Regarding Jennifer Schwirzer’s article entitled “How Noble Experiments Fail,” I had to make a few comments.
First, her argument that our country’s last attempt at prohibition was a miserable failure due partly to lack of enforcement has merit, however, any suggestion that we should try again with greater focus and fervor is reminiscent of socialists who argue that socialism would work if only the right people were in place to properly manage and execute it. It ignores the basic fact that socialism, and likewise prohibition, are incongruent with human nature, and therefore doomed to fail.
Second, pointing to Barrow, Alaska, as a prohibition success story is somewhat disingenuous. Schwirzer herself admits that, “such a ban was easy to enforce,” due to Barrow’s remoteness. Let’s see the same “experiment” conducted in, say, a small midwestern town of comparable size within a reasonable driving distance of a major metropolitan area. Would the ban be easy to enforce? Certainly not. But more importantly, prices of the banned substance would remain reasonable on the black market, and it would likely flourish.
Lastly, the author’s argument that “no man is an island” carries some weight in a debate about personal responsibility. However, self-harm is the other side of the freedom coin. The right to buy, sell, and imbibe alcohol is no different than the self-evident rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are among those endowed to us by our Creator. And one would think that writers for Liberty magazine would realize that fact.