scales of justice

 Our Human Culture and Our Problems

Logic seeks truth – the principle and strategy of rational thinking. If the 21st century knowledge-based societal leaders would use the natural faculties of mind, vision and intellect, we could imagine having public institutions (systematic governance) to deal with issues of racial discrimination, inequality and social injustice, violence and societal degradation leading to mindless behavior. True knowledge is always benevolent not cruel or retaliating in human pursuits. We, the human are adaptive to wisdom, fortitude and benevolence but fell victim to modern ignorance and man-made socio-economic superstitions creating social disharmony, disorder and dehumanization. Thus we got stalled with our own weaknesses and cynicism to move forward for change, progress and universal brotherhood. As an educator and a truth teller, we the people of knowledge have an obligation to share truth not lies. Morally conscientious people would always care for facts of life – when facts of life warrant a change, they will follow facts, not feelings as attributes of human character. At times, our societies are overwhelmed with socio-economic and political bondage to ignore the truth and a truth teller could encounter discouragement in pursuit of societal change and reformation for the best. Time and history shows that when a society adheres to lies and deception, it evolves a culture of delusion with false thoughts, values and beliefs as emotional crutches. To rejoice in truth and social harmony, human dignity and soul seeks a balanced tranquility of true characteristics of truth and wisdom for progress and human success.

Caitlin Johnstone (“Our Entire Civilization Is Fake And Stupid”, Information Clearing House: 9/13/2022), an Australian thought-provoking writer spells out the reality of our contemporary mainstream culture:

Your eyes probably found this text because you’re the sort of person who’s been trying to make sense of the world in a sea of propaganda and deception, which often results in a growing disgust not just with the power structures which oppress and tyrannize humanity, but with our entire civilization………From the very beginning human civilization has been built around serving the interests of the powerful………..So mainstream culture presents a fraudulent image of reality. It’s written into the code of everything that’s mass produced — not just in Prager University lectures on the evils of socialism or propagandistic news stories about weapons of mass destruction, but in sitcoms, in advertisements, in clothing brands, in pop music, in textbooks, in trends. When it’s not constant messaging that capitalism is totally working and the world is ordered in a more or less sane and truth-based way, it’s manipulations designed to shape our values and measures of self-worth to make us into better gear-turners.

Social inequality exists in all human cultures having material, financial, psychological and technological resources that enhance the individual capacity to meet all the wants and needs. (1)  Thus having resources, a person could enjoy higher social status and exert power on others. (2). And the quest for power and control leads to discrimination and social inequality. (3)

To legitimize the control, they divide the society into many segments to be treated unequally. (4) It will be my interest to explain how human behavior is shaped and what leads to the perception of injustice and inequality and how these primary elements correlate with crime, violence and other social problems. (5)

Sociology, Crimes and Canadian Criminal Code

In sociobiology, human behavior is explained by two distinct arguments:

  1. That evolutionary process of adaptation accounts for complex social activities that appeared to be learned and results in in the triumph of reason, science and order (6).
  2. Another triumph of knowledge and reason over ignorance and violence is the way of functional perspective. A society comprises of interrelated parts- each serves and supports stability of society. These institutions include family, education, government, religion, economy and healthcare. (7)

A predominant opinion in sociology is that cultural life is created by culture itself. Although human nature has the capacity to imprint culture by itself, human nature is an empty vessel and thus devoid of prejudice, bias and other preferences which relate to cultural influence. (8)

At times, sociologists highlight crimes in cultural or environments factors but some models look inside the heads of criminals for answers.  Jack Katz studied the biographies of convicted criminals and concluded that the causes of crime are constructed by the offenders themselves. Imaging and telling the stories about their own lives which appeal to the primal elements of machismo, aggression and emotionally create life narrative that reinforces and justify their criminal choices. The four major themes found in criminal narratives are humiliation, righteousness, hardman and hedonism.  According to Katz, criminals sometimes act out these fantasies in real life if opportunity arises. The offences set out in the Canadian criminal code appear to share certain common elements. However, courts had a great deal of difficulty in defining what they are. (9) People assume that some great principle underlies all of the criminal code such as harm or evil. (10) In sociology, this powerful but false assumption of unity is referred to as essentialism.  Essentialism regard as criminal acts as inherently wrong or absolutely evil and as partaking in primal violations that do not merely violate society’s norms and rules but have offended the very laws of nature, science or God. (11)

Defining crime as an act of typically criminal public purpose is not helpful but it does not undermine the belief that all the offences set out in the Canadian criminal code appear to share certain common elements.

