Selected Articles on Prohibition: Modification of the Volstead Law

Selected Articles on Prohibition: Modification of the Volstead Law

Selected Articles on Prohibition: Modification of the Volstead Law

Selected Articles on Prohibition: Modification of the Volstead Law

Excerpt

National prohibition has now been in effect for over four years. The results of its operation have been accorded the highest praise by its advocates and supporters, and the most severe condemnation by its opponents. It is interesting to observe how people, with a few exceptions, will watch the workings of a new law that makes a great national experiment and see the results as wholly beneficial or entirely harmful according to their preconceived opinions. Most people will first consider where their personal or financial interest lies, then shape their opinions and arguments on great national issues so as to support their interests, and finally in the operation of a new law be able to see only such results as they want to see, such as conform to their preconceived notions.

Even were the issue not befogged by propaganda, four years would be entirely too short a time to be the basis of a conclusion as to the benefits of national prohibition. This difficulty has been increased by a constant barrage of propaganda. On both sides of the question the forces are highly organized and have spent large sums of money for publicity purposes, publishing hundreds of pamphlets and leaflets, as well as a considerable number of books, using newspaper advertising extensively, often getting their prepared material into the news and editorial columns, and publishing their own papers and periodicals, until the reading public has been deluged with ex-parte statements that make no effort to give the whole truth. "Propaganda of all sorts," says Dr. Raymond Pearl of Johns Hopkins University, "in the very essence of its nature, can have no necessary relation to truth. Equally it is bound to be actively opposed to any truth which does not fit into and accord with the . . .

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