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Will alcoholism lead to communism?

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Post 02 Jul 2022, 20:51
Comrades, congratulate me. I now no longer remember the last time I spent an entire day sober. I'm drunk now. Naturally as a Marxist, I've been thinking a lot about this so called vice dialectically, and I'd like to put forward a theory that merits some discussion.

When ingested, alcohol acts as a depressant, not a stimulant. This is now common-knowledge. The intelligent layman no longer resorts to the dram when he has important business before him, whether intellectual or manual; he resorts to it after his business is done, and he desires to release his taut nerves and blow-off some steam. Alcohol, so to speak, unwinds us. It raises the threshold of sensation and makes us less sensitive to external stimuli, and particularly to those that are unpleasant. Putting a brake upon all the qualities which enable us to get on in the world and shine before our fellows - for example, combativeness, shrewdness, diligence, ambition-, it releases the qualities which mellow us and make our fellows love us - for example, amiability, generosity, toleration, humour, sympathy. A man who has taken aboard two or three cocktails is less competent than he was before to steer a battleship, or to cut off a leg, or to draw up an exploitative contract, or to play Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode on the guitar, but he is immensely more competent to entertain a dinner party, to admire a pretty girl, or to listen to Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. The harsh, useful things of the world, from pulling teeth to digging potatoes, are best done by men who are as stone-cold sober as so many convicts on death-row, but the lovely and useless things, the charming and exhilarating things, are best done by men with, as the phrase is, a few sheets in the wind.

All this is so obvious that I marvel that no communist has ever proposed to abolish all the sorrows and injustices in the world by the simple device of getting and keeping the whole human race mildly inebriated. The man who is in it is a man who has put all of his best qualities on display. He is not only immensely more amiable than the cold sober man; he is immeasurably more decent. He reacts to all situations in an expansive, generous and humane manner. He has become more liberal, more tolerant, more kind. He is a better citizen, husband, father, friend, communist. The enterprises that make human life on this earth uncomfortable and unsafe are never launched by such men. They are not makers of wars; they do not rob, exploit and oppress anyone. All the great villainies of history have been perpetrated by sober men, and chiefly by teetotalers the likes of Hitler. But all the charming and beautiful things, from the Can-can Dance to Kubla Khan, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity by men who, when the hour came, turned from well water to something with color to it, and more in it than mere oxygen and hydrogen.

I am well aware, of course, that getting the whole human race pissed and keeping it pissed, year in and year out, would present formidable technical difficulties. It would be hard to make the daily dose of each individual conform exactly to his private needs, and hard to get it to him at precisely the right time. On the one hand there would be the constant danger that conservatives might occasionally become cold sober, and so start wars, theological disputes, moral reforms, and other such unpleasantnesses. On the other hand, there would be danger that liberals might proceed to actual intoxication, and so annoy us all with their fatuous bawling or maudlin tears. But such technical obstacles, of course, are by no means insurmountable. Perhaps they might be got around by abandoning the administration of alcohol per ora and distributing it instead by impregnating the air with it. I throw out the suggestion, and pass on. Such questions are for men skilled in therapeutics, government and business efficiency. They exist today and their enterprises often show high ingenuity, but, being chiefly sober, they devote too much of their time to harassing the rest of us. Half-drunk, they would be ten times as genial, and perhaps at least half as efficient. Thousands of them, relieved of their present anti-social duties, would be idle, and eager for a more jovial occupation.

