“Restorative Justice” is overall an incredibly idealist approach to justice with questionable success rates, the contexts of which tend to be completely ignored by “radical” advocates of RJ. It offers no path whatsoever to solve the structural problems it criticizes other methods of justice for failing to solve, while the advocacy of restorative justice within the context of capitalism highlights the liberalism at the core of its theory. Positing that violent misogynists can at all be “reformed” within the context of heteropatriarchy is just as idealist, if not more, than thinking that executing rapists will solve the structural issues which create them in the first place (a claim next to none on our side has actually made despite the claims of the violent misogynists who’ve been harassing survivors this week.)

Furthermore, to assume that a revolution can be bloodless, and that any more than small sections of the bourgeoisie, of fascists, labor aristocrats, and other enforcers of capitalist imperialism can be reformed in any meaningful way is another glaringly obvious example of this idealism. Only those who idealistically believe that said enforcers and perpetrators are simply plagued by false consciousness could advocate treating them as victims. Only those with idealist analysis of heteropatriarchy could insist that the men who carry out the most violent enforcement and expression of heteropatriarchy that is rape are victims that need to be helped.

It’s hardly a surprise that we have been consistently compared to cops, klansmen, fascists in general, and the perpetrators of sexual violence themselves. It is indistinguishable from the liberal view that fascism is simply “violence”, that attacking, killing if necessary, your oppressors makes you “just as bad.”

It’s hardly a surprise that men have been so adamant about defending such trivialization of sexual violence, and it’s hardly a surprise that such an array of liberal attitudes and idealistic analytics are actively thriving among self-proclaimed “materialist” advocates of “Restorative Justice.” There are ways to approach genuine criminal reform within the context of a proletarian state, but Restorative Justice is separated from that context, just as it is separated from any form of materialist analysis.