Thursday 23 October 2008

A Final Solution?

Some of you may sometimes get the impression that I propose a dream like Utopia with simplistic solutions. That my vision is entirely one of peace and love and is unrealistic in its optimism.

Some of you who know me better and can see that the vision I propose is in fact grounded in concrete reality, have grasped that for me the key pint is this.

A more efficient culture better capable of achieving the name of the life game.

God's rule. Darwin's rule.

Go forth and multiply.

I hold the beliefs in the vision I do for the future, because I envision the evolution of the human species towards greater efficiency, producing more lives, with greater capabilities spreading like a virus through the universe. Man, the triumph of life. Man, God in the making.

I believe the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the key to that. Overthrowing primitive concepts such as property, monogamy, war, wage slavery, eye for an eye justice and moving to a much more technologically secure, luxuriant, enlightened world where humanity moves towards becoming a collective species is the way forward.

So there are some concepts I embrace which to some, would seem sinister.

And there is one point in the agenda I propose post-revolution that many would privately agree with as long as they didn't have to know about it, but would concede is shockingly brutal in its proposition.

And I confided to a fellow blogger yesterday what that was, simply because the subject of sex offenders came up. My view on them and exactly how I would recommend tackling the problem.

You see, there are several sensible points to abolishing eye for an eye justice. We can move to a far more sensible system of simply just righting the problem. Rather than continuing to think that two wrongs make a right.

So, I don't see much sense in an extensive prison system. In a lot of cases, the idea is to show crime doesn't pay. So payment is what is required. Give back. The fraudster who embezzles six thousand, make him wash graffiti off walls at five pounds an hour every weekend till he's repaid it with heavy costs added- say fifty percent extra.

And what of those who we lock up for rehabilitation? well, there isn't much money left for that, once you subtract the £100,000 a year every prisoner costs just to be locked up. It would be far more sensible to invest that money in providing rehabilitation courses that work and just collect them every morning with a police van.
And still make them do community service as well.

So no, I would only be actually locking people up if they were a clear danger to the public.
And like with mental patients, only let them out once you were sure they'd recovered.

The one point a lot of people would object to, is yes, it would mean a lot of murderers, possibly the majority, actually might not even need locking up at all. And many for not long if they were. My experience of talking to murderers, is that for most of them, the only thing that made it murder was a few minutes of intent. A few minutes of total loss of self control. In most cases, that lightening will never hit that spot again. Their lives are ruined enough without making them sit for fourteen years and think about it.

Some would say I'm taking liberal humanitarianism way to far but letting murderers off scot free, if they can satisfy a team pf psychiatrists they really pose no danger to the public, and really were not in their normal frame of mind. But I would.

But there's an angle to this, that may make you shiver a bit.

First, let me say I don't agree with the death penalty. Not as a way of righting scores. So, in the case of Saddam Hussein, it was wrong. In the case of Dr Crippen, it was wrong. In the case of Ruth Ellis, it was wrong. It is always wrong, when you can see that the guilty party isn't a danger. Because they made choices and could very well have chosen otherwise. Ironically, the fact that makes them most guilty makes it most wrong to kill them. Because in the very fact that they really COULD have chosen otherwise lies the fact that yes, they owe, but no, IN THEMSELVES they're not dangerous. Circumstances made them so. And society as a whole, should show the ultimate mercy in showing that when the law wins, it has a moral right to win, because it is better than the rules of those it has defeated.

In not enforcing eye for an eye justice, we prove the moral right of the law to be obeyed. The law exists, to make life more humane. Otherwise, it is worthless.

So. What do we do with those we know are a danger. Currently, we have to let them out, but we can't let them out of our sight. Deep down we know that no matter how hard we watch them, most will re-offend.

And their disease cascades down the generations, as abused grows up to become abuser. It warps and twists our society, a society where one in ten must carry the burden of being the victim of sexual abuse.

We need to tackle this. And regrettably, there is really only one way. And it's brutal.

And yes, you would be right to point out that in one sense, its a scheme that has overtones of totalitarianism.
Because I'll be blunt. It's an extermination programme. I won't call it anything else.

I propose to actually exterminate them. Physically.

I'll admit that this is one part of my thinking on criminal justice that I only finally realised was the ultimate logical position recently. Here is the thinking.

Originally, I'd considered that the best thing to do with these sorts of offenders was have a few highly secure units that they couldn't escape from- the only 'prisons' I'd keep, but ensure they were looked after well. The same rules would apply to them as to those judged criminally insane. In effect, I'd simply be classing all sex offenders as criminally insane. But I figured that all of them should be treated as well as they could in there, the idea being that they were simply incurably people the rest of us didn't want around the place. Which is fact. It doesn't matter ultimately why they are the way they are. The fact is, you can't change it, and we don't want them around. The lives of the rest of us are better off if they're safely locked away and nothing can change that.

