Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The therapeutic heresy in penal law and administration

Gallowfodder guards · can go real bad:
"Therapeuts we are," · they think, "of the mad"*
Crime as murder · cruelty of rape
Kindly is considered · coming to its shape
From ills that ail · the ordinary thief
Or even innocent · owing to some grief,
Who then also owe · the almighty shrink
Attendance in treatment · until death were as lief.

They ruin a hundred · ravished from homes
To "cure" one killer · if they can, from his ill.
A nose puncher · is nasty to a shrink,
And so he is summoned · to swallow the pill
That stops the strain · of the strength to kill,
As if strength and killing · clearly were one,
As if longing or lust · were lechery done,
As if wanting a ride · were robbing a bank,
A Kantian may think so · some thoughtful crank.

Yea, as if courts of kings · were God's knowledge
To see the soul · and foresee the deed.
When this arrives · not thievery but greed
Not rape but lust · is laden with ruth
But out of proportion · owed not to truth.

One vanitous man · warred on God
Burning his own urbs · persecuting Church
Shall every singer · that sings a ditty
Falsely out of tune · forfeit all authority?
Shall all who burn · in prison a mattress
Be judged as Nero · now and for aye?
That this arrive not · ruthfully pray!

Gallowfodder guards · can go real bad
"Therapeuts we are" · they think, "to the mad"
In the cover of night · all cats are grey
When punchers sit with murderers · then must we pray,
Least punchers sit with murderers · ruthfully pray!
And snatching the son · of a singer vain**
Is gallowfodder guards · gone really bad
Getting the world · weary and sad.

Hans-Georg Lundahl

* Philosophy behind Robert Badinter's abolishment of death penalty in France.
** I think of Domenic Johansson, wrongfully taken away from his father and mother. The father is considered narcissistic, but I wonder if it is not really the social workers who are closer to Nero (who lost not a son, but an empire), and who are jealous of a man playing the guitar and singing songs they could not compose.