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Thoughts as to establishing, maintaining and justly protecting an ideal society By George Henry Edwards [as all the other articles in George's Musings] 

 

Truth is fundamental. Without truth, there is no reliable basis upon which to rely in establishing or maintaining an ideal society.

 

The society of the United States of America, at least for a while, presented one of the best, arguably the best, historical example of a society providing the opportunity for its members to pursue happiness--that is, achieve a personally pleasing and fulfilling life. Hence it was known as a "land of opportunity." An individual was no longer bound to the conditions he or she initially found themselves in and was subservient to no other group or individual.

 

Once established, maintaining such a society requires truth as to history, current events and actions, especially those of any selected leaders.

 

This, in turn, requires protection against any person or group telling untruths as well as those directly acting to murder, maim, enslave, steal, destroy or damage the property of other or otherwise impede the opportunities of others. Existing laws seeking to provide protections against untruths tend to be grossly inadequate.

 

Once any laws are established, there remains somewhat of a quandary as to how to justly enforce them against offenders while maintaining societal ideals. Existing methods, one way or another impede the opportunities of the offenders and may require enforcers to personally act in ways inconsistent with the societal ideals.

 

Current punishments may include fining, jailing, exiling or executing offenders. All of these definitely impede the opportunities for the offenders. All of these except fining remove or limit the opportunities for the offenders to continue their offenses at least for some term. Fines, similar to taxes can be used to pay governmental expenses or, more ideally, to compensate victims for financial losses they experienced due to an offender’s wrong-doing. Executioners, especially, are required to defy societal ideals against murder; the same is true for those required to legally maim as used in some societies as punishment. Jailers are required to defy societal ideals against restricting the opportunities of others.

 

Solutions include not allowing execution or legal maiming. The other punishments, imperfect as they may be, remain to be the only ones of which we are aware.

 

Of course, the threat of punishment, MAY, in itself, deter potential offenders from offending in the first place or offending again. In this sense, it is educating the offenders.

 

All the above comments apply to war and members of the military in protecting a society from others.

 

There remains the quandary of whom or what group of people should be empowered to establish what laws. Currently, the best that societies have been able to come up with are the majority of the people in the society or their selected representatives. At least, this approach helps assure some level of domestic tranquility.

 

There is no apparent alternative to defend against those who tell untruths, but to deny freedom of speech to these individuals or groups who do so and establish laws establishing punishments to protect against such offenders.

 

As to groups, the most currently obvious one to defend against is what is called “radical” Islam that teaches and engages in acts in direct contradiction to our defined ideal society. Madressas that do so need to be outlawed and those who teach in them punished. [See the note at the end of this article.]

 

Politicians or their supporters who lie should be especially punished as they are the front line in committing voter fraud that can lead to the very destruction of any ideal society. Punishment for such lies or any form of voter fraud should be unyieldingly punished without exception and commensurate with the degree of the transgressions—as written in law. Lies in general that can impede the opportunity of others should be similarly dealt with. A politician caught knowledgably lying should be stripped of any office he or she might hold or summarily dismissed from any campaign for election or re-election.

 

The only legitimate defense against punishment for lying to be allowed would be plausible proof that the offender was not aware that he or she was lying. Simply withholding information, whether meant to deceive or not, would be exempt from punishment, No one would be required to testify against them self.

 

Note the following as to Islam: