80 Years Later, the Horrors of Prohibition Continue

Exactly 80 years ago today, America’s disastrous experiment with prohibition on alcohol came to its long-anticipated conclusion. At the time there was widespread rejoicing — and rightly so. The termination of prohibition not only brought an end to the unnecessary persecution and prosecution of tens of thousands of innocent individuals who had harmed no one with their exercise of personal freedom, but it also led to a significant decrease in the real crime and violence which is so typical when the production, distribution, and consumption of a desired good or service is pushed underground.

Did we learn from our mistakes? Of course not. Today, the US still continues to use the tactics of prohibition to outlaw certain goods and services such as raw milk, cannabis, unlicensed massage, prostitution, gambling, and a whole host of similar things. Providers, distributors, and consumers alike are hunted down, kidnapped, and thrown in cages in pursuit of the despotic goals of prohibition.

The state cannot plead ignorance in this matter. Prohibition in the US was a long and bloody experiment which proved conclusively that prohibition does far more harm than whatever might be prohibited. The reason the state continues to enact and enforce prohibitions is not to benefit or protect ‘society,’ but to justify the vast expansion of a totalitarian surveillance state and a vicious police state designed to subjugate every individual to its tyrannical will.

The only thing that should be subject to prohibition is the state itself.


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Parrish Miller has worked as a web designer, policy analyst, blogger, journalist, digital media manager, and social media marketing consultant. Having been largely cured of his political inclinations, he now finds philosophy more interesting than politics and is focused particularly on alternative ideas such as counter-economics, agorism, voluntaryism, and unschooling.