It seems to me… crime unpunished is crime encouraged. Remember when you were a child and you ran into the road? Your mother, father or both would give you the dickens. That was because they understood that if they didn’t, you would sooner or later run into the road and be killed. Because of their love of you they needed to change your behavior. Condemning the truck drivers will not stop a child from running into the road, a slap on the behind will however. Throughout our childhoods, those of us who had nurturing, loving parents, were taught to be civilized. It probably took standing in a corner, a slap on the behind and a few cross words, but the barbarian in us was molded into civilization. It does no good whatsoever to change the negative behavior with praise of the wrongdoing, blaming the victim or cry racism, when someone acts the barbarian. This is such an obvious truism you would think everyone knows it instinctively… but apparently many don’t.
Hsun Ching said the congenital nature of Man is evil and the good in us is a learned trait. By that he meant when we are born we don’t know, right from wrong, we don’t have empathy, we think we can just take what we want, etc… basically, we are little barbarians. Our empathy, virtue and humanity is taught us by our upbringing. Those who have been civilized operate well in any system while those who have not been civilized only operate well in a very structured environment, with draconian punishments and constant monitoring. Hsun Ching’s philosophy has a direct impact on adults as well.
An adult who has not had the benefit of being civilized will commit crime, that is obvious, but what seems to be not well understood is that when an adult is allowed to commit crime and is not punished for it, they are far more likely to commit more crime later. The more they get away with the more heartless and heinous the crimes they commit. In fact, blaming the victim, claiming racism or simply avoiding addressing the crime, empowers and emboldens the criminal. They feel they have a right to victimize others. The criminal becomes even more callous to the wants and needs of other human beings, and in doing so they become less human themselves.
Humanity means to have compassion, to be kind to others and even animals, it is a quality of being a fully actualized, human hearted human being. Humanity can be grown by changing the behavior of those who act inhuman and it can be corroded by allowing crime to go unpunished. To have humanity is to understand that other people exist, have feelings, want pretty much the same things you do and are as flawed as you and I are. Accepting the flaws of others is part of being humane. A psychopath or sociopath is not humane and has no compassion for others. They are broken. Most people who commit crime however are not psychopaths or sociopaths, they are people who have not been civilized, and so lack some aspect of humanity.
When a society allows some to stand above law, morality and civilization, it provides a strong incentive for others, others who are civilized, to throw off the yoke of civilization and become barbarians themselves. Those with a deeper understanding will resist for awhile but the incentive becomes stronger and stronger the longer society encourages crime. People are adaptable, we will adapt to many things, barbarism is one of those things we can adapt to and in a barbarous society, adapt we must. Those who have virtue in a barbarous society will quickly be crushed. We see that society in the last few decades in the US and Europe has become ever more barbaric.
It doesn’t matter if the criminal is an immigrant from a far away land who thinks rape is perfectly acceptable, or a politician who claims there is no overriding legal authority to punish his open and flagrant crime, the result is the same, crime unpunished is crime encouraged. We are civilized by our parents, that is one of the greatest gifts they give us, after our very lives. Civilization in us allows us to function, socially, economically and personally. Those without the benefit of civilization will commit crime. That doesn’t mean they are psychopaths or sociopaths, it means they are not civilized. A society that fails to punish crime, is a society that nurtures an inhumane, brutish and violent people. People that require intrusive oversight, draconian punishments and onerous laws. Yet even the most draconian punishments, intrusive surveillance and onerous laws will do no good to bring a society to civilization. Once civilization is lost it takes centuries to return to it. Only the most vile, self serving and evil people would want inhumanity for humanity… so why are some crimes unpunished and therefore, encouraged?