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Walter E. Williams
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Cultural Deviancy, Not Guns


There's a story told about a Paris chief of police who was called to a department store to stop a burglary in progress. Upon his arrival, he reconnoitered the situation and ordered his men to surround the entrances of the building next door. When questioned about his actions, he replied that he didn't have enough men to cover the department store's many entrances but he did have enough for the building next door. Let's see whether there are similarities between his strategy and today's gun control strategy.

Last year, Chicago had 512 homicides; Detroit had 411; Philadelphia had 331; and Baltimore had 215. Those cities are joined by other dangerous cities — such as St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., Flint, Mich., and Camden, N.J. — and they also lead the nation in shootings, assaults, rapes and robberies. Both the populations of those cities and their crime victims are predominantly black. Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered. Close to 100 percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are also most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery. The magnitude of this tragedy can be seen in another light. According to a Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute study, between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites.

What percentage of murders, irrespective of race, are committed with what are being called assault weapons? You'd be hard put to come up with an amount greater than 1 or 2 percent. In fact, according to FBI data from 2011, there were 323 murders committed with a rifle of any kind but 496 murders committed with a hammer or a club. But people who want to weaken our Second Amendment guarantees employ a strategy like that of the Paris chief of police.

They can't do much about hammers, clubs, fists or pistols, but by exploiting public ignorance, they might have a bit of success getting an "assault weapon" ban that will have little impact on violent crime.

There are other measures these people employ in an attempt to end violence that border on lunacy. Massachusetts' Hyannis West Elementary recently warned a 5-year-old's parents that if their son made another gun from a Legos set, he'd be suspended. Elementary-school children have been suspended or otherwise disciplined for drawing a picture of a gun or pointing a finger and saying, "Bang, bang." I shudder to think about what would happen to kids in a schoolyard if they played, as I played nearly 70 years ago, "cops 'n' robbers" or "cowboys 'n' Indians." Maybe today's politically correct educators would cut the kids a bit of slack if they said they were playing "cowboys 'n' Native Americans."

What explains a lot of what we see today, which politicians and their liberal allies would never condemn, is growing cultural deviancy. Twenty-nine percent of white children, 53 percent of Hispanics and 73 percent of black children are born to unmarried women. The absence of a husband and father from the home is a strong contributing factor to poverty, school failure, crime, drug abuse, emotional disturbance and a host of other social problems. By the way, the low marriage rate among blacks is relatively new. Census data show that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults from 1890 to 1940. In 2009, the poverty rate among married whites was 3.2 percent; for blacks, it was 7 percent, and for Hispanics, it was 13.2 percent. The higher poverty rates — 22 percent for whites, 35.6 percent for blacks and 37.9 percent for Hispanics — are among unmarried families.

Other forms of cultural deviancy are found in the kind of music accepted today that advocates killing and rape and other vile acts. Punishment for criminal behavior is lax. Today's Americans accept behavior that our parents and grandparents never would have accepted.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



