Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

It is impossible to address the problem of rampant crime without talking about the moral responsibility of the intended victim. Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.

Jeff Snyder
2001
Nation of Cowards page 17
[This essay was originally published in 1993 by The Public Interest.—Joe]

3 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Jeff Snyder

  1. I’m not exactly sure what version of crime is being addressed here, but the concept applies equally to the more common crime and to the far more destructive crimes of the political class.

    We cannot be effective against either of those without first having “our own houses in order”, so to speak. If we are weak, and meandering, morally groundless, in our personal lives then the society as a whole will reflect that weakness. NOTHING we try to do about crime of any kind will have a positive outcome. As things get worse and worse, and all our proposed solutions make things worse yet (as they will inevitably), we’ll end up longing for a “strong man”, or national hero, to rise up (inexplicably, against all out best efforts) and bail us out of our funk.

    That’s exactly how Italy ended up with Mussolini, to cite just one example out of many thousands throughout history. Castro of Cuba would be another good example; those who opposed the Batista regime (and rightly so) lifted up Fidel Castro, thinking him a great man…until he gained power and then revealed himself.

  2. There was an interview with Snyder (that I cannot find online) where he modifies this stance. The gist of it was that knowing that you are shirking is a precondition to cowardice. You are making a choice to not do your duty to others or yourself. With that in mind, the nation is largely in a state that precedes cowardice. They are unaware of their failings or have been deceived re their duties. The subsequent judgement thus leans more towards pity than contempt.

  3. SOME truth to this assertion but like many beliefs it has many fallacies. A lot of crime is indirect….meaning it happens TO a victim but not in the presence of a victim. Robbery, burglary, fraud, car theft etc. etc. are usually committed in the absence of anyone to deter the crime. Thus the notion that we
    ‘accept’ it is ridiculous. In fact if a victim of such a crime were in fact to learn the identity of the perpetrator and act on the knowledge THEY would be the ones most likely to be imprisoned. And in many jurisdictions any citizen having the temerity to use force in self defense needs to have very deep pockets in order to defend themselves from agenda driven apparatchiks who prefer to punish honest citizens for having balls than go after actual criminals. No…this article has a hint of truth about it but for the most part America isn’t afraid to fight back because of the criminals on the street. It is afraid to fight back because of the criminals if office and on the bench.

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