PROHIBITION Opened the Door

Source illustration/image: unknown

Source of the image is unknown

I was trying to catch up on some long-delayed research yesterday when I stumbled into something huge that’s been out there since before the Civil War. This dusty piece of American history became the basic ingredient that was used to first contaminate the promise of the Constitution; and then to give birth to the haunting-evils of the IRS.

The USA before the Civil War was a dumping ground for all of the evils of medieval Europe. The face that was put on this farce was called ‘The Melting Pot” but in reality what was going on was just another extension of the thinly disguised slavery that the European slave-masters had created—and which was generally accepted by most slaves as “just the way things are”! America did not have despotic Kings or Princes of the Church to enslave them, but what did enslave millions was the unbelievable nightmare of the working conditions and the wages at poverty level that were “paid” to most people regardless of the brutality of the job. This was the left-over hierarchy of the dying Victorian Age where privilege mattered, and where life and death were beyond cheap. And the lubricant that made everything bearable became beer or alcohol, in all its forms; from “medicines” to the drink of choice, in almost every household.

The pre-civil war society, as anyone could imagine, had a lot of problems; but typically the Amerikans wanted to fix everything with just one remedy – the PROHIBITION of Beer & Alcohol. All children would become saints, there would no longer be marital warfare, the men would no longer fight, (or spend their entire paycheck at the Saloon) and the women could finally live decent (and GOD-FEARING) lives – if only Amerika could OUTLAW ALCOHOL!

Women were virtual chattel in that world, and as a general rule did not speak in public, or much of anywhere else either. But because so much depended on the one-paycheck of the husband, to keep a roof over the heads of the family and food on the table, increasingly women began to look for other ways to get-involved so that their lives and the lot of their family’s lives could be improved. Alcohol consumption at that time began with sunrise and went through every day and almost every meal in some form or other – and in general it was consumed by the population (particularly the male population) at a rate at least five times larger than whatever it was to become later on.  It did need to be fixed, or at least reduced, if the population was going to survive. Of course booze was not the only problem, but it was the only part of the problem that got any real attention.

Conditions in the workplace were not an issue, because slave labor was a given, along with child labor. Women were simply neither seen nor heard from, so they didn’t matter at all, except as part of the work force in the sweat-shops that were everywhere; to produce the dirt-cheap clothing and the luxury garments for the powerful as well.

Beer (of a low alcoholic-content) was part of the traditional life of a lot of different European Cultures, and when they came here they brought this habit with them. It was part of their lives, a very large part of most lives in fact—in large part because even the doctors proscribed drinking as a way of getting around the contaminated and fetted water of the day & time. But as time passed the new Amerikans began to develop a taste for much stronger drink, and of course the captains of early capitalism were ready and eager to respond. This led to what became a virtual epidemic of drinking that could not go unnoticed because Amerika was in real danger of becoming “A Nation of Drunkards”. The center of this fight became the Saloons and bars that also served as “Clubs” for the working people.

The Saloons’ were where new jobs could be found, where people could talk and complain to their fellows, and it was where politics got discussed in uncensored terms. But they were also where politicians could buy votes, where political powers could be created, and where way too many could and did drop their entire paycheck on a Saturday night. It was over this problem of the Saloons that the early protests were carried out, and it was where Women’s Rights got its first real start as well. But after making some progress, the Civil War began to raise its head, and since that WAR took over the interests of most people, the protests nearly died: But the problem did not go away.

The issue of Prohibiting Alcohol chewed on the nation and tore at the different centers of the population. The rural communities led the fight against the cities and all of their corruptions: And at the time something like 70% of the American-population was rural. As the issue moved from counties into the cites and states; it eventually became clear that “PROHIBITION” was a national problem and needed a “national” solution, if anything was ever going to change.

By the time that all the movements and campaigns had finally got their collective act together – the march to PROHIBIT alcohol became a national debate that finally ended in passing a Constitutional amendment that outlawed the consumption or the manufacture of Alcoholic beverages, anywhere in the United States.

The Amendment created a Constitutional oddity which flew in the face of everything else in the Constitution: Because everything else was about the freedoms of people and the protection of everyone’s freedoms—while PROHIBITION was about controlling the habits of other people in the supposed name of the betterment of the whole society: This was not voluntary, it was mandated by the government, and it was the first time that the government became the NANNY-STATE, with ZERO TOLERANCE for Alcohol, or for the places that sold or even gave away the drink.

However the most important part in this miniature and oversimplified bit of the history, for me, came with something that I had not known about before. Apparently the US Government before PROHIBITION got about 73% of all its revenues from federal and state taxes on alcohol. So if the government was going to successfully OUTLAW-ALCOHOL, then some new source of revenue would have to be created. That 70% plus needed a permanent guaranteed way to pay for the government and the “income tax’ became the stopgap which allowed PROHIBITION to pass into law.

So, in 1913, right after the FED was created, the Illegal IRS came into being to collect the NEW TAXES that had to be levied to pay for this nanny-state intrusion into the lives of everyone in the country: Because all that revenue (and the millions of jobs that had been lost), once prohibition began to take hold, had to be replaced! The IRS has never been a legal construct, despite the best efforts of everyone affiliated with it; because the Constitution strictly forbids the government to levy taxes on the labor of its citizens—which the IRS has always ignored. (1)

That was as far as I got yesterday in Part one of Ken Burns Documentary called “Prohibition” –  Which incidentally ought to be part of the curriculum for every Junior High School class – because this violation of the rights and freedoms of all Americans was the founding bedrock for every governmental intrusion into the lives of billions of people since 1913. Prohibition was eventually repealed, and forcefully ended as a major mistake all round. But it was also the shadow that underlies the outlawing of SMOKING, while allowing cigarettes to be sold, but not to be used (to collect the taxes that cigarettes generate – without allowing smokers any where to be able to smoke).

And the anti-smoking laws had a totally different agenda in mind as well. The bars and coffee-shops were the actual targets of the ANTI-SMOKING LAWS. The reason is that since the days after prohibition ended, the bars and the coffee shops around the nation had returned to being what they were before prohibition was enacted: Meeting places for the less than wealthy to gather and complain and talk; where people who are not influential could mix and mingle with all kinds of people and actually find some relief from the boredom of the mindless creatures in our sterile and totally corrupted-corporate life. Banning cigarettes in public places put many, many pubs and bars out of business, both here and overseas. And THAT was the point of banning cigarettes; just as banning Alcohol tried to wipe out the Saloons and bars before 1913.

The anti-smoking laws are nothing but an illegal extension of the Days of Prohibition wherein one segment of the society decides for all the other members of the society what other people can (and cannot do) in their own lives. And now we have followed this disgraced-principle to the extremes that allow the government to decide literally


Thanks to these self-appointed assholes that PROHIBITED alcohol, and their descendants, we now have the curse of IRS to deal with: And we also have those sanctimonious bastards to thank for this fake agency, the IRS that has quite literally destroyed millions of lives!

The question is:

Yesterday, today and tomorrow”

Jim Kirwan

1) America: Freedom to Fascism – the full length film (1 hr 51 min)


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