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Justice is not about vengeance, punishment or obedience

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Justice?

Death penalty is the most monstrous reflection of the prevalent thinking about justice, the same kind of thinking which fuels "justice" systems all over the world. When we look at the way this kind of "justice" works it is clear that the dominant theme is punishment and vengeance. The focus is not so much on righting the wrong or restoring balance, but rather to have an eye for an eye, a life for a life and exchange suffering for more suffering.

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind". "Justice" that is served as revenge is not justice at all. It is just a perpetuation of evils justice was supposed to right in the first place. Instead of restoring balance vengeance simply swings the pendulum in the other direction. Given that so much of the world's justice system is operating on the basis of vengeance there truly is very little true justice in the world indeed.

It doesn't help that most people believe that a single group of people with a non-proportional amount of power over others is the only one who can rightfully serve justice. For some reason, some delusion, people believe that only governments have the right not only to define what exactly justice is, but to thus be the only ones who can administer it. The resulting lack of competition in the justice market ensures that the worst justice administrator wins. Of course, that's what coerced monopolies are after all. A single player in the entire market is the worst player and the best player at the same time and nobody is allowed to do it better.

Furthermore, in so many ways justice ends up being less about restoring balance between two or more individuals and more about punishing people for breaking the arbitrary rules established either by the few or supposedly by the majority. Thus such things as downloading music from a particular web site, failing to mow the lawn (Ohio, US), smoking in a supposedly public place, deciding to keep what you've earned and so on become crimes and justice becomes a punishment for those crimes - crimes of which there is often no victim to be found. They are "crimes" solely because some group of people decided that thou shalt not do such things, guided primarily by their own arbitrary opinions and pretensions.

Thus today's justice is in fact injustice posing in its place, a sham that people continue to subject themselves to. It is merely vengeance and decrees of the rulers.

As I've already implied above true justice should be about restoration of balance or harmony between people, not about punishment and revenge. If a person steals from you what kind of justice is it to put him in jail? That wont bring you what was stolen. If a person inflicts physical harm on you, what kind of justice is it to harm him back? Don't you want to heal? If a person kills will killing him in turn bring your loved one back? Or will it simply leave a bad cynical taste in your mouth. Standing triumphant as you hear the news that the murderer was murdered, how much better do you truly feel?

Wouldn't it be better if you sought the thief return the stolen and compensate you for the time you've been without your property? Wouldn't it be better if the person who physically harmed you paid your medical bill? Wouldn't it be better if the person who killed your loved one was rehabilitated, brought to terms with his crime and motivated to make it up for you and your family as much as possible?

Rehabilitation is a far cry from what the modern notion of it seems to be. It certainly does not start by promising the murderer a death penalty as he waits with his psychologically broken down and mutually repressed inmates in a dirty cell. Modern jails are pathetic incubators of mental sickness. They are as if built to make the hard criminals even harder. They reflect the punishment mentality that guides the thinking of the current justice administrators. How then can you wonder why, even right before he was to be murdered for his murders, he has no remorse?

How could he have remorse when he was put into an environment in which remorse would probably be looked down upon as a weakness in a "dog eats dog" culture where being human appears to be a liability!

True justice cannot be administered by people who enjoy punishing. Neither can it be administered by those who seek to rule you. It cannot be administered by judges appointed by their rulers to do their bidding and to defend their decrees. It can only be administered by people who have it in their highest interest to provide the best service possible, to establish a win-win relationship and to make the best possible outcome even from the worst situation - people who do not spend their schooling memorizing arbitrary laws, but rather studying philosophy and the science of being human and thinking for themselves about it as they strive to beat the competition in the business of bringing harmony to the world.

These people will not, I guarantee you, work for the government. And if they will, do not expect them to serve you.

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Daniel Memenode signatureDaniel Memetic

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