The Repeat Prohibitionists

I had Christmas dinner with my brother and his family today, and came away laden with tobacco and whisky. In my turn I left several bottles of champagne behind.

So it was of interest to note that a few days ago Chris Snowdon re-published a speech that had been made on 22 December 1914, not long before the introduction of Prohibition in the USA. Some excerpts (excluding Chris Snowdon’s comments):

Alcohol has the property of chloroform and ether of penetrating actually into the nerve fibers themselves, putting the tissues under an anesthetic which prevents pain at first, but when the anesthetic effect is over discomfort follows throughout the tissues of the whole body, particularly the nervous system, which causes a craving for relief by recourse to the very substance that produced the disturbance. This craving grows directly with the amount and regularity of the drinking.

The poisoning attack of alcohol is specially severe in the cortex cerebrum — the top part of the brain — where resides the center of inhibition, or of will power, causing partial paralysis, which liberates lower activities otherwise held in control, causing a man to be more of a brute, but to imagine that he has been stimulated, when he is really partially paralyzed. This center of inhibition is the seat of the will power, which of necessity declines a little in strength every time partial paralysis takes place.

Thus a man is little less of a man after each drink he takes. In this way continued drinking causes a progressive weakening of the will and a progressive growing of the craving, so that after a time, if persisted in, there must come a point where the will power cannot control the craving and the victim is in the grip of the habit.

When the drinking begins young the power of the habit becomes overwhelming, and the victim might as well have shackles.  It is estimated that there are 5,000,000 heavy drinkers and drunkards in America, and these men might as well have a ball and chain on their ankles, for they are more abject slaves than those black men who were driven by slave drivers.

It is vain for us to think that slavery has been abolished. There are nearly twice as many slaves, largely white men, today than there were black men slaves in America at any one time

These victims are driven imperatively to procure their liquor, no matter at what cost . A few thousand brewers and distillers making up the organizations composing the great liquor trust, have a monopoly of the supply, and they therefore own these 5,000,000 slaves and through them they are able to collect $2,500,000,000 cash from the American people every year.

I suppose what struck me most forcibly about this passage was the idea of the drinker as slave to his habit. Because precisely this is now how smokers are described: as “addicts.”

The second thing I noticed was that there was back then an evil Big Alcohol that had enslaved millions of US citizens, just like “the industry” that now enslaves us poor smokers.

And the third thing I noticed was the invocation of “science”:

These convictions are permanent, because they are founded on questions of fact and not of opinion. They revolve about the nature of alcohol, a chemical compound whose properties have been definitely ascertained at the hands of science. Whether members of this House are “wet” or “dry,” all should acquaint themselves with the recent findings of science as to what alcohol really is, and the effect it really has upon the human organisms, and through the human organisms the political and social organisms…

The substance about which this whole question revolves is a chemical compound of the group of the oxide derivatives of the hydrocarbons, its formula being C2H5(OH), 2 atoms of carbon, 6 of hydrogen, and 1 of oxygen. Among the other members of this group may be mentioned carbolic acid, chloral hydrate — popularly called chloral — morphine, and strychnine. Alcohol is produced by the process of fermentation, in which process ferment germs devour glucose in solution derived from grain, grapes, and other substances, and in their life processes they throw off waste products like other living organisms. One of the waste products is the gas that causes bubbling. The other waste product is the liquid alcohol. Alcohol is then the toxin, the loathsome excretion of a living organism. It comes under the general law governing toxins, namely, the toxin of one form of life is a poison to the form of life that produced it and a poison to every other form of life of a higher order.


Eight hundred German scientists, 116 of them professors in German universities, have made a unanimous report on the nature of beverage alcohol, recommending its complete elimination. A German staff physician of the German army has announced that “we should not discuss moderation with a man. The thing has long since been settled by science. The use of narcotic poisons is simply indecent and criminal.”

Furthermore, then as now, Europe had caught the prohibitionist bug as well.

Shortly after the promulgation of martial law the Russian government, in spite of the loss of hundreds of millions in revenue, issued a proclamation to compel prohibition of the national drink — vodka. This order has been made permanent and, broadly speaking, the Russian empire is to remain dry forever.


