13 votes

Prohibition Was a Failed Experiment in Moral Governance

10 comments

  1. Algernon_Asimov
    (edited )
    Link
    I know this is not what this article is about, but... I can't help but mentally replace "liquor" with "drugs" in this passage, and reflect on our current so-called "war on drugs", and how it has...

    I know this is not what this article is about, but...

    But at the same time, the amendment gave rise to new sorts of illegal, and immoral, behavior. Black markets sprang up to supply illicit establishments. The manufacture and transportation of liquor went underground. Organized-crime syndicates gleaned new power and connections from the bootlegging business. Prohibition drove ordinary Americans outside the law, too

    I can't help but mentally replace "liquor" with "drugs" in this passage, and reflect on our current so-called "war on drugs", and how it has done nothing but push a highly profitable business into the hands of organised crime.

    9 votes
  2. [7]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    I grew up in a conservative house with no booze, just was never part of my life. Had my first drink at 22. Have never regretted it. Interestingly, I found out recently that my father is a...

    I grew up in a conservative house with no booze, just was never part of my life. Had my first drink at 22. Have never regretted it. Interestingly, I found out recently that my father is a prohibitionist. Meaning he would reinstate it if he could, which was baffling to me at the time.

    There's a very interesting mix of religion and psychology happening there. I've learned through therapy that I have co-dependency issues, and I know I get that from my parents. My mom has described her and my dad as "people pleasers", which is pretty much co-dependency. So what results is this mix of religion telling you that certain things are "right", and a belief that alcohol hurts a lot of people (which is true). The end result though, is a need to "save people from themselves" because you honestly believe that you know what's best for them, and furthermore codependency requires that you try, because your happiness depends on other people's happiness.

    5 votes
    1. [6]
      krg
      Link Parent
      I didn't really grow up in a conservative household, but I didn't have my first drink until I was 21. Mostly because I was afraid of my mom finding out and beating my ass (not really, my mom is...

      I didn't really grow up in a conservative household, but I didn't have my first drink until I was 21. Mostly because I was afraid of my mom finding out and beating my ass (not really, my mom is sweet and wouldn't do that).

      Anyhow, I do have a family history steeped in drug abuse and alcoholism, so I should probably take it easy (as I drink a heavy pour of Maker's Mark).

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        I have a friend who doesn't drink at all due to a family history of alcohol abuse, which I have enormous respect for. If you think you drink too much (and even if you don't), I encourage you to...

        I have a friend who doesn't drink at all due to a family history of alcohol abuse, which I have enormous respect for.

        If you think you drink too much (and even if you don't), I encourage you to talk to a professional about it. I don't have alcohol issues, but seeing a therapist has helped me in ways I didn't know I needed.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          krg
          Link Parent
          I occasionally drink too much, but I mostly don't. Not worth a trip to the therapist, for me. In fact, cavorting with other drinkers at bars and spilling guts to a bartender is usually a...

          I occasionally drink too much, but I mostly don't. Not worth a trip to the therapist, for me. In fact, cavorting with other drinkers at bars and spilling guts to a bartender is usually a therapeutic experience!

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            Omnicrola
            Link Parent
            As a guy, I find that truly "real" conversations with other people, and especially other guys are rare and far between. When they do happen, it's often a really liberating and euphoric experience....

            As a guy, I find that truly "real" conversations with other people, and especially other guys are rare and far between. When they do happen, it's often a really liberating and euphoric experience. I resisted going to therapy for many, many years because honestly I have it pretty good and I can deal with my own problems. Even when I finally did see one, it was initially uncomfortable, then interesting, then something that I look forward to.

            Actually seeing a therapist (a good one) has made my life better. Which is why I try to encourage other people to see one even if they don't "need" one. It's like having a 10yr old car that has never been to a mechanic (and you are not a mechanic). It still runs fine, so you don't have to take it to a shop but why not take it in anyway and have any minor things tuned up before it stops running in the middle of the freeway?

            (This is mostly directed at others reading this, not trying to insist that you specifically need a therapist @krg)

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              krg
              Link Parent
              haha, but I probably do! (there were tears behind that laugh, if you couldn't tell) I definitely don't underestimate the value of therapy. Though, can't quite afford it at the moment,...

              haha, but I probably do!

              (there were tears behind that laugh, if you couldn't tell)

              I definitely don't underestimate the value of therapy. Though, can't quite afford it at the moment, so...self-medication in the meantime. 🤷

              2 votes
              1. Omnicrola
                Link Parent
                It's an unfortunatly common reality (at least here in the US). I'm lucky that my insurance covers most of it (after my very high annual deductible ☹️).

                Though, can't quite afford it at the moment, so...self-medication in the meantime.

                It's an unfortunatly common reality (at least here in the US). I'm lucky that my insurance covers most of it (after my very high annual deductible ☹️).

                1 vote
  3. patience_limited
    Link
    The article has perhaps too rosy a view of the likelihood that U.S. religious conservatives will be able to amend the Constitution to ban all sorts of behavior they deem immoral.

    A century ago, Prohibition went into effect around the United States, and the evangelical Protestants who had fought for 80 years to make it a reality celebrated. With the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, which proscribed “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” across the United States, they had achieved something unparalleled by any movement before or since: They had introduced a new moral decree into the Constitution. In doing so, they believed that they had enshrined Protestant virtue in American life and saved the country from decay—forever.
    But the Eighteenth Amendment holds another distinction: It’s the only amendment that’s ever been repealed. The Prohibition era lasted just 13 years, and is now regarded as a cautionary tale for the regulatory state. The restriction of private behavior has outlived the alcohol ban, persisting in state and local governments and finding new life in modern conservative administrations. But the idea of using a constitutional amendment for that restriction, once held up by temperance advocates as a holy grail, has been tarnished and, mostly, left to the past.

    The article has perhaps too rosy a view of the likelihood that U.S. religious conservatives will be able to amend the Constitution to ban all sorts of behavior they deem immoral.

    2 votes