As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands

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Menninger: ‘All the crimes committed by all the jailed criminals do not equal in social damage that of the crimes committed against them.’

Menningerialism is fully compatible with the most revolting severity

Leafing through Karl Menninger’s The Crime of Punishment (1968), Dalrymple comes across this passage:

The very word justice irritates scientists….Behavioural scientists regard it as…absurd to invoke the question of justice in deciding what to do with a woman who cannot resist her propensity to shoplift….This sort of behavior has to be controlled; it has to be discouraged; it has to be stopped.

Dalrymple comments:

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 07.55.01Cutting off her hands would not only do the trick in her case, but would surely deter others, especially if carried out in public. What objection, then, could there be? That the treatment (not punishment, of course) was disproportionate? But disproportionality depends upon the notion of justice, the very mention of which irritates behavioural scientists. That such treatment would be brutal? But brutality is a moral category, not a scientific one, that must likewise irritate Menningerial behavioural scientists.


involves an attempt in the name of science to empty the world of moral categories, and its failure is pre-ordained by our very nature as human beings.

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