Thomas SzaszThomas Szasz, (1920-2012) Hungarian-American Professor of Psychiatry, Author, Libertarian

Thomas Szasz Quote

“Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.”

Thomas SzaszThomas Szasz
~ Thomas Szasz

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

I think punishment is still very much in fashion. Amerikans (as seemingly most of the world - depending on what herd you associate with), with their collectivist / democratic mind, make moral distinctions between the politically correct herd and the odious everyone else that needs to be punished. The collective mind considers criminal all those that act out side or in violation of their collective religion, dogma and canons. It is very, VERY accurate though, the collective mind does prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.

J Carlton, Calgary

The quote describes socialist "hive mentality" very well. Best example I can think of is when after the Boston Marathon Bombings some media idiot was suggesting that America hadn't done enough to welcome and make the bombers more comfortable and accepted in society. How completely absurd. The upshot is we have no "justice system".

jim k, Austin, Tx

And naturally, liberals blame "society" when criminals shoot up a place and kill a lot of people. It's never the shooters fault.

jc, Waukon

Punishment unfashionable? America houses more than 2,000,000 inmates in its prisons at a cost of $30,000+ per inmate per year. If punishment ever returns to fashion I'm afraid we won't be able afford the bill!

Brooks, Hartwell, Ga.

Regardless of who is at fault, those convicted of a capital crime
should be executed in public (and on ETV) within a month.

E Archer, NYC

I'm kind of with jc from Waukon on this one. Mere civil 'offenses' have been turned into 'crimes' such that breaking any number of 'rules' that have not violated anyone's rights can result in property seizures and prison time, while actual violent crimes are put through the revolving door or the 'justice system.'


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