World War D
The Case against prohibitionism,
roadmap to controlled re-legalization

What is the origin of modern prohibitionism?

Answer

With the advent of humanism and the age of enlightenment in the 18th century, human beings broke away from supreme religious authority and were placed in charge of their own destiny with a general belief in individual rights and freedom, coupled with an aspiration to the betterment of humanity through reason and virtue.

As they gained political power, some reformists shifted from moral suasion with a goal of voluntary acceptance through persuasion, to forced compliance through legal or political coercion as a means to expedite the perfecting of humanity and eradicate its perceived misery. This perversion of humanism led to totalitarianism, the belief in coerced societal transformation, i.e. the belief that human nature can be forcibly transformed through coercive means. Communism wanted to put the common good above personal interests through forced collectivism and elimination of classes. Nazism, national-socialism, and fascism wanted to create a hegemonic race of superior human beings who derived their strength and sense of destiny from subordination of the individual to collective identity through obedience, discipline, dedication, and pride. Prohibitionism viewed coerced morality as a means to improve society. Prohibitionists wanted to legislate ethics and eradicate vice, a broad term under which were dumped all kinds of perceived immoral and sinful behaviors, the cardinal vices being gambling, alcohol abuse, and sexual depravity – pornography, prostitution, and homosexuality. Substance abuse was added later on, almost as a footnote. The temperance movements arose from overzealousness in the US, and from social blindness in the UK.

The origin of prohibitionism in the US can be traced to the rise of the temperance movement, inspired by the 1785 essay "The Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Body and Mind" authored by founding father Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania, who advocated “a new species of federal government for the advancement of morals in the United States.”

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"...The origin of prohibitionism in the US can be traced to the rise of the temperance movement, inspired by the 1785 essay "The Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Body and Mind" authored by founding father Dr. Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania, who advocated “a new species of federal government for the advancement of morals in the United States.” Dr. Benjamin Rush is considered the ..."
"...The temperance movement was one of the numerous so-called “reform movements” that flourished in the US at the beginning of the 19th century and united a broad coalition ranging from evangelists of the Second Grand Awakening to secular humanists and social liberals. The reform movements primarily aimed at correcting perceived social injustice ..."
"...the 19th century, the alcoholic epidemic was near its peak, with women and children as the primary and most helpless victims. By 1818, production of whiskey, rums, and other hard liquors was the third most important industrial activity in the US. Understandably, women became the foot soldiers of the temperance movement. Alcohol prohibition ended up being the wrong solution to a very real problem. Likewise, the War on Drugs is still to this day the wrong solution to a real problem. ..."
"...rural settings to their new sordid urban settings. Massive drinking was their usual escape from their 14-hour workdays in filthy and often lethal working environment and their squalid living conditions. While socialism saw exploitation of the masses as the root of the evils that befell the working class, the temperance movement saw alcohol as the source of those evils. ..."
"...Prohibitionists wanted to legislate ethics and eradicate vice, a broad term under which were dumped all kinds of perceived immoral and sinful behaviors, the cardinal vices being gambling, alcohol abuse, and sexual depravity – pornography, prostitution, and homosexuality. Substance abuse was added later on, almost as a footnote. The temperance movements arose from overzealousness in the US, and from social blindness in the UK. ..."
36.
"... contrasts with the often boisterous, rowdy, and heavily ethylic but chaotically controlled Southern European celebrations. - The temperance movement - The United States, especially its northeastern region, was therefore a particularly fertile ground for the temperance movement. Not ..."
"...The United States, especially its northeastern region, was therefore a particularly fertile ground for the temperance movement. Not surprisingly, that is where it started. The first modern temperance society was founded in 1808 in New York by two of Dr. Rush’s disciples, Dr. Lyman Beecher and Dr. B. J. Clark, as the “Society for the Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Good Morals.” New England ..."
39.
"... existence. The temperance movement was not confined to the US; soon temperance movements followed in Ireland, Scotland, England, and other parts of Northern Europe, though it never had much appeal in Southern Europe. The first world temperance convention was held in London in 1846. The “Whole ..."
"...in the city of New York on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 1 and 2, 1853, had about 1,000 attendees from the United States, Canada, and England – a rather parochial whole world. The opening address by a certain Mr. Burleigh gives the tone of the high-spiritedness that animated the temperance movement at that time: ..."
"...One of the most prominent temperance movements of the time, the Order of the Good Templars, was founded in 1851 and rapidly spread over the world. It was followed by the National Prohibition Party (1869), the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (1874), and the Anti-Saloon League (1895). The original Society for the Suppression of Vice was founded ..."
"...Maine was the first state to adopt alcohol prohibition, in 1851. By 1855, 13 of the 31 states had adopted some type of alcohol prohibition. But even though the fight for alcohol prohibition was the mother of all battles for the temperance movements, temperance advocates sought prohibition of all intoxicants in general. ..."

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"...into opium addiction and coercing them into prostitution. Dr. Wright had plenty of allies, from the AMA and the APhA eager to consolidate their monopoly on the medical marketplace, to right-wing extremists and racists, to the labor movement who felt threatened by migrant workers, and of course to the temperance movements. Temperance advocates were themselves, as we have seen, a disparate coalition ranging from evangelists to idealistic social liberals. ..."
"...Meanwhile, the temperance movement was gearing up for the mother of all battles and moral panic went in shrill mode, fueled by anti-German sentiment and the fear of papists. Spanish-war hero Captain Hobson was one of its most eloquent proponents. Following the triple traumatic shocks of WWI, the Russian Bolshevik revolution and the ..."

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