On free will and criminals

Fellow sufferers, a lot has been written about free will on this blog and those of you who are regular readers know the opinion of yours truly. In this address by Clarence Darrow, he makes such a compelling argument for bringing down of prison walls one wonders why several years later, the Americans still have the highest prison population among any nation in theย developed and industrialized west.

Once during an argument with some buddies of mine, I told them what they call justice is nothing other than the rich protecting their property. Clarence writes

The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world. They were never organized or enforced to do justice. We have no system for doing justice, not the slightest in the world.

a statement I find hard to disagree with. Elsewhere he says

Hanging men in our county jails does not prevent murder. It makes murderers.

something yours truly agrees with. But more so it is the concluding remarks that I will share before sending you to read the whole article as an assignment from your genial host.

The only way in the world to abolish crime and criminals is to abolish the big ones and the little ones together. Make fair conditions of life. Give men a chance to live. Abolish the right of private ownership of land, abolish monopoly, make the world partners in production, partners in the good things of life. Nobody would steal if he could get something of his own some easier way. Nobody will commit burglary when he has a house full. No girl will go out on the streets when she has a comfortable place at home. The man who owns a sweatshop or a department store may not be to blame himself for the condition of his girls, but when he pays them five dollars, three dollars, and two dollars a week, I wonder where he thinks they will get the rest of their money to live. The only way to cure these conditions is by equality. There should be no jails. They do not accomplish what they pretend to accomplish. If you would wipe them out, there would be no more criminals than now. They terrorize nobody. They are a blot upon civilization, and a jail is an evidence of the lack of charity of the people on the outside who make the jails and fill them with the victims of their greed.

Address to prisoners at the Chicago Jail by Clarence Darrow

If you don’t follow WEIT, you may want to visit his site there is a lot of biology to learn, cat stories for cat lovers, music for music lovers and gems such as these for those who have time to spare reading philosophy. So get over there too and learn something new.