Given a choice I select the slurring alcoholic over the comatose junkie as a lifelong professional partner, and I say this with some knowledge of the two alternatives. But neither is strictly desirable.
In our organization, inside this rather unusual floating circus we call home, I am forced into the role of martinet, the one who gets blamed for silly arbitrary rules. (Like, for a show in front of 60,000 people for which we are being paid some $6 or $7 million for a few hours' work, I like to suggest to everyone that we start on time, and that we each have in place a personal plan, in whatever way suits us best, to stay conscious for the duration of the show.)
Funny, and many of the things he says about Richards sound true. On one level, it's stupid to care about the inner lives of entertainers. But it sounds like Jagger was a self-disciplined anomaly in a business filled with self-indulgent tossers. On the other hand, he the imagined response by Jagger only acknowledges in passing that he benefitted greatly from Richards' talent and therefore "maybe I was being selfish" to enable his behavior. Possibly the only choices he had were to smooth the way or break up the band, and I know what I would have chosen, if I could stomach it. Jagger portrays himself is portrayed as helpless.
Asking what the Stones could have done if Richards weren't such a drug- and alcohol-addled wreck begs the question of whether Richards' talent was fueled by the same things that manifested themselves in his assholish, out-of-control behavior. Maybe Jagger knew that and figured he'd rather have a musical genius falling over behind him on stage rather than the alternative.