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Thursday, February 11, 2021

Norman Mailer On Prisons: Beware Of The Bleeding Heart

The fundamental premise of incarceration demonstrates to us, over and over, is that prison is equipped to grind down criminals who are cowards into social submission, but can only break the spirit of brave men who are criminals, or anneal them until they are harder that the steel that encloses them. [Brave men? Brave men do not mug old people, rape women or murder their girlfriends and wives. Only a hopeless romantic would associate criminality with courage.] No system of punishment that asks a brave human being to surrender his or her bravery can ever work for the common good. It violates the universal stuff of the soul out of which great civilizations are built.

Norman Mailer. Mailer wrote the introduction to Jack Abbott's In The Belly of the Beast, 1981 Not long after Mailer and other bleeding-hearts lobbied corrections authorities to release Jack Abbott from prison, this violent criminal, without provocation, stabbed a New York City waiter to death. The victim was a total stranger to him. How brave was that? 

1 comment:

  1. A "hopeless romantic"? I don't think so... I would say a hopeless idiot, or a hopelessly egotistical and arrogant writer with blood on his hands.