Dr. Sergey Zagraevsky
The following text was translated from the Russian original by the computer program
and has not yet been edited.
So it can be used only for general introduction.
First of all,
Let us state the truism: the task of any state is to combat the many evils of
society. It is unlikely that this is
One can hardly argue and yet another truism: alcoholism is a vice of society.
It would seem, under the laws of logic, the conclusion here should be clear: the task of the state is wrestling with alcoholism as one of the ills of society. Also, for example, as drug addiction.
This in theory. But in practice, not quite so - more precisely, not so. Can you imagine that the shelves of grocery stores were filled with ... drugs? Various types, produced the most famous and reputable firms in the most vivid and attractive packaging, which had been worked best designers?
Of course, this is not available. A Liquor shelves of all, without exception, supermarkets, grocery stores, shops, shops and stalls literally crammed. Moreover, a variety released by the most renowned and reputable firms in the most striking and attractive packaging ... and that, because the state is struggling with alcoholism - society's ills?
It may be objected: alcoholism - a disease that needs to be treated. And little by little - why not drink? That is to say, "for the mood"?
Yes, but drugs also can eat a little - "for the mood, and substance abuse treatment to be had, and it is, so to speak, beyond ... So why not start selling in stores and drugs? In the bright and attractive packaging?
But do not start the same. And the thing that determine the proverbial edge, where it ends "a little" impossible. In this case, rather the most risk of drug abuse - a terrible disease that destroys a person's psyche, leading to the degradation of his personality - to be excluded from legal trade anything that could potentially lead to it.
Many will remember Amsterdam, where legally sold so-called "light" drugs - hash, mushrooms, hallucinogens and all such stuff. Surely the Dutch are not afraid of degeneration of the nation?
To this answer: drug use among the Dutch themselves - a great rarity. They're just such a "dirty" way to attract tourists swell the state budget. As far as revenue from "drug tourism" to justify staggering through the streets of Amsterdam, the crowd was not quite adequate foreigners with staring eyes - do not know, the Dutch know better. Maybe they are accustomed. Maybe it has already become a national landmark, along with well-known throughout the world "red light district" ... But we know many cases where people of different countries so often visited Amsterdam with a specific purpose (certainly no acquaintance with the monuments, which in this beautiful old City set) that a few years is no longer good day can not live without drugs. Gradually, they lead the appropriate context and at home, got this marijuana, hashish, cocaine, LSD ... and just as gradually lose everything - and work and family, and housing ...
In fairness, we note that votes for total ban on drugs in the Netherlands are distributed continuously, and there is no doubt that sooner or later they are still banned. And now they're in no case do not stand in attractive packages on the shelves of grocery stores: you can buy them only in the so-called "coffee shops", and only asking the bartender "special menu" (usually unpresentable laminated sheet of paper). And these 'coffee shops' are more like the dirty dens - at least, compared to conventional coffee.
But in the Netherlands - its problems, Russia - their own. And Russia's main problem is not drugs - in any case, its scale is not greater than in other countries. The main and (that is doubly sad), the traditional problem of Russia is alcoholism.
Here and in the tradition of the use of alcoholic beverages is mostly vodka. And the tradition of the Russian feast "- with many toasts and the same vodka. And the tradition of "soobrazhat on three" - when the "intimate conversations" carried out under the same vodka. And the tradition of spontaneous mix drinks of varying strength (usually a beer and vodka, but possible) ... and so on, all the "ancient Russian" tradition associated with alcoholic beverages, are not listed.
As a result, in Russia there was a very specific situation: a society in varying degrees condemns drug abuse, gambling, prostitution, and even tobacco - but alcohol is not only not condemned, but often encouraged. How often do any of us have heard phrases like: "What, you do not drink to my health? What are you, not Russian, not just drinking? You do not want to drink with me, then do not respect me? ".." This is already making use of alcoholic beverages in a social tool.
A tradition of Russian culture? Not subculture, namely culture - in fact not the same subculture is Pushkin's "Drink with grief, where is the club? The heart will be happier, "Blok" You're right, drunken monster! I know: the truth in wine "or Yesenin" I'm going head overhangs, side street in a familiar tavern. However, in the various subcultures of alcohol was always present plenty - immediately reminded of something like "I would be vodka, and the case we will always find" or "bottle of wine without a headache and pain in those who did not drink anything."
