Podcast 332 – “Living in the Exile Nation”


Guest speaker: Charles Shaw

Charles ShawWatch a video of this talk


[NOTE: All quotations are by Charles Shaw.]

“Having a felony conviction, and having a drug conviction, essentially makes you a second class citizen.”

“For the lower classes, the poorer classes, which generally in this country are people of color, drug laws have always been used as a way to control them.”

“And if you take away the distinction between tobacco and alcohol and cannabis and cocaine or alkaloids or whatever, what you’ve got is a war against altering consciousness.”

“But what they’re trying to stop more than anything is ideas. Because what it is is a war of ideas. And it is a war of control, a breaking away from an external control factor, like a government, or a religion, or an ideology, or an economy that enslaves you, and thinking outside the box in revolutionary terms to try to solve it.”

“It’s no secret that psychedelics change consciousness. It’s no secret that they’re revolutionary. I mean, we’ve known this for a while. What is absolutely fascinating to me is how easily that culture was dismissed.”

“The true revolutionary leaders, I think, are going to be the ones who figure out how to not go in the street and how to disseminate the revolution by other means.”

“I also think that the real revolution is going to come from women, personally. I think enough guys have tried to lead the revolution, and it’s always the same thing because men have the same intentions, we always enter into a war paradigm. And we’ve gotta stop that war paradigm, and at least the feminine will allow us to get out of that war paradigm and get into something that is a collaborative negotiation of disputes and grievances. But I don’t know what’s that going to look like.”


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Charles Shaw “Living in the Exile Nation” – Burning Man 2012 from Palenque Norte on Vimeo.

Charles Shaw’s Exile Nation Project

“Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics, and Spirituality” by Charles Shaw

“The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade” by Alfred W. McCoy

Rolling Jubilee

Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

Posted in Burning Man, Cannabis, Charles Shaw, Culture, Occupy, Palenque Norte, Psychedelics, War on Drugs.


  1. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for all your hard work putting on these podcasts Lorenzo. It is greatly appreciated.

  2. ‘anne shulgin on psychedelic psychotherapy’ rings a bell but i forget the shadow part -i’m curious enough to look it up and play it again.

    i don’t know why but the ones that stand out (in terms of memory i s’pose) for me are the one-offs; wrye sententia, zoe7, etc. the odd names help, i guess. i liked this one a whole lot. i liked both his rap *and* his personality. i’ll try to remember his name. (getting his book would certainly help.)

  3. there are so many outstanding ones, but the two that always really stick in my head are tge first one by fraser clarke, and the one by anne shulgin on psychedelic psychotherapy and the shadow.

  4. Shaw’s talk was great, illuminating old history and folding it in well with the new. Jimi played benefits for the Panthers? if i ever knew that, i’d forgotten it completely. the rash of odd or mysterious deaths was well to mention in general -of which here’s another; Gary Webb, author of Dark Alliance, the first expose’ of the CIA drug biz.

    i’d love to get a copy of Shaw’s book. his perspective is wide. yet detailed. like regarding the Burning Man’s financial impact, etc.

    great podcast. hope you feel better soon, Lorenzo.

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