Have you ever been punished too severely?

Punish and be punished

Materials 2013

The new justice center on Leonrodplatz and us

The new justice center is to be built at Leonrodplatz in Neuhausen from 2014. There, all of Munich's existing public prosecutor's offices and courts are to be brought together on a huge area of ​​38,000 square meters.

This palace of power, blockade and authority will soon, if we do not prevent its construction, harbor some of the greatest illusions of our society. "Security", "justice" and "independent justice" are to be given a new home there. It looks like a completely normal building in a completely normal city like Munich, where everything is state-regulated and "safe". The justice center will appear so normal because we have long since internalized the principles it embodies. It seems completely normal and right to us that there are people who judge others. From childhood we are used to authorities who judge our actions and punish us when we do something wrong. Over the past hundred years, the methods of the judiciary to punish “criminals”, as well as, for example, the punishments in our family environment, have changed and adapted to the times. While in the past you might have got your buttocks spanked, today there is a week TV ban; In the same way, “criminals” used to be publicly whipped and beaten, whereas today they are mentally tortured for years by being locked up in cells. But neither the spanking nor the beating and public humiliation of “criminals” has completely disappeared today and the basic principle of punishing “wrong” behavior has remained the same.

For every "wrong" act today there is an associated penalty: You have violated rule xy, now you will be punished one way or another. It is not about the personal situation of the individual (whereby the judge is supposed to "adjust" the punishment for us personally), but rather about punishing these acts so harshly that no one thinks of imitating them (because that would be a serious one Problem for the defenders of this society), but also not so severe that it could destroy the image of the democratic constitutional state.

However, even with interpersonal conflicts, we usually do not try to find a common solution. We do not try to explain to the other person what bothered us personally and why it bothered us, but instead instruct someone who has nothing to do with this conflict. Instead of dealing with the problem ourselves, we designate a person of authority such as cops, parents, bosses or judges, who is to solve our personal conflicts for us on the basis of ready-made rules or laws. But as soon as the conflict is separated from our life, i.e. somebody other than us solves it, it is no longer really about solving the personal dispute or conflict, but about behavior that in some way brings about the orderly state of affairs Could waver, to punish in order to deter other people and to lead the “criminals” back into the system as functioning (work) machines.

But what drives us to outsource our personal conflicts to strangers, to institutions such as courts, so that they can resolve them? Why do we need punishments? To avenge committed deeds? To “make amends” for the damage done? Or do we even punish people out of “good will” so that the person “improves”? In this case, punishing behavior that is regarded as wrong is of no use. Even those in power admit that punishing someone certainly doesn't stop that person from doing the same again.

If we were really interested in solving a problem and not just suppressing it and hiding it behind prison walls, we would not call for an authority (parents, teachers, bosses, superiors, judges, cops ...) in every conflict solve this conflict for us, but rather try to resolve the dispute together with our personal environment. That would of course mean that we need to take more responsibility for the things that happen around us and not just look the other way when we see someone being sexually harassed or controlled by cops, for example.

Certainly, the least useful thing to do for resolving conflicts is simply to apply a ready-made scheme; a law according to the pattern, you have done this and that wrong, for that you will be punished so and so. We would never get the idea of ​​solving our personal conflicts in this way (you haven't washed the dirty dishes, now you have to sleep ten days with the light; you hurt me personally through this and that thing, now you can leave your apartment for not leave the next two weeks ...). Punishment may sometimes prevent people from doing certain things (or, more likely, doing these things in secret), but when they do, it is not of their own accord and not because they see that something was hurtful or disturbing to another person . This would be the only way to avoid such conflicts in the future.

Let's take a look at what types of behavior are considered wrong today. First of all, it can be stated that many of the cases heard in court today have nothing to do with interpersonal conflicts. It is much more about acts that do not affect anyone personally (even if it is the property of people), but rather about "crimes" that violate the principles of this social order, such as theft, fare dodging, unpaid bills, etc. So above all acts committed by people with less money.

But do these acts really affect you personally, except perhaps in a moral sense? Does it harm you if someone steals from the supermarket, regardless of whether he_she has no money to pay or because he_she does not accept having to pay for it? The only people who are really harmed (CEOs, bigwigs, your boss ...) don't even notice because they have so much money anyway that they could swim inside! Practically all laws are there to protect private property and the state and thus to guarantee that this broken world continues until we all perish.

And anyway: Have you ever been asked whether you agree to all laws, whether you see them as the best framework for your life? Have you ever been asked if it should be allowed to occupy empty houses or if it is forbidden to occupy houses and keep them empty to maximize profit? We are taught that the code of law is the perfect formula for our coexistence, that the way it is is best for us and without “nothing would work anyway”.

But what bothers us as anarchists most of all are neither unfair laws nor harsh punishments. We do not want a fairer code of law, which tax the rich more heavily, nor judges who have more compassion for poor people, because we do not want any justice and no laws at all! And since we as anarchists reject all constraints, we also reject laws.

However, anarchy also means not living together without agreements and rules. But we want to make these agreements together. A free agreement, which we see as the basis for free human relationships, is drawn up jointly by all parties involved and all parties have agreed to it and see the meaning behind it. This agreement can therefore be revoked at any time or adapted to new circumstances. A law is an imposed rigid rule that we are forced to follow and is therefore based on coercion, whereas a free agreement is based on voluntariness (and the understanding of a necessity).

We are all different and that is a good thing! Why do we need fixed guidelines according to which everyone is judged and condemned? But only to maintain this society of exploitation. Only to make it easier for those in power to control us!

Conflict and disagreement are just seen as something disturbing these days. As something that interrupts everyday life and “robs” us of time. How boring life would be if everyone had the same opinion! We can also learn an incredible amount from conflict and the ensuing confrontation with the other person. About ourselves and our mistakes, about the people around us and about our coexistence in general. We can grow from them and draw strength from them. These positive opportunities inherent in conflict are taken away from us by the judicial apparatus and the internalized principles of punishment and condemnation.

In our view, there is only one way to escape this: to attack the judiciary as an institution and in our heads! Killing the judge in our head is the first step in this. But it is not enough just to be at peace with oneself, as various nonsense like Buddhism or other religions try to instill in us. Liberation is a joint project! In order to be able to live together independently, we have to drive the judiciary out of our lives. But that certainly does not happen because we wait until everyone has “freed themselves”, but rather because we attack the judiciary and the world that goes with it in a self-determined and direct manner. Since it includes everything, this seems invulnerable at first. So how can we attack the judiciary? Every thought pattern by which we judge and condemn others, every authority, from teachers to social workers, to bosses to judges, is a piece of the mosaic of the judicial system as a whole. But the judiciary does not only consist of thought patterns or different individuals, it also manifests itself quite obviously for each and every one, in things and in different places, e.g. as a building. One of these buildings will be the new justice center on Leonrodplatz. Each of these pieces of the mosaic helps and makes it possible that laws that restrict us exist and that there are people who decide about the lives of other people.

So let's work together to prevent the construction of this “colossus of rulership cast in concrete and glass”!

Our possibilities are limitless!

Let's start the revolt!

court-prevent (at) distruzione.org

Leaflet collection, Archive of the Munich labor movement