Why Do We Love Punishment?

We modern day humans seem, for the most part, to enjoy punishing others we deem have done wrong. A childhood friend of mine posted, and was greeted with many facebook “likes,” that she had “never been happier” that individuals (the cops involved in the Freddie Gray incident) were being charged with manslaughter. Despite my objections to her support of this, which translates to a pro-state, pro-punishment, and naive impression that some sort of “change” will occur from this, none of the perhaps hundreds of people who saw our discussion even tried to refute what I was saying. They simply “circlejerked” and remained hive-minded over how this would set a precedent, and that it is important to “remain positive” with “little bits like this” in such “horrible times.”

It seems that people are very unhappy in our society. So unhappy that they must convene and smile over the prospect of people being locked in cages, something I see no joy or pleasure in at all. I don’t think anyone should see positivity out of the “justice” system threatening to lock murderers away. This is a very irrational emotional response. Allow us to explore another relevant example.

Let’s say a Middle Eastern country (or an alliance of them) invades the US. Evil terrorists roam the streets of big metropolitan cities, and residents have nowhere to run or hide except their own homes, defending themselves with whatever they’ve got. A man, let’s call him Ramo, is trapped inside his home, with only one grenade left to save himself. He is just a 15 year old boy. He hears a group of terrorists approaching. These people have killed his friends and family, and have invaded and destroyed his country. They are the enemy, and they are the ones who, as a group, have initiated force against him. This means that by defending himself, he is not violating the non-aggression principle, something all true libertarians/voluntarists hold as a guiding principle.

Ramo throws the grenade, and kills a terrorist. He is captured because they outnumber him and are armed to the teeth. The 15 year old boy is sent to an island off the coast of the Middle East. He is tortured and held as a war criminal. Finally, he is sent to a more civilized jail in the Middle East. The regular citizens of the Middle East applaud his capture and torture. They are happy that someone who killed one of their own is being punished for his crimes.

For those who are not familiar with the story, this is the story of Omar Khadr. I am aware there are more details to the story, but in essence, this young boy has been tried as a war criminal for what I see as defending himself from invaders in HIS country, in an illegal war with economic and geopolitical motivations that ignore any possible benefits for human-kind. The only difference is that it is the US that invaded his Middle Eastern country, Afghanistan, and then captured him and brought him to Guantanamo Bay.

Polls in Canada showed that sympathy for Khadr actually LESSENED when the details of his torture as a child in Guantanamo were released.

These are not harsh times we live in, like the circle-jerkers would have you believe. We live in the most peaceful time to be alive in the world. We are at the peak of medical and technological inventions and innovations. It is a beautiful time to be alive. It is certainly not the time to find HAPPINESS in the PUNISHMENT of others, regardless of the circumstances. This is reminiscent of the Colosseum of archaic times when humans did not have widespread access to the sentimental philosophy and rationality of the era.

Let us transcend our brutish emotions which steer us towards being happy at the prospect of others suffering, regardless of the details of their actions. We are we remaining focused on punishing people rather than eradicating the root causes of these problems. Let us grow as a species and recognize these weaknesses and evolve past them. There is so much to be happy about in the world, but most importantly, you have to be happy with what you have in your own life to be a happy person. You should NEVER be happy about people being locked in cages.

This article is written by WhereTheWorldIsGoing.com