Sunday, 25 January 2009

The price is eternal vigilance

Nothing gives me the willies like the death sentence. Every now and then it just creeps up behind you and you think..."Given half a chance the populace would vote for it."
Its stupidity is exposed from time to time, and indeed its evil nature.
The announcement this week that China will execute two people involved in the milk scandal (you know where stuff got into milk, lollies...etc... and people died as a result) exposes some things about the death sentence that are worth noting.
Now China is China, and because they are big, influential and rich we usually just shut up and let them get on with it. But this is ridiculous.
Even in Texas they don't execute people for industrial malfeisance. It rather exposes that what China does so often with its penalties is to demonstrate that it is doing the right thing (in its eyes) is not punishing, it is showing it is tough.
Because we can see that it is stupid to even consider execution for such crime, it raises the question of whether it is justified for anything. Just what does it achieve other than the sense that we are tough.
What gives me the willies, then, is the fear that the bully in nations and as individuals...often just wins out.It is not, and is never, about rationality.

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