Crime and Deterrence

Remember public executions?

Remember how they were supposed to “deter” potential offenders from committing crimes?

Remember how nobody was really deterred, but the execution itself simply became a public spectacle for people to explore their morbid curiosities?

Thankfully nobody (or very few) remember public executions. They’ve long been done away with in the US. But humans are morbid. That’s just the way we are. Many of us are aware of that. Sure we might try to satisfy our curiosities by watching gross shit on the internet or scary movies. But we try not to satisfy that morbid desire on a political or social scale…or we don’t want people to get hurt to satisfy our sick demands. (At least non-psychopaths don’t)

We’ve known for a long, LONG time that deterrence doesn’t work. If it did, crime would have been eradiated long ago. But here we are, in the 21st Century, still using “deterrence” as a justification for doing sick things….things like separating children from parents and locking them up.

There’s no solid moral justification for it. “But we’re a nation of laws”, I hear. “And there are consequences for breaking those laws. If they (“illegal immigrants”) learn that lesson, then word will spread across Latin America and they’ll stop coming here illegally. Damn it!”, they’ll keep telling me. Because, to these idiots, laws are for black and brown people (but constraining to rich, white people). Therefore, again according to these idiots, we should punish kids by separating them from their parents.

Any sort of concern for their wellbeing, or reunification with their family, is naturally irrelevant.


Because this is a nation of laws. And laws allow us to not feel anything. Like the great public executions of yesteryear, the laws finally permit us to engage our morbid desires. We can finally say “fuck kids! fuck immigrants!” because the guise of “deterrence” allows us to do so.

That’s why shit like this happens:

A few have said “America is better than this.”

Are we?

This sick and twisted fantasy of being able to justify one’s disdain for others is pretty well engrained into our psyche.

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