From: Paul Hughes <email@example.com>
>Ha! Perhaps. :-) Although in reality this is due to the fact that we
>more economic prosperity to *spend* in housing our criminals. Where as,
>Chinese government *makes* money by killing them off.
This implies (just a little bit) that every culture has approximately the same proportion or percentage of criminals -- regardless of how many actually get convicted or sent to prison. The diverse ways in which populations deal with criminality, without managing to completely eliminate crime, demonstrates the perennial quality of crime and punishment. However accurate this premise, journalists continue to write about rising and falling crime rates as if criminals conduct themselves in the manner of stock market speculators, responding to environmental and societal forces in deciding whether or not to commit some heinous crime.
But if the Bell Curve of crime varies from one society to the next, as most sociologists hurry to inform us, that clearly justifies the ongoing search for governmental remedies. The idea of heritable inclination to crime does not set well, except with a few socio-biologists, led by E. O. Wilson.
Crime, including violent crime, seems to furnish some evolutionary advantage, or else the behavior would get de-selected by natural biological process. Since violent criminals haven't got themselves bred out of the gene pool, then maybe we all have it in us to do a most dastardly deed if the opportunity presents itself. Remembering that crime plummets during wartime supplies a clue as to the real nature of crime: It has a situational character. People don't abhor violent crime as much as they pretend.
The schizophrenic angel/demon, Jekyll/Hyde profile of the human race argues best of all for a transhuman movement. Enough of this lunacy. The time has come to transcend the whole ugly past of human history. In five thousand years humans have waged a hundred thousand wars. Ascension beckons to everyone who would turn their backs on the killers and the executioners alike.
Oops... seems like I got carried away there. <blush> -zen