The history of humankind over the past 4 millenia has been written by alcohol, edited by fear, and published by delusional dreams.
This is a subject that fascinates me, and I intend to research it extensively. Some of the questions I would like answered are:
- To what extent were history’s violent clashes, not related to relief from starvation, the result of drunkenness?
- How has theology been influenced by alcohol?
- How has the congruence of alcohol, government, and religion influenced every major change in society over the last 4,000 years?
Our very earliest history is corroded by alcohol. According to Drinking in Colonial America by Ed Crews of Colonial Williamsburg, alcohol was with us at our birth:
As early as 1622, the Virginia Company of London wrote to Governor Francis Wyatt at Jamestown complaining that colonist drinking hurt the colony. James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, feared rum would ruin his venture and tried to ban it.
I’m pretty sure that the angry mobs of “patriots” who, during the American Revolution, applied boiling tar and chicken feathers to unlucky victims, were not tea-totaling philosophers and poets. One of the things I want to find out is how many taverns there were in Boston and other areas where such brutality occured, and to make a direct link between alcohol abuse and this brutality.
No, I’m no Puritan and I’m not out to abolish alcohol. I am, however, out to enlighten myself, and, if I am successful, to enlighten others about who we really are and how we got here. For me, a devout atheist, no question can be more intellectually stimulating.