Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

church, and so abused  as to imply that all the jnarried are
The result has been that prohibition has been a failure.
This was owing in part to the logical extreme to which the
prohibitionists went of including in the Jaw all malt, all
fermented, all vinous liquors. Those who had lived in their
own country on beer and ale were not disposed to submit to
such a law, and the wealthy could procure wines in their
original packages, in which case state law could not reach it.
This made the law seem more unreasonable, and it came to
be more difficult of execution. How long these conflicts will
go on in the states where they have been on foot for years,
we cannot say; but thus far they have not accomplished
their object.
There are two other methods of putting a stop to the in-
temperate use of alcoholic liquors : one that of pledged absti-
nence, with which we have here nothing to do ; the other that
of license and police regulation. The system of licenses is
liable to two objections. First, it is opposed by those who
regard abstinence from whatever can intoxicate as an abso-
lute duty. It is a sin to drink such liquors, and therefore a
sin to license them. This is logical, if the premises are good ;
but they are unsound, if abstinence from any particular arti-
cle of food or drink is not necessarily a moral virtue, and if
every individual's conscience must judge whether in his case
an example of refraining from what does harm to others is
demanded by his duty to them or not. Christ's conscience
certainly did not prescribe rules to himself of abstinence
from such articles, although he mingled with persons led
astray by self-indulgence, and although the example which he
set of " eating and drinking" would certainly influence mul-
titudes of mankind. We conclude, then, that license is law-
ful in this case because the indulgence is not necessarily
But, again, if license is not wrong, it may be a small check
on drunkenness, in practice, and of difficult execution, A
license law ought to be guarded and made rigorous by some