: : MDG and SDF brought up the issue of the death penalty below. What do people on this board feel about it.
: I agree with Lenin that the working class should support the bourgeoisie 'in order to secure equal rights and to create the best conditions for the class struggle' ('The Right to Nations to Self-Determination,' Collected Works volume 20, Progress 1964, p.409).
: Since opponents of government are promiscuously executed in times of class crisis, communists would be wise to OPPOSE the dealth penalty in general.
: To specify certain crimes on principle is to presume that those who do the specifying are those who hold the power of state. Specifications can quickly change in times of class crisis. One day, the child molester is executed; the next day, the socialist 'spy' is executed.
: The best bet is to oppose ALL forms of the death penalty while the bourgeoisie is in power. Luckily, the liberals will do most of the fighting for communists regarding this issue.
: When communists come to power, the decision regarding the death penalty can be brought up again (democratically).
Bear in mind, Barry, that if you oppose the death penalty on principle now then you can't argue that it should be reinstated ina socialist society. How can the dragging death of that black guy in Texas be an exceptionally heinous crime under socialism, but not under capitalism? It remians exceptionally heinous regardless of what party is in power at the time, and is deserving of teh same penalty before and afterward.
If you defend or oppose the death penalty it's got to be on the grounds of principle, and that means without reference to what political / economic system may be in power at the time. The negative side of this is that some people would be executed in capitalist society for what we do not consider to be crimes, e.g. the Rosenbergs. The positive side is that the presence of the death penalty precedent in a socialist society allows us to punish what we feel are very heinsou crimes with the penalty they deserve.
If the death penalty is wrong, it's wrong under either socialism or capitalism. I don't believe it's wrong. Consider this; you've expressed support in teh past for teh idea of a just war, that sometimes to serve a higher good we must violate the principle of the sanctity of life. The death penalty is analogous to that, but even stronger, because we'll not be killing innocent soldiers, but rather people whose actions have merited it.
Look at Ronald Reagan and his war crimes; don't you think that in a fair world he would have been on the gallows right now? If you agree with that, even emotionally, then you're foir the death penalty.