Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hate crime and not Criminals

To begin let us first consider a hypothetical situation where a society is in a state of total collapse, where there is a lack of food, water, and money. 
In this given situation I think most of us; in fact all of us would resort to stealing, looting, fighting, and killing for survival if we had to. 
But in a day to day normally functional society, most of us will not need to resort to such behaviour for most of our lives. Most people are found saying things like – “Stealing is wrong and I would never steal. And if someone does he/she should be punished for it”, without realising that they would never steal because they never find themselves in a position where it becomes a choice between stealing or dying and that may be some other people steal and kill because they find themselves in such situations. I think in such drastic scenarios most of us would steal and kill if we had to.
But in a normally functional society that we live in on a day to day basis most of us will not need to resort to such behaviour for most of our lives. And most of us judge other people’s actions as right or wrong from our individual level of comfort, without realising that we have created a society in which everybody is selfishly competing with one another for survival, and in such a paradigm everybody is constantly trying to secure more resources for themselves and lesser for everybody else. In such a selfish and competitive paradigm people who succeed get rich and continue to get richer, while people who didn’t have the situations working in their favour lose and stay poor. 
So poverty is part of our social structure, it is woven into the very fabric of human society. If there are rich people, there will be poor people. Unless of course we evolve to a point where we all freely share all our resources equally.  
And in this poverty stricken daily reality of the majority of the world’s population living under poverty line, struggle for survival is a day to day reality and just like any other human being would in such situations, these people resort to whatever means they have to, in order to feed and protect themselves and their loved ones. 
So looking at the broader picture we are all as individuals equally responsible for the crime in the world, because we let our selfishness blind us from seeing that in our individual pursuit for more, we let some of our brothers and sisters slip through the cracks and live in conditions that no human or animal should live in. 
And if pushing fellow humans to such situations of desperation wasn’t enough, we then punish them by the law for doing something that we all would have done in similar situations. 
And in doing so, we are doubly wronging our fellow human beings. First we push them to a point of desperation and then we punish them for doing something that we all would have done in such desperate situations.  
Of course I cannot deny that there are some sociopathic people out there who commit crimes because they love it. But I have to admit that most of the sociopathic tendencies are bred in the horrible conditions that the poor of our society live in. And so even in case of such sociopathic people, it is the environment or the condition that is to be blamed which is poverty. 
And poverty is the direct result of uneven distribution of wealth which arises out of each one of our individual attitude of trying to secure more for ourselves and less for everybody else. 
In conclusion, I think arresting and locking up individuals who have committed crimes might be necessary, at least till a situation has been understood and resolved. But it is nowhere close to ridding the society of crime. 
An unhealthy act is an outcome of an unhealthy mind, and an unhealthy mind is an outcome of an unhealthy environment. We need to examine the environment. 

Through this thought I wish to at least make people think twice about this issue, if not rid the society of crime completely.

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