wasn't all that tricky. (Note the Swastika tiled into the
Like today, the
government was always confiscating someone's stash.
The trick was not to
get caught with the evidence. Just like today, it was promptly
Here's the happy
couple that put together their own moonshine. It was popular for
people to make their own liquor back then.
A raid on a
Washington, DC luncheon eatery -- we call them bistros today -- was as
tedious as a SWAT raid today.
Just like today's
clandestine meth labs, moonshining was considered dangerous and a hazard
to the environment.
warehouse of bootleg liquor were captured by the government, however, not
a beat was missed in getting replacements.
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, an inspiring philosopher of the early 19th
century once remarked "We learn from history that
we do not learn from history". There is no better
example of this than the war on drugs (WOD). The WOD is a mirror
image of the Prohibition on alcohol that ripped through the 1920s,
contributing to the Great Depression. While prohibition was
stupid. The WOD is even more stupid, especially since we knew the
outcome before it even started.
Richard Nixon who declared drugs the
number 1 enemy that started the WOD was 7 years old at the onset of
Prohibition and 20 years old when it ended. He knew the consequences
behind Prohibition. But that's
precisely it. Just rifling through Nixon's 5 years and 201 days in
office, it seems that whatever he accomplished, it was intended to make
someone from the general public , fail.
Why Prohibition? Groups such as the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's
Christian Temperance Union were able to successfully convince people that
alcohol was the cause of a variety of social problems. Below are some of
the prevaling reasons why this national tragedy occurred.
In the United States, Prohibition was put
into effect by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution (ratified
January 16, 1919) and the Volstead Act (passed October 28, 1919). The
Volstead Act was written by Andrew John Volstead, who was an absolute
teetotaler (non-drinker). Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the
Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. It banned the manufacture and sale
of beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 0.5%. In some ways, the
Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act were largely symbolic as
prohibitionists had already banned alcohol in 26 out of 48 states before
Prohibition went into effect.
- Health: People
believed that cirrhosis of the liver and other alcohol related deaths
could be prevented. However, in 1931, Dr. Snell of the Mayo Clinic
stated: "We know now that cirrhosis occurs in only 4 per cent of
alcoholic individuals." He went on to say that alcohol related
deaths were only responsible for less than 1.5% of total deaths at the
time. The country would soon see a dramatic increase in alcohol
related deaths and injuries after Prohibition went into effect.
- Worker Absenteeism and
Performance: Industrialists were concerned with worker absentee and
performance problems that were blamed on over-indulgence in the
saloons at night.
- Family Life:
Proponents argued that alcohol was causing rampant domestic violence
and many families were without a father because they spent all of
their nights drunk in saloons. As a result, a large percentage of
reformers were women.
- Germany and the War:
Many people believed that drinking beer funneled money into Germany
who was our enemy at the time. They also argued that available grains
should be used to feed the troops rather than make alcohol.
- Saloons and Crime:
Proponents argued that there was increasing lawlessness and crime in
the saloons of America. While the saloons would disappear, they would
be replaced by another institution in far greater numbers.
Prohibitionists believed that the lack of alcohol would usher in an era of
economic and moral prosperity, however, the nation would soon discover
that their efforts had the exact opposite effect.
The most immediate effect was the destruction of many jobs resulting from
For as long as we are in a drug war, we
will have the shadow of the Nixonian era cast upon us. It is rather
grave that the US Government chooses to allow the WOD because it is the
most powerful legal loophole to avert discrimination. Diversity is
just another way of saying: "We discriminate!"