Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bad things happen- don't make them worse

Bad things happen- don't make them worse

Bad things happen. That is just a harsh fact of life no matter what else is going on around you. That doesn't mean you have to make it worse. Throwing government on the situation is like throwing gasoline on a fire. It doesn't change the past. It doesn't restore a victim to his pre-attack condition. All it does is feed the blood-lust of those who have been absorbed into the cult of the punishment mentality.

In spite of the claims to the contrary, punishment doesn't serve as an effective warning to others. If that worked in real life, none of us would have to make our own mistakes since we would listen to the admonitions of our parents or learn from the experiences of our friends. It doesn't work that way, as everyone knows from personal experience.

There is also little hard evidence (in spite of wishful thinking by authoritarians) that currently popular forms of punishment really teach anyone "a lesson". Imprisonment does, however, immerse the prisoner into a new, anti-social, culture which reinforces the "us vs. them" dichotomy which teaches them to think it is OK to hurt the "other side". It also forces the prisoner to learn new skills from more experienced or creative fellow convicts. The really tragic part of this is that only a very small percentage of prisoners are there because of real aggression; most are there for victimless "crimes" against the state's insane edicts. All punishment does is strengthen the state.

The only ethical thing to do is to insist upon dispute resolution and restitution, and when that doesn't work, to exercise the right of self defense consistently. Apart from any government enforcement or control. It requires a separation of justice and state- on our way to the real pot of gold: the separation of life and state.