Banishment

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A friend sent me a fascinating article on this subject, knowing that I had used the idea as the method of justice in my novel, and I got to thinking about it again. Associated Press writer, Renee Ruble, says "Most tribal leaders call banishment a last resort." I wonder about that? I suppose that as a formal decision made in a Native American tribal court, it would be a rare last resort, but as a common everyday human decision, I would say it’s more like a first resort.

Every casino has its list of undesirable people, for example, who may or may not have broken any legal laws, who will be escorted to the street in quick time. Every local tavern has its own list of people who will not be served. Every bank screens applicants for a criminal record, and supermarkets will not cash checks for some people. These are all forms of banishment designed to quietly protect private property, with no state coercion required.

On another level, I’ve noticed that banishment is effective in weeding out cheats, liars, and just plain incompetents. In a hard working and busy fishing port, people flock in from all over to get jobs on the boats, on the docks, or in the canneries. Some are greenhorns, some are experienced hands, some know each other, but many are strangers, and all are looking out for themselves, and their personal bottom line. Anybody who wants to work can find a job, but if they cannot or will not do the job, they’re out, and in a remarkably short time, nobody will hire them. The court of reality judges, and there is no appeal. They banish themselves.

Of course we live in a world where "judgmental attitudes" are politically incorrect, and every effort is made in academia and in legislatures to wipe out this natural human decision-making process. But the bleeding-heart socialists are going to get tied up in their own knots when the issue is banishment, for it lies at the heart of their legal system. What are jails for? What is child custody about? Extradition? Expulsion? How about revoking a person’s license to do something? These are all coercive banishment.

I much prefer to live in a world where I am free to choose individuals and businesses to associate with, a world where I am free to banish the ones I don’t want to associate with from my life. Like most people, I will give anybody the benefit of the doubt once, but I won’t be cheated a second time if I’m free to choose. I don’t belong to any political pressure group, or political tribe, so I cannot exert coercive banishment on anyone; nor do I want to, I only want to be free to choose for myself.

Robert Klassen [send him mail] is a retired med tech and writer. Here’s his web site.

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