And what a selection of alcoholic beverages in the Russian stores! Especially vodka - in what other country could meet so many tens and even hundreds of names of the product, with such an endless variety of grades, bottles, labels, design! It would seem, in any case, it is only then alcohol, diluted with water at a ratio of 40/60, - but no, if you read everything that is written on the labels, it is just the elixir of life! And all this would be okay for foreign tourists, like drugs in Amsterdam - no, for the Russians! All in Russian, all in Russian realities - the birch trees, fields, woods, the king-father, reliability Prince, the capital of Moscow, domes, bell, streams, springs ...
A beer? What are the masterpieces of advertising creative dedicated to him! Laws that restrict its advertising, subject the numerous restrictions and regulations - and how gracefully these prohibitions cost, and no one standard is not broken! We can not show people in the television advertising of beer - and do not need to be done so that in the imagination of viewers, these images become more visible! And what music played in these commercials - to hear them! Who will be there to stare and ponder dreary faded inscription at the bottom of the screen: "Excessive consumption of beer hurts ..." But what can damage this beauty? Drink, dear compatriots! So drink.
"Let him drink, if only to measure!" - Can be heard. But where is she, that measure? Not over there, where it "gradually" to drugs, of which we have already said?
Alcoholism, like any disease, has several forms and stages, and not just sick people is socially inadequate and falls out of society. First, an alcoholic, a drug addict and in the early stages, becomes distracted and forgetful, his reactions are slowed down, he loses the ability to do many things at once and take into account when making decisions all the necessary factors gradually disappearing sense of responsibility for their actions, turn off such notions as honor, conscience, commitment, initiative ... Often at this stage, no one notices that the man "ruin oneself by drink" - never know why it all falls out of the hands, you never know why it has become worse than work, you never know why he was nervous and scandalous? A basic formal signs of alcoholism (red nose, sallow complexion, aggravated diction, slurred speech, trembling hands, inappropriate gestures, constant aggression, or, conversely, inhibition, etc.) - it is then.
A "beer" alcoholism? It acts on the brain and psyche slower than "vodka", but quickly destroys the liver, kidneys and other internal organs as well as less strength beer is compensated by its quantity. It seems to be "light" drink - these people do not believe how much they drank, and eventually unconsciously "pumped" through the body several liters a day.
Long before the earliest stages of alcoholism - that such a man who had been drinking at the wheel of a car, let alone an airplane? And at the factory where the quality of the processed parts are also often dependent lives? And in the family, at home, - whether to tell what terrible events occur "drunk"? A stroll through the streets of Russian cities in the company of young and not so young people, and everyone in my hand on a can of beer - so then as they want ... No, they also want to make a row, but more often than their desire for a more prosaic: beer, as you know, good diuretic. So turn the yards and parks in public toilets.
And to those who say that drug addiction - a terrible disease than alcoholism, the answer: not only in the Russian context. Drugs, in fact, lead to addiction faster and faster to dislodge people from society than alcohol - but how many drug addicts in Russia? Tens of thousands. It would seem that many of them - but how many alcoholics? Millions, if not tens of millions.
And addicts - mostly residents of large cities, they were not seen or heard, and the percentage of their population is very small. And how many in Russia localities where alcoholism in one form or another and the stage - not a lot out there per cent, while the majority of citizens! However, even in cities far more alcoholics than drug abusers, and they do not lie on mattresses in their dens, and absolutely openly roam the streets and gather at the stalls, sit on benches and drink, and drink. And then go home and drink again - already, if I may say so, "the family". In the eyes of children.
Speaking of children: drug addicts are usually so quickly "burn out" or are isolated from society, that no time during his illness to give birth to offspring. But alcoholism due to its longer course and even prevents play "victims drunken conception. What often these children are born, everyone knows.
So terrible for Russia - alcoholism or drug addiction? The answer is obvious.