But then I got to pondering a slight illogicality in the overall position.

Because I do agree that where it has to be taken as pretty much certain that the prospects of a person ever having a life without physical pain and suffering are virtually non-existent, that person should have the right to die.

And I also believe that doctors are right to switch coma victims off, if the prospects of their coming out of the coma are tiny. Because in a sense, they probably are suffering.

And I found myself thinking that surely, in these cases, having to be locked up forever because you're just too disgusting for your peers to want you to live in their company, surely that existence is one lacking in quality.

In fact, would it not be the most humane thing to say that assisted suicide is the right decision. It's not suicide, you say. But in a sense it is. You could legitimately argue that this person is so far from the grounds of what normal human beings term rational, that he is not competent to decide on his own quality of life. It has to be determined by others. And if you took as the assumption that no sane person could bear to live and have such sick impulses, you could rightfully judge that they were condemned to a life of no quality, with no prospect of improvement, and yet incapable to request their own euthanasia.

In other words, I propose that the simple procedure should be that all sex offenders should be assessed on conviction to see if there is a realistic prospect of their being cured. And if the answer is no, a simple shot in the arm solves the problem.

Put down, like a dog. But humanely. It doesn't have to be some morbid ritual- think more the way the the old man dies in The Secret of Soylent Green. Nice music and a nice video to go out with.

And I'd suggest being ruthless about it. Really. It's a disease. Usually incurable, if it takes root. It really doesn't matter what causes it, or whether some cultures once thought it OK. Fact is, we've decided its not good for society they way we want society to be, to tolerate it at all.

What I would suggest is that an initially harsh extermination programme would soon remove the bulk of the apparent problem. Then the next step would be to look under the carpet. Because the abuse would remain, just now the spotlight would be shining on it.
In time, with enough persistance, abusers would be quickly uncovered and swiftly despatched.
And the stats would soon tell you how much the problem was nature, and how much nurture.

So even if it turned out to be genetic, society could now decide if it wanted to sterilise the possessors of certain genes known to be a problem.

People might suggest this is a harsh and brutal approach. I would simply pr pose they consider this well known thought experiment, used often in decision making training.

You are walking beside a train tracks. Ahead of you the line branches.
The points are set to the right.

No train is due for hours. To the right, five children are playing on the line.

To the left, a Workman fixes the track.

Sudden;y, you look behind you to see a runaway carriage hurtling down the line.

The children can't hear you. The workman can't hear you.

But you can get to the points before the carriage does.

What do you do?

Do you do ANYTHING?

And that of course, is the point of the thought experiment. Can your conscience live with either choice?

Because it seems to me, we can actually eradicate the problem of sex offenders once and for all. It really is in our power to do so. Its just we fear the implications of deliberately doing so. One point is the idea that we're playing God.
Thing is once, you've started growing ears on the backs of mice, you're kind of in God's toybox anyway.

It does sound like a 'Final Solution'. Because it is. But perhaps the best parallel I can find is this. Arthur Miller's play The Crucible is a powerful use of a historical event, the Salem Witch Trials, to make a point about the then contemporary McCarthyite Communist hunt. But as one critic pointed out, the parallel was flawed for the simple reason that the McCarthyites were at least hunting something that existed.

You see, the thing that was wrong with the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Problem', ultimately, was that in its assumption that the world would be better without Jews in it. We don't agree with that.
But we DO agree the world would be better without sex offenders. We're all agreed on that. And there really IS only one long term solution to the problem, one that eradicates it for good.

And I can't help feeling that the facts are that we can now potentially identify, eliminate and eradicate for good, a minority of society that cause harm to the existence of society, disrupt its existence and who add entirely to the detriment of the concept of the greatest human happiness.

We can wipe them out.

And we should.

Please do NOT read this as telling you go out on a vigilante crusade. I'm talking about society having the right to eradicate them, having been given that power by democratic consent. Not you as individuals thinking you should get an early start on the task.


Anonymous said...

I think you should move to Iran and propose this. They're more serious about their sex offences there. If you'd enlightened them early enough my friend Amir wouldn't have had to go to the trouble of fleeing his country. He wouldn't be covered in scars. He wouldn't have had to go through all the red tape of the international amnesty process. He wouldn't have had to be repeatedly tortured. He'd have just been mercifully killed by democratic consent.

Anonymous said...

