[LMB] Crime, Punishment, WGW

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Tue Dec 17 19:08:36 GMT 2019

Marc relates:

>"I'm not bothered about a parking fine, that's less than half an hour's pay 
>for me."
> > He was bothered about getting nine points on his licence, though: three
> for parking on zigzags, three for mounting the kerb, and three for a
> bald tyre.
Perhaps a better punishment than flogging, though it does tend to 
support my point about the unfairness and ineffectiveness of
financial penalties. Flogging and social credits / demerits are 
not mutually exclusive incentives, of course. Tales of 
British boys' schools document the contrary case, among 
other evidence. 

I note Caz's scars from flogging were mis-interpreted.  He was
beaten for being an interfering slave, but was misperceived to 
have been a punished child molester.  A dispassionate assessor 
might note that marking a sex offender with such identifiable scars
is somewhat cheaper and more immediate than establishing
a "Background Registry" of offenders, to be updated every so
often when the offender moves from one residence to another.
It seems to me the "absent gods" of the WGW must have all 
moved to the 5GU, taking with them, apparently, the courts, 
schools, orphanages, highway patrol, army, universities, prisons, 
and zoos.   It's not just churches but nearly all civic/
public / social institutions that are missing.  The town record 
clerks may adjudicate civil disputes -- maybe.  But if bandits
threaten, the WGW towns send word (by Patroller courier, 
I guess) for Patroller help. Which enforcers do NOT bother
with courts. Both Fawn and Dag and literate but not as 
a result of schools. Towns maintain streets but nobody
worries about highways. It seems to me on such a wide
wild frontier there is no slack for mercy and very little
for justice.  You're caught; you're hanged. Or, at best,
perhaps, branded or maimed -- literally marked as
an offender. 

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list