Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Ads that I like: # 113
Time for a history lesson!
On May 16, 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev announced a Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR titled On Greater Efforts to Combat Drunkenness and Alcoholism and to Eradicate Moonshine. During 1985–87 Gorbachev carried out an anti-alcohol campaign with partial prohibition, colloquially known as the "dry law". Prices of vodka, wine and beer were radically increased, and liquor sales were heavily restricted in both amount and time of day. People who were caught drunk at work or in public were prosecuted. Drinking on long-distance trains and in public places was banned. Scenes depicting alcohol consumption were removed from films. Advertisements like these abounded. Hilariously (in the context of Soviet humour), people started calling Gorbachev "Mineral Water Secretary" instead of General Secretary.
Statistically speaking, the reform had effect on alcohol abuse in the country. There was a significant decrease in criminality, and rise in life expectancy, but economically it damaged the State budget after much alcohol production migrated to the black market economy. Suffice to say, it did not endear Gorbachev to the masses, and is not unrelated to his poor showings in post-Soviet elections.
One Russian drinking. Two Russians fighting. Three Russians in revolution!