Summary: “The Parable of Prohibition” by Johann Hari





Summary: “The Parable of Prohibition” by Johann Hari

The article, “The Parable of Prohibition”, by Johann Hari critically analyzes the old-age approach of prohibition in respect to Daniel Okrent’s book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Foremost, the author begins by highlighting the impulsive nature of human beings based on their overwhelming inclinations towards things such as food, drugs, and sex. Over the years, all societies have been involved in a myriad of impulsive natures for the aim of gratifying their urges. As such, one can understand the extent to which individuals are capable of self-destruction if allowed to continue with the satisfaction of their innermost and physical whims. Hence, the respective premise forms the basis for prohibition. Using this as an illustration, the author provides the main causative factor responsible for the act of prohibition as evidenced in every human generation. Apparently, for prohibitionists, ridding the world of the natural desire for intoxicants goes further in asserting moral dominance. As an example, Hari uses the illegalization of alcohol between 1921 and 1923 in the United States. Interestingly, the author sees the prohibition phenomenon as a parable. Even though Hari seems to tread on a supportive path, he shifts his opinion by addressing the issue of prohibition as one incapable of positively enabling the society due to its inherent dysfunctions. The provision of information based on prohibition’s historical context in the United States further supplements critical weight in relation to Okrent’s controversial publication. Simply, Hari agrees with Okrent that prohibition has not imposed any positive implications as witnessed in past events surrounding America’s Prohibitionist Movements. In conclusion, Hari’s review of Okrent’s publication boils down to the possibility of drug prohibition in the contemporary era.

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