In Defense of Honor: Law Failure

I know that I had failed in more ways than one in my piece this week Who Our Justice System Leaves Behind (

I had mentioned my serving on a jury and having qualms that people outside of a suspected criminal’s social pool were standing between him and his freedom.

My greatest error was failing to bring up the concept of honor and the defense of honor. I had briefly mentioned how we didnt have dueling anymore and how our legal system leaves out certain cultural aspects that have served us well before our dirtied familial forbearers left their native lands to come to these shores.

In lopsided discussions and bizarre rants; I have brought up how moronic we are for turning ournoses up at dueling. Small claims and district courts might bring you the monetary figure that will make you solvant or whole but the courts dont help you attain a return of respect. The soulless person that breaks your agreement might not learn their lesson. Neither would someone that would make such flippant and gross actions ( like Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay from Enron fame). Our modern legal system and their biggest cheerleaders turn their noses up at the idea of violence but I am largely starting to think that their disdain for violence is rootred in their defense of their craft and not the violence itself.

When I spoke of the gentleman shooting the other man, I did not condone his actions in killing the man. (I think that certain subsets of people embrace a level of hype that is connected to their chosen profession or neighborhood. Stock brokers and drug dealers come to mind). But without any other avenue of settling grievances; can you blame a person for choosing violence?

Outside of the cultural impact of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton’s due; it settled a matter. Quite often duels did, even if both people left unscathed. (Both sides often were made whole by mutual agreement or a gentleman’s settlement, enforced by someone close to both parties, the seconds). I have every reason to believe that dueling was generally done between two honorable people. (Most cowards and punks wouldnt defend their honor or the honor of decent people around them anyway).

Our legal system never was able to put a tangible value on honor. It is often a concept lost.

Our legal system hasnt made a way for a person to save face. Our criminal courts can throw a burglar in jail but he cant help a man earn his wife’s respect/comfort back after the home invasion.

The law fails on a cultural level. Not just for those ingrained with the violent tendencies but for those seeking social/community recompense.

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3 Responses to In Defense of Honor: Law Failure

  1. Pingback: FreeMatt in Review: 3-7 to 3-14 | Free Matt Podcasts

  2. Gunner Q says:

    The main benefit I see in dueling is that both parties have skin in the game. It’s too easy to sue somebody on a contingency basis or to throw money at the problem instead of seeking justice; the lawyers profit the most from any case of significance. Dueling prevents the accuser from accusing too rashly and prevents the accused (if guilty) from buying justice.

    I think a return to dueling would mean the end of the modern corporation–how would you challenge Wal-Mart to the field of honor?–but that would be a good thing, too. I like the idea of one man being responsible for his organization even when (as in the military) distance makes the chain of command somewhat arbitrary.

    You point on honor is good, too. Modern society has completely forgotten the concept. There was a time a man’s reputation was more valuable than the gold in his pocket. That prevented a lot of cheating.


  3. Pingback: The Case For Dueling pt. (x) | Mogadishu Matt

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