21 Comments | Post Comment
excellent article Dr. Williams. too bad we can't appoint you and/or Dr. Sowell to the Presidency.
Comment: #1
Posted by: big Doug
Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:18 AM
big Doug,
In 2000, we tried appointing somebody to the presidency. It didn't work out so well. I'll stick with voting. William F. Buckley Jr. - "I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard." I feel very comfortable extending Mr. Buckley's wisdom to other faculty, including that of George Mason University and the Hoover Institute at Stanford.
Mr. Williams,
Thank you for a very interesting and thought provoking article. Yes the problem is a lot bigger than can be solved with just banning assault weapons and big clips. If the challenge is to reverse these strongly negative social trends, how do we do so without infringing on a lot of constitutional rights? (There are a few that don't mention guns.)
A few questions came to mind while reading the article:
1. What percentage of mass murders are committed with assault weapons and/or guns with clips holding more than 10 rounds? How do the numbers change if we define mass murders as having more than, say, three victims?
2. How many mass murders are committed with hammers or clubs?
3. I notice that you carefully omitted big clips from your discussion. How many hand guns used in murders are equipped with clips holding more than 10 rounds? How about 7 rounds?
4. How does ourrate of single parent households compare with other western nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom? If similar, what accounts for their young men in poverty being able to deal with dysfunctional cultural influences such as unwed parents, drugs, and icky music, not to mention violent video games, TV, and movies, at least well enough to not commit mass murder in their schools?
5. Why is the murder rate three times higher in the US than in it is in Canada or the United Kingdom?
6. You have pointed out the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Are there any effective restrictions we could place on handguns that would reduce the handgun murder rate without undue restriction on second amendment rights of law abiding citizens? Perhaps identifying the few dealers who supply a large portion of the guns later used in crime and examining why?
7. Is demanding that the problem of gun murder be addressed by only entertaining ideas that involve no additional controls on guns the NRA's version of the Paris police chief story?
Comment: #2
Posted by: Mark
Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:40 AM
Agree or disagree with William's presuppositions or opinions, can't deny his comments elicit thought. Great comment, Mark.
Comment: #3
Posted by: morgan
Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:27 PM
Dr. Williams didn't "carefully omit" anything. Your thinking is just as irrational regarding that comment as banning, limiting, taxing, or whatever it is you want to do to law abiding citizens. Gun control is people control. The point of the article is that criminals execute these acts that your kind and politicians invoke hysteria and crises to lord and master over its citizens.
The American Revolution is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Punish the criminal when they commit their heinous acts, not the rest of us.
Comment: #4
Posted by: TruthInAction
Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:00 AM
Sir;...You should add to the fact of all those murders the reality of so many shooters who do what they do so much out of a sense of their own worthless lives that they would prefer death or life in prison in trade... When one person gets mudered, there are always two dead people in the room...
I would like some one to tell those people how much their lives should be valued, and be the font of all meaning to them, the meaning of all meanings, the one thing without which not; and better yet, to prove it to them... Murder is common among the rich they say, and certainly much more the stuff of drama...It is just that money may not make a person better, but it seldom makes them worse... Poverty always makes people rotten, sooner or later where it is not generally shared...A mean life is worn on the outside of people while the easy life waits inside... I met a man down in Detroit while working on the V.A. hospital a few years back... He asked me for bus change, and had his leg all bandaged up and splinted... I asked him how he got on his crutches; and he said a man had held him up with a gun, and when he told the man he had no money because he had no money, the guy shot him anyway; and then he added: Ain't that a bech??? I some times carried a gun down there, illegally... Most of the time I limited my losses... Bill Clinton had just be elected... I had seen so hard times... I was forced to take my sinus infection to the feed store and treat it with hog antibiotics which I once nearly choked on...It was cruel of me; as cruel as it was to shoo off beggers; but to give to those people who asked me for help when I was down myself made me feel like a millionaire...
I never gave anyone enough for a lethal dose of what ever their poison was; but then I never saw such a terrible sight as some one huddled in the corner against a winter wind strong enough to knock you down, under dressed, too cold to shiver, and eyes nearly glassed over...Hell is frozen for me... But it is a wonder what people will endure, what no one would endure but by long practice, and it does not make me wonder at the inhumanity of people who must suffer such inhumanity... What would it take to rehabilitate such people??? They cannot always have been so or they would have all died out before now...
Mr. Williams in parting notes that punsihment is lax... So it is; and we have bought all we can afford, and we have usually afforded more than we need...The worst sort of expense any society must endure in the price that does not buy the desired product... In a society that legalizes so much that should be illegal, and bothers to make illegal what is not exactly immoral there will always be too much of wasted effort...In most instances the object of incarceration is to remove people from society, but with the poor, you simply put them into a more refined version of their own society where they can take their time deciding who will be the victor, and who the victim... Nothing could be more expensive as failure goes than Law... The more you have, the more you need...And you always need more because Law breaks down communities which are the best source of morality and social control...
Comment: #5
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:56 AM
I love this article, but could anyone provide links to the sources for the numbers used in this article concerning bludgeoning deaths, murder rates by race and income level? I enjoy these articles, but citations to data used could be offered. Does anyone agree? The numbers always seem to go in favor of the argument being argued, and maybe we ought not believe them. Has anyone checked the FBI records and Bureau of Justice statistics Dr. Williams mentions?
