In the last couple of years, I have noticed that just as the anti-drug hysteria of past decades has started to wane and the War on Drugs is becoming more unpopular, a corresponding and comparable hysteria over “sex trafficking” has emerged to take its place and repression of sex workers is on the rise. This is entirely predictable. As the perceived credibility of one enemy is diminished, the state must find other enemies to crusade against and legitimize itself.
As H.L. Mencken said, “he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Like the War on Drugs and Prohibition before, the repression of sex workers is being perpetrated by both Left and Right, whether Joe Arpaio’s fascist police state in Phoenix or the totalitarian humanist empire of the European Union.