Chesterton on Prohibition

In Vino Veritas: Chesterton Proposes a Toast
by Joseph Pearce

As early as 1921, during his first visit to the United States, Chesterton had been horrified by the rise of Federal and corporate power and the consequent destruction of small government and small business. In an interview with a Boston newspaper he alluded to the chasm between the ideals of the Founding Fathers and the reality of modern-day America in terms that today’s Tea Partiers would no doubt endorse:

"Were Patrick Henry to return to earth and look around on the vast economic order of the day, he might revise his observation and merely say ‘Give me death’—the alternative being manifestly impossible under modern conditions."

It should be noted that this interview was given during the early days of Prohibition, itself a theft of liberty exceeding anything that Patrick Henry experienced at the hands of the British.

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