Comment: #6
Posted by: Julian Cienfuegos
Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:21 PM
Truth Inaction,
So he accidentally happened to omit the major item proposed to be banned that could significantly undermine his argument? Mr. Williams is many things, but sloppy thinker is not one of them. His words are usually quite carefully chosen.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Mark
Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:57 PM
Re: Mark... Mr. Williams is a sloppy thinker, at least outside of economics... First of all, no one has the ability to judge culture... We can barely see our own even while the effect is pervasive... It is like trying to talk of nature when we are a part of it, as is all we create, even that which seems most unnatural...Objectivity is as unlikely in talking of culture as it would be likely for anyone to be objective about their face or the back of their head... It is us, and we can sense it, even see its reflection or compare it; but to see it as an object distinct from oursleves cannot be done...If we say sub culture, or deviant culture we are making a subjective value judgement...
One thing we can say is that culture is knowledge, and people learn and pass on what they find as effective knowledge in life even if much of it from the side of reason is nonsense... Reasonable people say I wish, or good luck, or believe in God, not because it is reasonable, but because while science suggests that all that is exists by cause, it does not find it necessary to explain the reason, and God answers every need that science does not...
If we see people who are normally rational under stress revert to religion, or to tribalism, or even animalism we are not necessarily seeing deviance but simply reversions to older forms of thought and culture...
When Heracletus said that character was destiny, you have to understand that for Hellenes, character was also ethics, and ethics was also custom and both custom and character are elements of culture...We can see how much alike ethics and ethnic are, for in the past, people carried the ethics of their ethnic group with them into the outside world...But as much as people may carry along a lot of nonsense in their cultures they are forbidden by reality to carry ideas that will lead to their destruction...So our meaning and value we show though our customs and character, our morality and knowledge is what we have from older generations and hope to pass on to other generations... You cannot expect people to buy into ideas and values that demean or devalue their lives when everyones basic culture asserts their value...
What we think of the dominant culture in America does deny the rights and meaning of vast numbers, and if followed out, will lead to their extinction... The cultural reversions that we see everywhere did not work in the past, and never will work in the future, but are obviously a blind attempt to master a mastering situation that threatens people and their cultural and real survival...If Mr. Williams has joined the dominant culture and joined in denying his own culture he has not so assured his survival...We do not have a melting pot in America, but an acid bath for cultures, and the truths we are supposed to find self evident are hardly taken as truth at all... In many respects what we see as the dominant culture is a set of economic principals that have never been well considered or fairly judged...And if they worked, those economic principals would not result in war, in death, in misery, in depression economic and emotional...
We have an extremely unusual situation in America, of a class of people freed from chattel slavery, but no less slave, and most of us are slaves for wages...But no one can say that the black slaves were not caught in a moral situation... It was not only an unequal relationship, but an immoral one... Even wage slavery is an immoral relationship that we have always tolerated in the expectation of a promised good...And it is not simply a matter of denying people their physical needs...People need happiness and even shared misery can lead to happiness... But when you take something essential to ones survival, you take from his meaning as well as his being, and along with that, you must deny his rights to it... If we were talking mere animal survival, then for the moment that is sure... But what we are seeing is that those taking much more than they need to survive who are in trade supposed to deliver some good to society do not just take to have, but take to deny...
If the rich just took, and spoiled what they took, trashed it and tossed it, they would still be doing harm to those they have exploited... But what they do is put it in the faces of all they have robbed of meaning and being, and so bind the hearts of people with a wire they twist tighter and tighter... Can they not enjoy what they have without feeding people the gall of envy???
The poor people fighting over the scraps society has left them are asserting themselves and their own need for survival...But the whole society is in the same situation... Societies do not live with so much conflict and contradiction, but come apart at the seams...The fact that we can point to a single economic principal does not mean we have anything like a culture from which all other deviate...What you consider as deviance can also be seen a microcosm of the economy as a whole: People taking with threat or violence, and killing for what they want... The whole of the economy that many consider the most significant element of our culture is anathema to the objective notion of culture, and while it is based in most respects upon science and reason, it is by its injustice destroying all civility and pushing the whole people into older beliefs and modes of survival...
We are dying here, and what Mr. Williams is calling deviance is simply a reaction that is inevitable... Culture is a survival of the past, knowledge people past found essential to their survival, and if what is considered the dominant culture is denying happiness, and often life itself to people, it is inevitable that people will assert themselves, assert their own meaning which is the lives that people fight for because they are the value of all values...Mr. Williams would like people much more if they laid down and played dead until society finally burys them, but it is a much more hopeful sight when people fight each other and fight back even if for now they are missing those who victimize them...When they get around to destroying those who took so much from them, who can believe they will be more kind to the rich than they are to each other...
Clearly, law, which everywhere breaks up communities, destroys culture with the same touch; and there is nothing left to instil morals and encourage social union, or general morality... If you end up with a dog eat dog world, who can say that is not our basic American culture???
Comment: #8
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:05 AM
If you don't believe the numbers, check the FBI statistics. @ James Sweeney. I read your post. Does not address the issue at all.

