anyone remember the blue laws?
i've been reading in C.A. Weslager's book on the Delaware Indians that liquor laws were introduced very early in the delaware river valley to try to prevent sales of liquor to native americans who couldn't deal with alcohol. of course, now science has shown that native americans completely lack the enzyme necessary to metabolize alcohol, which explains a lot. but i just have to say that i had no idea that pennsylvania's liquor laws, blue laws as we used to call them, were in place mostly because of the native american population.
later, others came to the area who may also have been perceived as needing these laws too, but by and large, most people were christians - even most of the native americans were eventually - so not working on sundays and other aspects of the blue laws were probably just fine and dandy with most folks. my recollection, however, is that as a child i heard a LOT of complaining about the blue laws. now of course they've been revoked.
today, it seems to me, intoxicant abuse can only be prevalent among people who are not happy with their lives. doesn't that make sense? poverty is usually a direct result of oppression and racism everywhere in the world, and i would say only secondarily a result of material lack - famines, lack of trade goods, and so on. extreme poverty is more than likely a fairly strong condition for creating unhappiness, i would think.
and also, of course, another strong predisposer towards alcoholism is genetic as well. Even rich people, oppressors and the like, can become strung out on alcohol. how can something so good also be something so bad?