cigarettes are code for proletarian

Fellows, Jeffrey jmf9 at
Sun Dec 13 09:49:00 PST 1998

Is it drinking itself that is associated with the working class or is it drinking to excess?

---------- From: Rkmickey at To: lbo-talk at Subject: Re: cigarettes are code for proletarian Date: Saturday, December 12, 1998 7:07PM

Jim heartfield wrote:

<<Drinking was an activity that came to symbolise the urban working classes, and, consequently, a target for anti-working class prejudice.

By targetting their habits - drink - the reformers shielded themselves from the charge of simple prejudice, moralising their class prejudices as a pretended aspiration to 'better' the workers. In Britain, retricted opening hours (only very recently lifted) were introduced in the war, to prevent absenteeism amongst 'dissipated' workers.>>

It is worth noting that many of the same interests which pushed hard for prohibition in the U.S. got it passed in many states on the same basis as in Britain during WWI. The DuPonts were especially active in this cause. The income tax amendment, though, had been added to the Constitution just before the Prohibition amendment. Later, the DuPonts were convinced by their advisors that income tax rates could be lowered if legal booze was again allowed so they switched their position & backed repeal of prohibition. K.Mickey

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