If you say we are dying as a culture - who is to blame?

Pogo said it best - "The center cannot hold"
Comment: #9
Posted by: Tyler Durden
Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:16 AM

I just read your column on deviancy and wanted to say that I agree with you 100%.
Have you thought about pursuing a collaboration with Ben Carson?
You are both straight shooters and make more sense than most of the media.

Comment: #10
Posted by: William Peters
Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:07 PM

I just read your column on deviancy and wanted to say that I agree with you 100%.
Have you thought about pursuing a collaboration with Ben Carson?
You are both straight shooters and make more sense than most of the media.

Comment: #11
Posted by: William Peters
Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:07 PM
I would also like to add that you didn't mention a prime mover to the problem. The problem with so may blacks and others started when the government welfare programs began and women were paid to have many children if there was no father in the family.
Comment: #12
Posted by: William Peters
Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:16 PM
While I am not a psychologist or a forensic professional per se, I do work at a California prison in psychometrics and I do have a great interest in criminal commonality. Most of all, I care deeply about both societal and inmate wellness. And, I've learned much from those prison inmates with whom I've interfaced.

For example, one major element that is significantly different in the culture of the "under-class" today than in the past is the fact that they grow up living in an apartment, rather than in a single dwelling house. An inmate coined this the "Apartment-Animal Syndrome"… rather than home and yard, they live pacing back and forth from room to room, or kitchen to TV…and that's how they learn to play too.

When I asked about other signs of criminal commonalities, another prison inmate suggested to watch for lies, disobedience, and lack of structure.

The most common indicators of criminality among all races were consensually: 1) Lack of willingness to assume responsibility; 2) Lack of respect for authority (parents, siblings, teachers, clergy, business-owners, police, courts, officials); 3) Inability to communicate and express emotions (difficulty or unlearned skill for pro-social interaction demanded in school, society and the work world); 4) Lack of belief to have trusting relationships (at home, school, work, and friendships and intimate relationships).

For the future or career criminal, the ordinary tasks of growing up and maturing are a series of perverse exercises, frustrating the person's needs, stunting the capacity for empathy, and diminishing the ability to live in either the community of home, or the community of man.

