Thought for the Day: Robert Nisbet on the Necessity of Punishment

A reminder from the great sociologist Robert Nisbet:

“There is no substitute for punishment in a social order, and that means holding human beings accountable, treating them as human and therefore responsible. Concern for human rights is rampant these days, but a right is possible in the strict sense only for beings who can be rationally regarded as responsible. The celebrated dignity of man oozes away in an atmosphere where man is so little prized for his unique mental and moral qualities as to be classified from the start a victim. Rights, duties, responsibilities, restraints, consciences, moral codes, all of these are visibly softening and decaying under the influence of victimology—no longer a specialty of criminology but a gigantic malaise of Western society.”

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.