People suffer extreme mental agony "merely" by being kept alone. The human being is designed to be be a social animal. That is why he is so susceptible to arguments based on "social fairness" or "envy" or "social status". The whole thing is intuitively about SOCIETY and our place in that society. Even a child understands this. And that is why religions and cults flourish; and tribes, and wars: because they build on nature's design, not rebel against it.
Any system of thought that ignores these basic facts about the design of the human being will flounder in the real world. Anarcho-capitalism ignores these basic truths, hence has few (if any) prospects of being widely adopted. I therefore urge my many anarcho-capitalist friends to abjure their blind faith and join the space of REALITY, which is represented by classical liberalism.
The following extract by Sidney Rittenberg is a sobering reminder of the torture of (ten years of) solitary confinement (in China):
Door No. 11 opened and clanged shut behind me. The bare cell held a ''bed'' (a wooden door laid across two shortened saw-horses), a cold-water sink, a commode with no seat. That was it. There was a steel grate over the barred half-window overhead and another around the two light bulbs, a brighter one for daytime and a dimmer one for night. The cell was about six paces long and three paces wide – little room for exercise. A peephole in the door and another by the commode afforded the guards a clear view. Solitude without privacy.For the first four-plus years of my second incarceration, prisoners were not permitted to lie down outside of regulation sleeping hours. We were not permitted to voice any sound. Later, we were permitted to turn over in bed at night – before that, one had to sleep facing the guard, with hands between neck and navel.I lived like that in a Chinese prison outside Beijing for 10 years. Earlier, I had been locked in solitary for six years, in an old warlord prison with no plumbing and no steam heat – the first year in a cell that was kept in total darkness.US scientists have pointed out that solitary confinement is a form of torture and that few can retain their sanity after a long period in isolation. It is routinely used in China to force confessions out of suspects. I know many who have been through this, and I have seen that the survivors are often partially or wholly mentally crippled.During my first year in solitary darkness, after being forced to take some sort of drugs, my mind collapsed into a state of indescribable anguish and hysteria. I lived in this extreme depression and loss of all control for months, until my captors changed my living conditions and gave me some new drugs, which they said were to relieve the effects of the earlier drugs. They also, for a few months, provided me with the companionship of friendly guards outside the cell. I gradually regained my sanity, but I was left with strong post-traumatic panic syndrome for the next 20-odd years. I would suddenly start palpitating, break out in a cold sweat and feel a terrible pressure on my forehead as though it was being squeezed in an iron hoop. These attacks would last for less than one minute, but each time I was terrified that the horribly painful madness I had been through would return. [Source]
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