Punishments Create Crimes

Amazon.com

As one reads history, not in the expurgated editions written for school-boys and passmen, but in the original authorities of each time, one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment, than it is by the occurrence of crime.  It obviously follows that the more punishment is inflicted the more crime is produced…The less punishment, the less crime.  When there is no punishment at all, crime will either cease to exist, or, if it occurs, will be treated by physicians as a very distressing form of dementia, to be cured by care and kindness.  For what are called criminals nowadays are not criminals at all.  Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime.  That indeed is the reason why our criminals are, as a class, so absolutely uninteresting from any psychological point of view.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

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