It seems--unless they are "civilized" (formed, informed, domesticated, or otherwise educated) at home, school, or at some stage in society--the anti-social persons will resort to violence of whatever means to communicate their needs.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Ernest Martinez
Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:03 PM
Re: Tyler Durden;... Who care who is to blame??? Some people win and some people lose, but dying forms take everyone down with them... We are not the first society to be on the ropes and may not be the last, but one thing they all had in common is that the situation demoralized everyone, and no one had the power in their hands to change the situation significantly...
Forms are resistent to change, and they evolve into trouble they can only revolt out of, and things must get terrible bad for people to revolt... And when people build social forms, they are made to resist change as our own constitution shows, so it is easier to throw them out completely, as impossible as that is, than reform them in a meaningful way...
Look at the bloodshed necessary to change one little facet of property law, that part related to slavery, and look how long serious resistence has lasted to equality for blacks; and the fact that one of the results of that change actually strengthened property privilages in America with the due process clause...
So a more important question is how to make people formally conscious, to think as our revolutionary forefathers thought as shown by Jefferson's reference to forms in the Declaration of Independence...If you are going to make a change, it is best to be able to think and speak rationally on the subject... Those people understood enough of philosophy to know what they were doing... We need that as well...
Comment: #14
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:07 PM
Re: Ernest Martinez;... What you say may have some truth in it, but if it was everywhere the case, we would have far worse problems than we do...
I live in a relatively small city; but you must understand there is a certain annonymity there that appeals to bad or perverted people who seek safety in numbers... It might be an exageration to say that if you double the population you square the criminals and perverts... But along with that rise in population comes an increase in costs -that makes parents work that much harder, and a loss of family support systems, and a fear, often justified, of strangers... As I say; living in a small city, one must still teach children to distrust strangers, and even friends... It is a terrible lesson people in small communities do not have to learn, and coupled with the distance earning an income puts between mothers particularly and their children, such children grow up alone, unsupported, and prisoners in their dwellings...
Speaking from the experience of my own children, they can never have enough of closeness and cuddling when they are young, but I must confess that I feared to be as close to my children, as affectionate as they needed out of the thought that others might see me, and call the cops on me as a pervert... I should have given them more, and kids are honest about their needs as adults are not... I mean, that for me to roll around on the carpet with my dogs is a thoughtless act of joy for all of us, but the law holds such a terror to people without the money to defend themselves that indignity can scare them almost as much as illegality...
It is important for kids to learn that others can be close without injuring them, that they do not have to be paranoid of others, or lonely and isolated, denied the affection and love every child deserves...Truly, some children are not properly bonded with anyone, and they are a perpetual hazzard...There are serial killers abandoned and adopted who were never bonded to anyone, and such people are without the least part of morality...WE are making more of these children and not less...
There is a terrible amount of careless parenting caused by young people needing love that they feel they have never had, and when they have children they find them boring, difficult, needy of time and especially of love which unloved people find difficult to give...Love is a lot like things in life... You have to have love to give love, and some people have never had it, and if they have, have never had enough... People in pain cannot love... If people have never learned to trust they cannot learn to love because love needs trust... We are not just getting drained of wealth and energy in this, and having our dreams sucked out of us... We are losing our ability to love and care for each other and ourselves... Think of how much you must deny your emotions to have your job... To keep your job, you lose yourself...
It is easy to look at our jobs, or at politics, and see the terrible want of national love...We hate each other, and you cannot have a nation under such circumstances... Do not believe that national self loathing does not reach down to our basic family units...People screw each other, and in my book, sex without love- since it is not love, but is touching- is a form of violence... Then they take that hurt, and hate, and often turn it on to their own children in one fashion or another...
The right may have better and stronger families supported by stronger communities, but they learn their hate some where, and it is abuse to teach that to children... And trust me, with my son from my first marriage, I took out a lot of the anger I felt for his mother on him... It was nothing less than emotional abuse.. Fortunately, my family stepped up to give him needed support, without the baggage... The worst thing I can say about him other than being self centered, is that he became a lawyer... Oh, the shame!!! Just one step from being a criminal...
Comment: #15
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:51 PM
Excellent article. I grew up with toy guns and played cops and robbers and everything else. It was harmless play because we were instilled with morals that taught us right and wrong. We knew where the line was and didn't cross it because there were consequences that were far more powerful than going to see a guidance counselor or being suspended. As a parent now, I try pass those same values and morals to my children.


Your posts are sloppy and incoherent in many instances. You think that rambling and throwing out innuendo makes you appear intelligent but it has the opposite effect. The least you can do is proof read your statements and use ONE period at the end of sentences.

