Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Monday, September 26, 2011
Ken Burns Documentary Series on Prohibition
Today's Drug War
"Prohibition is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (premieres October 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2011 at 8 PM on PBS) that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed."
Here's more information, with a little extra editing to maybe suggest a sequel for Ken Burns:
"ProhibitionThe Drug War was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcoholdrug abuse. But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality. Thugs became celebrities, responsible authority was rendered impotent. Social mores in place for a century were obliterated. Especially among the young, liquordrug consumption rocketed.
ProhibitionThe Drug War turned law-abiding citizens into criminals, made a mockery of the justice system, caused illicit drinkingdrug use to seem glamorous and fun, encouraged neighborhood gangs to become national crime syndicates, permitted government officials to bend and sometimes even break the law, and fostered cynicism and hypocrisy that corroded the social contract all across the country. With ProhibitionThe Drug War in place, but ineffectively enforced, one observer noted, America had hardly freed itself from the scourge of alcoholdrug abuse – instead, the "drys"drug prohibitionists had their law, while the "wets"millions of Americans had their liquordrugs.
The story of Prohibitionthe Drug War is a compelling saga that goes far beyond the oft-told tales of drug gangsters in the U.S., Mexico and Colombia, rummarijuana runners, and cocaine smugglers, flappers, and speakeasies, to reveal a complicated and divided nation in the throes of momentous transformation. The film raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government and finally, who is — and who is not — a real American."