And in the fight against the Green Serpent ...
In truth, since the advent of alcohol on Earth, there are probably no reliable ways to get people to quit drinking it. Well, perhaps the total ban prescribed in the Qur'an, coupled with atrocious punishments under Sharia law ... Although, there is evidence that among the faithful there are dodgers who manage to circumvent it. We have to admit: one part of mankind stubbornly continues to pour over the "hot" for centuries, no matter what, and the other no less stubbornly and consistently wages war on this. At the same time, the methods and strategies of the eternal anti-alcohol battle are very clearly divided into more or less effective, as well as any thoughtful and obviously stupid ones. Alas, for the most part our motherland was lucky just for the latter option. However, it happened all the same in different ways ... And before moving on to examining how it was used to combat the “Green Serpent” in the old days, let’s try to decide which methods should be recognized in this fight progressive, and some leading to sad consequences. It has long been proven that the most, at first glance, an effective way to solve the problem of drunkenness is the absolute ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol, adopted at the state level. That is - "dry law". However, as practice shows (and not only Russian, but also worldwide), as a rule, the situation is rapid at first, as if by magic, improving, ultimately it becomes much worse.
The problem here is that the battle with alcohol is really very similar to the battle of the warriors with the multi-headed Snake described in fairy tales and epics. He chopped off one head - but a couple of others had already grown, and even more toothy! We remove “state” alcohol from retail chains, raise prices for it (to make it less affordable) - and then we get an increase in home-brewing, alcohol surrogates, an increase in drug addiction and the like “charms”. Plus a lot of other things, which I will discuss below, considering attempts to introduce total sobriety in Russia and the USA. The main thing is a colossal blow to the budget, which not every state can withstand. No, forced sobriety introduced “from above” is not an option. On the other hand, as soon as we try to “release the reins” and begin to “instill in the population a drinking culture” - soon we have drunks lying on the streets, crap porches and sucking beer on the benches of youngsters. And at the same time, increased crime, injuries, illnesses, a terrible blow to the gene pool. So what to do? Obviously, the truth lies somewhere in between. "Tightening the nuts" should be carried out in moderation, without exceeding reasonable limits and, most importantly, in combination with colossal preventive work. Anti-alcohol propaganda, coupled with the promotion of ideas and values of a healthy lifestyle, are mandatory, but not state-of-the-art, but taking, as they say, for the soul. And most importantly - an alternative in the form of the widest possible development of sports, primarily children and youth, the creation of a society in which a drunkard will feel, at least, uncomfortable. A society in which to drink in moderation and without losing reason, is not forbidden to anyone, but turning into a slave bottle is very fraught. "Is this really possible ?!" - you ask. Well then, let's look through the pages of history.
Drunk Empire, sober Sovereign
It cannot be said that for the Russian Empire the problem of alcoholism was something completely critical, threatening its existence. Nevertheless, it existed and made itself known quite distinctly. Only in three years - from 1910 to 1913, alcohol consumption in terms of pure alcohol per capita increased from 6.9 to 7.4 liters (this does not include beer). At the same time, however, among the 14 countries with the highest consumption of vodka, Russia was in 9th place. The first was occupied by Denmark. However, the evil brought by this vice from such statistics did not become less. They tried to wage a fight with him “from below”, when the peasants, uniting into amateur “sobriety societies”, not only refusing to buy intoxicated, but also sometimes delivering taverns along the log, and “from above” - the main “patron” of various Unions of teetotalers, which multiplied throughout the country, over time, became none other than Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov. However, like most domestic "public organizations", the majority of whose members are intelligentsia, these unions were mainly engaged in frank boltology and wonderful souls. Those who made colossal fortunes from folk drunkenness, such as Baron Horace Gunzburg, who once openly admitted that wine trade brings him more income than the famous Lena gold mines, were much more active and practical. Where are the current miserable advertising campaigns up to those that cranked the then vodka bigwigs! Not only did they manage to ascribe to the great Mendeleev the "invention" of vodka in its current forty-degree version, they also tried to "scientifically prove" ... the benefits of drinking it!
It got to the point that for such “scientific developments” it was proposed to create a special medical institute! With a similar proposal, distilleries and wine merchants “rolled up” to none other than to Academician Pavlov himself. He, we must pay tribute, not looking at promises of more than generous funding, answered them with an angry rebuke. But the idea remained ... However, the main thing was not even that. The state treasury - this is a magic phrase that gave alcohol in the Empire immunity to any attacks, cleaner than a deputy. In 1900, the state vodka monopoly provided about 30% of its income. The budget for 1914 was laid down a billion "vodka" revenues! It is not surprising that Vladimir Kokovtsev, head of the Council of Ministers of the Empire and, in combination, Minister of Finance, was one of the most ardent opponents of any encroachment on split drinking. However, even such a super-powerful lobby did not save the Green Serpent from a fatal blow, as it seemed then. The fact is that an ardent supporter of sobriety, who dreamed forever of saving the Russian people from drunkenness, was Emperor Nicholas II. In early 1914, on a plausible pretext, he knocked out Kokovtsev to resign, and on the first day of the announcement of universal mobilization in Russia on the occasion of the outbreak of the First World War, a “prohibition” broke out in the country. On August 16 it was significantly tightened and expanded, a month later it was approved by the State Duma, and in November excise taxes on brewing were raised to heaven, which made the prices of this drink prohibitive. The green snake clipped its wings ...
