Press enter after choosing selection

The Only Temperance Reform

The Only Temperance Reform image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

In closing brief examination of the causes which have made prohibition a failure, the Boston Index says : No temperance reform can be permanent or general till the poople themselves resolve to be températe. Tou may try to make it itnpossible for them to get drunk by abolishing the liquor traffic, but will fail just so long as the people are determined to buy the liquor. This reliance on external safeguards as a sub8titute for internal self-restraint is what pre ven ts the true principie of temperance - self-government under all circunistances by conscience and reason - from making real headway. There is no such thing as a short cut to universal temperance, no such thing as a speedy abolition of all intemperance. It is a matter of slow and painful growth to eradicate so invetérate a disease from the social system, and we would be wise to face this fact calmly and fairly. A new public opinión must be formed ; a new habit of self-government must be cultivated; a new reverence for reason and conscience must be created and fostered. All this takes time - yes, a great deal of time. Intemperance is a least as oíd as human history, and one must be more enthusiastic than wise to expect that any political measure whatever can take the place of a universal elevation oí' moral motives. Not prohibitory laws, not tho establishment of woman suffrage (though sanguine woman suffragists expeot incredible efficacy from that measure), wil! make an appreciable reducticn in the long run in the amount of drunkenness. The dissemination of true principies on the subject, and reliance on better education, together with such indirect external helps as the providing of cheap and innocent amusernents for the people and the establishment of equity in social and industrial relations, will do all that can be dono to drive this demon of inebriation frotn the homes and haunts of men. But all this is a slow process, which cannot but be retarded by freedom on the wrong side. We deeply sympatnizo with the desire of philanthropists to proteet wives and mothers and helpless children from the woes of the drunkard's home ; yet we believe that the method of coerción, whether applied in the form of stringent statutes or in the milder form of "praying" intrusión and religious browbeating, will fail totally of its object in the final upshot. The actual condition of human nature must be taken into the account ; and one of the surest ways to defeat reform is to créate a protest against it on the score of personal liberty.


Old News
Michigan Argus