The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, April 05, 1900, Page 9, Image 9

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Conservative j * *
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cooholio preparations as they are iu the
IUBO of the drugs mentioned. More re-
ispectable women have acquired the liq
uor habit from its medicinal use than
have ever become drunkards through so
cial temptation. The use of liquor as a
medical agent , or in the moderation of
respectable social intercourse may be
ethical or not , according to the ability of
the individual to control himself , and
bo invariably able to say to himself
"this far and no farther. " Unfortun
ately no one can tell whether he has this
ethical might until he has cast himself
Into the furnace of destruction and
found himself wanting. Fortunately
one scorching is sufficient to strengthen
the ethical might of many. No one can
tell , until he tries , whether he has that
accursed weakness which it is only nec
essary to inflame into a fire of destruc
tion by drinking one glass of liquor.
Children of parents who have had that
weakness should make "touch not , taste
not , handle not" the ethical law of their
Sochil Suicide.
"While on the subject of some of the
causes of alcoholism it may be well to
touch on one that does not receive the
attention it deserves. Uufortunately it
is a cause that humanity has not yet
intelligence enough to overcome. While
careless good-fellowship does lead thou
sands to drink more or less liquor and
often to dangerous over-indulgence , the
number of chronic drunkards resulting
therefrom is small in comparison to
those made by the feverish excitement
* to drown self , to go somewhere , this
'cowardice to be alone , that results from
Vhe terrible struggle for existence due to
innrfiRso of the misfit and less
fit in our population imbecilical-
ly augmented by immigration. On
top of this come those who have found
themselves unable to stand up in the
'struggle ' for existence. Taken as a
"whole our city , town and village popu
lation may be said to be mad in two di
rections. They work like fiends to meet
the struggle for existence , and then act
like maniacs in search of excitement , or
recreation in order to forget they live.
Our present life may well be styled a sui
cidal struggle for life , and an equally
suicidal struggle to destroy it. Ethical
self-control is almost an unknown art
in a moral armament of the people.
The American people have gone sensu
ally mad in their insane endeavors to
bury themselves and forget that they
live. The severity of the struggle for
existence has made this. It is making
drunkards faster than any other influ
ence. Ethically speaking we are rapid
ly becoming a nation of working and
sensual prostitutes. We ignore the law
of self-preservation even in our labor
ious endeavors to fulfill it ?
Individual Liberty.
The much vaunted individual liberty
to drink liquor is on a level with license
in general. License instead of liberty ,
anarchy instead of law-abiding , are be
coming American characteristics. Lic
ense means to do as you please in utter
disregard of the law. License and an
archy are identical. Freedom is not to
do as you please. Civil Freedom is to
comply with the law. Freedom is that
walking in the law which feels it not.
True Freedom is instinctive , not intel
lectual. The moment one does right be
cause he feels it right to do it , that mom
ent there is subjection. That may be
liberty , but it is not freedom. As no
one can drink liquor without intrench
ing on the ethical sensitiveness of the
self-preserving compass , as no commun
ity can license the liquor business with
out menancingits ethical equilibriumit
is evident that this individual liberty
doctrine collapses from innate immoral
ity. Alcoholism is chronic suicide. It
frequently leads to acute suicide. Free
dom knoweth neither desire nor self-re
straint. Apply that ethical principle to
the liquor question in relation to the
The Consumer.
As ethics invariably considers all lia
bilities to weaken the self-preserving
abilities , and as no one can say that he
will not fall into the liquor habit , it is
evident that the only ethical condition
is absolute self-control , and taste not on
your peril. He who indulges in the use
of liquor , with self-control is the slave
of his tastes. Should he lose self-con
trol he becomes a martyr to his weak
ness. All and any use of liquor carries
with it the possibility of martyrdom.
All martyrs have been , are , and ever
will be victims to their weakness.
Martyrdom is never ethical. It is in
variably immoral. What nonsense it is
to enact laws against suicide and lic
ense the means to alcoholic suicide un
der the banner of individual liberty 1
Why not confine the alcoholic with oth
er lunatics ? It will be remembered that
license has been defined as doing as you
please in defiance of the laws. The
public does this in defiance of the law
of self-protection , It justifies the liq
uor consumers ignoring that of self-
preservation. Both are guilty of slow
suicide. Is not the liquor dealer the
only moral factor in the business , if he
tastes not his own poison ? As under
certain circumstances self-preservation
is above all civil law , so there are condi
tions when self-preservation ceases to be
the law. That is anarchy. The chronic
drunkard is in that condition.
Public Suicide.
The public which permits him to be
such is equally so. It is a serious ques
tion if a person ought not to commit
suicide when he cannot support himself
and is a burden on others who have all
they can possibly do to support them
selves. The drunkard often exceeds
that unethical condition. The public
practically commits suicide and encour
ages it in others when it permits the
chronic drunkard , who is peaceful with
in the limits of the law , to live at the
expense of the very lives of wife or t' "
children. That is slow suicide and
murder supported and licensed by the
public. Is license anarchy or what is
it ? No matter what the cause the sui
cide has lost his ethical or self-preserv
ing might. Has not the drunkard , has
not the public which practically makes
him such , lost all its self-preserving , or
ethical integrity ? Truly the "rum-sell
er" ( who tastes not ) should rise in esti
mation. The ethical might that pre
serves , is the centripetal force in the in
dividual and the state. The centrifugal
force is that which tends to individual
and public disintegration. It is a'study
in ethics to see the public supporting
centrifugalism in endorsing the individ
ual's right to alcoholic suicide and in
licensing the liquor business.
Civilization mid Culture.
American civilization is often spoken
of as "unprecedented in the world's his
tory. " Is it ? What is civilization ?
Authority tells us that "civilization con
sists in what may be broadly called cul
ture in a nation. " Does it ? In the
whole history of Greece , never were
there so many cultured people as after
the cities had begun to decay and the
people were fast becoming physical and
moral wrecks. It was then that Greek
culture was the strongest. So of Borne ,
so of France , so of the United States at
present. Never has there been so much
culture , never so much self-destroying
madness. At the very acme of her cul
ture , Athens never arrived at the civili-
zation of Sparta. Lycurgus was greater
; han Plato. Civilization is the endeavor
of man to find moans to aid his self-pre
serving might through union with oth
ers. Culture is by no means necessary
to civilization. It is a budding out of
it. It is frequently a parasitic attach
ment to it. Culture is often antagonis
tic to true civilization. Culture is large
ly a means to hide dishonesty. Civiliza
tion might come under a one time defi
nition of religion "the effort of man to
perfect himself. " Civilization and true
( cosmic ) socialism are identical. There
is but one standard to judge the degree
of civilization of different peoples. It is
the ethical. That is the most civilized people
ple whose institutions produce the great
est number of self-maintaining individu
als. It is a semi-barbaric people whose in
stitutions produce and maintain a large
number of criminals and unethical , non
self-supporting people. Most so-called
"civilized nations" are fast descending
into semi-barbarism. It is a question if
Lacedaemonia under Lyourgus did not
arrive at a higher stage of civilization
than any people have yet attained to.
It is no question that a people which lic
enses alcoholic suicide ; that a people