Wednesday, August 24, 2016

de Boer: The Contradiction Between Progressive Attitudes To (a) Sex Crimes and (b) All Other Crimes

   Insomnia's bad, so brain no worky...but this seems really, really good on a first read. I'm amazed and annoyed that I didn't think of this. Especially since it's very clear to me that (a) the left is too soft on violent crime in general and (b) it is too hard--hard to the point of insanity--on accusations of sexual assault and domestic abuse. They're obviously wrong about both things...but it's hard to even make the case that they're wrong about something without an outright inconsistency. "Progressives", it seems to me, generally won't admit to any error other than not being progressive enough... But what de Boer's argument shows is that they've gone too far to the left on at least one of the two issues. In fact, of course, they've gone too far to the left on both.
   I've noted before from time to time that "progressives"* are largely delusional about "the carceral state." There's no way to get the prison population down to levels that will make progressives happy without releasing a whole lot of violent criminals. Just releasing non-violent drug offenders will not do the trick. Progressives speak as if having a lot of people in prison is clearly, all things considered, an evil thing. It isn't. It depends on how many violent criminals you have in your society. It's bad to have a lot of violent criminals, of course...but given that you have  lot of violent criminals, it's better to have them locked up than not. Having lots of people in prison may show that you should be doing things differently--doing them in a way that helps bring down rates of violent crime (to the extent that that can be done with public policy). But it may be basically a good thing given your real and relevant current options.
   And, of course, the left is utterly crazy about sexual assault right now, as the way its being treated on campuses makes clear. The "listen and believe" madness really is off the loony scale. And this can't be blamed merely on the fringiest fringe of the academic left--the DoJ is enforcing something akin to that view as law on all public universities.
   How the contradiction escaped me is beyond me.
   At any rate, I just want to point out: since both views are crazy, we can't resolve the contradiction by adopting one of them and adjusting the other accordingly. Neither will work. The view that it's better to have violent criminals victimizing the innocent than it is to have high incarcerations rates is daft. And so is the trendy view of sexual assault according to which all accusations should be believed, burdens of proof on accusations should be radically lightened, and "victims" can decide months or hears after the fact that sex was non-consensual.
   Both views have to go.

* I've just decided to go ahead and use "progressive" to mean, roughly, bad liberal. Or rather, to mean something like: bad very lefty liberal or member of the rightward edge of the PC/identity politics left or liberal too weenieish to defend the term 'liberal' after it became a term of abuse.


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