The right not to be sold alcohol to

From The Economist:

Alcoholism has blighted many Aboriginal communities in Australia. But last summer saw the expiry of old bans on the possession and consumption of booze in some parts of the Northern Territory, originally imposed to curtail Aboriginals’ drinking. In some places alcohol was able to flow freely for the first time in 15 years.

Natasha Fyles, the chief minister of the territory, had pronounced an end to what she called “a race-based policy”. Anthony Albanese, who took office as prime minister last May, had promised better representation for Australia’s indigenous people. But the wet season did not last long. Once alcohol sales resumed, crime and violence surged. At a parliamentary session beginning on Tuesday Ms Fyles’s government will legislate to reinstate the ban on alcohol sales.

This time communities can opt out of prohibition, although state officials must approve. Yet many Aboriginals are among the greatest supporters of restrictions⁠ on sales of booze—on the grounds that their communities are the biggest victims of the consequences of alcohol abuse.

The way how this is presented is curious and shows the bias most Europeans bring to these sorts of things. Alcohol consumption is presented as freedom, and banning alcohol altogether in certain communities is even seen as racism, even if that’s the wish of the community itself.

The other side of this is that large alcohol producers make a fortune off of selling an addictive and highly destructive substance. This is colonialism. Companies owned by Europeans, or the descendants of European settlers, transfer wealth out of indigenous communities and replace it with destruction.

The larger issue is that communities should have the right to self determination, and that should entail the ability to opt out of Western consumerism, of which mass produced cheap alcohol is a part.

As an aide, about the only thing I think went well about this past World Cup was Qatar not backing down on alcohol.