On the topics of adult vs juvenile justice and prison education

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

To come to any conclusions about how criminal punishment should work, what punishment is for must first be understood.

In an effort to find a good answer to that question I will examine two philosophical theories of punishment, Retribution theory, and Moral Education theory, and argue that the former is a better theory on which to base a system of criminal punishment.

Following that, I will then compare aspects of the current American criminal legal system to what Retribution theory says is how it should work.

There are two claims that hold up Retribution theory: first, it is claimed that…

What Caused the War of the Sixth Coalition

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay


In this essay, I will examine the extent to which the War of the Sixth Coalition can be explained by the Security Dilemma, a theory of how and why wars begin stemming from the broader Realist theory of international relations. Through this process, I conclude that while parts of the war do fit with what the Security Dilemma predicts, there are also aspects that resist this explanation, and overall I believe there is too much uncertainty to prefer it over other theories.


The War of the Sixth Coalition, from here on denoted as WSC, took place between 1813 and 1814…

Thucydides Trap vs Bipolar Stability

Photo by Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash

Thucydides and Kenneth Waltz have different theories about great power competition. Thucydides’ perspective, for starters, comes from his analysis of the Peloponnesian War, a conflict between Sparta and Athens that he judged to have resulted from the tendency of a rising power, Athens, to threaten a standing power, Sparta. This perspective has been carried forward in time and used to explain many more conflicts, resulting in the theory known as Thucydides Trap, the belief that whenever a new power rises and threatens to displace the standing power, conflict will inevitably ensue. …

Part 2

On the future

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Throughout American history, there have been two general foreign policy eras: From the founding of the country until WWI the US primarily pursued isolationism and unilateralism, then there was a transition period until WWII, and since then the US has tended more towards globalism and multilateralism. This categorization is certainly overgeneralized as different presidential administrations, congresses, and situations have called for different policies that do not perfectly fit into these two categories, but I believe it is still a useful perspective with which to understand and plan for the foreign policy of the twenty-first century.

Since the end of the…

Part 1

On the rise of liberal idealism

Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

While the historical consensus may be that President Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy after the end of the First World War was a failure and that President Harry Truman’s foreign policy after the end of the Second World War was a success, and while I don’t disagree with that broad assessment, for the purposes of this essay I believe it is important to look at Wilson’s foreign policy from two angles: that of ideas and implementation.

The implementation of Wilson’s ideas — “peace without victory” (Kaufman 48), a world “safe for democracy” (49), his list of Fourteen-Points to design the post-war…

The dilemma of nuclear strategy


There are two primary perspectives on nuclear strategy, Mutually Assured Destruction Theory and Nuclear Utilization Theories (MAD and NUTS). These theories are fundamentally different in the ways they view nuclear weapons, warfare, security, and, specifically, questions around escalation dominance — whether it is achievable, or if it is even desirable to achieve.

The reasons for these differences come down to acceptance or rejection of what is known as the Nuclear Revolution, a number of implications stemming from the observation that nukes are utterly incomparable to conventional weapons. MAD accepts the Nuclear Revolution and has tended to be the US’s preferred…

A Petition to the People, by the People, for the People of the United States


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . .

This is the primary AMERICAN SOCIAL CONTRACT, an agreement between citizens and government: citizens give government power and government secures the rights of citizens. However, as they may be construed, the self-evident truths illuminated within this DECLARATION are not merely political…

An Open Letter

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Imagine, if you can, a world where the Right controls most of the major cultural institutions of the country. Think Hollywood, the news, social media, education, sports, etc. Maybe you already think they do and think they should control them less. In such a case, try imagining your side wins the cultural battle and takes over these institutions, but then they are taken back by the Right. Then, imagine the Right wins a massive election and takes control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency.

Now, think about all that power. They have so much influence over…

For Dummies

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
  1. Those who use violence to try and bring about social change are political radicals. BLM, Antifa, the Alt-Right, and what I will term Radical Trumpsters see violence as a valid means to achieve their particular ends. It doesn’t matter what their ends are because even they don’t see them as valid enough, or their arguments for them as strong enough, to stand up in the marketplace of ideas. Instead of convincing people they have to rely on coercing people. Instead of the democratic process they desire tyrannical control. Therefore, instead of freedom they deserve prison.
  2. Those who excuse rioters from…

And How to Think About Preserving It

Photo by Fred Moon on Unsplash

The Freedom House research institute claims that the past fourteen years, 2005–2019, has been marked by a continuous democratic decline; that is, each year there were more countries falling to lower freedom scores than there were countries that improved. While democracies still make up a majority of the world’s nations, which wasn’t the case just a few decades ago, the consistency of this decline is worrying.

This essay will outline some theories of democratization as potential reasons for its decreasing success as well as examine case studies of particular countries to showcase the points of these theories. It will then…

Tyler Piteo-Tarpy

Essayist, poet, screenwriter, and comer upper of weird ideas. My main focus will be on politics and philosophy but when I get bored, I’ll write something else.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store