I wonder if that Russian prohibition had any influence upon the revolution that subsequently broke out in 1917? Perhaps it did, because prohibition was ended in 1925 not long after the death of Lenin, who – as well as being an ardent antismoker – was also an ardent prohibitionist.

“Whatever the peasant wants in the way of material things we will give him, as long as they do not imperil the health or morals of the nation,” Lenin famously declared late in life. “But if he asks for ikons or booze – these things we will not make for him. For that is definitely retreat; that is definitely degeneration that leads him backward. Concession of this sort we will not make; we shall rather sacrifice any temporary advantage that might be gained from such concessions.”

Nothing much has changed in 100 years. The same template is being applied now to tobacco as was applied then to alcohol. The name of one “toxin” has been scratched out, and replaced with another.

And of course “the gas that causes bubbling” during fermentation is another modern terror: carbon dioxide.

So I’m looking forward to opening my new bottle of Benromach – a Speyside single malt scotch whisky -. Or perhaps I should say that the progressive weakening of my will combined with a progressive growth of my craving for a dram will probably result in it being uncorked ere long.


About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to The Repeat Prohibitionists

  1. Will says:

    I had a very similar christmas consisting of scotch and cigarettes which was great, on a more relevant note I don’t see smoking bans or prohibition lasting very long.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    One similarity Frank on both counts that pissed these pre-Nazis off more than anything.

    The automatic cigarette making machine was invented. Prior roll your own.
    Prior to that returnable bottled beer was introduced. Before everyone had to buy beer by the pale and it went flat rather quickly.

    The second thing I noticed was that there was back then an evil Big Alcohol that had enslaved millions of US citizens, just like “the industry” that now enslaves us poor smokers.

    Industrialization pissed these pre-Nazis off to no end………… wonder there gone green regulating manufacturing out of existence today!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Editorial: Put out the fire on smoking ban

    The issue is the rights of private property owners and the personal responsibility of Texans compared to government intrusion. (Amarillo voters, by the way, have shot down two city smoking bans.)

    Pardon the pun, but yet another attempt at a statewide smoking ban should go down in flames.

    Amarillo Globe-News

    There will be a bevy of bills in the upcoming 84th Texas Legislature (there were more than 890 in the “introduced” category earlier this week), but one is familiar.

    For the fifth consecutive legislative session, a statewide smoking ban is on the agenda.

    The bill, State Bill 87 by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat, should flame out the same as its predecessors.

    There is no debate about the dangers of smoking and even secondhand smoke, but that’s not the issue. The issue is the rights of private property owners and the personal responsibility of Texans compared to government intrusion. (Amarillo voters, by the way, have shot down two city smoking bans.)

    Before we get started, those who cannot see the differences between support for a statewide texting-while-driving ban and opposition to a statewide smoking ban are probably confused about the scant similarities of apples and oranges.

    Smoking in public places is one thing, but if public health is truly the issue, why are there exceptions? For example, cigar bars and tobacco shops have been mentioned as exceptions to this latest proposed statewide smoking ban.

    Why? Is the health of customers and employees of cigar bars and tobacco shops not as important as those who choose to smoke or work (for the sake of argument) in a sports bar that allows smoking? The argument can be made that those who patronize a cigar bar or tobacco shop — or those who choose to work there — are well aware of the health risks. This is true, but so are those who choose to work at or enter a sports bar which allows smoking.

    What’s the difference, as far as personal choice and responsibility?

    Private businesses should be allowed to determine for themselves whether smoking fits their needs. As long as business owners state clearly and concisely whether smoking is permitted (for example, signs visible to the public), there should be no confusion. Customers, as well as employees, are allowed to determine for themselves whether they agree with the smoking policy of a business.

    Pardon the pun, but yet another attempt at a statewide smoking ban should go down in flames.

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      ‘There is no debate about the dangers of smoking and even secondhand smoke, but that’s not the issue.’

      That IS the issue ffs and ceding it will always mean and inch might as well be a long as a mile.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        roobee it could always be one of the Nazis wrote the amirillo story and that’s why that bit about smoking and shs was left in it. The thing im getting at is they are trying to protect the lies for if the lie dies so do the local ordinances already pushed thru in texas.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          I know Harls, but unfortunately our 21st century Nazis are more like Not-sees.

