The Punyness of Punitiveness

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2011-05-22 10:14

As everyone here knows, I detest Goblianity and its ethic of "turn the other cheek" towards evil. Equally, however, I detest the other side of that coin: gratuitous, sadistic punitiveness for its own sake.

I am moved to this observation after watching a documentary on the History Channel today, on Alcatraz. There the concept of "cruel and unusual punishment" was turned into an art form and accorded grim and graphic reality. For rebelling against their normal deprivations, prisoners were routinely thrown naked into tiny, freezing, pitch-black dungeons for weeks on end ... sensory deprivation and mortification of a kind that only Goblians, paradoxically, would jerk off to.

It was disgusting.

A blight on America.

At a certain point humane libertarians must iterate and reiterate that (prolonged) denial of liberty is sufficient punishment for assaults on liberty, and that a civilised society does not exact literal retribution of the eye-for-an-eye kind.

And I don't give a shit what Ayn Rand might have said, or been deemed to have said (more likely this latter), to the contrary.