A One-Page Hop from Bleeding Heart to Mailed Fist

Sometimes the hop from bleeding heart to mailed fist is only one page wide.  From Oscar Lewis, Ruth Lewis, and Susan Rigdon’s ethnography Four Men: Living the Revolution: An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba.

p.105:

Illiteracy is at the bottom of juvenile delinquency because illiterate parents don’t understand the development of the Cuban Revolution.  I’ve always been an enemy of slavery and illiteracy… My dearest wish is that every person, not only in Cuba but in the whole world, should know how to write his own name.

p.106:

Drastic measures are needed to fight delinquency.  First, I’d give a juvenile delinquent good advice.  Second, if that didn’t help, I’d suggest going to the work farms, along with study.  That way I’d gradually try to perfect the individual’s feelings and conscience.  And finally, if the first two measures brought no improvement, I’d send him before the firing squad.  Or maybe I’d advise Fidel to have an incinerator dug about 40 or 50 meters deep, and every time one of those obstinate cases came up, to drop the culprit in the incinerator, douse him with gasoline, and set him on fire.  The incorrigible delinquent is a blot that can’t be washed out.  If he’s allowed to go on living in our society, his influence will carry into the future.  So it’s best to make an example of him for future generations.

(interview with Lazaro Benedi Rodriguez, 70-year-old Defense Committee President for his housing project)

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Bryan Caplan

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Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, named “the best political book of the year” by the New York Times, and Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. He is now working on a new book, The Case Against Education.

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