I'm getting pumped up for the the new Ken Burns' documentary, Prohibition. Prohibition was an attempt at "social engineering" or, more accurately, intentional cultural manipulation. While a grassroots movement, it resulted in a top-down result. It didn't work. The problems of alcohol, however, did not disappear with the Cullen-Harrison Act. Two years later, Bill Wilson offered the world an individualistic response that resonated much more with the the increasing individualism that industrialization had ushered in, Alcoholics Anonymous. What I am proposing is that the 18th Amendment failed in part because it was a communal solution in an individualist society. It's one thing to say, "We have a problem, and it is demon liquor," a far different thing to say, "I am Bill W., and I am an alcoholic." More on this kind of dichotomy here.
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