Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Smack go the courts

Last week I quoted John Key’s now infamous comment on the Bradford/Clark/Key anti-smacking law that “To date I have not seen any evidence that it is not working.”

I quoted MacDoctor, who says the real damage is “being felt in family dynamics, not in law enforcement. There is considerable fear, uncertainty and doubt about the new law and what is really acceptable.”

Lindsay Mitchell offers further evidence today that the real damage lies in both quarters – that “the police can and will prosecute any degree of force on hearsay” and use the full weight of this non-objective law* to sow uncertainty, doubt, disorientation and dejection.  Read her story and weep with her.
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* What do I mean by non-objective law?  Among other things, Objective law requires that folk “know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.”  Only a fool could suggest that the Bradford/Clark/Key anti-smacking law fits that bill, as the case reported by Lindsay Mitchell highlights. An entry on this topic in the Ayn Rand Lexicon describes the future for family dynamics under such a law:

When men are caught in the trap of non-objective law, when their work, future and livelihood are at the mercy of a bureaucrat’s whim, when they have no way of knowing what unknown “influence” will crack down on them for which unspecified offense, fear becomes their basic motive . . .  Non-objective law is the most effective weapon of human enslavement: its victims become its enforcers and enslave themselves.

And at this point we’re back to MacDoctor’s argument that the real damage is being felt in family dynamics, not in law enforcement – in this light we can now see the damage in the former is due to the non-objective rent in the latter.

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