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Sunday, January 18, 2009


Government statistics indicate that crime has fallen in the aggregate and in most categories over the last 20 years. Why then does the installation of surveillance cameras increase at city, state, and federal governmental facilities? Why do increasing numbers of businesses employ security guards? Why do we see increased security measures at social functions? Why do some retail operations employ off duty policemen to supplement their security staffs?

Why with crime down does America have the highest incarceration rate in the world? A recent blog illustrated this fact in a more glaring way by stating that America has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners—an alarming statistic and something you might want to reflect upon, especially if you have sons. Why does one man in six between the age of 18 and 30 have a relationship with the law?

The proponents of strong security measures, early apprehension, and lengthy prison sentences point to the reduced incidence of crime as resulting from these practices. By their reasoning if all men were put in prison crime would be eliminated entirely. We certainly seem to be moving in that direction.

A society that has low crime rates because of intense security measures and punitive procedures lives in fear. A fearful society is not a cooperative society, nor does it offer good will. It cannot nurture effectively either. We in America and all of Europe live in such a society. We say that we live in free democracies but in reality we live in fear of imprisonment, fines, firings, and/or loss of various privileges necessary to our functioning and survival. Western society leads the world in litigation, imprisonment, and various forms of punitive action.

What we call primitive societies have low crime rates without extensive laws and punitive procedures. They do this because they work in a spirit of cooperation for the common good. Such societies are not limited to the Polynesians, Africans, and those living in the remote corners of South America; they existed up in America as well, and until recent times. I had the opportunity to be part of such a society in my early youth when I stayed at what can be loosely described as a boarding house on the Hiris farm in Hawley, Pennsylvania.

Farmer and Mrs. Hiris were Austro-Hungarians who came to this country shortly after World War I and started a small farm and a big family. They had eleven children—six girls and five boys—and were so poor that the early children all wore dresses, and for two reasons. First, Mrs. Hiris made all the clothes, and it was easier to make dresses than pants and shirts. Secondly, it was also easier to raise and lower hems on dresses and let seams in and out than to do the same on pants. All the children were educated in a one-room schoolhouse a quarter of a mile up the road. The Hiris’s lived off the land and off the money Mr. Hiris earned from delivering coal in the winter.

One summer a friend stayed with the Hiris’s for a few weeks and had a very pleasant and relaxed vacation. His monetary offer was refused when it was time to leave, but he insisted on paying and asked if he could bring a friend the following year. This event started the Hiris’s in the summer boarding house business

By the time I started going to their modest boarding house most of the children had gotten married and left the farm; however, they all lived nearby and helped with the chores as necessary. I never heard the family members raise their voices. They worked in a spirit of cooperation. Everyone knew the activities necessary to maintain the homestead. The cows had to be milked, the pigs slopped, the horse groomed and led to water. Firewood had to be cut and stacked for the seemingly insatiable appetite of the wood-burning stove in the kitchen. The men knew how to hunt, fish, trap, and in general keep the farm safe from predators. Inside, the women churned the butter, prepared the food, mended the clothes, and cleaned the rooms; they also knew how to fire a rifle if the occasion demanded it.

These children were raised during the Great Depression. Their parents were uneducated immigrants, and they received no governmental assistance. Most of them obtained their academic learning from a schoolmarm who taught eight grades in one room. These children had no contact with the law, and when they grew up, did not use drugs, only imbibed alcohol occasionally and socially, and earned their own way through life.

The glue that held this family together was the common purpose of sustaining themselves. That activity created an ethical core that governed family behavior. They also had a religious affiliation though their church attendance was limited to the winter months.

As you read the above it might seem like a fairy tale, but the activity that I described represents the way most of the world once lived. It did not need laws, police, prisons, orphanages and old age homes.

Getting back to present society, another gruesome statistic indicates that America has the most violent boys in the world tends to support the need for early incarceration. Its proponents would argue that we had better get the most violent boys off the streets before they become the most violent men and really do us damage. Why does this land of material abundance produce the most violent boys in the world? What motivates them to commit crimes? What kind of value structure do they have?

In my previous essay Laws Instead of Ethics in Western Society, I pointed out that men of ethics build organizations, and that without ethics all organizations will collapse. 90% to 95% of the boys and men in prison came from broken homes; they were raised without fathers, they were not exposed to ethics, and they have few morals.

The prospects for crime are growing rapidly as we churn out more children raised without the benefit of a family environment. When these children roam the streets in a society that appears to be in the throes of severe economic collapse the potential for thievery and all sorts of crime will increase. The amoral environment in which they were raised, and the lack of identification with members of society, will have left them without regard for anyone.

The powers that influence our nation know what they have created by removing male authority, destroying the family, and making religion impotent. They have removed all ethics from society and reduced our behavior to what is legal and illegal. They have paved the way for a police state, which will be the only option left to maintain order and relative safety. Increased surveillance is part of the preparations for that eventuality.

If you want to combat that tend then start living the most patriarchal way possible. Patriarchy is family. All values begin with the family.


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