The objection remains that even small doses of alcohol, if each followed upon the heels of its predecessor before the effects of the latter had worn off, would have a deleterious effect upon the physical health of the race - that the death-rate would increase, and whole categories of human beings would be exterminated. The answer here is that what I propose is not lengthening the span of life, but augmenting its joys. Suppose we assume that its duration is reduced by 20%. My reply is that its delights will be increased at least 100%. Misled by statisticians, we fall only too often into the error of worshiping mere figures. To say that A will live to be eighty and B will die at forty is certainly not to argue plausibly that A is more to be envied than B. It is my contention that the world I picture, assuming the average duration of human life to be cut down even 50%, would be an infinitely happier and more charming world than that we live in today - that no intelligent human being, having once tasted its peace and joy, would go back voluntarily to the harsh brutalities and stupidities that we now suffer, and idiotically strive to prolong. If intelligent people, in these depressing days, still cling to life and try to stretch it out longer and longer, it is surely not logically, but only instinctively. It is the primeval brute in them that hangs on, not the man. The man knows only too well that ten years in a genuine civilized and happy country would be infinitely better than a geological epoch under the curses he must now face and endure every day.

Moreover, there is no need to admit that the moderate alcoholization of the whole race would materially reduce the duration of life. A great many of us are moderately alcoholized already, and yet manage to survive quite as long as the blue-noses. As for the blue-noses themselves, who would repine if breathing alcohol-laden air brought them down with delirium tremens and so sterilized and exterminated them? The advantage to the race in general would be obvious and incalculable. All the worst strains - which now not only persist, but even prosper - would be stamped out in a few generations, and so the average human being would move appreciably away from, say, the norm of a prig and toward the norm of Shakespeare, Mozart and Goethe. It would take aeons, of course, to go all the way, but there would be progress with every generation, slow but sure. Today, it must be manifest, we make no progress at all; instead we slip steadily backward. That the average civilised man of today is inferior to the average civilised man of two or three generations ago is too plain to need arguing. He has less gusto and courage; he is less resourceful and various; he is more like a rabbit and less like a lion. Harsh oppressions have made him what he is. He is the victim of tyrants. Well, no man with two or three cocktails in him is a tyrant. He may be foolish, but he is not cruel. He may be noisy, but he is also tolerant, generous and kind. My proposal would restore communism to the world. It would rescue mankind from moralists, pedants and brutes. It would rescue mankind from the horrors of capitalism.

Alcoholics of the world, unite!

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Post 04 Jul 2022, 07:27
I don't like drugs that mess with my mind. The experience is pretty terrifying for me.
Post 04 Jul 2022, 22:05
Misuzu wrote:
I don't like drugs that mess with my mind. The experience is pretty terrifying for me.

I know exactly what you mean. I become extremely paranoid if I try to smoke weed. I'm a paranoid person in general, possibly clinically paranoid and if I add a bit of marijuana to the mix, I start to believe that I'm dying or something. It wasn't like this in my teens and early twenties; for some reason the older I got and the more responsible I got, the more paranoid. For example, I never had the slightest fear of flying when I was younger, and would have to do it several times per year because my parents lived in different countries. These days, I can't make it through a flight without a couple of glasses of whiskey in me, forget about it.
Post 11 Jul 2022, 15:40
First off, I don't wish to come across as a scold. I myself have no real experience of drinking intoxicating liquor. About the only instance where I had drunk an alcoholic beverage was when I was at a party at the home of distant family and mistook a cannister of beer for iced tea. I remember that it tasted bitterly sour, in my opinion, and gave me the runs. No, given my religious upbringing, in the Church of the Nazarene, which incidentally for what it's worth was a background shared to some extent by such persons as Charles Manson and Jim Jones, I haven't customarily consumed strong drink. I personally feel though, based upon my impression of such intoxication that it'd not be advisable for people to have their judgement clouded by drunkenness. For instance, not all alcoholics are merry, some even get downright mean. I once had an experience some past Fourth of July, where my next-door neighbors were throwing a party that turned into a drunken revelry. I had wanted to go over to the border of our property line to ask if they were still going to be putting off fireworks, when one of their guests saw me, and thinking that I was trespassing on the neighboring property uninvited, told my neighbor that he should "kick my ass". I softly responded that this was my property and walked away. So, I feel that alcoholic beverages can bring out the worse in people, by lowering their inhibitions. I feel therefore that it would be best if comrades, exemplifying the new human, were to be clear, and levelheaded, only drinking in moderation, if at all.
Post 17 Jul 2022, 10:12
What about a drug like soma? Soma is a theoretical drug that induces euphoria without short or long term side effects. Should a socialist society invest in the creation of such a drug as a way of attaining utopia? In other words, should we be engineering a chemically induced paradise instead of an economically just communism?
Post 22 Jul 2022, 07:39
There's a good book I read on this very topic, Moskva-Petushki by Venedikt Yerofeev. It's about a drunk ex-intellectual going home from his Moscow region track electrification job to his girlfriend and child in Petushki, Vladimir region and having various dreams/visions as he goes through stages of delirium tremens, from his journey to Europe to meet and write an article ("Bitchiness as the highest stage of sluttiness") for Sartre and de Beauvoir, to a sort of reenactment of the Vietnam War but in Petushki following a drunks' rebellion against sobriety. If you've read Dovlatov, who writes a similar sort of prose about drunk underachiever intellectuals in the Soviet Union, it's like that but as a postmodern long poem.