Do Laws and History make us to Rethink and REVISIT the Imperatives of Social, Moral and Legal Justice?

Do laws, rules and regulations change over time?  Some acts we do today may become a crime in the future, and other acts we now do might have been a crime in the past. (12)  Lawrence Lessig in his book Free Culture shows that technologies such as motion pictures, cable TV, VCR’s and even file sharing were all once considered illegal.(13) Ages later, we now know that time, social changes and efforts by citizen’s activism have made most of these technologies legal and commonplace.  Are we much different in morality, faith, values and the US laws of slavery? Few could rationalize that American Government execution of 277 African-American participating in revolt and 20 others aiding escaped slaves were morally and legally justified killings. In Canada, Louis Riel (the Native Metis leader) hanged by the British for revolt deserves historic reference for political injustice. The ongoing investigations into massive killings of Natives school children by the Catholic and other Church missionaries in Western Canada and the US; and Laws and preferential treatment of ethnically superior race and black slavery practices still persist across Europe and North America. George Floyd died last year pleading: “ I cannot breathe…I cannot breathe…”

We continue to ponder at the movement of time, history and our culture to foster human equality, dignity, equal justice and human unity for all as One People, and One Human Beings.  But contrasts and conflicts continue to divide us weakening our human strength and unity as One People. Caitlin Johnstone (“Our Entire Civilization Is Fake And Stupid”, Information Clearing House: 9/13/2022), shares her intellectual foresight to keep us vigilant to monitor change and human progress:

You can see it in the sky. You can see it in the bushes and the pigeons……. And you can see it in the giant-brained bipedal primates you’re surrounded by each day……. Once you learn to see it, you can observe nature winking at you even from inside the most rage-faced pundits and most self-absorbed social natterers. It’s there.

In reality this sense of alienation is just an awkward transition phase between buying into the imperial dreamworld and a deep, deep intimacy with humanity as it really is beneath all the obnoxious programming. Beyond the revulsion at the phony facepuppets, something ancient, authentic, and exuberant is dancing. And it is more real and more true than our disgust with this civilization.

Look closer and you see the fraudulence. Look even closer and you see what’s real. Your sense of alienation is entirely valid and based in truth, but we’re not meant to stay there. Truth beckons us forward. Truth is beckoning us all forward. And these mind cages they have built for us aren’t real enough to hold us in for much longer

 Mohammad Momin Khawaja is a Canadian Prisoner and a university student from his prison cell   and writes on the real issues experienced by legal injustice. He claims innocence and have not committed any crime against anybody on this Earth but charged with “terrorism” criminal legislation. The trial judge acquitted him of “UK related terrorism involvement” but was sentenced to 10.5 years on five charges (sending money to Afghan women-children food -medicine charity; making a cell phone jammer; emails to his girlfriend; and travel abroad) and then to Life-24 by the Supreme Court appeal without any evidence. He plans to go for a Law degree program soon.

References:

  1. SOCIO 2656, Social Inequality, Gender, Race, Class and Power, Laurentian University, 2022, page 1
  2. Ibid
  3. Socio 2656, Introduction to Social Inequality”, page 1
  4. Murray, Linden, Kendall, Sociology in Our Times, 2012: pp; 12-13
  5. Leahy, T. “The Elephant in the Room.” Current Sociology, V. 60, 2012 pp: 810-812
  6. Socio 2066, Module 2, “Essentialism”, Laurentian University, 2022, page 1.
  7. Socio 2066, Module 2, Critical Critiques of Crime, “Crimes Across Time”, Laurentian University, 2022, page. 1


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