Obvious conclusion from this and the answer: to prevent trafficking of alcohol as prohibited drug trafficking. In other words, to enter the Russian Federation, full and unconditional "prohibition". With the same penalties for its violation, which currently provides the Penal Code for the acquisition, storage, transportation, manufacturing, processing, trafficking and organization of the use of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances or their analogues.
Half measures - increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, the introduction of state monopoly on the manufacture and sale of alcohol, artificial creation of the deficit alcohol-containing products, with the exception of the turnover of all possible substitutes and fakes - unfortunately, it is not only useless but even harmful. They only serve to directly or indirectly (in the hypothetical withdrawal from the market of cheap low-quality drinks) higher prices, while virtually reducing the volume of sales of alcohol.
For example: you can not enter into the legal market turnover defensive firearms in an attempt to reduce the volume of its sales (and, consequently, the risk posed by him) by repeated overstatement of its price. All the same people bought handguns and submachine guns, and the streets will not silence the shooting.
A similar situation with alcohol is even worse because the gun on the last of his money, few will buy, and buy a lot of vodka. Consequently, if the increase in its prices, it would mean not only the continuation of welding of people, but also a general lowering of their lives. On this subject reminds anecdote mid-1980's - memorable times of Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign: "Daddy, on television said that the vodka will rise in price, then you'll drink less? - No, son, it means that you'll eat less. "
Therefore, there could be, as they say, either-or. Or settle - in an environment of free competition and market pricing, or prohibit - completely and unconditionally.
Hypothetical withdrawal from the market of alcoholic substitutes and fakes, too, does not solve the problem. Surrogates and forgery does not increase the risk of alcoholism, and food poisoning. A poison can and sausages, and pastries.
Well, any restrictions on advertising of any alcoholic beverages - not even half-measures, and, so to speak, "chetvertmery. After all alcohol advertising per se does not need (especially in Russia), and these restrictions, only a few make it difficult to compete manufacturers. And slightly difficult - even if the total ban and outdoor and television advertising of any alcohol-containing products, it will start so-called "action BTL» - «of cheap advertising". For example, passers-by on the streets begin to pester and pretty boys and girls with offers to taste one or another drink. Or all public places will fill hawkers handbills. As a result, manufacturers of alcohol and still save on advertising budgets and be able to reduce prices of their products. So, people will drink more.
Since we remembered anti-alcohol campaign of the mid-1980's, recall and the reasons for its failure.
I think that it was primarily in the fact that it consisted of the infamous half-measures. Instead of taking "prohibition" was only a drastically reduced production of alcohol (in particular, cut the vines), increased state prices for alcohol (particularly vodka has cost depending on the grade is not 4-5 rubles, and 10-12) and some restrictions on trade (in particular, Liquor stores did not work in the morning, and with two hours of the day, and to sell alcohol do not become citizens over the age of 18 and 21 years).
Not surprisingly, these half-measures only angered people, and together with the collapse of Soviet power, the development of market relations and the free importation of alcohol they have turned into nothing at all. Moreover - in the early 1990's a little bit decent spirits became an indispensable component of the same "high" standard of living as second-hand prestigious foreign cars and bright red jackets.
But if the Soviet era, in a virtually unlimited administrative resource "of the Party and government, was adopted by the unconditional" prohibition "- that is very likely that he would set a precedent that Russian lawmakers have not decided to cancel the order not to incur the charge of "soldering the people."
Of course, history does not tolerate the subjunctive, but the historical mistakes can and should be taken into account. And if the "dry laws" were not accepted, it can and should take now that the administrative resources of the ruling party is hardly less than in Soviet times.
When discussing the possibility of introducing a "prohibition" usually raises the following questions:
- Do not give it a crack the state budget lost revenue from alcohol?
- Do not begin large-scale popular protests in the form of demonstrations, rallies, referenda, impeachment, and even armed rebellion?
- As without "drinking" to celebrate a wedding, funeral, baptisms, anniversaries, receiving guests, "relax", "treatment" and "quench"?
- Do not start mass production of moonshine and homemade wine, will not start if the citizens drink cologne, polish, methylated spirits and other poison?
Well, the answer in order.
