Not like Clockwork Orange at all

Most of us of the somewhat older generation remember well the film, Clockwork Orange, based on a book by an alcoholic, ex-military Brit turned author, Anthony Burgess. The film was for my generation the quintessential horror movie about the dangers to all ordinary people coming from eccentric gang members belonging to the lower classes. It taught a whole generation that different (and especially different and poor) was somehow dangerous and violent, simply by painting a graphic picture that that was the case.

The modern day reality is quite different though. In the real world, it is most often that sameness is much more dangerous than those that are somehow different. It is what has often been called the banality of evil, where the most dangerous evil flows from the top down and comes from ordinariness rather than difference. It is most often that those more different get oppressed by the plastic ordinary types, not the reverse.

In the following news story, Goth clothes ‘prompted killing’, we see a picture of the real world quite different than the world of Clockwork Orange painted by Anthony Burgess. Here, as is almost always the case, it is The Different that is pummeled by those that see themselves as representing The Ordinary, which is an inverse order to the sequence of events place before us by Burgess in Clockwork Orange.

Burgess ultimately has us try to reach the conclusion in Clockwork Orange that the government that tries to compel a good society actually dehumanizes us and turns us into robots. His belief was that we should all just be left alone to be evil or good individually as we will. So if your neighbor, for no good reason at all, wants to come and thump you one, do not call the police to try to get him to desist. I guess that that would be too much oppressive government according to Burgess, The Libertarian. Your neighbor, according to him, must be free to be evil, toherwise government would be too oppressive to want. I think that a rather dubious conclusion.

The actual problem we face is not that government is too harsh on crime, but that it is not harsh at all, but allows the big to be criminal at will. Contrary to Libertarian philosophy we actually need government to punish business people more for their criminality, but to stop picking on the petty vices of the poor so much as they currently do.

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