21A032 Retribution by Jim Davies, 8/24/2021
It's all the archists understand; their benighted outlook even made it into popular culture with "Let the punishment fit the crime" in Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado. Someone breaks the law, lock him up. The heavier the crime, the longer the time in what they call their "correctional institution."
In the opera, the Mikado (ruler) decreed that the penalty for flirting was death (so watch out, Andrew Cuomo) but his minions thought that excessive and found a way around it. They got Ko-Ko, who had been condemned to death for that crime, appointed Lord High Executioner, and since he could not decapitate anyone else without first decapitating himself, everyone survived. The arrangement is only slightly more absurd than the real one operated here by government as a "justice" system.
Cages abound in the governments "correctional institutions" but correction itself is a rarity. Two thirds of all prisoners are "repeat offenders" - they are on their second or subsequent visit, the first having totally failed to set them on a righteous path. That 66% failure rate ought to lead to a radical re-evaluation of the whole idea... but guess what, it doesn't. The signs at the entrance ought to say "State of Absurdity / Retribution Facility" or "State of Hypocrisy / College for Advanced Criminal Training" but they don't. Instead, archists sometimes try to justify retribution by claiming it "protects society" but it's a poor protection that fails in two cases out of three. Such is government advertising.
Another sick phrase circulates: punishment is called "paying one's debt to society," just as if a baby opens, upon being born, an account with everyone else. No such ledger page has ever been detected. If a krime is committed, it might be that the account is opened then, but that's an obvious falsehood; there may well be a debt owed to the person who's damaged, but "society" as a whole played no part in it beyond hearing of the incident in a news broadcast.
So imprisonment and other forms of punishment amount to retribution or revenge, and that's the net of it. Even a victim's family is often reported as being satisfied, to a degree, if the perp is convicted with a heavy sentence; the whole process is primitive, savage and deeply unhealthy.
Retribution has an ancient history; it underlay Babylonian and Roman law as well as Jewish, with its famous "eye for an eye" principle in Exodus 21. It's true that in all these cases the law was intended to prevent punishment extra to the degree specified, such as two eyes for an eye; but still, the makers of law could not or would not grasp that punishment itself was a profoundly disgusting concept.
What, then, is the alternative that will prevail in the coming Zero Government Society?
Restitution, of course! - for the ZGS will come into being only after rational principles have been comprehensively understood, and those begin with the axiom of self-ownership; the universal right to own and operate one's own life. It follows that if that right is violated (a person is injured, or his property stolen...) then it needs to be corrected; the injury needs to be reversed, as far as feasible, and only that reversal can properly be described as "justice."
Third-party vengeance, for example imprisonment by government (G), is nowhere relevant. A hurts B, so the damage to B must be corrected. That alone suffices, and a third party C gets involved only if A will not correct his action voluntarily (and C will be a free-market justice industry, with competing courts etc.) The whole and sole purpose of the industry will be to ensure, as far as is feasible, that B's rights are restored by A to their status quo ante. Then alone will justice have been done.
This contrasts completely with today's fraudulent excuse for "justice." The victim (B) is currently involved only as a witness to a crime; A's bad act is treated as an offense against society, rather than the obvious fact that it was an offense against B. The outcome of the monopolized court system gives no restoration of B's damaged rights; the most he gets is a "thank you" for testifying. The aggressor (A) is then punished by G at the expense of D, the taxpaying public. What a swindle!
A question may arise: how will C enforce its verdict on A?
Not a problem, given that information will flow freely in the ZGS; there will be no media cartel to suppress news, as happens daily now. Should A refuse to accept the verdict of a court, his refusal will be very public. He will swiftly find as a result that he has been shunned by all who hear of it; nobody will do business with him (by buying his services, or selling him food and drink...) Accordingly, he will become a hermit, or else die of starvation. That may happen. But not often.