On this date, January 16, in 1917, Admiral George Dewey died. His greatest achievement was, perhaps, to win the Battle of Manila Bay in the Spanish-American War in 1888 with one casualty on his side and 77 casualties to the enemy. The man knew how to achieve a desired result in war and minimise loss of life to the people he lead.
Far too many modern leaders in The West put their poll numbers way ahead of their peoples’ real safety.
Dewey’s personal motto was: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
(This reminds me of wise words spoken by my friend, Freedom Fighter John Murphy, last Saturday in Melbourne: “Don’t ever stop asking questions. If you do, you’ve surrendered, without even knowing it.” )
On this date in 1919, 104 years ago, America began a national learning experience which has now been almost forgotten. On that day, the American Congress ratified the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment banned the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol. Prohibition was born.
Rates of alcohol related illness declined, but this social advantage was offset by massive increases in crime and declines in government revenue from taxation. (Some small government thinkers could legitimately describe declines in taxation revenue as an advantage not a disadvantage. I would disagree with them, but not with the absolute certainty that I am right and they are wrong.)
In 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment and nationwide prohibition was at an end. Many communities continued to ban the sale of alcohol and still do.
Prohibition can work in communities which choose it, but, used as a solution imposed on one part of many people’s lives as a cure-all for deep and complex problems, it was a massive failure in America between 1920 and 1933.
The moral of the story is that freedom works. Local autonomy works. Great big virtue-signaling decisions that do not see the whole picture and which are imposed on everyone are a recipe for disaster.
Likewise, in modern times, from 2019 and well into 2022, if not beyond, the Great Barrington Declaration’s call for freedom as opposed to uniform prohibitions on normal life was initially unheeded by most governments, with rare exceptions like, at times, Donald Trump in Washington and Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.
Australia has had no opponent of lockdown tyranny of that calibre in Government.
But, on the streets of Melbourne last Saturday, John Murphy’s words: “We are all victims in a silent war.” rang 100 percent true for me.
Geoff Fox, 16th January, 2023, Down Under