Thursday

Re: Rape

Laurence says that "...Liberals tend to either see crime as a consequence of social and economic conditions, or as a treatable "illness"." It is. Crime can be an indirect result of hunger, for example. Feed the thieving child and you'll have prevented a potential criminal from actually becoming one. To use a popular cliché, crime is not nature, it is nurture. Lock 'em up and stick 'em up philosophies tend to breed and develop more ills than they actually solve.
Strictly speaking, both approaches are valid. I'm sure that there are some genuinely poor, starving people out there who have turned to theft in order to feed themselves, and would gladly give up their lives of crime if only they could find honest employment. And I'm also sure that there are also plenty of criminals who are simply bad people, who have started hijacking cars and the like because they figure it's an easy way to make money. I guess criminals in the first group might have a genuine shot at being "rehabilitated", but criminals in the second group never will.
I feel better after reading that. But it doesn't in the least change my view of how the issue should be tackled. A person who commits a crime and is found guilty of the crime by a court of law should be locked up. There are rather a lot of crazy folks around. But efforts at socially limiting the number of those crazy people must never cease. I don't know many normal people who have enough to eat and drink but commit crimes. The abnormal ones, to be sure, need psychiatric help. In his post, Laurence talks about Nick's post on rape. I think Nick (Posted on 6 June 2004) wanted to bring up the question of indifference among southern African men, or perhaps African men, full-stop.
Now, rape is an interesting crime because, by definition, it fits the conservative approach. Unlike theft, there is no possible economic justification for rape. Nobody can whine and make excuses about the "root causes" of rape. Rape is caused by evil people - it's that simple. [bold type is mine]And you know what that means... if you want to put a dent in the rape statistics, punitive justice is the only way to go.
There is no possible economic justification for rape. That's a fact. But you must know that even for theft there isn't any justification, be it economic or otherwise. The word isn't justification, but perhaps explanation. "Why do they do it," we wanna know. That's why when you go to the doctor's you have to answer those stupid questions they like to ask (I hope my doctor doesn't read this). No ill can be removed if it's source is unknown. And rape is surely the result of silly social behaviour, among others.