I can’t find the link to the correct Jordan Peterson talk, but he talks about what happens if someone kills your son, so you kill his wife and daughter, then he kills your sister, cousin, brother and mother, and so on, with escalating results until you have complete chaos and a bloodbath.
As Peterson explains it, the law is there to punish the guilty, protect society, avenge the innocent and — just as importantly — take away your responsibility of vengeance.
Hammurabic law postulated, among other things, that if a judge wrongly convicted a man to death, the judge had to be hanged too — thus making the decision important not just to the family of the wrongly convicted, but to the law and its enforcers.
In Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, when the undertaker’s teenage daughter is raped and beaten up by a group of young men, and the young men are set free without serious punishment, the undertaker says to Don Corleone (and I paraphrase): “The young men were freed by the law — but there was no justice for my daughter.”
Let me apply all three principles to our world today.
We all know that several criminals have been released from prison after a minimal period of incarceration, or freed by Soros prosecutors / liberal justices with minimal or no bail, and these criminals have gone on to commit the same, equivalent or even worse crimes soon thereafter — sometimes within hours of release.
They, in other words, have benefited from the law (whether rightly or wrongly applied is irrelevant, the outcome is the same), but their victims have received no justice.
Under Hammurabic law, the prosecutors would themselves be imprisoned / executed for the subsequent murders; the parole boards would be likewise punished for the crimes committed by the freed parolees. But of course, we know that sadly, none of this will ever happen (unless I become World Emperor, in which case…).
So while the law has been ignored, misapplied, twisted, or even broken, the victims of these crimes have received no justice from the judicial system and its agents.
Now remember this part: “the law is there to… take away your responsibility of vengeance”?
At some point soon, it will come as no surprise to me that the families of victims may seek to take revenge — in the absence of the law’s application — upon the people who are responsible for the criminals’ actions: prosecutors, judges, parole board members, whoever. And it will be no use wringing hands and wailing about people “taking the law into their own hands” or “becoming a lynch mob” or anything like that, because when the law breaks down and does not fulfill any of its duties to society, ordinary people are going to seek their own vengeance.
What’s more, I will refuse to condemn their actions, because as far as I’m concerned, these legal charlatans deserve their fate, all of it. It’s not even a question of saying, “Well, I deplore their actions but I sympathize with their feelings.”
I’m going to applaud their actions, because at the end, what alternatives did they have?
I just feel sorry for the people who are going to be driven to exact the vengeance that the law failed or refused to provide, because they are going to be fully punished, you betcha.
This dam is going to burst, and it’s going to happen sooner than anyone thinks.