Comment: #16
Posted by: Doug Landis
Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:19 AM
Re: William Peters;... You must know that there have always been more whites on welfare than blacks, and that many black children without fathers are simply raised like the younger sibling of the mother, by her parents... I understand what you are trying to say; and I will say it another way, that the effect of law has been to break up communities, and in this instance, you see the effect of the law that would help to support a mother alone and not help her if her mate was with her was wrong...
I don't know if outcomes would be better across the board, but raising children into responsible adulthood takes a lot of energy and love that if people are denied, they will always be seeking... You cannot have televisions raising children... They give people a false sense of the world... Everywhere, we have seen women enter the work force, and it has driven wages down by supply exceeding demand... In my father's generation it was taken for granted that the man supported the family and wages reflected that fact, and now that it is expected that both parents will work, wages reflect that fact, and twice the labor is being done at the same price... And who is raising the children???
If a society is unwilling to put the time and labor into their children, and instead expects that time and labor will be at the service of capital for profit, then it will pay a greater share of the GNP to law enforcement, and incarceration...Communities, of which families are the most basic unit, used to discipline their own, and they used to judge their own, and were as a group held responsible for the behavior of their own...
Group responsibility is the basis of ethics, and as much as each individual upheld the honor of his community because they were all judged by strangers by his behavior, so they believed as much of the gods... In Athenian Homicide Law, the body of the murderer was taken to the county line, and bodily tossed out like trash... If in the course of the year no crime was commited, they would still select some one to scape goat, and drive out of the communty as a criminal just to show the gods their good intentions...
Many people still believe we will be judged by God as a nation; but it was the church that brought about the individual treatment of crime... No longer would communities have to suffer for the crimes of one of theirs; but this has led to a loss of community rights and community obligation, and a community's power over their own... Does it help??? Blacks are still made to suffer as a whole for the crimes of a relative few, and worse, their children are raised under a cloud of suspicion and distrust, and without even parental authority...
Law has grown stronger and stronger, and while it is still possible to correct a child it is made nearly impossible... Even for the authorities juvenile justice is lacking, and teaches that crime does not matter... But earlier yet, teachers cannot discipline children, and parents must be very cautious of going too far, so they find they must work with influence rather than authority...
As parents we have no power, and yet we must bear responsibility... If your child becomes a truent, they throw you in jail... What if you do all within your power, and all that you can afford, and must hold a job to pay the rent and food bill??? Children learn the power over their parents is more complete than their parent's power over them, and the worst tyrants in the world are children...
I don't want to repeat any democratic mumbo jumbo about it taking a village... Raising children has always been a community effort, but now we are all so many individuals unable to enforce our rights as a group, offer any defense of our own, and we must see a large proportion of our young fall by the wayside when attention, and perhaps a good and thourough butt kicking would saved many of them a life of misery...
Law is nonsense... It treats all people as individuals, supposedly, but it takes nothing of individual circumstances into account in the commision of crime... Did you do it??? Yes... Then suffer the same penalty as everyone else...
In Anglo Saxon times a person could not even excuse a murder commited in self defense...People had to pay for shedding blood, or vengeance was demanded that often took innocent lives, and spireled out of control... People paid, or their families and communities paid blood money on their behalf... We are still paying blood money in certain places in the world... The U.S. Army has paid a ton of it for wrongful deaths...
Revenge is demanded by honor... The Arabs would gather after a murder and say: Our Blood has been shed... Even the Holy Q'uran says if that murderer is caught red handed: who can blame them; that is, those who take his life... But it also demands mercy, and people would buy off vengeance with blood money...
When two communities could get together in what we in the West used to call a Moot, or a Doom, or a Thing which was a community court, the quality of justice was much higher, and everyone knew that peace and life was at stake... Honor demanded justice... The belief in Fate, or Kismet demanded mercy... But, if it became necessary to kill some one who did a murder, no one but his own kin would do the deed... And we see this first in the Orestian Trilogy, where Orestes killed his mother for the muder of his father Agamemnon... No one else, not related could lift a finger against her, and all felt their community cursed by her actions...
Law does not work... Isolating people and treating all as individuals does not work... The best defense for rights and children is found in communities, and these are being trashed, even down to their most basic unit, the family...
So the more law we have the more it will cost, and the less good it will do... Capitalism would not work were in not for the idea of the individual which took a thousand years of Christianity to bring into law, and has not completely taken over... The ideas of individual freedom and initiative, individual freedom to contract goes hand in hand with the inability of the community to defend their members or themselves from individual injustice...Unions which are a formed community are universally hated, even by the union men they are forced on, and it is always because they interfere with individualism, either for the employers or for the workers... The obvious fact that no single person stands a chance against a corporation is never considered... Even the corporation is considered an individual, with the advantage of immortality and no soul to fear the loss of...
