Sunday, August 18, 2019

I prefer consequences to revenge

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 17, 2019)

If your idea of a good time is to vandalize someone's home, I have no sympathy for you no matter what consequences result.

Last year a relative's home near Clovis was burglarized and cleaned out. Through the ruthless determination of his granddaughter, all his belongings were discovered on the property of the burglar (or an accomplice) and recovered.

Now, someone has decided it was a good idea to try to destroy his whole house. The house he built with his own hands more than half a century ago.

If you think this makes me angry, you'd be on the right track.

When a person makes the choice to violate life, liberty, or property they've lost their humanity in my eyes. Their reasons or justifications never matter.

I understand spur-of-the-moment bad decisions, but to make a conscious decision to violate someone? That's where I draw the line.

No, it doesn't mean I want to see the law used against them. In fact, the law does more to protect bad guys from consequences than it does to protect their victims.

Nor am I calling for punishment, which I oppose as revenge. I prefer social consequences. Real justice. Including-- specifically-- shunning.

There are people out there who know these and other criminals who make a habit of victimizing residents of the community. I doubt either they or the violators they know are literate enough to read newspapers or anything else, though. Maybe someone can read this to them.

If you know someone who habitually violates others, and you choose to continue associating with them, you are as guilty as they are. Violators should be left to die alone in the elements, naked and starving. There's no excuse to sell them food, water, fuel, clothing, shelter, or medical care once you are aware of their choice to violate. If you continue to trade products and services with them you are spitting in the faces of all their victims; past, present, and future.

I'd rather see their pictures, addresses, and crimes posted on social media or on public flyers. Let everyone know who they are and what they do. "Innocent until proven guilty" is only the standard for government courts. If you know the truth, share it.

Consequences of this sort would do more to promote civilization than all the laws you could ever write and enforce. Violators survive only because otherwise good people help them, even if it's accidental. Stop enabling them to live to violate again.

Thank you for helping support


  1. thugs enjoy violence and thieving.
    talking harsh about them does not stop them.
    shunning (quiet shaming) certainly doesn't stop them.
    not stopping them, allows them to violate again; enabling their behavior.

    better: stop thugs, by actually stopping them.

    1. that's not punishment.
      it's "ending the threat", so civil society can prosper without them.

    2. I agree that stopping them is ideal. But I don't agree that shunning them doesn't stop them. If they starve to death, naked in the elements-- as they would if everyone shunned them-- they would be stopped, and others, seeing what happened, would decide on another course.

    3. shunning works if you control multidimensional assets- the way govt controls banks, businesses, media, and the internet. How the Chinese use "social scores", to yank peoples chain, restrict movements, limit jobs and housing and cash and abiliyt to travel and mandate re-education camps.

      but the serf does not have multidimensional assets, so the "uphill" effect is like pushing a rope (not noticed by the aggressor).

      shunning presumes power.
      the serfs are "serfs" specifically because their opinions have no effect.

      (wish it weren't so, but from time to time, then serfs figure it out)