Legal and Penal Systems: the Fauceir Stance

This actually is a reply to M. Pigliucci’s post on the American prison system.

By contrast, I admire the American prison system. Besides it is like the Russian system, and both countries share some features that probably make such a prison system more likely.

  1. Both are large countries. Nor primarily in the sense of a large population—China and India have even larger populations—but rather in the sense of vast and sparsely inhabited areas that make it easy for a criminal to disappear from a region where the crime was committed and reappear elsewhere to commit the next crime.
  2. And even more important. Both countries harbor a highly heterogeneous multicultural population that requires a high degree of tolerance which in turn makes it much more difficult to control potential criminals by customs such as neighbor watch.

Given these two reasons for a more severe penal system in large countries, I wonder if the present European system will change now that Europe becomes larger, easier to move home, and multicultural by significant immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. And those changes can be sensed already. Not surprisingly though, in Western Europe, Moslems are more likely to be imprisoned, same as Latinos and African Americans in the US. With the population of Moslems rapidly growing by immigration and height fecundity rate, the number of prisoners will happen to rapidly increase too.

That immigration in Europe has something to do with imprisonment can be sensed from the next chart. Switzerland and Scandinavia have a low prisoner rate as they also have greater impediments to immigration: A language difficult to learn, especially Finnish, a restrictive immigration policy, Switzerland for instance, and no former colonies that often serve as bridgeheads to immigrate to the motherland, UK is the predominant example.

It is rather naive to gauge the effectiveness of a legal system by summing up the cost of their prisoners alone. Criminals are always a burden to a society either by draining a society’s wealth when pursuing criminal acts or by consuming society’s resources during legal action or imprisonment. By contrast to the US, the Europeans legal system chose other priorities. In Europe they try to keep calm those criminal elements outside prison, but this also comes at a price. Add the costly European social systems, the various subsidies, and all kinds of social transfer payments and you get a rough estimate of that cost.

At this point, you may argue spending money for a social system is more beneficial to a society than say spending it for a penal system. That fits only partly. The way of bolstering the social system to prevent crime has serious drawbacks too.

  1. Laziness is infectious. If people learn that you can live a decent life based on social subsidies without work, it will spoil others.
  2. The increasing number of people who depend directly or indirectly on social transfer payments exerts a ripple effect on politics. Influential political parties exist that exclusively rely on such potential criminal elements. The effect of an altered constituency on the outcome of democratic election is described elsewhere by a mathematical model.

I strongly disagree over the five reasons why we want to incarcerate people. It is neither retribution, crime deterrence, rehabilitation, restitution to the victims, nor social denunciation that makes incarceration necessary as all these goals can be achieved by other probably cheaper methods. The only reason that makes practical sense is isolation to prevent people who are a burden to society from influencing the course of society.

Back to Fauceir Theory, a legal system in its capacity to isolate criminal elements is a fauceir and therefore its control function is characterized by imprecision and consumed resources. We talked about consumed resources already. Imprecision is an other issue. Imprecision not only includes those who are sentenced despite their innocence or vice versa. Imprecision also includes punishments that are either not effective to isolate criminal attributes or isolate favorable attributes as well. To give an example, a child abuser probably may become a valuable member of the society on an island where there are no children around. Same with a rapist. Put him into a coal mine and allow occasional well observed trips to a brothel and he probably will make a decent contribution to the society’s wealth.

Thus Fauceir theory does not tackle the rather ideological question why which legal system is better. Fauceir Theory asks how to evolve an existing legal system in term of improved precision and reduced resource consumption. This according fauceir rules can only be accomplished by including additional sub-fauceirs.


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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

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Evolutionary watchdogs and the discussion about eusociality

A nature article by M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson1 aroused a furious reaction. Six comments have been submitted to nature alone:

  • by Joan E. Strassmann, Robert E. Page Jr., Gene E. Robinson & Thomas D. Seeley2
  • by Edward Allen Herre & William T. Wcislo 3
  • by Krakauer DC, Flack JC.4
  • by Michael Doebeli5
  • by Nonacs P.6
  • by van Veelen M, García J, Sabelis MW, Egas M.7.
  • And this article by Markus Waibel, Dario Floreano8

can also be considered as related to this discussion.

I won’t give the fauceir stance on this subject here which deserves to Mato who will hopefully do this in the near future. My point is about the way discussions are held in evolutionary biology. Some insight provides this science article by Elizabeth Pennisi. Evolutionary biologist Stuart West who organized a roar of more than 130 scientists9 is quoted:

“[Our] letter is written in the hope that it will keep nonspecialists from wasting time on it.”

this can be simply rephrased:

“As in this case we were unable to prevent this article from publication we want to exert control on what is published now with all the power of a big crowd.”

Isn’t it shameful for a scientist to appeal to a fallacy like this?

“As most of the people thing the other way this cannot be true and should not be considered more seriously.”

Isn’t it the privilege of scientist to be true even if opposed by the majority? Didn’t famous scientists even lost their lives in their struggle for scientific advancement, Giordano Bruno for instance.

I like the allegory put forward by Steve Jones.

Not long ago, I was stung by a metaphor. A gang of paper-wasps guarding their shared nest, irritated at my exposition of their habits to a bunch of students, went on the attack. The effects were unpleasant — a hot, sweaty, choking feeling and an overwhelming desire to take a cool shower (which did not help).

An extraordinary scientist is not meant to be a mere social insect. He (please excuse sexists wording) used to develop outstanding ideas because he has an outstanding character, and an outstanding character can be maintained only by individualists. Well and these kind of people have to suffer the aggression of those who instinctively—as this is rooted in irrational behavior and only superficially rational activity—feel obliged to defend the hive. For decades Fauceir Theory challenges conventional evolutionary believes and has therefore bluntly dismissed. Mato should be please to learn that others share the fate.

It’s time for a change, now.


Marx’ great mistake

I think there is no better time to provide some short review of Marxisms than May, 1st.
Marx, having his work cited in many many scientific publications, was an important philosopher, no doubt about that.

Demonstration in Moscow

Downloaded from http://2space.net/news/

One of hist great ideas was that history has its rules. The evolution of societies, which is reflected by historical events is the main idea of fauceir evolution, too, the society being only one of many different fauceirs. Unfortunately, he made a mistake. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Every great scientist made his or her mistakes, so why not Marx. Ironically, his mistake was part of the rules in history. Erroneously, he regarded himself as an independent observer who only describes and interprets—as we all do—but of course he was only part of the story—as we all are.

His great discovery was progress in history. Human history improved from stone ages, through slavery and feudalism to capitalism. The latter being the most progressive as it favored dramatic progress in industry, science, and human culture. But as every fauceir capitalism has its drawbacks too. Inherent imprecision, we would call that from a more abstract point of view. Among other things these drawbacks included unemployment, cyclic crises, and great differences in income, and Marx thought he had found the solution, but he terribly failed. His solution, though it seemed to improve the drawbacks, made all things worse. What he proposed was not actually social progress but regress, a step backwards to feudalism. As a matter of fact, during feudalisms there was less unemployment rather a shortage of labor, there were few economic crises rather frequent wars. There most of the time was stagnation, restriction of human rights and many many other drawbacks.

Marx’ yearning for feudalism does not come as a surprise. He published his Manifesto 1949, while in Germany the democratic revolution took place. Almost every democratic revolution had its counter-revolution. Remember Cromwell in England, Napoleon in France, and Lenin’s October revolution after the democratic revolution in February 1917 in Russia.

Marx’ idea to reinstall feudalism was a bit different from what, for instance, Napoleon reinstalled which was outright feudalism. Marx’ idea of feudalism was meant to be a better one based on democratic elections and one that cared for social problems. This made his ideas more popular, but it was feudalism anyway, and sooner or later all the disadvantages of feudalism became apparent in all socialist countries. Socialism failed as feudalism failed centuries before.

As they correctly felt the danger of going back in history, many politicians sweepingly disapproved marxism in general, again a matter of imprecise fauceir control. But not until you will appreciate its merits will you be aware of its faults.

You have to understand marxism to dismiss its mistakes.


Creative Commons License

This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.