People in the past understood that their rights and freedoms were no better than the collective defense that could be offered for them... The difference between us and them, was the durability of their societies... WE have had corporations since Roman times... We have only had capitalism about five hundred years, are fighting global conflicts, have tremendously destructive weapons ready, are running ourselves out of resources; and our society is crumbling under the weight of government, law, and the economy which we have exported in order to import poverty...Who is happy??? Who is secure... Who is free???
Comment: #17
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:50 AM
Re: Doug Landis... Sir; I might and would certainly appreciate something of spell check or other word processing features on this opinion page... I notice some of these professionals screw up too, at times... I never was a good speller... My hands are beat up from life and fights and thirty years of ironwork... My eyes are shot from over thirty years of fairly regular arc welding... I have to put a little distance between my words because I can barely see the difference between a comma and a period...
I am hard up against 60...I can still read without glasses, I guess, because I never quit...I just bought a box and a half of books at ten cents a pound close to ten dollars worth... Imagine that, by the pound, like brain candy... I had to buy them because I could not bear to see them shredded when I didn't know what was in them... Most of them were volumes of the Journal of Hellenic studies which for the most part look unused, going back to the early part of the last century, full of articles and pictures... I don't know if I have enough life left to me to read them all, or even if I care to read all of any of them...I know I will know more if I do... It's just that while I am intelligent, I am uneducated, and the bulk of my knowledge comes from books, and to see a bunch of books on a subject I have already read much on shredded without even having a peek inside was more than I could bear... How would I find out what those people knew???...
I mean, if you pick up old books on philosophy, especially older histories of Greek Philosophy, it is obvious that they were writing to and for a class of scholars we no longer have... Whole lines or complete statements in Greek without translation... What are you going to do but get a Greek English Lexicon... I will never know all of that stuff, never learn Greek, or Latin, perhaps never learn French or English, but will have to take some one else's word for it, and use the knowledge I do have to do what good I can do with it...
So, if it is not too difficult to read, try to deal with three periods because I never did it before writing criticism on; and out of the necessity of writing more than I have time for, and for my inability to look so hard at the screen... I am certain my faults of language would be easier to fix than the errors of thought, and the want of knowledge I find so common...
We have been through the tyranny of the idea, and what that meant was dealing with terrible simplifyers, as our mass murdering dictators have been... I would like to make it more simple, but these writers have had the first shot, and it takes more to correct something than to say something... I have no chain on the truth, but the second liar never has a chance, if you know what I mean... You can never beat a tall tale with one taller yet, and you can only make yourself look foolish trying...You have to start with a whole new foundation...
Comment: #18
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:34 AM
Re: Doug Landis... Sir,... If you have ever read anything about hitler, you might remember that he was forever playing such games, practicing strategy and leadership skills long after it was natural of a boy of his age to do so... When the world was closing in on him he finally started studying war in earnest, and it was too late... But; in many respects he did well for a beginner...
I think what helped most of us in our generation was the certain knowledge that if we screwed up we would be punished severely with a down home sort of thrashing...But along with a want of parental supervision has also come the threat of law for violence against children... Children learn to call 911 before they learn any other feature of a phone... That is fine for a parent that knows no limits, but most parents spanked their children because they very much feared law getting a hold of them... Native Americans told whites, we beat our horses, but not our children...To live in small communities is to realize that your life may some day depend on the affection of your children who had rights of their own, and everyone realized that the enemy outside the community had absolutely no mercy, and friends corrected gently were far better than enemies... Community is morality, and you do not get one without the other...
On a personal note, I once knew a white man raised with full Indian rights because he was adopted... Indian children never had to look for a parent if they lost their own...As one writer noted: Nothing was dearer to a red man's heart than vengeance... That child who would not avenge the murder of a parent had no honor... So, adoption was common, and when the white man was young, and his parents got sick and died, this old Indian woman heard about it, and just walked in and took him by the hand, and raised him as one of her own...
Comment: #19
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:58 AM
How is that we can read and enjoy an insightful, perhaps scholarly overview on how cultural deviance is an important element we may have been missing against government control of guns, and the next we (respondents) are no longer critiquing or dialoguing, but rather tearing ourselves apart and degenerating a civilized discussion? Like age-old adage says: "Perhaps we ought to revert back and be more beastful and 'less violent.'"

