“Hate-crimes” as the expression and proof of liberal rule

The creation of the legal category of “hate-crime” illustrates, as well as any fact can do, that liberal ideology has become the all-ruling force of our society, progressively taking over and displacing normal and traditional concepts. Traditionally, a crime consists of two elements: the intention to commit the criminal act, and the criminal act. Those are the two things that a jury must establish in order to convict a person of a crime. The only required psychological component of a defendant’s guilt is mens rea—the guilty thought, the guilty intent to commit the crime. The precise nature and quality of this intention does not matter, insofar as the determination of his guilt is concerned, only that he had the intention to commit the crime.

The category of “hate-crime” improperly adds to the normal idea of criminal intent the idea of “hate.” If you “hate” the ethnic, religious, or sexual group to which your victim belongs, and if such hate was part of your motivation, your crime is much worse and is punished more severely than if such “hate” was absent. Determining whether such “hate” obtained in a given crime involves looking into the thoughts of the defendant in a manner that does not happen in normal criminal law. “Hate-crime” defines as criminal certain kinds of thoughts, which has never been the case in the Anglo-American legal tradition. It makes certain kinds of intentions more criminal, and more punishable, than other kinds of intentions. Thus, even as our society keeps letting off with light punishments people who have committed terrible murders, it makes a huge deal of, and punishes more severely, people who have committed crimes who also had “hate” in their mind when they committed them. In 1989 a hostess at a dinner party I was attending made a lasting impression on me when she remarked that racism is now worse than murder. With the establishment of the category of hate-crimes, that statement has become literally true.

As I have often said, the highest and ruling principle of modern liberal society is non-discrimination. Under liberalism, discrimination is the worst thing there is, the ultimate evil that must be rooted out and eliminated at all costs. Hate-crimes statutes carry to a new level this liberal ideology. They show how, to a very significant degree, America is no longer a free country, but an ideological state. Just as Communist regimes are ruled by Communist ideology, liberal society is ruled by the ideology of non-discrimination. Of course this ideology is not imposed equally on everyone, but mainly on whites, men, Christians, heterosexuals, wealth producers, and so on—the “privileged” groups who according to liberal ideology are the main or only source of hate and discrimination. Thus when, as in Philadelphia this week, blacks commit what appears from the news reports to be a grossly obvious hate-crime against whites, beating a white taxi passenger and the white cabbie while yelling racial epithets, the hate-crime charge was instantly dismissed by Philadelphia’s district attorney.

* * *

As an afterthought, consider the fact that according to mainstream conservative writers, America is a “center-right” country. And their evidence for this statement is that, as found in opinion polls, a little over 20 percent of Americans describe themselves as “liberal,” while almost 40 percent describe themselves as “conservative.” It doesn’t matter that our actual ruling ideology is a radical liberalism. Because a plurality of the population call themselves conservative, that means we are a conservative country.

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Ed H. writes:

How do you do it? There is more substance, more real thinking going on in single day’s blog of VFR than in a monthly issue of any other political magazine. Your summary of crime and mens rea vs. liberal thought crime was brilliant.

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LA replies:

Hah hah, thank you, you made my day.

But you left out a credit:

Hair stylist, Lorenzo de New York.

Dale F. writes:

I’ve always thought the Gallup poll on how Americans label themselves liberal, moderate, or conservative to be virtually useless.

I know an ardent leftist who considers himself “moderate” because there’s a single article of liberal faith with which he disagrees. Then there’s the far more common case of same-sex-marriage-supporting Obama voters who identify as “moderate” because they imagine themselves to be non-ideologues who decide every issue objectively, on the merits. They just happen to reach liberal conclusions 90 percent of the time.

By the way, as an amusing example of how hope springs eternal in a liberal poll analyst’s breast, how about this from the above linked article:

The pattern [of conservative vs. liberal] is strikingly different on the basis of age, and this could have important political implications in the years ahead. Whereas middle-aged and older Americans lean conservative (vs. liberal) in their politics by at least 2 to 1, adults aged 18 to 29 are just as likely to say their political views are liberal (31 percent) as to say they are conservative (30 percent).

An obvious explanation—the common observation that most people become more conservative with more life experience—apparently doesn’t occur to the folks at Gallup. They believe and hope that as soon as all the mean old conservatives die off, we will reach utopia.

Robert B. writes:

Actually, the existence of thought crime is a step backward in Western law. In the time of absolute monarchies, it was considered treason to even think about a king’s death. To imagine the king one day dying was enough to get your head lopped off.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 04, 2012 07:06 AM | Send

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