Fri | Dec 3, 2021

SOE cannot be a long-term crime plan

Published:Thursday | May 2, 2019 | 12:19 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The state of emergency (SOE) cannot, and should not, be maintained as a long-term crime-fighting strategy. It is tantamount to using force to suppress a spring; as soon as the force is removed, the spring recoils beyond its original limits in proportion to the strain of the force that was applied. And let us not forget the many accounts of human-rights abuse that have been reported under the SOE.

The cause of crime has long been established in the psychological literature; it has been tested and found to be true in rich and poor countries alike. If the hierarchy is too steep, too difficult for people at the bottom to climb up the social ladder, their ambitions become frustrated and they destroy the game.

The players want to be respected by their children and spouses, they want to be appreciated in their workplaces, and they want to be financially independent. If they don’t stand a fair chance of winning the game, they reason that they might as well just flip the board over.

The dons command respect, even if it’s out of fear; and they get to choose their mate, even if they are unwilling. Since you don’t get to choose, some choose to play the criminal game. It is rational behaviour, even if it doesn’t look like it; the consequences draw death closer, but at least they get to live a little before they die, like we all do.

There seems to be an unwillingness to change the rules of the game because the players believe resources are scarce; and if you are allowed to win more, then I will have to lose just as much.

It was found that when rats initiate play, if the weaker rat is not allowed to win at least 30 per cent of the time, then they stop playing. People won’t play by rules if they never win, and you can’t force them to.

tafarim123@gmail.com