Having just voted overwhelmingly for the socialism of Tony Blair, the good folk of Great Britain are now amazed and alarmed to discover that what they are getting in return are the logical consequences of the socialism they voted for. Last week, the British government announced that the convicted teenage killers of a 2-year-old boy would be released from prison—because they now present “no unacceptable risk to the public.”
The killers, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, both now 18, have been in the slammer for all of a whopping eight years, in place of what should have been a life term. Eight years in prison, of course, is less than many crooks serve for stealing cars, but the crime that Venables and Thompson committed was an act of almost unprecedented brutality in a country that has given the world Jack the Ripper and the Moors Murderers of the 1960s.
At the age of 10, the two kidnapped 2-year-old James Bulger from a shopping mall, sexually abused him, tortured him and then laid his body on a railroad track where it was cut in two—all for the sheer fun of it. The crime made headlines not only in Britain but in other Third World countries as well. When they were convicted, most people, including the Brits, thought they would end their days in prison.
But after what the Home Secretary assures the world was “very careful consideration,” the two are now loose again. It’s true they can’t see each other or go to the county where they committed the crime, and they’re supposed to live under the false identities the government has given them. Moreover, as the government also hastens to say, they can be taken into custody any time there is “any evidence that they present a danger to the public.”
How comforting. In the first place, what more, exactly, would two men who kidnap, torture, molest, mutilate, and murder a young child for fun have to do to suggest that they just might present a danger to the public? In the second place, if there is any evidence that anybody presents a danger to the public, he or she can also be taken into custody, so what special protections against the future fun of these two killers does the public have?
Many in Britain, not least the mother of the butchered James Bulger, are outraged, but what did they expect? What they need to grasp is that the bland denial of justice the government has perpetrated by releasing the killers comes precisely from the world-view embraced by the British—and to no small degree, all Western—government today.
The socialism espoused by Prime Minister Blair and his party is based on the supposition that human beings are merely the products of their social environment, that crime, poverty, war, racial bigotry, religious prejudice and all other evils are caused by exploitation, largely capitalist in origins but nowadays believed by the more progressive elements amongst us to be due in part also to racial and sexual stereotypes. In order to cure these evils, we have to cure the social environment itself.
But we can do that, you see, only if the state is big enough and powerful enough to overcome the resistance of selfish vested interests and only if the right experts are empowered to do the social engineering. In the case of Venables and Thompson, we are assured, they were. “All the experts have testified to the remorse and the change in these two young men,” their lawyer tells the press.
The same socialist state that plans the economy and redistributes wealth also purports to remove the “root causes” of crime in the minds of human beings. There is no human nature, no in-born disposition to behave one way or another, let alone such quaint notions as individual responsibility or justice, consisting of reward when people do good and punishment when they do bad. There are only “social constructions” that have been built up artificially and can be deconstructed. That’s what the progressive element claims to have done to Venables and Thompson.
People who vote for socialism get not only its economic consequences but also its moral and social consequences. What they shouldn’t expect to get is justice, so why should they be amazed when a socialist government not only lets real murderers go free but, sooner or later, as most socialist governments of our time have done, starts murdering people itself? If you think human beings are merely gadgets to be constructed and reconstructed by experts, you will probably wind up tying them across railroad tracks for the fun of it yourself. My guess is that we haven’t heard the last of Venables and Thompson. Some day they might even get elected to Parliament.