Please everyone. We've all had enough "personal criticism" in our lives: It always leads to no good, to hurt, and to
destructive results. That's what criticism is: it's always destructive and it's always subjective and personal. Critique is objective and constructive. We read Professor Williams because of our love of learning...because we're life-long learners, and because he offers us a novel look at things iimportant to us. He brings us UP. And, we--his readers-- make "his read."

We must not allow ourselves to be cajoled into "personal junk" by or to other persons who comment. Let's continue to think HIGH and DEEP about the subject at hand, and offer each other the virtues of our thoughts. We need not defend Professor Williams, or respond to contrarians of endless negative points of view. Let us stay on track and keep our comments directly and specific to the matter at hand. Contribution is our goal. There can be no nobler goal than that. Thank you and continued blessings.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Rick Martinez
Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:50 PM
Re: Rick Martinez;... The guy is an economist... If that is true, I believe he should stick with economics... Since he has no more credentials than my self in the are of sociology, psychology, or ethics; so far as I can tell, I feel perfectly entitled to challenge his views which do not seem to fit with established fact or reason... I think it is safe enough to say that when most white men hear the word black culture they will think deviant culture... It is one thing to free a group or a person from slavery by some simple act of emancipation... For the Romans this was simply the presenting of a freed slave with a cap, often pictured on Liberty portayed as a woman... This was a symbol that was refused by the South for the figure that stands above our capital today so fearful were they of the notion of emancipation... Freed in name only there were but few programs to integrate former slaves into white society, and there was positive effort blessed by the Supreme court to deny them full equality...
Please understand that no slave can be considered moral or exactly immoral... Each by his own consent agrees in some fashion to slavery in preference to death, but having no choice does not allow for morality...Morality is a choice just as immorality is a choice and a great number in our society choose immorality because it is profitable and legal, though they are not by any means considered deviant...
These amoral black people were freed with no provision for bringing them into the larger culture for nearly a hundred years after the fact... They have in many cases a slave mentality that forbids their working for slave wages even if it would reasonably be a step to something better... Every step taken to work them into the dominant culture has been resisted, and is being resisted to this day...
Wouldn't any fair minded person agree that they must be a part of a culture in order to deviate from it???
We have always associated these people with sex, drugs, disease and rock and roll; or more properly: Jazz... Well, if any of it is true, its truth has been exagerated excessively in order to deny equality, and to be denied equality makes a sub culture a reality... For anyone to be immoral they must be part of some moral society; that is, must share the same spirit, or nature with others, and this, black people do not...
Consider the way bodies of people are talked about, with the terms: Morale, and Physic... What is the physical condition of a corp... What is the spiritual condition of that corp...The moral condition of this people must be judged in only a qualified fashion with blacks since their culture is not identical with our own, but has grown up beside our own through association not always on mutually friendly terms, in a feral condition, wild, more than free, uncultured even among their own rather than antagonistic to any culture...
Can any one see the difficulty they have with politics among themselves... They do not speak with one voice or two, but chatter with the voices of millions... Like all wild things they cannot pull in harnass, and will not, even if food and comfort waits at the end of it... I do not expect that perfection rests with us, or that they must bend their wills to our... If we expect them to be full members of this society we must give as much as we ask, and join together on our agreed upon conditions...
I do not believe their is a fraction of them not as much white as black, and their cultures such as they are, are more white than african...The divisions we have across this society are deep and broad and dangerous, but the absolute worst one is between rich and poor, and there poor whites have much more in common with poor blacks than either would like to admit...The frustrations of poverty push people toward violence...
Comment: #21
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:34 PM
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