Violence is a huge problem; it should no longer be denied. Violence needs to be a field of science. It should start some serious research into the fundamental cause of violence. It should answer the question, why our primitive sense of justice prevails over intelligent justice. It should investigate the mechanisms people use to justify their violence. It should start research into how to provide healthy social contexts for authorities to work within, as a means to prevent bureaucratic madness and power abuse. It should find methods and tools to prevent and cure violent behaviour. It should educate and inform the people. It should calculate the cost of violence.
Until now the world has been treating the symptoms, not the cause. Instead of finding ways to prevent violent behaviour – and develop methods to cure violent behaviour – , violence has been tolerated and is considered ‘normal’. Instead, we give the victims (mental) health care. This is of course not a solution to the problem. The disease only spreads. Justice is not only, to have those responsible for harmful deeds suffer the consequences, it is also to help prevent harmful deeds and cure those from their behaviour, that are a serious danger to others.
We need a new criterion for mentally healthy, being simply something like ‘a healthy adult acts in ways that cause no harm’. Social involvement is important, meaning people should not look the other way but speak up against violence. Especially where it is about domestic violence, there should be a system with more options than for the victim to flee the house. Imagine shelters for victimizers instead of shelters for victims: A shelter where the victimizer has to stay until it’s considered safe again to go home, or where other options can be figured out, while the victim can stay home. That is more like justice than the way most systems function now.
As it is, those that continiously lack the discipline to restrain from harming others, for example because they have a drinking problem, cannot be forced to undergo treatment for their violent behaviour. Instead, the victims of their violence are forced into (mental) health care treatment. There is not really a logical reason why this could not be the other way around: To force the victimizer to undergo treatment for violent behaviour before they can do (more) harm.
Many countries have problems with gangs. Those gangs start from just a bunch of bored guys. It could be prevented, those groups turn into gangs, with a social infrastructure that keeps them within a more healthy social context.
But the worst thing is, that the lack of paying attention to prevent violence and to fight its tendencies, corrupts the worlds systems. It is a common problem, that authorities are above the law, make up their own rules and play the judge themselves, using cheating, extortion, torture and killing to defend their interests. They do not even recognize their actions as crimes anymore, using justifications that make no sense at all.
People are shocked about war and slaughtering, horrible atrocities, oppressive treatment, strange decisions from their own government. But underlying this is a more fundamental feeling of sadness, which comes from the corruption of the judicial systems in the world. On paper, we have it all. The fact that we declared human rights is a hopeful fact. It is proof, we share the principles of what justice is. Now it is about upholding those principles, so we can live in structures that resonate with our intelligent sense of justice, not our primitive sense.
Violence needs attention. Not through sensation in the newspapers, which only fuels it. It needs professional attention.