The medicine is worse than the disease
Here at this very place the abundant and affectionate “syu-syu-syu” and “u-tu-tu” addressed to the Emperor usually begin. How smart was our Sovereign, how wisely he ruled everything, thus ensuring mobilization, sobriety in the troops and in the rear. Yes it was. According to official figures, per capita alcohol consumption in the Empire as early as 1915 decreased to 1.2 liters. Labor productivity increased, crime decreased, the number of absenteeism and industrial injuries decreased. This is all true. However, there was another side, which the current "monarchists" categorically do not like to remember. The country was at war. And “vodka” receipts in the treasury fell from a quarter to 1.2% of the total budget! The state, of course, has not received any billion. Moreover - 42 million, for example, had to be allocated to help those who were left without work after the closure of distilleries, distilleries, and drinking establishments. And there were as many as 300 thousand souls throughout mother Russia! The "hole" formed in the budget of the belligerent state had to be "patched up" and not at the expense of the nobility, of course. Taxes soared up to what people absolutely could not do without — firewood and medicines, matches and salt. They even introduced a tax on tea. And also increased other "state fees", such as duties on goods and passengers, began to invent more and more requisitions. The sober people, of course, were happy from this ... However, is it sober ?! Moonshine began to drive everything and everywhere, the bill went to tens of millions of buckets. The worst thing about it was that they let in sugar, which as a result completely disappeared from the shelves, and wheat. As a result, the Empire in 1916, long before the Bolsheviks, came down to the real food surplus.
We drank, as usual in Russia, everything that burned. Terrible figures - in some imperial provinces the production of varnish and varnishes soared more than 2 thousand times! About various "alcohol-containing liquids" for medical purposes and did not have to say. "Ill" took massively. While the sivuha was being driven around the villages, the cities “poured” on cocaine and opium at an accelerated pace, which at that time were not considered drugs. It is believed that it was the “prohibition”, if not directly called, then at least accelerated the 1917 revolution. It is controversial, very controversial ... However, the true fact remains that this law had a “double bottom”, inherent in everything in the Russian Empire - with all the severity of the ban, alcohol was allowed to sell (and drink as much as fit) “restaurants of the 1st category, clubs and noble assemblies ”, that is - institutions for the elite, for the“ pure public ”. The peasants, soldiers and proletarians, still had moonshine with polish. Well, how not to rebel here ?! However, it should be noted that our Russian gagging in the matter of “forcing sobering up” of the broad masses is far from the transatlantic. Well, okay, Russia got into the war ... But why the hell did they come up with the Prohibition in 1920 in the USA? Without going into details, we can state the results of this outstanding idiocy: the emergence of organized crime, omnipotent and invincible mafia syndicates and clans in the country, which they still cannot lime. A tremendous rise in the level of corruption, especially in law enforcement agencies. A huge increase in the number of drug addicts (heroin strengthened on American soil in those years). Huge budget losses, and ... increased alcohol consumption! There is nothing to say about such things as mass poisoning by surrogates (tens of thousands of cases). The example is known for certain when the "underground" swill seized in Chicago completely devoured the porcelain sink, where it was poured! Strong...
The Prohibition was finally repealed by a resolution of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR on August 26, 1923. True, before that, in 1918, moonshineing was declared a criminal offense (the “little red” of the camps, but with confiscation ...), and a little later, the good grandfather Ilyich, commenting on the “Decree on the Food Dictatorship”, equated the moonshiners with the counter-revolutionaries and enemies of the people. Well, what was done with the “counter” in those years is well known. “... Drunk - no matter how many will be seen, so many will be shot” - the lines of the singer of that crazy time Demyan Poor. However, seven years later, the "Green Serpent" gradually began to get out of a deep hole into which it was forced to hide. To the great surprise and disappointment of the romantics of the revolution and the building of communism, the proletariat and emancipated peasantry, freed from their chains, did not think to stop drinking “bitter”. On the other hand ... The most sober time in the Soviet Union, whatever one may say, was precisely the Stalin period. Where does this conclusion come from? Yes, from the fact that no decisions on this issue were adopted either by the Central Committee of the party or by the highest state bodies, no “campaigns to combat” were carried out. And this irrefutably indicates that there was no problem as such, in any case, at the state level. Otherwise, Joseph Vissarionovich would not be spoiled! Well, if the general theft on the collective farms and in transport brought the Leader to righteous anger resulted in the famous Decree on Five Spikelets, then if Stalin saw the problem of drunkards, they would not have seemed to them. However, there was nothing of the kind. Being a very moderate drinker himself, the Leader did not think of introducing any stupid things like “dry laws”. Why? Yes, because the country was already in order!