Well while that is a solution it is a bit final for me, although I certainly could advocate for compulsory chemical castration.

There is always surgical castration although I don't know how many many would be onside with that one.

Anonymous said...

I just don't think any complex human problem can be fixed in such a divisive way. Tempting but there would be too many shades of grey.

But I agree with you that for the sick and evil and absolutely proven guilty - God it would be easy to just shove a needle in their arm and deny them breathe.

Anonymous said...

Where do you set the bar? what constitutes a sex offence? Much as paedophiles, for example, revolt me I want them the have long, miserable lives.

Anonymous said...

This post was abrasive and long, as usual. I wish you'd write shorter posts, but you know that.

Here are a few of my thoughts. You may not agree with me, and that's your right, but I agree with me and won't be moved on them.

You said abut murderers.."few minutes of intent. A few minutes of total loss of self control." and they should be released...

I say it takes even less than a few minutes to sexually abuse a child and you're proposing death. Where is the equality of the crime?

A survivor of sexual abuse can live their life to a full and happy end.. a dead victim can't seek therapy once their life is extinguished.

You said about victims "And their disease cascades down the generations, as abused grows up to become abuser"

Many many hundreds of thousands of victims DO NOT grow up to be abusers and they would find great insult and offense to read this. Being abused as child may offer ideas why someone turns into a perpetrator, but does not excuse the behaviour. Also, given that many child sexual abusers are KNOWN and loved by their victim, it is a fact that many victims do not want their victim to die, or go to jail, they just want the abuse to stop. Many familiar perpetrators also bring income into the home, take the kids fishing and have alot of positive behaviours, but they have a serious negative behaviour. Going by your theory does that mean that innocent wives, children also lose a father if he chose to abuse a child? Maybe. Why should more innocent people suffer?

Chemical castration is not an option to prevent perps from re-offending. They can use fingers, pay other people, and film, or use objects to satisfy their unnatural urges.

You said "carry the burden" just after you said that victims will grow into abusers and be put to death. This is a contradiction.

An extermination program is along the same lines of Hitler committing genocide because he thought Jews were inferior. I don't think this is healthy, Crushed.

I've spoken with sexual offenders in my line of work and if they could summon the courage to take their lives for their offenses they would. I also work with victims who would shoot them given half a chance.

I do not agree that a generalised answer is suitable to either party.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

These are the teeth of your brave new world I guess?

OK, All sex offenders are not insane and don’t need to be ‘disposed’ of. I would guess that probably the majority don’t.

Have you been reading those tabloids again? They seem to have a hang up with the term "sex offender". It will be daytime TV next, it’s a slippery slope you know ^_^

A teacher who falls in love with a pupil might be convicted of a sex offence, they might later marry that pupil. No matter what the law says they are not a danger and they are not really sex offenders. Not if it is a one off, that is just relationships

And from chat I just had with someone over this, they remember a female teacher got pregnant by a 6th former at their school. They married. I guess she would be on the sex offenders list these days.

And take it from me. Underage girls are sometimes desperate not to be taken for underage girls at parties and clubs and pubs. And they can manage to be pretty convincing too. Sometimes they can paint themselves into corners. If they end up in a bedroom with a guy they like does that make him a rapist? A sex offender?

Or a drunken fumble when two people are off on business, maybe a convention, or something. If at some point she has second thoughts while they are having sex it is a grey area. If he is capable of concentrating on anything else (like her talking) apart from you know what… Well if she went to the police it might technically make him a rapist, but I wonder, would you not think there but for the grace of god?

I do agree though that there are people who are as much a danger to others as a rabid dog, there is a danger they probably always will be. Those ones maybe should be treated like rabid dogs too and humanely destroyed. Maybe terrorists should be treated like enemy sabateaurs and shot? Or do you figure there would be none in your society?

I also agree that there are some times it would be cruel to keep a dog alive and maybe we should extend that same consideration to people as we show our pets, if they want it.

The problem with the last is that you also need to protect individuals from being ‘got rid of’.

Murderers. Well I can see that sometimes someone gets pushed too far, like catches a husband/wife in bed with someone else. If something sharp was easily to hand… well there but for the grace.. etc. go many of us.

Anonymous said...

FWG- I was referring to genuine sex offences.
I'm aware other culturss have other definitions.

My definition is, the simple one. Definite abuse/non-consensual sex.

jmb- Not sure it works. You do realise that one common way concubines amused themselves in harems was shagging the eunuchs?

Because as long as the castration takes place post-puberty, everything else will always work. Nothing you can do about that.

Castration in adulthood doesn't stop the urges, doesn't even prevent erection. It just prevents fertilisation.