          My husband showed me this clip earlier this year and it is worth watching to the end:

          I hope you’re feeling better.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Its one of them bugs that just likes to hang on. The news said it was running rampant acroos the whole region now. 5-10 days they were saying its lasting but I don’t even believe that………I know folks been sick for 2 months and longer with the cruds

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Doctors told to report patients who put on weight

    Head of the NHS sets out radical plans to fight the flab as new figures show that only Hungary is worse than the UK when it comes to obesity

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    ObamaCare woes: Struggling Iowa health insurer taken over by state

    Somebody didn’t get a bailout

    Published December 26, 2014

    A taxpayer-backed Iowa health insurer created under ObamaCare has been taken over by the state amid deep financial problems, sending policyholders in the Midwest scrambling for new coverage and raising questions about the status of similar outfits across the country.

    The Iowa Insurance Division announced Wednesday that Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart was taking over CoOpportunity Health, a struggling cooperative that sprouted out of the Affordable Care Act

    A local court had granted Gerhart’s request to be appointed as “rehabilitator” of the nonprofit, after the state warned of its “hazardous financial condition.” Gerhart now has the authority to manage the company — and either restructure it or have its assets liquidated.

    Gerhart told customers that those who enrolled before Dec. 15 and make their premium payments can keep their insurance.

    But anyone who signed up Dec. 16 or later will not have coverage and now must enroll in other plans to stay insured. Further, if CoOpportunity Health goes under, a government safety net could protect those left holding their policies. However, the coverage “may be limited,” the state warned. And Gerhart is advising that most of the 120,000 CoOpportunity Health policyholders in Iowa and Nebraska “may find it in their best interests” to find new carriers by Feb. 15 — the deadline for open enrollment for 2015 coverage.

    CoOpportunity Health will no longer offer its policies through Iowa’s online marketplace, either.

    For critics of the law, Wednesday’s announcement was more evidence of the ACA’s problems.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      CoOpportunity Health is also facing “extremely high health care utilization” by its members, Gerhart’s office said.

      They took on all the needy folks with pre-existing conditions like tenncare did and went bankrupt. Wellmark who we all know is deep in the anti-smoking business wouldn’t do business in Iowa as the risks were to high according to reports.

      Then the omnibus bill just passed cut 60 million from this companys budget. Figure me that riddle out after they said it fully funded zerocare next year.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        My take is that if RomneyCare,Tenncare etc etc all went defunct and had to constantly change group plans due to bankruptcies with exchange groups in state. How the hell do they think a nationwide welfare scam is going to work out…………..It wont!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Last count was Zerocare had 6 million or so signed up they need 15 million to supposedly make it work. Add in 5-6 million illegals made legal added to zerocare rolls and you almost get that magic number. Problem is that’s suppose to be 15 million working and paying in! Not Nacho and his 12 kids on welfare…………….

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Fcaebook made no profits but yet go a tax rebate of nearly 1 billion dollars by paying their employees in stocks rather than cash. They then sell the stock and take home a paycheck.

    In other words facefuck is a worthless investment likely all the stock is owned by the FED thru from companies anyway.

    I think GE is getting the same tax breaks too for being so green thru the years……….

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

  8. Tom says:

    Here are a few articles, that have good information, plus links to additional sources, including bonafide, respected science and medical journals, where the use of tobacco, smoking, has strong major good health benefits behind it, both physically and mentally, proven by fact.

    There might be some important scientific studies attributing to these facts of good health promoted by daily tobacco use that are of benefit as references and citations when commenting online or in the the newspapers against the ignorant, prejudiced, corrupt and belligerently, unnaturally hateful highly paid anti-smoking industry sycophants who like to copy/paste and repeat their same tired lying, manipulative, propaganda into everything, everywhere, all the time, for which they are highly compensated for their political service as tools.

    Here are some links.
    Comets, plagues, tobacco and the origin of life on earth
    Pestilence, the Great Plague and the Tobacco Cure
    Health Benefits of Smoking Tobacco

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year !!

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