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« Vietnam chickens come home to roost | Main | Look to the mountain »

August 27, 2004


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I recently had the same basic thought. Even if it happens that Kerry should win, a generation of men who felt their honor was besmirched by the anti-war movement will have had their day in the sun, gotten their word out. That may just be a healthy thing.

There are other, more disturbing implications.

From one point of view, most of the Justice System is directly involved in altruistic punishment. So if altruistic punishment generates pleasure in similar ways to cocaine, then is it psychologically addictive like cocaine?

What if susceptible individuals become 'punishment junkies'?

Yes, Dean. I think it's huge.

Ryan. Good questions. I don't know. I just think the Darwinian approach is very promising.

Surely sadism arises when an individual figures out how to stimulate the sensation of pleasure through punishment even when the victim does not deserve the punishment. Stalin and Saddam did this by insisting that those they killed were evil "enemies of the people" even when such a charge was, by any rational standard, absurd. Such murderers could not ever admit that their punishments were actually crimes. If they did, their mindset would then demand that they be punished. Perhaps that's the origin of masochism. They also could not tolerate anyone pointing out their irrationality or their entire framework of justification would collapse. This explains why they were so darn touchy!

"...but this exactment of revenge by a generation of wronged Vietnam veterans now playing out on the national stage may be a necessary catharsis long overdue, an "altruistic punishment" to restore national cooperation."

There's one thing wrong with this argument, the wronged vets have been part of national cooperation. The wacko lefties have been sabotaging this country steadily for 35 years.

How does this revenge get the lefties to cooperate for the national good?

You're right, Jabba the Nutt. That is the Nutt we still have to crack. :)

Very interesting proposition, Robert Speirs.


Tell me more, stupid. :)

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