For me personally though drinking regularly means that I'm working a lot and need something to take the mind off, though lately that means I have 5-6 glasses of wine on Friday and just sleep all of Saturday until 7 pm because I'm simply too tired. If I'm on vacation though, drinking every day simply becomes very boring and if I keep at it, I can feel my mental faculties decline, so there has to be a balance where you can feel like you are achieving something, like a sort of sine wave. With Soma though I think Huxley was making more of a criticism that society was drowning its brutality in inebriation, but I barely remember that book.
Post 07 Aug 2022, 18:25
I sure wouldn't mind some of that black-tar heroin Dagoth used to smoke right about now. Oh Dagoth, where art thou when one needs you? I kinda feel like Michael Corleone pining over the death of his brother Fredo.

Dagoth! Dagoth!
Post 04 Sep 2022, 13:30
First I wanted to share these interesting historical articles. They illustrate that ancient Peru apparently had the same sort of idea that @Yeqon had concerning mind altering substance. https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/wari-beer-0011777 , https://www.nspirement.com/2022/07/03/the-hallucinogenic-drink-chicha.html Lastly, I happen to be friends with Dagoth Ur on Facebook. And I'll just say that , since you all last interacted with the poster, Dagoth Ur has gone through some drastic life changes. Namely, coming out as a transwoman. If anyone here would want to contact her, I could private message a link to her Facebook page. I just don't feel comfortable posting it in this thread, out of respect for her personal privacy.
Post 04 Sep 2022, 23:55
Quote:
What about a drug like soma? Soma is a theoretical drug that induces euphoria without short or long term side effects. Should a socialist society invest in the creation of such a drug as a way of attaining utopia? In other words, should we be engineering a chemically induced paradise instead of an economically just communism?

I really hope that was a drunk-post and not a serious proposal.
Post 08 Sep 2022, 00:17
Misuzu wrote:
I really hope that was a drunk-post and not a serious proposal.

It actually reminds me of this one episode of "Sliders", a sci-fi series, called "Just Say Yes". In it the main characters slide into a parallel dimension where the population is kept under the control of mood regulating drugs.
Post 09 Sep 2022, 23:14
Jason24 wrote:
Lastly, I happen to be friends with Dagoth Ur on Facebook. And I'll just say that , since you all last interacted with the poster, Dagoth Ur has gone through some drastic life changes. Namely, coming out as a transwoman. If anyone here would want to contact her, I could private message a link to her Facebook page. I just don't feel comfortable posting it in this thread, out of respect for her personal privacy.

Aw, cool. It always does my heart good to know that a former comrade is doing well. I’m not on social media so just tell her that Yeqon says hello the next time you speak to her.

Misuzu wrote:
I really hope that was a drunk-post and not a serious proposal.

Haha. These days, I’m just happy to take what I can get.
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