There is a stereotypical view that revenues from excise taxes on alcohol - almost the main part of the state budget of the Russian Federation. But in fact, this opinion has nothing to do with reality. For example, consider the 2008 budget. Its total revenues of approximately 6.8 trillion. rubles, of which revenues from oil and gas industry accounted for 36% (about $ 2.4 trillion.) revenues from value added tax - 19% (about $ 1.3 trillion.), and the income from the production, import and realization of all types of alcoholic beverages including alcohol from food raw material ... About 15 billion rubles. This is 0,2% of budget revenues. Needless to say, that in the case of the introduction of "prohibition" Few people notice the loss of such a negligible percentage of income?
It is easy to understand where all this took radically wrong stereotype about the fact that alcohol - "lifeline" for the budget. To do this we must recall a much more successful anti-alcohol campaign than the one held in mid-1980, - "prohibition" in 1914. He was so effective even in the First World War, two revolutions, civil war and war communism ", which lasted until 1923. For example, in 1916 the famous physician, Doctor of Medical Sciences AL Mandelson wrote: "The Tale of sobriety - this anticipation of heaven on earth - has become in Russia the truth. Decreased crime, quiet hooliganism declined begging, empty prisons, hospitals were freed, the world has come in families, raise labor productivity, was a fortune. Despite the shock, the village has preserved and economic stability and cheerful mood, relief from the heavy burden - drinking, immediately stood up and raised the Russian people. Yes would be a shame to all those who said that sobriety among the people is inconceivable that she was not achieved prohibition. No half measures are needed for this, but one decisive irrevocable action: to remove alcohol from the free circulation in the human society for all eternity.
But the beginning of the "new economic policy", nepmen no hurry to pay the taxes, industry and agriculture have not yet been eliminated effects of disruption, oil and gas exporting country has not yet - and then the Soviet government (without Lenin, who This issue has a strong position) has decided to replenish the state budget at the expense of the excise tax on alcohol.
Thus it happened that the Soviet citizens began to take not only the real estate, jewelry and other property, but also health. And the right people would ruin their health for at least some reward, or even for free - no, they are also paid (and still paying), excise taxes are included in the price of alcoholic beverages. That such a "vicious circle" was the willingness to enter into the state budget "alcoholic income."
It should be noted in fairness that during the Great Patriotic War, alcohol has played a positive rather than negative role. Remember the daily "frontline ounces", and the attack went seldom sober, and in extremely cold winter of 1941 and 1942 at Moscow and Stalingrad on the front line just rolled out barrels of alcohol, and everyone drank as he could - or sit in the trenches of the thirty-degree Frost was not possible. Fires something on the front not razozhzhesh, tea does not boil ...
But the war had ended long ago, and nowadays people are unlikely to be dizzy alcohol for some of these goals - the conquest of the world, Europe, or at least a small neighboring states. On the contrary - in modern Russian conditions necessary to fully develop the business, and business people need a cool head. And it demonstrates once again in favor of "prohibition".
The second question - about possible riots, impeachment, referendums and other things like that. There is no doubt that in modern Russian conditions they will not, as there was in the mid-1980. In the volatile 90th - yes, would have been. And now? At the local level, when you close one, single Liquor stores - perhaps people could gather and pobuyanit. But if the "dry laws" will be introduced on a national scale, then to organize a little bit meaningful resistance, you will have at least All-Russian political party - though not "beer" (remember, there was such), and "lovers of vodka." It is unlikely that someone will treat such a "party" seriously.
One can not ignore the psychological factor. In our time to speak out against the "prohibition" Few people dare to, because in regard to human health is now very different priorities than, for example, in 1933, when repeal the "prohibition" in the U.S. (in force since 1919). That epoch is completely characterized by a poster: a child is sitting on the pot that way three years, in its mouth cigarette, and below the signature: "Mama, do not be angry with me, better give me a light." Joke? No, it is common in the 1930's advertising of cigarettes, Marlboro. Do not prohibited at that time was the use of children and alcohol advertising. Few then thought about a healthy lifestyle. Widespread fashion last appeared in the developed Western countries, only in 1980 (can be presented with a bottle or a cigarette Schwarzenegger or Van Damme?), And Russia - and that later, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. (In Soviet times, advocated the replacement of the State Physical Culture vodka or cheap fortified wine - "tangle-legs" - was almost a form of public protest).