Kate- And in the cases of the shades of grey, err on the side of caution.

But Gary Glitter? shot in the arm, no shadow of a doubt.

And I think it is humane. God, I don't propose anything less than that. I would hope society would do it that way, with all the mercy it showed a dog that had to be put down.

Jams- Yes, but you see, I don't want them to have misery. I think they already have it, just by being them.
I actually only propose this, because I really believe it to be more humane.

Ms S- Well, i'm not saying justioce should be about equality. That's the point. I'm not remotely after 'eye for an eye' justice.

I think the concept of punishment of any kind is barbaric.

The point is preventing future danger.

Most murderers will never kill again.
Most sex offenders will commit their offence again.
That's the difference.

I agree with you that hard cases make bad law, which is why I DID say ONLY if it was proved it was incurable. If it can be said for sure, that the abuser will not abuse again, then yes, I would want them to return to leading a normal life.

I agree, its quite a harsh proposal. If you follow my working, I did say orginally I had envisaged housing them in secure, but luxuriant accomodation.

It was only when i linked that to my thoughts on Euthanasia and considered the fact that like it or not, it is a vast waste of human energy housing and catering for the incurably anti-social, that I found myself pondering if there aren't certain cases where maybe people should be put down.

It's difficult, because as I say, I'm strongly opposed to the death penalty in principle.

Moggs- Yes. They are. I think sometimes think I prpose a simple hippy peace and love vision. In a sense I do. Because I believe those values are the best way to power us forward.
But I also believe that ultimately, its about increasing the efficiency of collective human living.

So I do embrace concepts such as genetic engineering, beleiving that we have reached the point where artificial selection may not be a bad thing.

Your point about teachers. Hmm.

This is going to sound sexist, but it depends on which way round it is. I actually don't see a thirty year old man and a SEVENTEEN year old girl as being any better than a sex offender, whether he's her teacher or not. I just do not agree with men having sex with girls almost half their age. It's exploitation.

I shagged a 17 year old girl once when I was 19. And I felt a bit guilty about it.

I think when you're my age, you shouldn't really look at girls much younger than 22. So, really, if you accidently shag a 15 year old, you're still wrong. Even if you thought she was older. Because she can't possibly have looked over 20.

Well, terrorists, I guess thee probbly always would be malcontents.

I don't know. Not one I'd pondered. I'd kind of hoped a genuine global democracy would be free of that. but I guess you would have revanchists and other fanatics out to impose totalitarian systems.

No, I wouldn't have them put down. I think what I would prpose is amply covered in the post- they'd be treated like any other offender. hey'd either be capable of being educated to see why unilateral action was wrong, or they'd be taken down next time by a SWAT team.

I knew one lad had done 14 years. 14 years because he and three mates got into a fight outside a kebab shop. Nowthe law is clear. If you carry on kicking someone with intent to injure, and they die, even though death wasn't the object, your intent to cause harm was.

I know he felt remorse the following day- he handed himself in as soon as he heard the bloke had died.

I don't think he was any threat to anybody. I'd have madehim go through an anger m,anagement course, possibly and alcohol awareness course, then let him go after six months.

What use did his 14 years locked up do anyone?

Anonymous said...

As a survivor of sexual abuse.

As someone work worked in the Criminal Justice System for many year.

I find this post offensive and logic defying on so many levels that I will not even try to elaborate.

A stint in prison does not a criminologist make.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, I can’t believe it. You are defending someone who kicked someone to death as ok. Just ‘cos he didn’t actually intend to kill them. Hardly picking them up and dusting them off was he. You “don't think he was any threat to anybody”? No not I guess not, not until the next time this asset to society was out with his mates, this paragon of virtue had one too many drinks and got irritated with someone?

I suppose it would have been different if he had picked up a girl and instead of kicking someone to death, had sex after not noticing that she had changed her mind. Then you would be all for putting him down.

As for your “30 year old guys going out with 17 year old girls are no better than paedophiles” line. Are you listening to yourself! What a pile of rubbish.

Did you even read up on the relative emotional/psychological development of males/females?

I gotta tell you the right 25, or 30, or 35, or 40 year old guy can have a lot of attractions to a 17-20 year old girl. If he has looked after himself he may even have improved in looks. He has probably grown up a bit, maybe made his way in the world with a job, a house, a car, savings, and maybe learned to talk to girls, treat them like people, and listen and have something interesting to say, can manage to have safe sex and make it last over 5 minutes. All a tall order I know!!

Some times you talk sense, but other times, like now, you talk (being polite about it) absolute non-sense.

Have a real think about it, please.