul Gootenberg, have discussed accurately the present state of drug trade. The depictions of the illicit drug trafficking are diverse, at times conflicting, and usually violent.
It can be discerned in the works of Taussig and Gootenberg the perilous harvest and distribution of cocaine through intricate global networks. Even in the movie Steven Soderbergh Traffic, it is shown that vast amount of money acquired from the series of transactions may be transported through banks, a process of laundering allowing the illicit profits to be rerouted to other illegal objectives.
The craved substances at issue come out in the form of colorless fluids, slices of tobacco, and powders in opaque packets or small glass containers. They will finally arrive at their destinations, to the hands of their most willing victims. This paper will compare and contrast the works of Michael Taussig (My Cocaine Museum) and Paul Gooterberg (Talking about the Flow: Drugs, Borders, and the Discourse of Drug Control).
Thoughts of Taussig and Gootenberg about Drugs: Similarities and Differences
A professor of anthropology at Columbia University, Michael Taussig, avoids studying the effect of gold and cocaine on Colombia
from the perspective of conventional historiography, choosing instead to integrate the history of politics and nature. Per se, Taussig applies a combination of dialectic theory, metaphor, ethnography, and autobiography so as to explain how contemporary civilization interrelates with history. Similarly, Paul Guttenberg combines new attempts to recover and reconstruct these indefinable nature and roots of the cocaine. It analyzes from the points of view of multiple disciplines, as well as from a global context, by evaluating and linking the major global locations and actors in the description of cocaine. Taussig includes his discoveries and experiences in Colombia’s tropical forest to form a realistic description of life in this inhospitable place, made more threatening by its present status as a cocaine-generating area. His description of the persistent, unavoidable, and invigorating force of nature is a clear contradiction of the prevailing notions of humanity’s power over nature. Likewise, Gootenberg believes that the consideration of nature, as well as social and economic forces, is also vital to the analysis of contemporary drug trade. The success of a collaborative model, according to Gootenberg, is dependent on the combination of economic feasibility, political determination, and social security. The outcome of different concerns from the beginning, the attempts to regulate the production and distribution of cocaine are the various issues that Taussig and Gootenberg explained in a similar fashion. According to them, the regulation that stemmed from these issues has been very successful in curbing lawful market in cocaine, practically eradicating the commerce of medication reliant to the drug. It should be considered, nevertheless, that the attempts to regulate cocaine were not entirely supposed to be a way of regulating the capacity of the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture and