Author : Lucy Parsons
The unborn child is impressed, it feels the same disappointment that the mother feels; it is impressed upon it. We have robbed it before its birth, it enters the world with an unsatisfied, grasping nature. This proclivity grows steadily upon it with its growing years; the desire grows stronger because of poverty, and, finally, the child reaches forth and takes some one else’s property. This is theft, it is illegally done; then society for the first time takes an interest in this human being. It comes forward to punish the child, it is now ready to inflict torture upon the victim of its own false, unnatural, inhuman system. How much better, wiser and cheaper it would have been to make conditions natural and social so that the child could have seen the light of Earth under the best conditions possible, instead of—as is often the case—under the worst conditions.
How much better this would be than to have to build great, gloomy prisons, superintended by guardsmen, who harden and debase their natures still more. And the case holds good with murders, legal and illegal, or lynchings. The sensational press gives all the gory details of such occurrences in great glaring headlines. They catch the eye of thousands of prospective mothers; they are impressed by the horror and its details, and they in turn impress the unborn child. The child is born, it reaches man’s and woman’s estate, some adversity crosses its path, and the old prenatal impression rushes upon it and an awful deed is committed! The community is shocked and wonders where such a monster could have come from. Another candidate starts for the prison or the gallows. Thus the long procession is ever wending its way through the ages. The hoary-headed old hag, society, throws up her hands in “holy” horror when one of her children commits an awful deed. She never recognizes the fact that this is only the reflex of her own misdeeds. Crime is simply a social disease.
When society has grown wise enough to supplant the prison with the schoolhouse, the teacher for the hangman and kind treatment for punishment and substituting justice and kindness for brutality, we will hear very little more about “crime and criminals.”
From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.
March 25, 1906 : Crime and Criminals -- Publication.
July 18, 2019 : Crime and Criminals -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.
July 18, 2019 : Crime and Criminals -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.
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