Thank God For Prohibition


When waves of Italians started pouring into America at the turn of the last century, they didn’t have a lot going for them.  The Irish were here first and in greater numbers.  Better, they were lucky enough to speak English which was a tremendous advantage in the new world. 

Italians for the most part were poor, rural, uneducated, and crowded into tenements.  They brought with them some old country traditions like strong family values, a healthy work ethic, and a unity that did not assimilate well.  Many had small, crude, moonshine stills in their basements to make the wines they missed from home. Their future looked bleak.

And then on January 17, 1920, Prohibition was born and many lives were changed for the better.  Soon Italians started selling their alcohol to friends and then to friends of friends. The more ambitious young men began creating an industry complete with manufacturing and ready distribution through speakeasies which were usually legal saloons before the Eighteenth Amendment. Marketing was hardly necessary because “white” Americans had an unquenchable thirst to live their private lives the way they chose rather than be dictated to by authoritarian prigs.

In 1933, Prohibition ended.  Some called it a “noble experiment” but that was just a face-saving phrase for “complete government fuckup.”  Prohibition was our history’s biggest catalyst for more graft, corruption, Mafia violence, and a larger alienation of the American people from their government.



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