Goodbye to Antonio Escohotado, the one who had tired of being “the one with drugs” | The philosopher died in Ibiza at the age of 80

Freethinker and talkative, communist as a young man and critic of the left in recent years, he recognized that I was a bit sick of being “the one with the drugs”. This is how he was known for his most famous book, in which he made explicit his position against drug prohibition, written in a Cuenca jail, where he was detained for two years for drug trafficking. The philosopher Antonio Escohotado died at the age of 80 in Ibiza due to cancer. The author of General history of drugs and The enemies of commerce, in which he addresses consumer society from the French Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union, he wrote the song together with Andrés Calamaro “It is never the same”.

The philosopher –who was born on July 5, 1941 in Madrid– chose to die in Ibiza, the city where he went to live in the ’70s with the intention of carrying out the sexual revolution. In that city founded the famous Amnesia nightclub in 1976. Translator of thinkers like Hobbes, Newton and Jefferson, began collecting data and studying drugs in the 1960s. Together with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, he distributed quantities of LSD, a drug whose greater use, he said, would be good for the world. Rather than legalize drugs, he proposed repealing prohibition, which was what caused the consumption figures to be high in Spain. During his years in Ibiza, he himself claimed that he had used his body as a “guinea pig of humanity” because he noted the effects produced by the substances he consumed, in order to have judgments formed from experience.

Perhaps he was the first politically incorrect Spaniard -when there was still no talk of political correctness- from the controversy generated by the publication of General history of drugs (1989). “Apology means that one takes something as unconditionally good. Drugs are neither unconditionally good nor unconditionally bad ”, clarified the author of Chaos and ordern, Espasa Essay Award 1999, a book in which he applied the scientific theory of chaos to various fields, such as political, educational and social. In that text he defended the nexus between the sciences and the humanities, which had been artificially separated since the Renaissance. In the program Memory, hosted by Samuel Gelblung on Channel 9, Escohotado said that when his children turned 18 he introduced them to the consumption of some substances, such as LSD. He He advocated that young people have good information to act responsibly in the face of drugs. In 1996, Judge Norberto Oyarbide issued an arrest warrant for his alleged apology for drug use. The Spanish philosopher had returned to Madrid and managed to evade arrest in Argentina.

He lived in Rio de Janeiro from 1946 to 1956 because his father, Román Escohotado, a Spanish writer and journalist of Falangist ideology and militancy, was a cultural attaché in Brazil. He always considered himself to the left because of the rejection that the “fachas” produced him, the conservatives of that world that he suffered when he returned to Franco’s Spain. “The street was full of priests dressed as priests and soldiers dressed as military men, and in gray (riot police). All this raised blisters. That is why I militated on the extreme left, I even thought of killing Franco – admitted the philosopher -. It took me a long time to understand the infinite value of life, starting with mine, but I am still on the left in the sense of letting live, avoiding dogmatism ”.

The author of The book of poisons, The spirit of comedy (Anagrama Essay Award, 1991), Whores and wives: four myths about sex and the mustr, Facing fear and My private Ibiza, among others, He was a communist until disillusionment grew over what was happening in the Soviet Union and also in Cuba. “I realized that it didn’t work, that it never really worked. That it was not an adventure of human emancipation, compassion and efficacy. There was no compassion, there was no efficiency, setting prices by fiat was insanely ruinous. He was also convinced that Marx was a great thinker and a coherent man, and only two years of study (…) showed that not a single concept of his reaches such a point. It was hard to accept it, because it revealed my triviality and previous carelessness ”.

In 2018, he came to Argentina invited by the Fundación Libertad, presided over by the Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa. In an interview they asked him what opinion he had about the then president, Mauricio Macri. “It seems to me that he is trying, and I hope he will succeed, to change this inexplicable wave of things so varied that they fit within the weirdest concept I know, which is Peronism. I don’t understand it, ‘Escohotado confessed. I was in Brazil as a child, where my father was a cultural attaché for ten years, from ’46 to ’56, and Argentina was a very rich country at the time, one of the richest in the world. How has it been possible to go from the first to the third world? And poor Mr. Macri, fighting to restore the country’s status ”.

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Goodbye to Antonio Escohotado, the one who had tired of being “the one with drugs” | The philosopher died in Ibiza at the age of 80