Saturday, October 02, 2010

Knee jerk reactions on road rules destroying lives

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Another death has been caused because of silly government 'punitive' regulations which impose arbitrary standards upon our citizens to the extent that they cause people to escalate the risks to the broader community. The counter-argument of course is that:
"The law is the law. If we don't adopt punitive measures, then there will be no justice. Youths will do as they please".
It is of course one thing to support the 'rule of law', but does it not depend on the quality of the law. Do we, as a community, want to sanction any and all laws that politicians enact. I don't need to tell you that a great many laws are arbitrary, and thus they fail to consider the context in which they are intended to apply. The implication is that people who think the law sux for good reason, are in a fit of protest, feeling compelled to take action to avoid punitive action by police, and compelled to flee the scene of the 'crime'. We need to remember that the justice system is not particularly fair.
I am reminded of traffic offences I have driving 12kmph over the limit driving up a hill with an inclination of 30 degrees. I was pacing the momentum of the car to preserve speed, which meant I was speeding according to the arbitrary limit at the bottom of the hill. The policeman was not convinced and I was fined. Nevermind the 'acrobatic' stunts the police had to perform in order to catch up with me, as he was driving the other way. Nevermind the apprehension he caused me wondering whether he saw me or not. Nevermind the state of stress he left me in, whilst I needed to drive a further 4 hours. All cause for alarm, because all of these events heightened my level of risk.
But that is not the end of it. Consider that for speeding 12kmph, irrespective of whether I was driving up or down the hill, in fine weather or bad weather, in good or bad visibility; consider that I was fined for $120. Now, I could go to court and protest, but that would (in Australia) not extinguish the demerits against my licence, and the cost of attending court would not even cover the time and court costs which I would need to pay. So much for justice!
Oh, and what about all the time that police spend dealing with this issue; what about all the time that the courts spend dealing with these issues. What about the sentiments which transgressors come to feel about justice, i.e. That our justice is a punitive system which does not have their best interests at heart. It is a system which manifests in laws detached from the interests of real people, and thus can only be considered a system of 'injustice'.
Like Nazism, it is arbitrary rule that results in death. Ought we take consolation in the fact that the courts, the police, the politicians did not mean to do any of this...that it was an accidental and unintended consesquence of their civic duty. I personally would prefer to be free of their good intentions if their goodwill means persecution.
I started this post with a link to an article about a 22yo 'boy' who does not understand explicitly that he has done something wrong. He does not have my intellectual skills, but within him he knows that this system of justice is wrong, and that it ought to be reformed. But other ambivalent people care less because he broke the rules, he knew the rules. He did not think those rules on this particular day would impact him, and he clearly is powerless to fight them. He is a victim of a bad system, as you are, because this is just one manifestation of it. This one resulted in the death of an innocent party; and it will probably result in the destruction of the career prospects for this 22yo boy. And guess what - the politicians will say, the law is too soft. We need to be more pernicious because the existing law is not working. You think? You might wonder why, rather than engaging in knee-jerk reactions.
In other countries, we see pragmatic recognition of the flaws in this system. The problem of course is that pragmatism is merely a superficial concession that the system does not always work. It is the basis not for abandoning a bad system, but a concession made because people believe no system is perfect. This is the current climate of moral scepticism....that we have to accept some flaws. After all, we are sinners by nature. Right???? We need discipline.
Andrew Sheldon

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?