Religious bigotry has been declining for decades, but with lobbyists distorting the mixed economy, legalized coercion is harder to eradicate, and directed verdicts put murderers right back on the streets.
Thousands of Americans–and a few Canadians and Mexicans–were murdered during prohibition, most by religious fanatics not very different from the ones now banning beer in the Medieval Middle East. Government bureaucrats ordered alcohol poisoned with methanol, which causes permanent blindness in those not killed outright. Methodist Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals spokesmen invariably came forward to praise these killings as justified. The law, after all, is “the” law.
The Jamaica Ginger remedy contained alcohol, but also tricresyl phosphate, which caused permanent paralysis of legs and feet. This too was viewed as a sort of Divine Retribution. Hunter’s Civic Biology–the 1914 textbook banned in Tennessee for explaining the Evolution of the Species in 1925–was steeped in prohibitionist pseudoscience. Racial eugenics by compulsion to the extent possible was its primary message. The alternative? A degenerate race, and race suicide of the white Caucasians, the crown of Creation. This may be what President Herbert Hoover meant when in his inaugural speech he bragged that “We are building a new race…” After all, Hoover was a great fan of Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1902 urged American women to reproduce against their will. Teddy was concerned about:
fundamental virtues, for the practice of the strong, racial qualities without which there can be no strong races—the qualities of courage and resolution in both men and women, of scorn of what is mean, base and selfish, of eager desire to work or fight or suffer as the case may be provided the end to be gained is great enough, and the contemptuous putting aside of mere ease, mere vapid pleasure, mere avoidance of toil and worry.
German National Socialists, whom President Hoover’s Moratorium on Brains helped rearm (by sparing them from repayment of war reparations), were also keen on coercive eugenics and the altruistic trappings of race suicide theories. Yet here we are in the 21st Century, caught in shouting matches between Christian National Socialists eager to ban birth control and other socialists less pious but no less coercive in their vision of the proper role of government. Both of these communo-fascist variants of Socialism share a deep desire to resort to the initiation of deadly force in their efforts to make the world a “better” place.
The Libertarian Party is fielding some 800 candidates this election, all of them committed to voting for alternatives that do NOT rely on the initiation of deadly force in order to make the world a better place. Every libertarian vote helps repeal laws that coerce women and other individuals. We are growing, and both of the 19th Century Left&Right parties dedicated to European religious autocracies and concentration-camp dictatorships are shrinking.
For more on how Republican prohibitionism crushed the U.S. economy and brought on the Great Depression, why not download Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929? The book is live on Amazon Kindle and you can read it on a cellphone for the cost of a craft pint at a pub.