And here you go - times were tough. People fought to the death, worked hard - they built the country, then restored. Life didn’t seem like honey to anyone. Have you drank? But what about! At the front, the “People’s Commissar one hundred grams” were, after the war, the price of vodka, by the way, did not increase, but was reduced regularly - but there was no problem of alcoholism. The thing here, in my opinion, is in two things: firstly, then something lived in the souls of Soviet people that did not allow them to slide into alcoholic bestiality. And secondly, a lot of things that are inevitable with constant “use” of excessive and irregular cases, such as absenteeism, lateness, marriage at work and, moreover, the “schools” of managers, were fraught with much more serious consequences than reprimand or even dismissal "for drinking". So the people held themselves in their hands. The next stage of the “fight against drunkenness and alcoholism” began in the USSR, naturally, after the death of Stalin, in 1958. In Khrushchev’s original bad manner, everything came down to prohibitions. From now on, vodka could not be sold at train stations, near factories and educational institutions, as well as "in places of public festivities." But it didn’t help anything ... It would seem a paradox: there is no war, no devastation, no overwork, and Soviet people are drinking more and more fast. The next decree "On Strengthening Measures ..." was born in 1972. For the sale of alcohol, a "curfew" is introduced: from 11 to 19 hours, and scenes of feasts are massively cut out from films. In addition to detoxification centers, LTPs also appear in the USSR - medical and labor dispensaries for alcoholics. Then the slogan is proclaimed: "Sobriety is the norm of life!" Yeah, shchaz-zzz ... The people continue to drink with increasing frenzy. And comes May 7, 1985. Gorbachev’s “battle for sobriety” starts - with hundreds of hectares of vineyards cut down, doubled during its period by drug addiction, tens of thousands of substitutes poisoning. Yes, there was a reduction in “drunken crime”, primarily murders, increased birth rates and other positive aspects. However, in the end, Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol voluntarism played only the role of a compressed spring, which, straightening up, gave even more drunkenness, never seen before.
Meet detoxification, expect LTP?
Discussing today the need to return to Russia tough measures to combat at least the most obvious and disgusting manifestations of drunkenness, one should, of course, having avoided liberal indignation as a "violation of human rights", face the bitter truth: this is necessary. Yes, no one wants to “sort out the excess”, talk to stern policemen, “bask” under an ice shower, pay a fine and receive a corresponding “letter of happiness” at the place of work (this is if Soviet realities are applied to our days). Well, so know in the end measure! Visit Belarus, where detoxification work quietly to this day. I guarantee that you will not see a single drunken mug on the streets not only in Minsk, but also in much more provincial cities. Or you can go to Ukraine, where there is no mention of detoxification for a long time, and there is a continuous "ovropeiska democracy". There you will have a great opportunity to admire the drunks, sorry, relieving the need in the center of the capital. I don’t even talk about the "sleeping" areas. This, alas, is not a vicious libel, but personal observations. So what do you like more? Frozen drunkards, swearing and shitting wherever they fall, or the realization that this glass, perhaps, is better to refuse ?! And all the talk of some "super-democratic" media that the return of detoxification will inevitably lead to "police arbitrariness, beatings and requisitions" is not about that at all. There is a question as a police. Kohl there to recruit the Sordimord and the masons, so be quiet, they will find a reason for the dentists, and for gutting the pockets of citizens. And without any detoxification. Well, with normal policemen there will be no problems. No need to juggle.
And, by the way, medical detoxifiers first appeared not in the USSR, but in the Russian Empire, where they were called "shelters for intoxicants." True, they were not in the police department, where the stations had their own “sobering-up cells”. So in the USSR, created in the early 30s, these institutions were first listed as the People's Commissariat of Health, and only in 1940 they were transferred to the department of Lavrenty Pavlovich, that is, to the NKVD. Since then, not only those who have drunk to complete non-transportability, but also those whose appearance and behavior “offended human dignity and public morality” had a chance to get into this nice place. And what, was not necessary? Or now, these types, capable of breaking off anything at any moment, should walk around unseen? I will say more - after the detoxification stations, it would probably be worthwhile to think about the revival of LTP, where those who were 6 times blessed with the presence of the wall of the sobering station were placed there. Well, in general, "led an antisocial lifestyle." For six months, or for two full years, they could run away for a high fence with a "thorn" (and it was an LTP, despite the name, an institution more likely to be a prison than a medical type). Say, they were not really treated there and the percentage of those who quit drinking after medical and labor dispensaries was extremely small? Maybe. However, at least for a while, these renegades were removed from society, giving normal people the opportunity to rest from them. Yes, and the mere prospect of being in LTP for some people was still a serious deterrent.
I completely agree with those of my fellow writers who, speaking today on a slightly different topic - about the need to return the death penalty to nonhumans in the country, summarize: the time for half measures and lisp has passed, the situation is getting out of control and needs to be resolved strictly. For doubters, there is only one argument. The killer of a six-year-old baby Denis Pozdeev was a chronic alcoholic who drank what he called, to hell. If he had been placed in the same LTP in a timely manner and for a long time, the boy would probably be alive today. Such examples, albeit not so loud, not so flashy, can not be counted. It is time for Russian society to decide whether it will protect its children or the “human rights” of alcoholics killing them.