Note to the "ladder of force left"

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sun Oct 21 10:31:25 PDT 2001

Peter wrote:

> >Criminal justice doesn't exist to catch all those who commit crimes.
>>The main purpose of the police is not to protect people from those
>>who commit theft, robbery, rape, murder, etc., though in a limited
>>number of cases it may accidentally protect a few of us. It mainly
>>exists to discipline us all (Cf. Michel Foucault, _Discipline &
>>Punish_), while creating an ever larger pool of potential criminals
>>(Cf. high rates of recidivism), especially if punishments meted out
>>are really harsh. Likewise, the "war on terrorism" may possibly
>>destroy a few terrorists, but if it does, it does so only
>>accidentally. It won't make us safe from future terrorism; in fact,
>>it will help to perpetuate it.
>I don't think it's so cut and dry. Does this definition of criminal justice
>go for every society on the planet for all of human history?

"[E]very society on the planet for all of human history" is irrelevant, as the political question is how to respond to the world that exists, not the world of, say, 10,000 years ago. -- Yoshie

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