Of course, many people the introduction of "dry law" will be displeased, and "fist in his pocket," some will be kept. May be reduced and the level of confidence in the government, and a rating of the country's leadership and constituency of the ruling party. But in an almost unlimited administrative resources and state control over the mainstream media, this decline will affect the election results is very negligible, if any, impact: the position of the government and the ruling party can, conversely, dig, because people instinctively respected decisive action, even if the latter unpopular.
Undoubtedly, the "dry laws" should be introduced gradually and in stages (for example, first to ban alcoholic beverages stronger than 30 degrees, then - ten, then - five, then the other), and in parallel and will need massive awareness campaign involving all sorts of media . This would alleviate all the theoretically possible negative consequences.
The third question, as we recall, was that people will have nothing to drink for the holidays. On the answer: God forbid that people did not have more serious problems than the choice of drinks for the festive table. If spirits lift in stages, it will be time to adapt and develop new traditions to replace the existing - such as that in the wedding without the drunken brawl, "or, excuse me," Faces in the salad. " And the sooner this will stop a national disgrace, the better.
Same with the need to "relax". Modern life offers alcohol as a way to "relax", let alone "treatment" or "thirst quencher", many far more effective and useful alternatives.
Note that in the 8-hour working day and more or less organized way of life every person has an average of 3-4 hours of leisure per day. And he will spend them - for "relaxation" with the help of vodka or beer? Or maybe to something less harmful to health and the man himself, and his offspring? This is one of the main tasks of the state - improving leisure citizens, increase their cultural and educational level. Fairs, theaters, museums, movies, quality TV, sport, fitness, family recreation, and various recreational activities, self-education, collectibles - all this must take more and more places in the life of citizens. And the "prohibition" repeatedly accelerate this positive process.
And, finally, the fourth question: whether people will not start en masse to drive home brew, push homemade wine, drink cologne and prepare cocktails in the style of Benedict Erofeev - denatured alcohol, lacquer peeled, nail polish, a cure for Athlete's Foot "?
Once they start - yes (some, in fact, never stopped). But en masse - no. Once again a parallel with drug addiction: if, as they say, "very necessary", then any you can buy all the ingredients for homemade quite "effective" drugs. Probably, they will be harmful to health than the "factory" - but "factory", too, to put it mildly, not very useful, so that here, "lost his head, his hair did not cry." Same with alcohol: the one who "really need" a drink, and spirits "Christian Dior".
They are the ones who "really need". For those who absolutely "no need", here in general are not talking - they will not even think on these topics. But there are always some "average", "undecideds" mass of people prone to alcoholism only potentially. In other words, they will drink if they were "present" (or offer a huge selection of alcoholic beverages in stores), but will not overcome the more or less serious difficulties in obtaining alcohol, and even more to break the law for the sake of drinking. " They were not going to drive home brew, or make homemade wine, if it will be provided for administrative or criminal penalties. They will not drink no cologne, no polish - elementary disdain.
And these people - law-abiding citizens, "the inhabitants", upon which social peace - a majority. If it were not so, the world would be impossible to live.
Remain a minority - those who already have ready to drink alcohol and all sorts of denatured alcohol, and those who, for the profit and ready to drive home brew and sell it, and illegally importing alcohol from abroad. The first should deal with doctors, the second - the law enforcement agencies. This is nothing new - absolutely, we see a similar situation with drugs. Wrestling with society and the state have already learned so much that about addiction as a disease of tens of millions of people are not talking.
Therefore, there is no doubt that, just like state and society will learn to fight illicit trafficking of alcohol. The case only in order not to indulge baser instincts of people, the political will to the nation's health and to introduce a "prohibition" as a necessary tool to further advance the Russian Federation towards the most developed and civilized country. The infamous stereotype of "all Russian vodka drink" should be the same historical absurdity, as the fact that "in Russia through the streets of cities go Bears.
© Sergey Zagraevsky